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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?