Michael Bywater

Michael Bywater is a writer and broadcaster. He was a long-running columnist for the Independent on Sunday and his books include Lost Worlds (2004) and Big Babies (2006).

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George Osborne appears to be crying and is seen wiping away a tear during the service

As George Osborne now knows, there’s a great deal more to crying in public than meets the eye

 If you can’t weep at a funeral, even a funeral of such pomp and vainglory as this one, when can you weep? Yet Osborne's tears for Thatcher continue to bemuse us

If we can all see into each other’s minds, it’ll be the end of humanity

Rats have demonstrated the first signs of telepathy

Dalels in Westminster in 2011

Ray Cusick: The man who left a generation of children cowering behind the sofa from the Daleks

Michael Bywater pays tribute to Ray Cusick, who died last week, and his invention of a quintessentially British baddie

ANDRE CASSAGNES: It was revealed yesterday the inventor died two weeks ago

Michael Bywater: The Etch a Sketch was infinitely worse at something all of us can do, but millions were sold

The beastly thing had a strange, clairvoyant significance

Brangelinas need not apply: A Cambodian orphanage is leading the march against 'voluntourism'

In Cambodia, 'orphanage tourism' has become the norm. Michael Bywater reports on his personal connection to a new approach which favours reuniting children with their families over foreign adoptions.

As Jessops closes, we continue to mourn the dying high street, but it’s we who are killing it

Now the chains are falling, one by one, we uneasily mourn them, like an unappealing aunt we never visited nor cared about while she lived.

Michael Bywater: Forget faster, higher, stronger. I'll settle for a more sedentary Games

Every athlete wants to beat the record, but in our own lives that ideal is a fallacy, not the solution

The Big Music, By Kirsty Gunn

This masterly work of fiction illuminates the music, and magic, of the bagpipes

Michael Bywater: Scientists - at last some people who really are worth turning into celebrities

The problem is that science is hard. It’s not like the humanities where anyone can have a go

Bonk: To 'bonk' is when a triathlete runs out of puff, steam and oomph. Technically, it's actually the glycogen reserves in muscle and liver which run out, but either way it's a 'bonk', and you've 'hit the wall' and are going no further for a bit, certainly not at the rate you were.

Anyone for a fartlek? Deciphering some of the weird and wonderful sports jargon...

Slobber bar, rip entry, fartlek, whipping area... just some of the weird and wonderful jargon you'll hear commentators using during the Games. Michael Bywater translates the terminology.

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Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment