Independent Plus

Album: American Aquarium, Burn. Flicker. Die. (Blue Rose)

Fronted by songwriter BJ Barham, American Aquarium are a heartland rock band from North Carolina with a serious Springsteen habit and, by the sound of it, serious anxieties about the lives they're living.

Dame Julie Andrews: The Sound of Music star lost her vocal range after surgery

Julie Andrews tops poll of Christmas telly

Julie Andrews has been crowned the Queen of Christmas television in a new poll to find our festive favourites.

This week's wackiest web stories: Batmobile for sale plus was Churchill the first hipster?

Mohamed Morsi on Planet of the Apes and a follow up story on the regrettable Romney face tattoo

The Wizard of Oz has become one of television's best-loved Christmas traditions

The $480,000 dress : The Wizard of Oz dress is sold in a Hollywood auction

Couture ballgowns regularly sell for thousands of pounds, but those dresses are made to measure from expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail. The blue gingham dress from The Wizard of Oz is a rather more humble affair.

The 'blue marble' shot from Apollo 17

Watch the entire history of the planet in under two minutes

Curious about the history of our planet, but quite busy today? Internet artists melodysheep have the solution. They've edited together various pieces of footage and some lovely music to create a visualisation of the entire history of our planet in under two minutes.

John Clive: Actor who also wrote thrillers

Early years in Liverpool gave him the perfect voice for John Lennon in the animated ‘Yellow Submarine’ film

Are all beautiful women boring? Samantha Brick strikes again

As a recent study claimed that attractive people tend to conform, and hence are more likely to be boring, Samantha Brick has offered her beautiful opinion on the topic.

A macabre makeover: This is a golden age for horror on the small screen

From zombies to sadistic nuns and reboots of everyone from Hannibal Lecter to The Munsters, Sarah Hughes reports (from behind the sofa)

Here, in case it's, our hero is in a fountain, adding 'blue steel' to an already string-heavy bow

Doing the 50: (Please don't) come dine with me

Sheffield third-year James Ashford is determined to do all 50 things The Independent once foolishly suggested all students should do before they leave uni. The results are... churlish and asinine.

Scholarship Sheffield style. He isn't even carrying any books!

Doing the 50: 'I don't like to talk about my charity work...'

Sheffield third-year James Ashford is bored of the student existence. His Philosophy degree unfulfilling, he was tired of doing nothing. Then, he discovered The Independent's ultimate list of 50 things to do before leaving uni. Now he's a man with purpose, and today he's five steps closer to 50.

90-second clip of Adele's Bond theme 'Skyfall' leaks online

Whether it was a genuine leak or a marketing teaser, James Bond fans today had their first taste of the latest blockbuster’s theme tune as sung by British golden girl Adele.

Editorial: 24/7 Bond? Even 007 needs a break sometimes

It is not that the release of Skyfall is unworthy of fanfare, particularly given that it coincides with the 50th anniversary of James Bond's first ever outing (in Dr No). BSkyB's decision to launch an entire channel dedicated to the exploits of 007 and his Walther PPK is, however, rather missing the point.

Pink Panther star Herbert Lom dies

Herbert Lom, the Czech-born actor best known as Inspector Clouseau's long-suffering boss in the "Pink Panther" movies, died Thursday, his son said. He was 95.

'The Departed' tops poll of best film remakes

Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film The Departed has been named the best movie remake in a poll of film fans.

Elvis undies, unwashed, the latest celeb pants up for sale

A pair of underpants that once belonged to Elvis Presley are expected to fetch £10,000 when they go up for auction in Manchester next month. An added bonus for the would-be buyer is that the light-blue boxers come unwashed and with genuine Elvis stains, which came when he wore them underneath a white jumpsuit, during a show in 1977.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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