Heavy metal weapon
Hungry wolves hear Megadeth, lose appetite
If you're out in the wilds and a pack of wolves is howling for dinner — you — here's a handy tip: Play heavy metal music if you can. That's what worked for a 13-year-old Norwegian boy who was walking home from school, the Russian website Zvuki.ru reports. Schools in foreign lands appear to teach their students the oddest things, so when four snarling and salivating beasts encircled Walter Acre, he knew not to run away but to face them and attempt to scare them away. Just as they seemed set to attack, the youngster kept his cool long enough to pull out his cell phone and play a song by heavy metal group Megadeth. That, apparently, sent the wolves running. Walter made it home safely, using one final blast of music to see off a stray wolf that was prowling close to his front porch. Just to be safe, kid, carry a boom box to school tomorrow.
Tyrant game cards draw frowns
Prosecutors in Germany are studying whether a card game featuring the world's most evil dictators flouts the country's anti-Nazi laws. The game, Blitz Trump, includes Adolf Hitler, Uganda's Idi Amin, China's Chairman Mao, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and North Korea's Kim Jong Il. The game went on show at an annual playing cards fair over the weekend in Nuremberg, where Hitler's National Socialist party rose to power. Players can win on sick statistics like how many people their dictator killed and how much money he made from his period in power. Not surprisingly, Hitler has a special "Blitz" status that beats every other card. Jurgen Kittel, the game's creator, accused furious critics of having no sense of humor.
Get them to the church on time
A church in Brazil is trying to crack down on tardy brides by fining them $300 for showing up late to their own weddings. It's a common tradition in the South American nation for brides to arrive at least 10 minutes tardy. And it's not unusual to be an hour late — or worse. Priest Roberto Carrara at the Nossa Senhora de Lourdes Cathedral in the small southern city of Apucarana is tired of wedding delays disrupting scheduled Masses and other ceremonies. Cathedral secretary Daiane Evaristo said Wednesday that couples will be required to leave a $300 check as deposit. They get it back if they're on time.
No ring is needed to show their love
Salvation Army officials are selling one of the more unusual items they've collected during their red kettle fundraising: a diamond wedding ring. They say an unidentified couple gave the ring to bell ringers on Dec. 22 outside a grocery store in Calhoun in northern Georgia. They also left a Christmas card with a note on the back saying they were still deeply in love and thought the Salvation Army could make better use of the ring than they could. The card said "All for Jesus."
Compiled from Times wires and other services.