Simon Usborne

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

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Sheer beauty: the El Cap challenge

Climbing the toughest cliff in the world: The two men on course to make history

Simon Usborne is among the millions who are gripped by their progress

Casting call: the team behind the popular ‘Serial’ podcast includes (from left) Dana Chivvis, Emily Condon, Sarah Koenig, Ira Glass and Julie Snyder

Serial podcast finale: Mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

Simon Usborne finds out who's listening – and what to tune into now that Sarah Koenig has closed her case
This week, one of Peter Lik's photos sold for £4m

Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions

One of the Australian's images sold for £4m this week, but he divides opinion

Long lunch: Paul Rosolie with another anaconda before his stunt

Anaconda man interview: What it's actually like to (nearly) get eaten by a snake

Exclusive: Simon Usborne interviews Paul Rosolie, the man who almost became a snake snack

Paul 'Gobby' Lambert: Ukip's latest recruit is from the BBC

Sparks should fly when Paul 'Gobby' Lambert, the BBC's mouthy politician-baiter, takes up his post as Ukip's new communications director. Simon Usborne investigates

Is it too late to save the Maldives from climate change and Islamic extremism?

Three years ago, thanks to its enterprising president, the Maldives was leading a global climate change response. Now, that president is out of office, living under armed guard, and watching his country wilt under the threat of extremism and rising sea levels
Topshop has self-consciously labelled their own-brand nail polish with the word NAILS, as if it were applied by a teenage girl with a crayon

How did 'hipster sans serif' become the defining font of 2014?

The spindly upper-case scrawl has been embraced to death by marketing folk to appeal to Young People and adorns everything from paperbacks to salad bags
Shared Parental Leave means that the parents of babies due on or after 5 April next year can apply to share maternity leave

Do men really want paternity leave?

New laws extending paternity leave are now in force, but a study reports that 42% of men are against the idea. So what’s it really like swapping breadwinning for bringing up baby? Simon Usborne finds out

Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890

Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
Mush better for you: a healthy lunch is part of Michelle Obama's campaign against obesity

Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama's drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches. Simon Usborne on a taste for rebellion

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Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links