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This weeks flashback Friday…

1. ISIS use of Qu’ranic Verses

I read this brilliant article, well have read several, but this one sticks out, regarding ISIS and the use of the Qu’ranic verses to justify their actions. The Koran clearly states that it contains two types of verses: context-independent verses, and context-dependent verses. Context-independent verses are unambiguous and timeless principles which can be applied in every situation. Context-dependent verses are those that are specific to particular situations, and can’t be read in isolation. The Koran then goes on to condemn those who cherry-pick verses to suit their own selfish ends, and tells its reader to take all the verses together before coming to any conclusions.

Peaceful believers following a peaceful religion despite groups like ISIS suggesting otherwise

Peaceful believers following a peaceful religion despite groups like ISIS suggesting otherwise

So how Muslims should co-exist with peaceful people of other beliefs, the Koran couldn’t be clearer: “Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes”. For everyone else, it is taught that you should be kind and act fairly towards them

2. E-Bikes

Ford after producing cars for so long, are now turning their attention to bikes. With traffic problems and overly long commutes have been proved to have a significant economic and social impact on cities. According to the European Commission, congestion within the European Union costs about 100bn euros each year. Ford’s e-bikes are equipped with a 200-watt motor with a 9-amp-hour battery that provides electric pedal assistance for speeds of up to 25km/h (15mph). Both can also be folded.Rear-facing sensors offer riders an alert system that warns the cyclist when a vehicle is overtaking by vibrating both handlebars. Sensors also alert motorists to the presence of the e-bike by lighting up the handlebars.

Transport revolution?

Transport revolution?

Finnish car manufacturer Volvo also announced its own ebike at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona while others such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Peugeot have also either launched electronic bikes or revealed concepts.

It seems a revolution is going to come to cities that will hopefully make things less polluted and traffic friendly though I can only see this really excelling in densely populated cities, like New York, London, Beijing etc but would not be a viable option in cities like Los Angels, Abu Dhabi, Cape Town.

3. Unmarried + No Children = Suicide

I read this sad story of a girl who was 29 , had seemingly had her whole life ahead of her, yet she unexpectedly took her own life, due to being unmarried and without kids. The social expectation on having a family and kids has always been quite prevalent in the East, however I feel it is now coming more prevalent in the West. People used to believe not having kids, or being a career woman was a symbolic gesture of woman’s power and strength, however I think the situation has changed and women now want and expect to be mothers and wives. It seems we  have now done a full circle and there is a symbolic  message of power and strength when you see ‘celebrities’ such as Beyonce or Victoria Beckham take such pride in being a mother it inspires others to take pride in my opinion and made being a mother ‘cool’ again.

Single, Unmarried, Childless? Theres More to life....

Single, Unmarried, Childless? Theres More to life….

4. Expensive Tea

Who doesn’t like a cup of tea? Well a restaurant in London is offering a change to sample the most expensive cup you will probably ever pay for…Da Hong Pao is the tea in question, while the concoction is made from a rare herb found only at high altitudes, simmered down for up to eight hours. It starts at £388 for a serving fit for four. Why is it so expensive? The leaves can retail for more than £650,000 a kilo. They come from just three fabled bushes in Fujian province. The story goes that these same bushes produced tea which cured the illness of a mother of a Ming dynasty emperor. Not sure I would spend that much based on the fable and from the article seems the taste was nothing to write home about.

A girl holds up tea leaves collected from a tea plantation fertilized with panda droppings in Ya'an in southwest China's Sichuan province Saturday March 17, 2012. Businessman An Yanshi is promoting the green tea which he fertilized with the panda droppings and wants to sell 21 commemorative sets packaged with 50 grams of the tea, panda themed tea sets and his own art works for the price of around 22,000 yuan or US$3,500. (AP Photo)

A girl holds up tea leaves collected from a tea plantation fertilized with panda droppings in Ya’an in southwest China’s Sichuan province Saturday March 17, 2012. Businessman An Yanshi is promoting the green tea which he fertilized with the panda droppings and wants to sell 21 commemorative sets packaged with 50 grams of the tea, panda themed tea sets and his own art works for the price of around 22,000 yuan or US$3,500. (AP Photo)

5. Phones in Malawi

We all like to use our phones, however would you like to if it meant using half your salary? For the average Malawi national this is the case, as the average person spends 56.29% of average monthly earnings on their mobile bills. Its quite extraordinary the cost of this and I am not sure why people would pay or why the even the government would accept this as it surely hampers other economic progress by having such basic commodity at such a high rate.  If you look at the cheapest three –

  • Macau, China – 0.11% of average monthly earnings
  • Hong Kong, China – 0.18 % of average monthly earnings
  • Denmark – 0.19% of average monthly earnings
Nurse Tiwonge Chisale from the Kabudula Community Hospital holds a mobile phone, Lilongwe District, Malawi ©

Nurse Tiwonge Chisale from the Kabudula Community Hospital holds a mobile phone, Lilongwe District, Malawi ©

All are areas which enjoy relatively strong economical performance and stability and I would have hoped African learn this and reduce costs in the future.

So thats it for me for this week!

Adieu…Adieu…Stormy