Simon Usborne

Simon Usborne is a features writer at The Independent and i.

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The Independent around the web
PHONE LANTERN Impress your fellow night owls by putting a water bottle on top of your phone to create a makeshift lantern. The light from the screen will turn the water bottle into a light. Remember to turn off the lock on your phone to keep the light continuous and make sure that the bottle has water in it for optimum refraction.

Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Hacking doesn't have to mean taking something - software or celebrities - down

Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem

The ‘Oasis of the Seas’, the largest cruise ship in the world

Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week. Simon Usborne measures up some giants of the sea
A view of car-tipping from space

UK academics set up shop as the world’s first space detectives

Raymond Purdy and Raymond Harris use the growing constellation of cameras that orbit Earth to help solve crime on the ground

Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump

Michael Owen claims to have watched only eight films ... but we all have our cultural blind-spots

Never seen a play? Failed to finish a book for years? Don't know your Bake Off from your Breaking Bad? You're probably not alone...

Black-faced morris dancers: Traditional disguise or simply racist?

David Cameron's photo with black-faced morris dancers sparked controversy this week, but its practitioners deny that the tradition is rooted in racism

A skier takes on Val Scura

Couloirs: An off-piste adventure

Exciting yet deadly, these narrow snowy chutes are for the highly skilled and stout of heart, writes Simon Usborne

TV psychic Sally Morgan said she felt ‘utterly ashamed’ by her husband’s behaviour

Psychic Sally Morgan sacks husband for launching anti-gay attack on critic

TV psychic Sally Morgan said she felt ‘utterly ashamed’ by her husband’s behaviour

Psychic Sally Morgan

Psychic Sally Morgan's revelations about dead cyclist upset girlfriend

Dispute escalates after sceptic is threatened with violence by Ms Morgan's husband at a show

Cyclists ride in front of traffic in central London

Cyclists don't need number plates, and there is no such thing as ‘road tax’

Surely these lazy myths have been debunked by now?

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Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker