Not even the prospect of that first big break was enough to attract a single woman to a casting call by Austria's prestigious Salzburg Festival. But perhaps the ad, for tryouts for a production of Alexander Zemlinsky's tragic opera, "King Kandaules," was a turnoff. It sought tiny, but amply proportioned women to audition – as the double for the opera's female star in nude scenes.

real lizard, fashion faux pas

"Apart from the rarity of the animal itself, the fact that it was being worn as a hat caused a lot of interest," British customs spokesman Bernie O'Connor told The Daily Telegraph. Huh? Apparently counting on her pet's reputation for disguise, a teen from the United Arab Emirates was caught at Manchester Airport with an endangered chameleon – atop her headscarf. She was allowed to proceed, sans lizard, dubbed "Hattie" by airport staff.

Who lost most, in a tough year for big business

The growing list of accounting scandals has set off warnings of a crisis in investor confidence. That, on top of record losses last year among top firms. According to Fortune magazine, 297 of the Fortune 500 saw profits decline in 2001, with telecoms the hardest hit. The top 10 money-losers on Fortune's list, and how much they lost (in millions):

1. Nortel Networks – Brampton, Ontario $27,302.0
2. Vodafone – Newbury, England 3,133.4
3. Lucent Technologies – Murray Hill, N.J. 16,198.0
4. Vivendi Universal – Paris 12,176.1
5. UFJ Holdings – Osaka, Japan 9,816.5
6. Mizuho Holdings – Tokyo 7,806.0
7. Daiwa Bank Holdings – Osaka, Japan 7,452.8
8. France Télécom – Paris 7,414.7
9. Royal KPN – The Hague 6,711.7
10. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone – Tokyo 6,495.5

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