Life and Style

It probably contravenes some unwritten rule to begin a light-hearted examination of the week in technology with a reference to Jimmy Savile, but a few days ago I remembered an episode of Jim'll Fix It in the 1980s where some lucky youngster had his room kitted out with all the latest gadgets from the Ideal Home Show, including some automated curtains. These curtains elicited gasps of wonder from my teenage self as I entertained the notion that, in the future, we'd be relieved of the endless, life-sapping drudgery of having to drag light pieces of material along a rail, sometimes as frequently as twice a day.

This tiny implant that conducts blood tests under the skin which could greatly improve the tracking and treatment of cancer and other diseases, say researchers

Revealed: the tiny Bluetooth weapon in the fight against cancer

Updates on vital health information like proteins, sugar and organic acids in the blood can be displayed on doctor's mobile phone

Cyber culture: The message after the beep is: your time is up, answerphones

Cutting edge technology is replacing outmoded ways of recording a message, like voicemail and the carrier-pigeon

Yes, I can wear pants all day, but the novelty wears off – there’s work to be done

The clichés about  working from home are true. You can stay in your underpants all day

Kweku Adoboli outside Southwark Crown Court yesterday

The downfall of UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is another morality tale from the City. But have we learnt anything from the Great Crash?

We ought to have spurned the grabby ethic of the City - but did the opposite

Pair who sent millions of spam text messages face massive fine

Two people who sent millions of spam text messages face being fined more than £250,000, the information watchdog said today.

Torrential rain on the Aberystwyth promenade yesterday

Washout Britain's wettest summer in a century

The washout summer ending today was the wettest in Britain for 100 years, the Met Office has said.

Album: Stealing Sheep, Into the Diamond Sun (Heavenly Recordings)

You can't move for Wicker-Man-soundtrack-influenced bands these days, but when these three Liverpool lasses let their freak-folk flag fly their abandon is contagious.

MellowHype

Album: Heiner Goebbels, Stifters Dinge )ECM New Series)

This soundtrack to Heiner Goebbels' installation piece Stifters Dinge is one of the most gripping musical experiences I've had in ages.

Joanne Harris: Criticism is fine, but do you have to spoil the plot?

The business of reviewing has lost a lot of its former style, as well as the respect of the general public

The $1bn city where human beings are not welcome

A scientific ghost town in New Mexico's oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology – but no people.

The record-breaking Rube Goldberg machine

Inventions: Heath Robinson, eat your heart out

A team of geeks has devoted 5,000 man hours over six months to building a van-sized contraption designed to do nothing more complicated than pop a single balloon. Because, well, why not?

Country house date for Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn takes his latest opera, Dr Dee, to London's Covent Garden in June. Yet before the work about the mysterious Elizabethan alchemist and scholar opens at the Coliseum, the Blur frontman takes a short detour to Wiltshire with a band that includes Guinean musician Madou Diabaté.

Asteroid will miss Earth, scientists predict

A 164ft (50m) long space rock with the destructive power of an H-bomb will narrowly miss the Earth next year, scientists predict.

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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
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Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
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Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
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Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
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Ross Burden pictured in 2002
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried