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.

Album: Lou Reed

The Raven, Reprise

Rock star Gabriel tops film music poll

Meltdown: Mercury Rev, Royal Festival Hall, London

Masterfully constructed, the show astonishes because the band can continually scale new peaks

Meltdown: London Sinfonietta/ Alsop, Royal Festival Hall, London

Bowie in the looking glass

Album: David Bowie

Heathen, ISO/Columbia

Pop: Great covers 9. Marillion: Brave

In the beginning, Marillion went in for classic progressive sleeve design - clever-clever titles, visual puns, ersatz surrealism and a logo begging to be traced by 14-year-old boys. But when singer Fish left, they had to confront one of rock's trickier marketing problems: how to keep your loyal audience on-side while signalling to everyone else that your days of re-writing the early Genesis songbook are truly over?

It's the bin end of the week and Steely Dan are acting oddly. They're dying for a chinwag

At various points in a career dating back to the early Seventies, the founder members of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, have made it abundantly clear that interviews are a pleasure they rank right up there with wading barefoot through broken glass. Early on, in front of journalists, Becker and Fagen tended to be frozen-faced, taciturn, elliptical, dry and, occasionally, on a really good day, silent. This seemed entirely in keeping with their music - cool, elliptical, dry, altogether the opposite of a warm handshake and collusive smile. By 1980, when the band dissolved, they had given up on interviews altogether.

Tool Box: How to gauge the greenhouse effect

JOHN KEATS may have waxed lyrical about autumn but it's a season of hard work for the gardener. Falling leaves are just one reminder that winter is next on the agenda. Tumbling temperatures are a cause for concern when your garden's micro-climate becomes far more important than the broad pictures painted by the weather forecasters.

Tool Box: Solo on a bowsaw

LAST WEEK'S storm was vicious enough to rip branches off one of the ancient hawthorns that mark our southern boundary. The chainsaw was the lazy man's tool for the job of sawing them up, but this was an opportunity to combine exercise with a test of the Sandvik 9-24-51-KP.
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Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border