Out of order
This week, FE Focus reveals that colleges are messing with forces they may not fully understand: the same sinister power which brought Noel Edmonds back to our screens.
Cosmic ordering classes are on offer at West Cheshire and Mid-Cheshire colleges - is there a ley line running through the county? - offering the credulous a chance to pay over pound;30 for a course on wishing for nice things from the universe, like a kind of all-year-round letter to Santa.
Still, the pedigree of West Cheshire course leader and former photocopier saleswoman Marie-Claire Carlyle cannot be denied - she is a descendant of the 19th century Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle. These days, she finds herself sharing stages with noted perjurer Jeffrey Archer and ex- pornographer David Gold at conferences for wannabe millionaires. She also promotes the self-help outfit the Landmark Forum, which once claimed the power to bring about world peace.
West Cheshire College may have got lucky with its own cosmic order for the last tranche of capital funding, but FErret believes education institutions should be teaching people to see through this nonsense, not promoting it.
Glenn Eldridge, Cornwall College's daredevil sports science lecturer, just won't give up. Not content with setting a record time for paddling from Cornwall to the Scilly Isles on a surfboard two years ago, he was at it again this week.
This time he was kayaking the same 33-mile distance, a small concession to prudence given that his little craft would be scuttling between giant oil tankers on the three-and-a-half-hour voyage.
FErret can't recommend this hazardous behaviour and urges lecturers to seek alternative leisure activities, such as a drink in the pub or perhaps a short walk.
But it was for a good cause: the Handstand Appeal, which raises funds for Marshall Johnson, 1, who lost his legs and hands to meningitis and needs expensive prosthetics. Well done, Glenn.