Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo

KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. Gillian Orr charts the other species on the brink
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan

From the Man Booker to the Oscars, Australian artists are turning culture upside down

If there was still a myth that antipodean artists lacked culture, then the latest Man Booker win for Richard Flanagan has put paid to that. And about time, too, says Gillian Orr

'Manicomio': 'Built in the late 1800s, this mental hospital served a wide area in Tuscany,' says Soden. 'At capacity, it had 5,000 patients. It was right up in the hills and the architect built the pavilions in a scattered village style. I used a smoke pellet to diffuse the sunlight coming through.'

The beauty of derelict buildings: Gina Soden

Photographer Gina Soden has broken into places all over Europe to capture their eerie attraction

Why do we tolerate pop stars when they behave like idiots?

Sliding into smack addiction will be romanticised by followers, and shagging around is shrugged off as a rite of passage for any rising star

Hafsat Abiola in 'The Supreme Price', a film by Joanna Lipper.

Hafsat Abiola: The death of her parents and her family's battle for democracy in Nigeria laid bare in new film

A critically acclaimed new documentary, The Supreme Price, tells the story of the Abiola family, which battled for gender equality and democracy in a nation where both have been repressed for decades

Marjorie Salvaterra: Looks like rain

Marjorie Salvaterra - Portfolio: Umbrellas at Venice Beach

Marjorie Salvaterra's black-and-white photography creates a playful, surreal world that explores the multiple roles that women play in their lives. Sometimes poignant, often absurd, her series "HER" expresses the highs and lows of what it means to be female.

A quick ask around proves that there’s a lot more to vodka these days than a bottle of Glen’s and a carton of Ocean Spray. (image: Rex Features)

How did boring old vodka become the spirit of the age?

Its appeal, of course, lies in its blandness.

Erasmus scheme: How students who are part of the EU cultural exchange programme are falling in love, left right and centre

A quarter of those who take part in the Erasmus programme meet their long-term amour while studying abroad

Nicola Okin Frioli's photographs reveal cosplaying is more than just dressing up

Cosplay (simply a portmanteau of costume and play) has been a popular global movement since the 1990s, and sees communities come together to role play

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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?