Hit & Run: A club that's members only

Sarah Palin's promise to lay bare the backstage details of her vice-presidential bid appears to have been an empty one; sections of her forthcoming memoir Going Rogue have been disputed by McCain campaign staffers before it even hits the shelves. Similarly, Palin's former future son-in-law has broken his vow to bare all for Playgirl magazine, a publication that his former future mother-in-law considers "porn". It was reported yesterday that eager female fans of the buff Alaskan 19-year-old will not, after all, get to see Levi Johnston's Johnson. "We're thrilled with the photos we got and are confident people will love them," said Daniel Nardicio, a spokesman for the magazine, "but although there may be glimpses, we did not get full-on frontal nudity."

Is Johnston just shy, or was this a calculated – if misguided – attempt to salvage some scraps of his reputation, just in case he comes up against, say, Guy Goma in a race for the last spot on the next series of Celebrity Come Dine With Me? Hit & Run says unzip those Levi's, Levi: full-frontal male nudity is invariably a boon to a man's career. Women, of course, have to cross a minefield of issues before deciding whether or not to act in a nude scene, let alone do a naked or semi-naked photoshoot for a magazine. But nudity isn't so hard for guys ... I mean difficult. Nudity isn't so difficult for guys.

Just ask Ewan McGregor, who has introduced cinema audiences to Little Ewan at least four times, and whose image was dented far more forcefully by appearing fully-robed in the Star Wars prequels. Daniel Radcliffe galloped nude around the stage in Equus in an attempt to raise his critical cachet after a string of wholesome Harry Potter blockbusters. Colin Farrell featured in a leaked sex tape and it merely gilded his reputation for swordsmanship. Taylor Lautner, the architecturally-torsoed teenage star of the latest Twilight film, New Moon, spends most of the movie gratuitously topless. Were it not a PG, he'd doubtless let it all hang out.

Magazines from beneath the top shelf such as Nuts, GQ or FHM are frequently lambasted for prurience when they feature the female form, yet Men's Health gets away with airbrushing washboard stomachs onto its cover stars every month – and is now the bestselling men's monthly (beating FHM, incidentally). This despite the fact that every single issue is exactly the same but with the muscles shuffled (sometimes abs get top billing, sometimes it's pecs).

So Levi should take some tips – sorry, take an example – from his predecessors. His elders and betters have been running their flagpoles up the flagpole since before his was out of nappies, and by and large people have saluted them for it. It was recently revealed that Danny DeVito, of all people, would be donning his birthday suit for a Christmas episode of the sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. That's a new moon we could probably do without. Tim Walker

If a hippo eats a crocodile, what eats a hippo?

As grumps go, they don't get much surlier than the hippo. And as they've proved this week, the African mammals like nothing better than taking a bite out of a meddlesome crocodile. Czech photographer Vaclav Silha was on hand in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to capture a reptile dashing across a line of bathing hippos' backs before the croc was duly reduced to scaly mush. "It was the worst choice the reptile could ever have made and it was definitely its last," explains Silha.

But isn't it about time someone put the huffy herbivores back in their place? Which member of the animal kingdom is hard enough to take them on? Unfortunately, few animals are up to the challenge. As the third-largest mammal in the world (behind white rhinos and elephants), hippos are used to getting their own way. If we were to cheat, we could say humans are their biggest foe (the World Conservation Union estimates numbers declined by seven per cent between 1996 and 2006. Hippos are poached for their hides, fat and teeth). Their calves are easier prey: lions, hyenas and crocodiles often attack them. But if you want to make a hippo really angry, go for its calves and see what happens. You'll soon be crocked. Rob Sharp

Join the velvet revolution

The political landscape has been bare of velvet headbands for a while now – hence our righteous indignation at Hillary Clinton's recent unsuccessful attempt to revive the look this week on state business to Singapore.

We Brits got used to seeing them perched atop the indignant faces of the jam-making wives of Tory sleazebags during the last recession. And before that, they framed some of the more equine visages on the King's Road throughout the Eighties.

But Hillary isn't being ridiculous; velvet Alice bands are now on-sale at hipster emporium American Apparel, while all things Nineties (sleaze included) look set to catch on a treat with the urban youth folk. So why not?

Because, Hillary, they only suit those who don't look old enough to have witnessed them the last time round. Just like a Tory government, in fact. Harriet Walker

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee