On the agenda: Flatpack film festival; Ockham's Razor's The Mill; WWF's Earth Hour; Chocolate Festival; British Politics for Dummies

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The Independent Culture


There's a real pleasure in acquiring useless bits of knowledge, such as learning what Odeon stands for: Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation. The son of a scrap-metal merchant, Deutsch built a string of cinemas across the UK in the 1920s and 1930s, starting with his home town of Birmingham, and bringing a splash of Art Deco glamour to our high streets. Now, as part of alternative film festival Flatpack, the writer David Lodge will be dipping a toe into Birmingham's cultural history, with a series of bus tours around some of these original cinemas, ending at Britain's oldest working picture house, The Electric, for some vintage short films. Tuesday-Sunday, flatpackfestival.org.uk

Adam Jacques


Move over greige: here's, um, prey. The catwalks were awash with grey-beige for spring, but your autumn look needs a topping of purple-grey to really hit the right note. The shade was on dresses at Erdem and nails at Vivienne Westwood, and is a low-maintenance but high-fashion way to invigorate girly spring shades with a bit of directional toughness. Try Models Own's shade of purple-grey nail varnish and remember: those in the know will be predator and prey this season. £5, modelsownit.com

Harriet Walker


Is it a critique on the never-ending cycle of consumerism or a comment on the constant grind of our daily workplaces? Theatre group Ockham's Razor's acclaimed show The Mill is open to interpretation – but all you really need to know is that it comprises a massive human hamster wheel suspended mid-air, while performers spin, role and scramble around it. UK tour from tomorrow, ockhamsrazor.co.uk



At a time when environmental organisations everywhere are trying to turn us on to global warming, WWF is trying to turn us off. Its annual global initiative Earth Hour takes place this Saturday at 8.30pm, when more than 1,100 cities and towns across the world will switch off their lights for 60 minutes in recognition of the scale of the problems. Go on, sit in the dark – and prepare to see the light. wwf.org.uk/earthhour



If the thought of chocolate eggs is getting you excited, head down to Brighton, where beauty specialists Pure Life Solutions are looking for volunteers to cover in layers of warm chocolate to demonstrate its range of cocoa beauty treatments. And the Chocolate Festival fun continues next weekend in London, where some of the UK's finest pastry chefs will be demonstrating a mouth-watering range of cocoa-infused recipes, including Masterchef 2007 winner Steven Wallis's courgette flower tempura and duck salad with dark chocolate vinaigrette. festivalchocolate.co.uk



We couldn't possibly comment as to how many MPs will buy this on the sly, but with just weeks to go before the general election, the publication of British Politics for Dummies (Wiley, £15.99) couldn't be better timed. Written with clarity and brevity (by this newspaper's money expert Julian Knight), it tells you all you need to know about voting, the parties, what history has taught us, and some useful tips on our rights as UK citizens. You know it makes sense...