Luke Blackall

Luke Blackall edits the i's Caught and Social column.

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The Independent around the web
Fireworks burst around the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of France's annual Bastille Day celebrations

Man About Town: Bastille Day made me realise, other countries' national days are way more fun

Whenever I hear people (or myself) complaining about trains in the UK, I like to think back nine years when I was on holiday in California. After having explored the Golden State, I thought that jumping on a train to Seattle would be the relaxing, scenic route.

Man About Town: 'Bringing chemistry to drinking is becoming increasingly popular'

The idea is to lick the battery, then pour the powder into the glass and sink the drink

Man About Town: 'Was that bid for £55,000 or £60,000?' 'Oh whatever...'

As David Cameron and Boris Johnson will know, the secret to a successful fundraising party is not simply inviting your best friends, but your richest ones. Dave and BoJo bumped up the Tory party’s coffers this week to the tune of £160,000, by auctioning off the chance to play tennis with them.

Man About Town: A makeover as Daphne’s turns 50

I wonder if the restaurant will still be going for the anniversary bash in 2064

Man About Town: Critics given a taste of their own...

It’s easy to think, when it comes to food critics, that those who can’t do, criticise.

Dionne Warwick seizes phone from audience member during Arts Club gig

The legendary singer is angered by a fan who tried to film her show

11 best Father’s Day gifts for drink lovers

Treat your dad on 15 June with one of these special bottles and accessories (and some chocolates for good measure)

Man About Town: How we could flush out these phoney art fans

In the gents at the Royal Academy on Wednesday, I heard a conversation between two banker-types: “So you're a big art fan, then?” asked one, as they washed their hands. “Not really, but I know what I like, you know?”

Man About Town: Getting in the Whitehall state of mind

George Osborne told me that he thought the book was interesting

Man About Town: A Wembley day out tinged with anxiety

While the money coming in goes up, so does the sum fans have to pay

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Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform