I've had the Ikea experience. I've been there. I've been through their checkout and noted its resemblance to Hades - the crepuscular gloom, the dungeon lighting, the mile-long shuffling queue, the glum, sickly faces, the trolleys piled high with flat-pack cardboard units. It was horrible. But among the reports from the Battle of Edmonton ("It was dog- eat-dog on the North Circular Road," as one local put it), the people who fought over the sofas deserve our sympathy. Some flung their bodies onto the button-backed cushions and refused to leave until their right to own the sofa was acknowledged. But once they then got up, and seized one end of the three-seater to bear it away in triumph, nothing could stop another soft-furnishing zealot coming and lying down on the bloody thing, refusing to leave in his turn. Get off, you scumbag. No, you get off. It could have gone on for hours. You cannot, you see, manhandle a sofa through a checkout queue and stop interlopers sitting on it. I think the good people of Ikea have just identified a new definition of Hell.

The food world has been entranced for years by the experiments of Ferran Adri of Barcelona's El Bulli restaurant - his aerosol sprays that emit a fine mist of (genuine, edible) lemongrass, his little dumplings wrapped in what seems to be clingfilm but is in fact made of peas. But will the cuisine world beat a path to the Moto restaurant in Chicago, where the chef Homaru Cantu has invented whole meals made of paper? Crazy but true. He makes paper out of soya bean and potato, then prints onto it ink made of liquidised food. He's soon going to branch out into inkjet versions of pizza and curry. The inks, of course, can make a picture of exactly what you're eating. You just tear it out of the magazine in front of you and scoff it. Now if only Mr Cantu could do something similar with a picture of a gin and tonic...

Who says classical music must be formal and reverential? Not the crazy Swiss academy, that's for sure. At Lausanne University the industrial design department recently asked the world's leading designers to see if they could do something about the boring old conductor's baton. The designers seized the opportunity and re-invented the stick as a feather duster, a cigar, a giant cotton bud, a thermometer, an extremely long pencil, a pair of scissors, a Cinzano twizzle stick and a baguette loaf. The results go on show at London's Design Museum from Wednesday. I anticipate the appearance of all manner of amusingly-shaped long objects at this summer's Prom concerts

My friend Lucasta's four-year-old son, Oliver, has a uniquely enquiring mind. The other day, he asked his father: "Dad, does God make electricity?" His dad, striving to balance scientific accuracy with simple metaphysics, replied, "Well, I suppose you could say he creates the, ah, conditions in which electricity might be able to occur..." Oliver thought about it. "You mean, he makes the switches?" he asked.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor