Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Flat Earth: Saved by his pants

YOU have to take your hat off to Renato Arganza, who spent two days clinging to a buoy in the warm waters off the Philippines after his fishing boat ran into trouble. He survived, he said, by wrapping his jacket round his feet to ward off sharks, by eating whelks that attached themselves to him, and, not least, by 'eating his underwear'. The report didn't say how this actually helped, but it's a fine example of lateral thinking in a tight spot.

It also leads inexorably to the subject of The Simpsons. For those of you without Sky, the Simpsons are a cartoon family with zig-zag-shaped heads, who live a life of peculiar confusion and fatuity in the American suburbs. The show's best known line belongs to teenage son, Bart, who from time to time yelps: 'Eat my shorts]' It was with an indefinable pang that we heard last week that Meryl Streep, serene goddess of American drama, has taken a paying role as Bart's girlfriend's voice.