Holy iPods!

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The Vatican's lending iPods to pilgrims touring the Catholic church's stomping ground. The aim is twofold: On one hand, it'll lower noise brought on by yapping tour guides; on the other, they hope to attract younger members of the faith.

Each iPod is pre-loaded with an app that provides similar information to what you'd hear from a tour guide (in-depth descriptions, background info, etc.). But the app also contains multiple languages (it better have Latin) and photos, with the ability to zoom and take in the artistic intricacies:

With a tap of the finger, tourists can zoom in on high-resolution images of artistic details, like the starry blue canopy above the towering high altar, decorating vaulted ceilings. The apps user also can refer to images from the Vatican Library not usually available to the public to enrich their understanding of their basilica tour.


These devices are free, at least until the pilot program ends in December. But you will have to leave some form of collateral, be it a passport or driver's license. Because even God doesn't want to be made a chump. [Huffington Post and The Christian Post; Image credit: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters]