Simon Usborne

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

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The Independent around the web
Service with a smile: the Free Help Guy

Happy to Help: Meet the Free Help Guy

The Free Help Guy gives incognito assistance, from tracing a long-lost father to guiding a lonely tourist around London. But this isn't just altruism, he tells Simon Usborne

St Jude's Day storm passes in a flurry of wet gags

This was a perfect storm of sarcasm. And everyone, including me, made the same joke

The Conversation: David Gandy on Richard and Judy, D&G, and being stared at by strangers

The model from Essex prefers 'Mad Man' to 'Breaking Bad' - and 'Ray Donovan' is his favourite

Hit the road: cyclists tackle the Alpine route

The Alpine Challenge: A tour de force

Offering amateur cyclists the chance to tackle a four-stage event in the French peaks, the Alpine Challenge has all the bells and whistles that Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins would expect. Simon Usborne goes along for the ride

Company town: inside Amazon’s Swansea fulfillment centre

The thinking outside the box: The Amazing world of online retail giant Amazon

Fifteen years after its UK launch, the shopping site employs tens of thousands of people in areas where traditional industries have gone under. Simon Usborne takes a browse behind the scenes

Jonathan Yeo with his portrait of Malala Yousafzai

The making of Malala Yousafzai: Shot by the Taliban for going to school and now in the frame for Nobel Peace Prize

One girl's journey from a rural classroom to the United Nations, and the family and PR advisers that have guided her

Herman Wallace pictured in 2008

Former Black Panther Herman Wallace dies days after judge overturns murder conviction that saw him serve 41 years in solitary confinement

A former Black Panther who served 41 years in solitary confinement has died days after a US federal judge overturned his conviction for the murder of a prison guard.

Herman Wallace

Black Panther has conviction overturned - but only after 41 years in solitary confinement

Terminally ill ‘Angola 3’ inmate Herman Wallace claims he was framed for murder

Eyes on the prize: HUD as seen through the cockpit of a fighter jet

From fighter jets to Google Glass: Head-up displays make the jump to mainstream gadgets

HUDs were developed in the military but have entered the consumer realm with a range of magically projecting devices, be it from the driver's seat, through a skier's goggles or the weird glasses worn by that guy on the train

Sean Emmett with Abbie before tragedy struck

Waiting in Dubai to be freed to grieve: the man whose bride fell to honeymoon death

Six months on, superbike racer Sean Emmett is still a virtual prisoner there - unable to retrieve his confiscated passport

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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried