Performers are seen during preparations for Chinese New Year in Chinatown

Exit the Dragon, enter the Snake! It's Chinese New Year

Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Snake – and the capital is hosting what the Greater London Authority claims is the largest celebration outside Asia.

The real(ish) science behind horoscopes

Martha Gill has written a fascinating piece in the New Statesman today, collating the scientific evidence for personality differences based on birth month into a set of alternative horoscopes. And there's plenty more where that came from ...

Portfolio: Grace Kim

It looks for all the world like a scene from the Nativity, missing only three kings to wander across the snowy fields with their gifts for the Christ-child. For all the world, at least, is right: like Father Christmas, the New York-based photographer Grace Kim traversed the globe to create the single shot here.

In this picture released by American magician Wayne Houchin, Dominican TV presenter Franklin Barazarte, left, reacts as Houchin's head burns while taping

Bizarre 'stunt' leaves magician badly burnt after Dominican Republic TV host doused him with flammable cologne and set fire to him

Wayne Houchin, 29, was appearing on a show called Closer To The Stars when the guest host, Franklin Barazarte, abruptly doused the magician's head with 'Agua de Florida,' a flammable cologne used in religious rituals

Astronomers discover supermassive black hole with a mass 17 billion times that of our Sun in 'oddball' tiny galaxy

The black hole makes up an enormous 14 per cent of the galaxy's mass

Observations: The joints may be creaky, but Chan still comes out fighting

Jackie Chan would like us to know one thing: reports out of Cannes about his imminent retirement from action films were not just premature, they were wrong. “The reporters misunderstood. I will continue to do action, but less dangerous stunts. I'm not retiring.”

The House of Rumour, By Jake Arnott

Welcome to Planet Improbable, we've been expecting you

Epsom hero Camelot headlines Ireland's innovative evening Derby

Camelot's Classic sweep faces being bogged down

Today's Irish Derby will be no easy addition to Ballydoyle star's CV in heavy Curragh going

Committed 'to a life steeped in appreciation of energy in its myriad forms': Jenkins in 2005

Paul Jenkins: Painter whose art brimmed with the energy of life

The American artist Paul Jenkins, whose unorthodox application of paint by an alchemy of pouring techniques brought him association with the great Abstract Expressionists, has died in New York City at the age of 88. Born in a lightning storm in Kansas City in 1923, he started as he meant to go on, enjoying a somewhat epic life which found friendship with luminaries such as Jean Dubuffet, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning et al, whose support of him was as noteworthy for its affection as for its endurance – a distinction not always granted to artists at the top of the pile.

Diets: Follow the stars and lose weight (constellations, not celebs)

You're carrying a bit of weight round your middle. I can see a Mars bar in your bag and I can tell from a glance that your BMI is waaaay off. Don't tell me – you must be a Gemini.

UK 'saturated' by light pollution

The UK's night skies are still "saturated" with light pollution, campaigners warned today after a survey suggested half the population cannot see many stars.

Jean-Pierre Delord, Bugarach's mayor, with a postcard of a UFO hovering over a local peak

Hippies head for Noah’s Ark: Queue here for rescue aboard alien spaceship

Thousands of New Agers descend on mountain they see as haven from December's apocalypse

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Murder!.

Constellations, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Not since Mike Bartlett's Cock, so to speak, have I been so exhilarated by a new play premiered at the Royal Court's Theatre Upstairs. 

Deborah Ross: In April, you will meet a tall dark stranger – in overalls

If you ask me: You will find love where you least expect it, but not on the hall table, which is where you thought you'd put it down

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...