Simon Usborne

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

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'Jihadi John': Why do we give notorious criminals nicknames?

Simon Usborne asks the experts whether these monikers make the grim sound glamorous

Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’

Cyber-crime thriller Blackhat used a former hacker to teach the cast to code

Mathematician and hacker Chris McKinlay seized the opportunity to help director Michael Mann achieve something film-makers often get really wrong

Right note: Simon Usborne turns the pages for Sam Haywood

The age-old art of musical page turning is under threat from the accursed iPad

Simon Usborne plays a game of man versus machine with leading British concert pianist Sam Haywood
Question time: Using I Ching in the 1950s

I Ching, Mark Rylance, and how to choose lunch

'Wolf Hall' actor Mark Rylance has revealed an ancient method of divination, I Ching, helps him to choose roles. A curious Simon Usborne sees how it influences his meal selection

Designs for Japanese life: the Shinkansen bullet train

Kenji Ekuan: From bullet trains to soy sauce bottles, the man who made Japan

Designer Kenji Ekuan, who died on Monday, brought the philosophy of a monk to his vast range of iconic creations. Simon Usborne assesses the impact of his life’s work

Bowing out: Robin Williams was remembered at the SAG awards last month

Why Bob Hoskins didn't make the final cut of Bafta's in memoriam slot

Video tributes to departed stars have become a standard part of awards ceremonies. But who decides who is included – and who is left out?

Simon Usborne meets the meerkats at Dartmoor Zoo

Zoo keeping for beginners: Mucking out with the man who inspired a Hollywood film

Simon Usborne takes a trip to South Devon to learn how to be a zoo keeper from the man whose memoir inspired a film - and soon finds out that the A-list cuteness hid some pretty mucky duties...
Fit for a queen: John Bercow had his family's nanny stay in the rent-free Speaker's apartment

A US politician spent $100k on 'Downton Abbey' office decor - but that's drab compared to some of Britain's corridors of power

Simon Usborne goes behind the scenes in Westminster to find out more about the modest - and not-so-modest - lodgings occupied by the UK's MPs

George Osborne with the Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, outside 11 Downing Street on Monday (Reuters)

Yanis Varoufakis: The Finance Minister who cooks a mean Thai meal, chats about art, and shoots hoops

Whether Greece's new Finance Minister, can sort out the economy is up for debate, but what a guy, says Simon Usborne

London's bike boom: 8 ways to keep the momentum

Bikes now make up around 16 per cent of traffic in Central London, yet cyclists are still facing some major uphill battles regarding safety and accessibility

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Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'