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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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all