Simon Usborne

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

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Roar appeal: Grayson Perry's lion bag, which is available to Labour supporters for £19

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

Following Labour's offer of a limited-edition Grayson Perry bag to its donors, Simon Usborne looks at the many merchandising opportunities other parties are cashing in on

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger performs in front of a crowd of 70,000 at Wembley Stadium in 1982

The Rolling Stones' tour insurance policy: Have they got Keith Richards coverage?

How do you underwrite a band on the run? Simon Usborne asks the experts

Mark Zuckerberg: Glad to be grey

Mark Zuckerberg and the art of being smart casual

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg wears the same T-shirt every day to avoid wasting time on 'silly' decisions. Could we all unlock extra brain power this way, asks Simon Usborne

Cruise control: facilities include the North Star observation pod, a robotic bar and a skydiving simulator

Quantum of the Seas: inside the world's smartest cruise ship

Simon Usborne gets a preview of Royal Caribbean’s latest enormous vessel before her maiden voyage
Call to alms: Marcelle Speller

How much money do you need to be a philanthropist?

Charitable gifts of over £1m are at a five-year high. But in addition to giving more, people are giving smarter thanks to training provided in donor workshops.

Go figure: Matt Parker, wearing the binary code scarf knitted by his mother

"Stand-up mathematician" Matt Parker is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences

Simon Usborne joins Parker on a fun-filled trip to the Science Museum to talk about his first book
Jewel in the crown: drawings from ‘The Letter for the King’, an adventure about a boy and his mission to save a medieval realm

Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom was written in 1962 by an eccentric Dutchwoman and has sold a million copies. Will it, ponders Simon Usborne, herald a new publishing era?

Ebola outbreak: Meet the men and women on the frontline against the deadly virus and other hazards

They are first responders, disease experts and emergency doctors. But who are the people who tackle killer viruses for a living? Simon Usborne hears how they (and their families) cope with work
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

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Day In a Page

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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there