DIARY

Dr Ruth on sex and the sabbath

Dr Ruth Westheimer, the New York University professor best known for doling out sex therapy with lashings of chutzpah on her television show (below), has turned her attention to the Jewish sabbath. It is, she tells the forthcoming edition of the Jewish Quarterly magazine, "by design a deeply erotic experience."

For those who may have missed this association over the past few thousand years, she explains: "Making love on Friday night is a specific celebration of the unity of God's masculine and feminine aspects.... Almost every custom of the Jewish sabbath observance facilitates our goal of lighting each other's fire and becoming entwined.... The lovers dine by candlelight. The meal begins with the sharing of wine ... When they are ready to go to bed, the lovers almost can't help but do so in a highly seductive and seduceable state of mind."

Dinner by candlelight, hands touching over the sabbath bread; how unromantic of Dr Ruth's female interviewer to interject: "I don't quite see how Sabbath can be erotic. On Friday night, I see a very tired Jewish woman."

Perhaps that tired woman has been taking Dr Ruth's philosophy to heart.

Lightweight approach to crime policy

As the editor of the Guardian has endeavoured to repair that newspaper's reputation for misprints, I must assume that its report yesterday of the Lib Dems' spring conference is accurate, and we can expect an Orwellian police state if Paddy Ashdown comes to power. Those weighing in under 10 stone will be afraid to walk the streets in daylight hours. What other construction can I put on the report of Mr Ashdown's speech, where he pledges to reverse the new left's policies, which "punish the thinner but ignore the thin".

It's over Down Under

Poor Jack Cunningham, Labour's shadow heritage secretary, is having to burn the midnight oil rewriting the rewrite of his party's arts manifesto. The first rewrite occurred after his leader Tony Blair visited Australia and was much taken with the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating's 101-page policy for cultural regeneration, Creative Nation. This could be one of Labour's big ideas for the next election, Mr Blair told his team. And so Mr Cunningham set about beefing up the party's arts policy. Now that Australia's voters, with barely a thought for Mr Blair or Mr Cunningham, have swept Mr Keating (above) from office, our own Labour Party has decided that a policy associated with yesterday's man might not be such a good idea.

A heavenly way to go, pop-pickers ...

I doubt that Led Zeppelin intended the title of their classic rock song "Stairway To Heaven" to be taken quite as literally as the disc jockey Alan Freeman seems to have taken it. Sixty-eight-year-old Freeman, just two years away from being radio's first septuagenarian pop broadcaster, told BBC's Pebble Mill how he would like to make his final broadcast.

"I would like to think I can go on perhaps for another couple of years, and possibly have a fatal heart attack and go just like that, while I'm playing "Stairway To Heaven". I think that would be wonderful."

Unfortunately, fate has a habit of not granting us our dearest wishes. Beware a coronary mid-way between Kylie Minogue and the weather report.

Screening out violence

Among the welter of "violence in society" articles that have followed Dunblane, I was interested to see Andrew Neil in the Sunday Times sounding off against violent films on television. He writes: "The violence on British television is less graphic than in the cinema, though the Hollywood `splatter movies' shown at night on satellite television are a disgrace that no self-respecting adults should watch, much less let their children near."

Quite. I urge that he takes the matter up with the founding chief executive of Sky TV, Mr Andrew Neil.

Unhealthy eating

This sign spotted outside a charcuterie in Brussels may not help your appetite: "Buy British Beef here and you won't get better."

Eagle Eye

Trusty and his magical mushroom

This is Trusty the Hedgehog, the new children's character created by the National Trust as a mascot for its young members and the 500,000 children who visit Trust properties each year. Trusty and his equally trusty mushroom (pictured above) will appear in the young members' newsletter, on stickers, postcards and a special letterhead. Trusty and his mushroom will also appear on merchandising ranging from mugs and key rings to frisbees. But how trusty is Trusty's trusty mushroom? Not the best mascot for young minds I'm afraid. My mushroom expert tells me that the one Trusty is clutching is a fly agaric, well known for its toxic and hallucinogenic properties. A National Trust spokesman agreed last night that they had picked an "unfortunate mushroom" and they would have to change the picture. Meanwhile, if you see hordes of spaced out 10-year-olds gazing at stately homes and muttering "beautiful", you'll know why.

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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 General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel