Katy Guest is the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday
29 September 2013 12:00 AM
If aliens were secretly watching the Earth, there are many things that would puzzle them about the behaviour of humans: commuting; quinoa; stilettos; Miley Cyrus …. But surely the most bizarre and illogical thing we do is smoking tobacco. If you've never seen it, look up the 1970s Bob Newhart sketch in which a 16th-century British government official talks to an excitable Walter Raleigh: "You can shred the leaves … put it in a little piece of paper … OK Walt, and then what do you do with it? Ha ha ha... you set fire to it, Walt?" I still find smoking just as baffling.
22 September 2013 12:00 AM
Transport chiefs in Vienna are aiming to prevent public snogging by imposing fines
17 September 2013 06:21 PM
Tim Loughton's attack says more about his own character than anything else
Bullying has left the playground and joined the currency of adult life but Twitter is an insult too far
15 September 2013 12:00 AM
Shocking reaction of grown-ups on Twitter to a teenage girl whose behaviour at school is charted in a fly-on-the-wall documentary
12 September 2013 07:08 PM
When we think of all the other silly mistakes that could have been avoided if only the Pope had spoken up sooner, it is really quite frustrating
08 September 2013 12:00 AM
Lose five dress sizes in two minutes on my amazing Leave H&M And Go to M&S Instead Diet! That's right, I have discovered the secret to miracle slimming, and it is easy: you too can morph from a size 18 to a size 8, simply by shopping in a different place. Which is great if you want to be fooled into thinking that you're thinner, but not so handy if you just want to buy some clothes that fit.
01 September 2013 12:00 AM
Here's a surprising thing about last week's Jamie Oliver fiasco: poor Jamie was in the stocks all week and yet there's one very obvious thing that he still hasn't been slagged off for. When Jamie despaired of the nation's poor and gave his Marie Antoinette-ish "let them eat stale bread" speech, people immediately pointed out that he has no idea what it's like to be poor. They failed to spot that he clearly doesn't understand bread, either. Modern bread, bought in supermarkets, does not go stale. It goes blue and furry and is no good at all for the "beautiful rustic croutons" in his new book, Save With Jamie.
31 August 2013 06:00 PM
The love that dare not speak its name, especially to the wife
25 August 2013 12:00 AM
My favourite way of whiling away the TV ad breaks is about to get easier. When I'm being sold stuff, I like to spot all the bogus science that is made up to get around the rule that advertisers are not allowed to lie. You can usually see it coming when an ad is set in a laboratory, or features a diagram of skin cells, or is for moisturiser. (Notice too that the same ingredients in deodorants that make men's armpits butch and steely make women's armpits soft and lovely, like butterflies.)
Move over, Ratty. Sylvan's here: An Oxford academic's new children's book could rival 'The Wind in the Willows'
25 August 2013 12:00 AM
The adventures of Ratty and Fiver have been entertaining children for decades, but the animal stars of stories such as The Wind in the Willows and Watership Down could soon have a new addition to their ranks, straight from the imagination of a postdoctoral researcher.
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more