FErret

5th April 2013 at 01:00

Have a look at what we swiped from you

Last week New College Durham welcomed Gu Jianming, the principal of a vocational school in Shanghai's Fengxian district, as part of an exchange programme. While most of Shanghai resembles the set of Blade Runner, a template for the crowded, high-tech city of the 21st century, FErret understands Fengxian is a bit more laid-back, featuring a pleasant-looking artificial beach.

So perhaps Mr Jianming didn't experience too much culture shock in touring the Hogwarts-like world of Durham, being shown its university, cathedral and the preserved pre-industrial way of life at the Beamish museum.

He might have been surprised to be shown around the university's Oriental Museum, however. "Our Chinese and Egyptian collections are among the finest to be found anywhere in Britain," the museum says. Sure, but you know who else has a great collection of Chinese artefacts? The decision also has some uncomfortable imperial overtones, not helped by the fact that many of the artefacts come from the one-time secretary of state for the colonies, Malcolm Macdonald. "Look what we took from you!" it seems to say. So how can the Chinese respond? By showing the Britons some manufacturing jobs?

Too many courses is bad news for horses

It turns out that when FE minister Matthew Hancock dropped two stone to win a charity horse race at Newmarket, he was setting an example for all of us to follow.

A study by Duchy College, Cornwall College's agricultural campus, has found that a third of riders are too heavy for their steeds, potentially causing back problems or arthritis.

It's the latest blow for horses, who have already suffered at the hands of humans by being ground up and used in ready meals, from Findus lasagnes to Tesco burgers. Now it turns out those burgers and lasagnes were making humans fat, causing them to injure the horses they ride, ultimately creating more dead horses to feed a ravenous horsemeat industrial complex. Stop the cycle of abuse: try a salad.

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