Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

Ronny Jordan: Guitarist whose version of the Miles Davis classic tune ‘So What’ became an Acid Jazz dancefloor favourite

The Miles Davis standard “So What” has been a modal jazz touchstone for 55 years, providing the harmonic canvas for myriad improvisations and reinterpretations.

The Last Word by Hanif Kureishi, book review: Kureishi's novel reflects Keats's claim that a man's life is a continual allegory

A contrarian and a curmudgeon, both visionary artist and tantrum-prone elderly brat, the Indian-born but Somerset-settled writer Mamoon Azam strikes his callow biographer on occasions as "more Johnny Rotten than Joseph Conrad".

Inside Llewyn Davis, film review: Brooding ballad hits the right notes

(15) Dir. Joel Coen + Ethan Coen; Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, 105mins

Spot the difference: Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull are collaborating the the World Cup 2014 song,

World Cup 2014: Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Claudia Leitte team up for official song

"We Are One (Ole Ola)" will debut at the opening ceremony in Sao Paulo in June

Photographer Richard Young wonders where the good times went

Backstage: 'Everybody now is a celebrity, or so they think'

Mariah Carey and her husband Nick Cannon have written a Christmas children's book featuring their twins Roc and Roe's take on a popular carol

Mariah Carey writes Christmas children's book with husband Nick Cannon

Publishers will release 'Roc and Roe's Twelve Days of Christmas' in autumn

Grimaud, Philharmonia, Nelsons - classical review

Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.

Robert Whitehead, Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan working on the production of the play 'After the Fall' in the Chelsea Hotel, 1963

Inside the Dream Palace: The life and times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins, book review

Everything was permitted at the Chelsea, apart from attachment parenting

Postcard from... Brussels

Nicolas Sarkozy has a leopard-print pair on his head. Vying with the former French President is Mao Tse-tung, sporting fetching pink lace lingerie in place of a hat. But one attraction of the small but infamous De Dolle Mol pub in Brussels is apparently missing: the mayor’s underpants.

The Midnight Beast, TV review: Wacky sub-plots, original music numbers and dud gags

E4's The Midnight Beast began a second series last night. The comedy-pop band of the same name first won fans for their YouTube video parodies of artists such as Ke$ha, before making the leap into this self-titled sitcom in 2012.

Strum as you are: Kurt Cobain

The week in music: Riotous story of how Brixton became a rock fans' nirvana

What is the best gig you've been to at Brixton Academy? Perhaps it's Public Enemy, or The Smiths' final show in 1986? Simon Parkes bought the seminal venue for £1 in 1982 and what stories he has to tell in his new memoir Live at the Brixton Academy: a Riotous Life in the Music Business.

A side view of 'Ecce Animal', a skull moulded out of cocaine by Dutch artist Diddo

Dutch artist Diddo sculpts life-size human skull from cocaine

Diddo's central message is to question everything, and think for yourself

Amadou and Mariam, gig review

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?