Southern Korean activist’s balloon drop into the North last week

South Korean activist makes amateur air drop into North via helium balloons

It is a strange sort of activism – falling, as it does, like the rain from heaven. But a Southern Korean activist's balloon drop into the North last week was no less effective for that. Social groups and Christian activists buddied up to try to get some hard-to-come-by essentials over the border, and into the hermetically sealed north. The only way to do it? Attach sanitary towels, toothpaste, socks and condoms to helium balloons – and wait for a fair wind. They seem to have been fairly successful, too, and Pyongyang hasn't issued its threat of last month, after a leaflet drop, to respond "mercilessly".

Invisible Ink: No 149 - Jack Finney

Not all of the writers championed here are easy reads. Some appear because they were game-changers, and don't deserve to be forgotten. I wanted to include Jack Finney because of his prose, which is simple, light and pleasurable. Finney was a generous-spirited everyman who could make you believe in the most unlikely things because he always worked to win readers over. In his short story "I Love Galesburg in the Springtime" he carefully describes the town before bringing in a phantom trolley car that puts out a fire. Galesburg protects itself by drawing upon its own past, and you believe because of the loving descriptions that foreground the situation.

Editorial: Prince Andrew has no place helping Azerbaijan

That Azerbaijan and its thoroughly nasty President, Ilham Aliyev, might epitomise the petro-economy is perhaps understandable. After all, the hydrocarbon-rich state is awash with cash, and the regime is keen to use it to further its own ends.

A visionary: Brown at her desk in 1982

Helen Gurley Brown: Bestselling author and editor of Cosmopolitan

Helen Gurley Brown was the editor of Cosmopolitan and the author of the controversial, bestselling 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl. She was later the catalyst for the hugely popular Sex and the City series written by Candace Bushnell, in which the main protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, writes a sex column on her sexual escapades and those of her close friends, as well as musings about the relationships between men and women. Arguably their lifestyles would not have been possible without Brown’s pioneering views.

Sir Martin Sorrell carries the Olympic flame through the streets of Redbridge in London yesterday

Marketing guru Sorrell jogs on by with a smile

First came Coca-Cola's free sample bearers. Then the trotting Samsung flag distributors and the Lloyds TSB streamer wavers. And finally, with a broad smile as he bore the fiery symbol of sporting purity, came the millionaire ad man who knows the power of a brand more than any other.

A win could make Andy Murray highest-paid sportsman

If Andy Murray ends Britain's 76-year wait by becoming men's Wimbledon champion today, he will pocket £1.15m for his efforts. But experts predict that sum might be dwarfed by massive off-court earnings from sponsorship deals and product endorsements that could make him the country's highest-paid sportsman.

Danny Rogers on PR: The agencies living in fear of the Mad Men

Contrary to popular opinion, PR professionals often lack self confidence in what they do. And since PR was added to the Cannes Lions festival in 2009, they suffer a collective crisis of identity.

Sugong, By Nick Hurst

David Carradine's role as a Shaolin warrior monk in the early-Seventies American TV series Kung Fu sparked an interest in martial arts in the West, but few had the discipline to keep going.

It's bad, but this is not a recession, say businesses

Business leaders cast doubt on yesterday's gloomy GDP figures, arguing that the slump they suggested was not only at odds with their experience but also threatened Britain's fragile economic confidence.

Britain's bosses tell the ONS: it's bad, but not a recession

Corporate leaders fear GDP data will panic consumers while CBI suggests manufacturing remains robust

Advertising looks set to win from the busy summer

Hopes are rising of a significant advertising boom from a triple whammy of feelgood events with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and Euro 2012 football championship between June and August.

Cigarettes feature heavily in this vast, two-volume collection

Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era, ed Jimy Helmann

Cigarettes and alcohol; cars with tail fins; technological utopias and the lifestyle, clothes and accoutrements of the international jetsetter.

Warning after WPP breaks profits and revenue records

Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, yesterday smashed profits and revenue records but sounded a warning about "clouds on the horizon" next year.

Revenues at WPP hit record of £10bn

WPP, the world's biggest advertising group, yesterday smashed profits and revenue records but sounded a warning about "clouds on the horizon".

Heads Up: Mad Men

The Don is back – cue more boozing and schmoozing
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions