News Chris Hadfield has agreed to take on the role of cultural ambassador for Ireland

Chris Hadfield, the singing astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, has taken on a role as cultural ambassador for Ireland.

Womad

THE winners of the Womad Competition were J Gethin of Clyne, F Meehan of Chorlton-cum-Hardy and R Gracey of Spalding. It was Youssou N'Dour who duetted with Peter Gabriel on 'Shaking the Tree'. The winners receive tickets for this week's Cornish Womad.

Tool Box: Cutting back on Millionaire's Row

A HINT of discord has crept into the usually peaceful atmosphere at Tool Box Towers. Stuart Gilham, the professional who does so much to keep our garden looking good, is not a great admirer of the latest Gardena Accu 4 edging shears. What he describes as a Millionaire's Row gadget, rather than a serious gardener's tool, has a compact, built-in battery pack that gives about 45 minutes' cutting time after taking 14 hours to charge.

RECORDS / New Release: Donald Fagen: Kamakiriad (Reprise, LP / tape / CD)

The Nightfly dealt with the past (Fagen's Fifties adolescence) and yet still sounds contemporary 11 years later. That's the trick of a true artist, and its long-awaited successor suggests he has pulled it off again, from the opposite perspective. Fagen swivels round and looks into the near future, tracing a journey through a millennial world of good intentions - hi-tech and eco-consciousness - undermined by human frailty, a Ballardian landscape that suits him perfectly. Considering his reputation for preppy cynicism and clever-dickishness, there's a touching wonder in his voice. The music is a practically flawless concoction of smooth grooves, nifty guitar figures, impossibly fluid bass-playing, irresistible drumming, varied keyboard textures, and subtle horn arrangements, carefully tended by the producer, Walter Becker, his former Steely Dan partner. At its languid, lucid best, the album recalls the sacred first side of Aja; compliments come no higher.
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker