ARIZ. HOME: 'DITTO' TO NEIGHBOR'S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona woman who knew she couldn't compete head on with her neighbor's elaborate Christmas light display is attracting attention for her response.
Using red and green lights, Kristina Green of Maricopa spelled out the word "ditto" and made an arrow pointing toward her neighbor's home.
Green's display is made of around 600 lights. Her neighbor's set-up has about 16,000 colorful lights.
FED PROSECUTOR SETS 12-12-12 WEDDING AT 12:12 P.M.: PITTSBURGH (AP) — It'll be 100 years before another 12-12-12 date rolls around, so a soon-to-be-wed federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh is making the most of it.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Johnson has announced her wedding on that date — Wednesday — to Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Allen.
A federal judge will marry the couple at 12:12 p.m., and they will exchange 12-word vows: "Do you, Brian/Amy, take this woman/man to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband?"
Margaret Philbin, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, got into the spirit with a news release Tuesday that contained sentences of 12 words each and — counting her first-name salutation of "Margaret" — also contains 12 lines.
The post-script on the release underscored the point: "Headline and sentences each contain 12 words to further attract your attention."
Johnson, 34, said the couple had been planning a small ceremony in the courtroom of Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose, attended by Allen's 16-year-old son, their infant son, and her mother, who was to watch over the baby.
MAN STRIPS AT AUSTRIAN ART EXHIBITION OF NUDE MEN: VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian museum says a man took the concept of life imitating art to an extreme when he suddenly stripped at an exhibition of pictures and sculptures portraying nude men through the ages.
Vienna's Leopold Museum says that after taking his clothes off, the man calmly sauntered through the exhibition, dressing again only after a security guard asked him to do so.
Museum spokesman Klaus Pokorny said Tuesday that the museum had nothing to do with Saturday's strip, describing it as a "spontaneous act." He says other visitors did not appear disturbed.
MONOPOLY COMES TO LAGOS, NIGERIA'S BIGGEST CITY: LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's largest city of Lagos is no boardwalk, but now Monopoly is taking inspiration from the city's sprawling chaos.
Officials unveiled a Lagos-themed Monopoly board game Tuesday in the city. Officials walked past a massive display of the new board game on the floor at Lagos' City Hall on Lagos Island, showing the familiar spaces with their new themed names.
The most expensive property is not Boardwalk, but Lagos' Banana Island, which is an artificial island with mansions and exclusive apartments. The cheapest is Makoko, a waterfront slum of homes on stilts. There's still chance and jail, with the option of just visiting as always.
VATICAN: WORLD NOT ENDING, DESPITE MAYA PREDICTION
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's top astronomer has some assurances to offer: The world won't be ending in 10 days, despite predictions to the contrary.
The Rev. Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, wrote in Wednesday's Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that "it's not even worth discussing" doomsday scenarios based on the Mayan calendar that are flooding the Internet ahead of the purported Dec. 21 apocalypse.
Yes, Funes wrote, the universe is expanding and if some models are correct, will at one point "break away" — but not for billions of years. But he said Christians profoundly believe that "death can never have the last word."
The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The Mayans wrote that the significant 13th Baktun ends Dec. 21.