Arts and Entertainment

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

'Hello, world!': Space probe Rosetta wakes up and calls home before embarking on its comet-landing mission

The signal came at 18:16 GMT. Rosetta, the comet-chasing space probe launched by the European Space Agency a decade ago, had woken up.

An artist's impression of Rosetta releasing it's on board robot Philae which will land on the comet's surface

Will the Rosetta spacecraft wake up today after two-year sleep? It is due to make 24,600mph comet landing

The vessel is being woken, hopefully, by the 'most important alarm clock in the solar system'

All for one and one for all: Porthos, d'Artagnan, Athos and Aramis in the new BBC production

The Musketeers, BBC1, TV review

Peter Capaldi as the villain is patently over-qualified

Table talk: A mafia pact, as Marlon Brando ends a vendetta in The Godfather

When Mafia bosses dine, it can only mean trouble... A decapitated Cosa Nostra is reorganising itself – over banquets

The Sicilian clans are trying to regroup and strengthen the organisation – and enjoy themselves at the same time

Action movie start star Steven Seagal has said he is considering running for governor of Arizona

Marked for Governor: Steven Seagal hints at Arizona election bid

Hollywood hard man could surprise voters with environment-friendly policies

James Avery in 2004

Indyplus video: The Waterboys

Did you #joinin this Christmas?

Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Jane Austen's best quotes

'Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing after all' and the best of her other quotes

Nelson Mandela in 1956

Nelson Mandela life story: Thabo Mbeki's praise poem

'You have stood at the brink...'

Why erase memories that make us wince or cringe?

As seen in Men in Black, you may realise unpleasant memories were bruising but somehow defining moments in your life

Theories about the assassination of JFK

50 years after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas by an unknown gunman, we look into some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories that have arisen since his death.

Indyplus video: The Independent Critic's Choice

Watch a selection of trailers for our film and television critic's choice in the videos below:

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Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test