- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2006

Best bods

Charlize Theron has the body to be envied, while, Lindsay Lohan makes you want to eat a hamburger, according to Maximum Fitness magazine, which yesterday announced its picks for best and worst celebrity bodies.

The new health and fitness publication that promises “No B.S., just results,” bestowed best bod honors upon Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Dennis Quaid, Will Smith, Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Miss Theron and Cameron Diaz, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Those who need to spend some time in the gym to lose or gain poundage also caught the eye of the magazine’s editors. They are: John Goodman, Ethan Suplee, Nick Nolte, Michael Moore, Jack Black,Courtney Love, Miss Lohan, Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff and — even though she’s lost plenty — current Jenny Craig spokesperson Kirstie Alley.

Grave matters

It’s a Mozart mystery as haunting as the composer’s “Requiem” and apparently it won’t be solved any time soon.

After months of sophisticated DNA sleuthing reminiscent of a “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” episode, forensics experts admitted Sunday that they still can’t say with certainty whether an ancient skull belonged to the composer as some believe, Associated Press reports.

Past tests on the skull also were inconclusive, and a joint analysis conducted by the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, and the U.S. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville raised more questions than answers, lead researcher Dr. Walther Parson conceded. “For the time being, the mystery of the skull is even bigger,” Dr. Parson’s team concluded in “Mozart: The Search for Evidence,” a much-hyped documentary which aired Sunday evening on Austrian state station ORF in the run-up to the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth.

Since 1902, the skull, which is missing its lower jaw, has been in the possession of the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, the elegant Austrian city where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on Jan. 27, 1756.

Dr. Parson, an internationally renowned forensic pathologist, said genetic material from two teeth removed from the skull was analyzed and compared with DNA samples gathered in 2004 from the thigh bones of two skeletons exhumed from the Mozart family grave at Salzburg’s St. Sebastian Cemetery.

Experts had assumed the remains were of Mozart’s maternal grandmother and a niece. But DNA analysis showed that none of the skeletons in the grave were related, making it impossible to prove that the skull was Mozart’s, Dr. Parson said.

Mozart died in 1791 at age 35 and was buried in a pauper’s grave at Vienna’s St. Mark’s Cemetery. The location of the grave was initially unknown, but its likely location was determined in 1855. Legend has it that Joseph Rothmayer, a gravedigger who knew which body was Mozart’s, sneaked the skull out of the grave in 1801. Today, the spot is adorned by a column and a sad-looking angel.

The skull long has fascinated experts. In 1991, a French anthropologist who examined it made the startling though unconfirmed conclusion that Mozart may have died of complications of a head injury rather than rheumatic fever as most historians believe.

Radio rant

Singer and activist Harry Belafonte on Sunday called President Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world” and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Mr. Belafonte, 78, led a delegation of Americans including actor Danny Glover and Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday, AP reports.

“No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush, says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people … support your revolution,” Mr. Belafonte told Mr. Chavez during the broadcast in the country’s capital city, Caracas.

Mr. Belafonte accused U.S. news media of falsely painting Mr. Chavez as a “dictator,” when in fact, he said, there is democracy and citizens are “optimistic about their future.”

Famous for his calypso-inspired music, including the 1956 hit “Banana Boat (Day-O),” Mr. Belafonte was a close collaborator of Martin Luther King and is now a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He also has been outspoken in criticizing the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

Mr. Chavez accuses President Bush of trying to overthrow him, pointing to intelligence documents released by the U.S. indicating that the CIA knew beforehand that dissident officers planned a short-lived 2002 coup. The U.S. denies involvement, but Mr. Chavez says Venezuela must be on guard.

Mr. Belafonte suggested setting up a youth exchange for Venezuelans and Americans. He finished by shouting in Spanish: “Viva la revolucion.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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