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The skinny

The skinny: Nothing puts out the fire like a nice, wet Coke

Parenting

Nothing puts out the fire like a nice, wet Coke

Nicholas Wythe is being hailed as a hero in Mullion, England, for his quick reaction and the unselfish sacrifice of his soda after he saw his father on fire and doused the flames with the contents of his Coca-Cola. "He's a very level-headed boy," Andrew Wythe, 52, told the Sun of his son. "The fire went out straight away. I was lucky really." While Nicholas, 15, is being credited with smart response, it is reasonable to question where he got it. Wythe was engulfed in flames when he was pouring gas on a garden bonfire. He will require skin grafts.

Disney doesn't need more princesses

Natasha Narula of Coventry, England, learned the hard way that you don't even try to show up Cinderella. Narula was going to Disneyland Paris with her daughter, Drew, 8. Drew wanted to dress up like a princess, so Narula played along, dropped $30 on a used gown and headed to the main gate. But officials said if she wanted to enter the park, she would have to change. The concern was she might look too much like a princess, and children might engage her. "How can they possibly say I looked too much like a princess?" she asked the Daily Mail. "I was wearing a hideous wedding dress." Disney says it has a policy banning anyone over 9 from wearing a costume in its parks.

Hello, kitty

More mixing kids, tigers in China

Visitors to Wenzhou Zoo in China can upgrade their experience in the petting zoo. For an extra $4, visitors can pet a tiger. They can even pretend to ride it for the purposes of taking a photo. Surprisingly, some people think this is a terrible idea. One of the organizers told Wenzhou Metropolis News that it is perfectly safe because the tiger's claws and teeth have been filed, making no one feel better about it. It is worth noting that this isn't even the same Chinese zoo that let a 3-year-old walk a tight rope over the tiger habitat last week.

Lesson in diplomacy

Zambia has hotline to West Orange High

Lazarous Kapambwe, the Zambian ambassador to the United Nations, was urgently trying to reach a diplomat from Sierra Leone one day last fall. Problem was, the phone number he had was one digit off. Shockingly, this did not result in him calling a phone sex line, but the cell phone of Logan Svitzer, a high school student in West Orange, N.J. He interrupted Logan's history class to the point that the teacher took the phone and talked to him. As a result, Kapambwe took time out from his international negotiating schedule to speak to West Orange High School on Wednesday. Of course, he tried to persuade students to take on a career in diplomacy, but that was beside the point. For teacher Robbin Sweeney, there was a lesson about not getting angry over wrong numbers. "Maybe a wrong call can make you a new friend," she told the Newark Star-Ledger.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

The skinny: Nothing puts out the fire like a nice, wet Coke 04/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:43pm]

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