The world is despite its shortcomings a wondrous place and humans are by far the most interesting species on its surface. Every week we’ll sneak a peek into current events that made the weird side of the newspapers.
This week we’ll learn how much it could cost to pay for someone’s virginity, that Britons have a thirst for torture, and that Satanism is not cool in the most religious country in the world.
Medical student Hanna Kern, 27, made a huge splash online when she announced on her website that she would sleep with the highest bidder for her virginity. Her site, where she called herself Elisabeth Raine the ‘Virgin Whore,’ quickly gained plenty of attention, naturally, and bids started to pour in.
Before long someone offered more than half a million dollars to deflower the promiscuous blonde and the bidding war was on. It finally hit $801,000 and then Kern decided to pull the plug and take her virginity off the market.
At first Kern said on her website that she was only in it for the money but later she changed her tone: “It is no longer about the money, instead, very broadly, it is about how society continues to exercise control over female sexuality by chaining it tightly to female morality.”
One third of Britons would condone torture, chiefly because of what they have seen in fictional TV shows according to Amnesty International. The civil rights organisation was stunned by the results of its poll and blamed the glorification of ill-treatment on terror suspects and criminals in programmes such as 24, Homeland and Spooks.
Some 29 per cent of Britons said practices such as beatings, scalding and needles rammed under fingernails could be justified if it is to protect the public – compared to 25 per cent in Russia.
However, more than eight in ten Britons were confident they would never be at risk from torture.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said: “These findings are alarming, we really didn’t foresee this sort of response from people in the UK and it shows we have got a lot of work to do.”
A student group at Harvard planned a “black mass” but cancelled after religious peers and members of faculty condemned the event and called it “an affront to the faithful.” The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club said it would no longer hold the mass because negotiations between the group and the venue where it was supposed to take place broke down.
The New York-based Satanic Temple, co-organizers of the event, will still go ahead with the mass but at an undisclosed location to “reaffirm their respect for the Satanic faith and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is to shame those who marginalize others by letting their own words and actions speak for themselves.”
The local Catholic Church was outraged and called the event an attack on the Eucharist, the church, people of faith and said in a statement that the mass would put those participating dangerously close to destructive works of evil.