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DNA detectives discover more skeletons in Mozart family closet

It is a mystery that has gone on for more than a century: did the old skull lodged in an Austrian basement really belong to the greatest composer of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

The results of DNA tests seeking to solve the mystery were broadcast on Austrian TV to coincide with the 250th anniversary this month of the composer's birth. And the answer is: we still don't know.

Last night researchers revealed that Mozart's "skull" - which has been in the possession of the Mozart Foundation since 1902 - had a different DNA result from that of his two "relatives". This could mean either that the skull is a 200-year-old fake or that it is indeed genuine but that the two "relatives" dug up from the Mozart family plot in Salzburg are not from his family at all. The samples from the skeletons of his supposed relatives had different DNA results from each other, leading to suspicions that neither was related to Mozart.


Linguists Vote 'Truthiness' Word of 2005

ALBUQUERQUE - A panel of linguists has decided the word that best reflects 2005 is "truthiness," defined as the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts. [...]

Michael Adams, a professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in lexicology, said "truthiness" means "truthy, not facty."

"The national argument right now is, one, who's got the truth and, two, who's got the facts," he said. "Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we're not going make much progress."


Did Jesus exist? Italian court to decide

ROME - Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.


Software decodes Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile

IT'S official: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa was 83 per cent happy, 9 per cent disgusted, 6 per cent fearful and 2 per cent angry.


Thrift Store Manager Finds Heirloom Buffet

Omaha, Nebraska - It was a tiny, cigarette burn on an old buffet that first grabbed Laura Michael's attention at the Goodwill WearHouse. As the manager, she's used to seeing worn pieces of furniture. But two weeks ago, this newly delivered piece seemed to evoke memories and the smells of holidays at her family home in Phoenix.

She thought about how her family had a similar heirloom, given to them by her great-grandmother. But her mother was forced to sell it two decades ago because money was tight.

When she saw the burn, she was struck because her old buffet was scarred in the same way.

And then, the 37-year-old woman took a position familiar to her as a child. She crawled underneath the 5-foot-long, 3-foot high buffet. ...


The Skeleton of Jebal-Barez

The name should have been a clue: Shill ing.

Today Signs Received this link from a reader. Scroll down and look at the photos of the "creature."

Thing is, it is a hoax.


Montreal man trading paper-clip for house

A Montreal man is grabbing international attention for his increasingly successful quest to barter a single red paper-clip for a house.


Flashback! Satire: CIA Asks Bush To Discontinue Blog

Washington, DC— - In the interest of national security, President Bush has been asked to stop posting entries on his three-month-old personal web log, acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin said Monday.

According to McLaughlin, several recent entries on have compromised military operations, while other posts may have seriously undercut the PR efforts of White House press secretary Scott McClellan.

A July 24 posting read, "Just got back from a lunch with Colin and Adil Moussa (one of Prince Saud al-Faisal's guys). Colin wants the Saudis to send some troops to Najaf—so some of the soldiers are Arab, I guess. This Moussa guy sure wears a lot of jewelry. A golden chain, a golden ring with his initials or something, and some other sparkling stuff—kinda effeminate. Anyway, best of luck in Iraq, Iyad."

Magic Wand

Remote-controlled toilets

A US company has come up with the perfect gift for people who have everything - a £3,000 remote-controlled toilet.


Prisoner escaped to buy MacDonald's

An escaped prisoner was caught trying to get back into a Tennessee jail with four MacDonald's hamburgers.