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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before