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The skinny

The Skinny: Being a pilgrim in Rome isn't what it used to be

high-tech VATICAN

Being pilgrim in Rome isn't what it used to be

The Vatican is betting an iPod beats "Shush!" in lowering the tour guide noise level in basilicas. It will even lend you one for free to try to prove its point. From a tiny booth in the back of St. John in Lateran, the Holy See's pilgrim agency has been quietly asking tourists if they want to tour Rome's oldest basilica with an iPod in hand loaded with an app specially designed to access the place's art, architecture and Christian history. It's a bid to cut down on the noise as well as increase appeal to the young, not your typical pilgrim, the Rev. Caesar Atuire, CEO of the pilgrim agency, said Tuesday. "It is designed to appeal to wider audience than the usual churchgoer," he told the Associated Press. The Vatican will formally unveil the experiment today.

Just call it a hobby

Physics professor's prostitution peril

The New Jersey physics professor says it was just a hobby, his operation of a sophisticated prostitution website that may have catered to as many as 200 prostitutes and 1,200 clients, according to police in Albuquerque, N.M. They arrested David Flory, 68, who teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University, on Sunday. Police say most of the prostitutes and johns were in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area, where he owns a vacation home. "He said he was not in this for the money," Lt. William Roseman said. "He flat-out told us his thing was he wanted to create a safe place for prostitutes and johns to get together. He called it a hobby."

A gambling tale

Here's a check for $24,988 too much

The gambler won a $25,000 jackpot. The Pittsburgh casino slot machine said so. But the state Gaming Control Board told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the player really should have won only $12 during a trip to the casino on May 29, 2010, but the slot machine had not been properly tested or certified and overpaid. The player got to keep the jackpot. Rivers Casino is facing a stiff fine.

out of bed, into jam

Drive to visit mom will have to wait

Donald Clegg decided to leave his home in Manchester, England, and drive to his mother's house early on the morning of Dec. 8. Then he crashed into a row of cars. Then an alarmed passer-by snatched the keys out of the ignition. Clegg, a 59-year-old family doctor, knew nothing about this. He was sleepwalking after having had too much to drink, according to the London Telegraph. In court on Monday, he pleaded guilty to driving almost four times over the legal limit for alcohol and blamed a history of sleepwalking. The court was sympathetic but still fined and banned him from driving for a year.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources

The Skinny: Being a pilgrim in Rome isn't what it used to be

06/21/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 10:27pm]
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