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The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca made by Muslim devotees (read more)

Featured Article: Prostitution

Prostitute c. 1890
Prostitution describes sexual intercourse in exchange for remuneration. The legal status of prostitution varies in different countries, from punishable by death to complete legality. A woman who engages in sexual intercourse with only one man for support is a mistress, and not normally considered a prostitute. Prostitution has often been described as "the world's oldest profession," and there is evidence of prostitution occurring throughout history in all societies. Early forms of prostitution involved "sacred prostitution," in which the sexual act was performed for a religious purpose with a person other than one's spouse. Religions have consistently condemned other forms of prostitution in which the activity is purely for personal pleasure, and severe penalties have been imposed on the prostitutes, although usually not on their clients.

Prostitution, however, has continued to exist since the earliest societies, and human trafficking in the twentieth century brought countless women and children across national boundaries for slave labor in this profession. Although many argue that prostitution is helpful to society (economically and socially), the realization that it is very wrong to sell that which is most wonderful, most enjoyable, most precious, and some consider most sacred, is an underlying concern. For, if human sexuality, which is inexorably linked to love, life, and lineage, is commodified, the value of a human being is inevitably reduced to something material, external, and temporary, and the ideals of marriage and family are destroyed.

Popular Article: Tofu

Silken tofu with soy sauce and a decorative carrot slice
Tofu, also tōfu (the Japanese Romaji spelling), doufu (the Chinese Pinyin spelling often used in Chinese recipes) or bean curd (the literal translation), is a food of Chinese origin, made by coagulating soy milk, and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu, tofu processed or preserved in a variety of ways, and tofu by-products such as tofu skins and soy pulp (Japanese: okara). Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own, so it can be used either in savory or sweet dishes, and is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish. Some tofu is made by processing non-soy products, such as almonds or black beans.

Tofu is low in calories, contains beneficial amounts of iron (especially important for women of child-bearing age) and has no saturated fat or cholesterol. Depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, the tofu may also be high in calcium (important for bone development and maintenance), and magnesium (especially important for athletes). Tofu also contains soy isoflavones, which can mimic natural human estrogens and may have a variety of harmful or beneficial effects when eaten in sufficient quantities.