A new study has investigated who watched the ISIS beheading videos, why, and what effect it had on them

This is the first study to explore not only what percentage of people in the general population choose to watch videos of graphic real-life violence, but also why.

In the summer of 2014, two videos were released that shocked the world. They showed the beheadings, by ISIS, of two American journalists – first, James Foley and then Steven Sotloff. Though the videos were widely discussed on TV, print and online news, most outlets did not show the full footage. However, it was not difficult to find links to the videos online.

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10 of the most controversial people in Russian history

The hard part was keeping the list down to ten.

Karl Bulla/Public Domain
  • Russia's history is fascinating and filled with colorful characters.
  • Some of the most influential of them have been extremely controversial.
  • Here are ten of the most interesting, both good and bad.
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4 major religions with anarchist roots

Surprisingly, many of the world's most popular religions have a lot to do with anarchy.

  • Anarchists aren't typically portrayed as particularly religious; instead, we think of them as violent anti-authoritarians.
  • While many modern anarchists rankle at today's religious organizations, the elements of these faiths often express a lot of ideas that anarchists express as well.
  • Here are 4 major religions and how they connect back to anarchy.
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Islam spread through the Christian world via the bedroom

Unions between Muslims and non-Muslims played a huge part in the expansion of Islam.

A Pakistani Muslim prays at an illuminated mosque in connection with Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, in Karachi on November 20, 2018. Photo: ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images

There are few transformations in world history more profound than the conversion of the peoples of the Middle East to Islam. Starting in the early Middle Ages, the process stretched across centuries and was influenced by factors as varied as conquest, diplomacy, conviction, self-interest and coercion. There is one factor, however, that is largely forgotten but which played a fundamental role in the emergence of a distinctively Islamic society: mixed unions between Muslims and non-Muslims.

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Valentine’s Day: A watered-down pagan Lupercalia

Romans didn't do festivals half-way.

Image source: Public Domain / Wikimedia
  • Modern Valentine's Day is a far more restrained version of the pagan holiday it replaced.
  • During Lupercalia, Romans got naked, drunk, and there was whipping involved.
  • Romantic cards? How about simulated penetration?
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