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The News You May Have Missed

June 2006By Michael S. Rose

Michael S. Rose is Web Editor of New Oxford Review.

Soul For Sale

A Chinese man from Jiaxing, near Shanghai, attempted to sell his soul on Taobao, China's top online auction website. He attracted bids from 58 potential buyers before the posting was pulled, reported China Daily (April 6). "We reviewed Taobao's policies and realized we had no specific policy on the selling of souls," said Porter Erisman, spokesman for Taobao's parent company, Alibaba.com. Erisman said Taobao wasn't opposed to the idea of soul selling online, but wanted more proof that the seller could provide the goods.

Jesus, Ice Walker

Doron Nof, a Professor of Oceanography at Florida State University, says he thinks he can explain why the Apostles believed that Jesus walked on water. Prof. Nof claims his study found that an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formations on the Sea of Galilee two millennia ago: a drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice thick enough to support a man to have formed on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore. "It would have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water," Prof. Nof observed. Thus, Jesus didn't actually walk on water, He was merely performing parlor tricks. What won't they think of next?

Tackling Obesity

Teachers at 150 Scottish elementary schools have grown so concerned that their students are becoming inactive and overweight that they have hired "skipping instructors" at $280 a day to teach the youngsters to play. The "playing classes" are part of a national movement to tackle obesity in Scotland, where an estimated one in five 12-year-olds is classified as obese. Kellie Currie, a skipping instructor from London, explained: "You wouldn't believe the number of schools I go into where the kids don't know how to play games, and some of them just can't exercise at all because they are so unfit" (Scotsman, March 20).

Deadbeat Rights

Matt Dubay, a 25-year-old computer programmer, is suing to protect his constitutional right to be a deadbeat dad. After he was unable to convince his pregnant girlfriend to abort their baby or give her up for adoption, he filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that men who face fatherhood without their consent should be able to opt out of their financial responsibilities to the child. Mel Feit, founder of National Center for Men, supports Dubay's legal initiative: "Men are routinely forced to give up control, forced to be financially responsible for choices only women are permitted to make, forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy" (Telegraph, March 19).


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