Take a cold, hard look at yourself

James Franco is said to have only attended two out of 14 lectures

Professor 'fired for giving James Franco a D grade'

A university professor is claiming that he lost his job after he gave James Franco an embarrassing 'D' grade in a course he was teaching on account of the knock-'em-dead actor and perennial student showing up for only two out of the 14 lectures he was expected at.

Key says: 'My five-year plan is to to write a film, snare a wife and learn how to cook'

My Secret Life: Tim Key, poet and comedian, 35

My parents are... Carol and Bill. They are both retired. Carol is flourishing, Bill is on a sharp descent towards Meldrewdom. He recently had a letter published in the local paper where he vented his spleen about the wording on signs for cyclists. They continue to be supportive and are delighted when I do any comedy without swearing.

Guitarist Mick Taylor, 62, joined the Rolling Stones (second left) when he was 20

Diary: One consolation for imprisoned Saif – he's still a doctor

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the dictator's son, faces a bleak future in his Libyan prison, with little hope of a visit from any of the politicians or academics who courted him while his father was in power.

State of the nation: what the views of MBA directors and students can teach us

The MBA is without doubt the international postgraduate business programme. For just over a century it has been the passport to bigger, brighter and better-paid jobs for managers looking to boost their careers. In that time, the MBA sector has developed its own set of values and accepted truths. Salary hikes are the proof of a programme's success. In the US, an MBA should last 24 months as opposed to 12 months in Europe. A high international student intake is a must. But do such sweeping statements truly reflect the reality of the market?

The many varied paths to creating business leaders

A survey of programme bosses by The Independent and Audencia business school has shed new light on the qualification's identity
Jamal Naja, right, draws Robert Fisk's name in calligraphy, left

Robert Fisk: Will computers make extinct the last of Islam's proud and honourable calligraphers?

Dr Jamal Naja meets me in a coffee shop just down the road from his home in Alamuddin Street, a quiet almost mischievous face, greying hair, and he lays – with great care – a black packet on the table in front of him.

Album: CSS, La Liberacion (V2)

The world may not be crying out for a new album from the Sao Paulo quintet after 2008's lacklustre Donkey, on which Cansei de Ser Sexy (Sick of Being Sexy) sounded sick of being CSS.

David Leddy's Untitled Love Story, St George's West, Edinburgh

David Leddy is a Fringe institution, a writer and director who magics audiences to faraway places in his shows. Last year, he took them on a macabre midnight journey through an old Masonic lodge.

Postgrad Lives: ‘We try to work out how all our species evolved’

David Redding, 33, from Derbyshire, has recently finished a PhD in phylogenetics and conservation, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. This followed a degree in biology at Imperial College, London, and an MSc in applied ecology and conservation at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Postgraduate queries: "Will studying be a lonely time? Is doing a PhD a logical step up?"

I am thinking about studying for a postgraduate research degree, but am worried that the experience might be a lonely one. What kind of opportunities do universities offer to combat this? Is the postgraduate community as strong as at undergraduate level?

The Neurotourist: Postcards from the Edge of Brain Science, By Lone Frank

Philosophy? Politics? It’s all in the mind

Charles Rosen, Queen Elizabeth Hall

Asked last week to describe Charles Rosen, the Southbank Centre’s head of contemporary culture replied: ‘A god.’ And it was in that spirit that people packed the Purcell Room for this grizzled New Yorker’s pre-concert lecture.

Research Matters: ‘Demand for researchers is higher than ever’

It’s an excellent thing that more and more students are graduating from UK higher education institutions. But how will this affect those exceptionally talented students who wish to continue their studies? Will it be harder for them to secure a good career having delayed entry into the job market? Will they be overqualified and underprepared?

Michael Bywater: A misbegotten idea that will prolong the reign of the old boys and elites

Nick Clegg sometimes just listens to music and cries, he told Jemima Khan in an interview this week. We all know the feeling.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam