Archive | August 20, 2011

U.K: Education the Stampede to Freedom

U.K: Education the Stampede to Freedom


The race was on come Thursday 18th 2011, when students received their A-Level results raising the pass rate to 97.8%.  With 644 hits per second, applications to enter university is unprecedented with 682,000 applications including foreign students, but is in fact 1% up on last year. With university fees set to triple in 2012, Ucas, the British clearance system for entrance into university has accepted 419,000 students, with 60,000 places still remaining.

However, there are still those school leavers with good grades, but who cannot afford university fees. For those only concerned with a secure job, some of U.Ks biggest accountancy employers have set up degree equivalent training because they are looking outside of the graduates market, and plan to offer training that lasts for as long as it takes to become a doctor! In this way, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young get the talent they want, and the opportunity to mould them accordingly.

However, if one has aimed for uni, good grades do not always guarantee a place.

But what will the world be like when they graduate – in fact what will they be like when they graduate.

  • Will they have set perceptions and expectations of the world?
  • Will they have enough self esteem and self worth to like themselves enough to enjoy their own company?
  • Will they have enough creativity and ingenuity to offer the world?

Related Topics:

Australia: PhDs Driving Taxis!

Burnout: How are Doing With Your Annual Leave!

A Teacher’s Protest

Learning and Achieving Outside the Education System

That Driving Passion

The Death of U.S. Education as We Know It?

Gonzalo Rojas: To Live a Dream

U.K: The Affect of Globalization on Poverty

Life Beyond Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Student and the Atheist Professor

Reflection on Islamic Work Ethics

True Wealth

Samurai Story: The Student and The Teacher

The Power of Love: Four Women

E. Coli Outbreaks Continue…

E. Coli Outbreaks Continue…


By Hwaa Irfan


The spread of the new antibiotic resistant E. Coli O157:H7 did not stop with the banning of fenugreek seeds from Egypt as the summer sets in.  Reports continue to flood in this summer, as the globalized food industry fails to seize the opportunity to evaluate and restructure the means and methods of production and distribution of processed foods leaving consumers with a choice. The 2-day conference “Prevention of E. Coli” that took place in Chicago that was organized by the North American Meat Processors Association only seemed to explore self protective measures when 6 lethal strains have been identified in a country where annually there are:

  • 40,000 illnesses
  • 1,100 hospitalizations
  • 30 deaths

E. Coli O157:H7 has been located at a kebab house in Wales, U.K. resulting in seven falling ill, and one hospitalized. E. Coli outbreaks in the U.K. are not unusual, with the last death being that of a 5-yar old boy who died in 2005 when 44 schools in south Wales was struck by the bacterial infection. Annually the total infection rate is about 1,000 in England and Wales. In Yorkshire, England, Cruckley Animal Farm at Foston-on-the-Wolds had to be closed to the public due to an outbreak of E. Coli O157:H7. Six people were infected.

However, the U.S. is the country which is experiencing the worst outbreaks from a variety of sources including the processed food industry.

In June, E. coli O157:H7 was found in the public swimming pools Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center of Alabama from which four children were hospitalized. In Tennessee, there were 5 cases, and in  Cowan’s Gap State Park, Pennsylvania 14 people have been infected with 8 of those cases developing the serious complication of the kidneys, uremic syndrome (HUS) which can cause permanent damage and even death.

In July, a five year old girl became infected with E. Coli O157:H7 when hospitalized at Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, and died from HUS.

In August, E. Coli O157:H7 has been found in deer droppings which had contaminated strawberries from Jaquith Strawberry Farm in Washington County as 10 people tested positive from the same strain that had caused the death of one woman in Oregon state. The E. Coli O157:H7 strain seems to be diversifying as four of those infected had a different strain of E. Coli O157:H7.

At James Cook University Hospital’s Playdays Day nursery 25 children have been infected by E. Coli O157:H7. The nursery was closed and cleansed, and had to be closed again.

In Michigan, five confirmed cases and six suspects of E. Coli O157:H7 infection was identified the day after ground beef traced to McNees Meats and Wholesale of North Branch was recalled.  60,000 pounds of ground beef was also recalled from the Ohio-based National Beef Packing Co., which is the country’s 4th largest beef processor. This recall arose from a routine inspection that found E. coli O157:H7.

Once again, we are facing the consequences of living in excess, eating more meat than our bodies are designed to consume, and producing food in a manner that compromises health of the environment, the animals and humans – quid pro quo!



“Beef Recalled in Ohio After E. coli Outbreak.”

Brindley. M. “Emergency Prohibition Order for Cardiff Takeaway In E.Coli Outbreak.”

“E. Coli Found In Cowans Gap Well Water.”

Flynn, D. “Meat Industry Told to Brace for ‘Big Six’ Listing.”

Goetz, G. “Dangerous Waters: E. Coli Threaten Swim Areas.”

Judd, S. “E.Coli Outbreak At James Cook University Hospital Nursery.”

Rothschild, M. “Nine E. Coli Cases in Michigan Ground Beef Outbreak.”


Terry, L. “Oregon Confirms Deer Droppings Caused E. Coli Outbreak Tied To Strawberries.”


Related Topics:

Super Salmonella Bug Spreading Across Europe

Raw Milk s. Pasteurized Milk: Which Would You Prefer?

Accusations, Trade, Politics and E. Coli

It’s Time to Get Real About Halal/Kosher Meat!

Ramadhan Reflections: Every Soul Shall Taste of Death are You Ready?

Ramadhan Reflections: Every Soul Shall Taste of Death are You Ready?

Text Summary:

Ramadhan, our noble guest has come and she is quickly departing our company.  Soon, we will be at the end of this month. It should make us think about what other things in our life that will quickly approach. Regardless of faith or beliefs, one thing that we can all agree on, is that one day, we will all die. Allah reminds us in the Qur’an that “every soul shall taste of death”.

For some people, this can be very scary. Especially if all we see are the things of this life, this world and all it’s enjoyment, our understanding of death will be limited to thinking that everything is ending. However, our understanding in Islam is that this life is phase two of our lives and there are two other phases that follow.  Sometimes because we cannot fathom this, we deny the possibility.

However if we think, of a baby in the womb of it’s mother, it’s entire universe is it’s mother’s womb. It feels safe in the darkness, in the warmth and close to it’s mother’s heart beat. Imagine telling that baby that if it waits to an appointed time that no one knows, and works hard, that it will be put into a brand new world, a greater world, with blue skies and rivers, trees, beautiful colours, flowers and food of all kinds…it’s greatness and wonder would be like nothing it can imagine. Just be patient, you might say to the baby. What would the baby think or feel? Our life in this world is a transition that is similar and though we may not be able to see it or feel it, this does not mean that the Hereafter does not exist.

So one day, we will face our death and our success in the Hereafter is dependent on how we live in this life. What have you and I put forward for a day that we will be called to account? We forget at times, that every single thing that we do, in public and private is recorded by the angels. So on that day, when we stand before God, what will your record display?

What did you do in public? What about the deeds you did in private when no one could see? Did you remember that God could see you? What was your intentions/motivations for doing what you did- was it to be seen? Pride? To gain some money or prestige? Or was it for God’s pleasure? These are things we MUST think about now because when we are visited by the Angel of Death, it will be too late.

Perhaps the time for reflection and consideration of what we things we need to change and improve in our characters is now. Or have we become fooled by the myth of, “I have the rest of my life ahead of me, I can do it later”? How long is the rest of your life? My life? Does anyone know? Since we do not know, then we need to take account now, before we have to give account for our actions.

May God bless us to remember this and cause us to review the way we are living our lives. May we work to do as many good deeds as possible to try and gain the Pleasure of God now while we have life to do so.

Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: It’s Not Really My Problem

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011


Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore
Letter to the Self # 27: Destination or the Journey!
Letter to the Self # 26: Change
Letters to the Self #25: Window of Opportunity
Letters to the Self #24: More Than You Think You Are Able
Letters to the Self #23: Submission
Letter to the Self #22: Do You Have Trust Issues?
Letter to the Self #21: Possessions
Letter to the Self #20: Sacred Spaces
Letter to the Self # 19: The Big “I”
Letter to the Self # 18: Insecurities