Jessica Brown

Jessica is a copywriter, and blogs at cantshutitup.blogspot.com

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The Independent around the web
A woman shelters from the rain under an umbrella in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London

London is hostile, expensive and depressing — but I can't imagine living anywhere else

Despite all of its flaws, the capital is now the most popular city in the world

A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger

Will Cuddlr do for hugging what Tinder and Grindr did for sex?

Maybe the new app will  make it more normal to reach out to strangers when we’re feeling lonely

'Introvert' isn't a dirty word, or a character flaw to be overcome

I can't make small talk and I hate nightclubs, but I am no less happy than you

Perfect flat mates

Flatsharing with strangers as an adult is doomed - with or without a 'contract'

I write this after spending the weekend observing a chunk of bacon wallow in the sink

A man meditates on a beautiful beach - but would he better off just practicing Buddhism?

Meditation is fine, but what about the Buddhism behind it?

Closing your eyes and being mindful isn't the only way to achieve inner wellbeing

Silhouette of clubber dancing Hacienda nightclub

A comedian has opened an alcohol-free nightclub. Is he having a laugh?

Stockholm's Sober won't let you in if you're drunk, which seems to miss the point...

Cambridge University is offering a PHD for someone willing to study chocolate

I'm one of the biggest chocolate lovers I know, but you couldn't pay me to study it

Doing a PhD in chocolate might sound amazing, but it would kill the magic for me

You're the most popular in your 29th year, a study has claimed (pictured: the cast of Friends)

The upsides to being a bit of a loner

It’s taken a while, but now I know there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with me that makes me incapable of friendship

Fist bumps will never replace the handshake - we're just not cool enough

Handshakes are an antidote to the awkwardness and uncertainty of greetings

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Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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?