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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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?