Life and Style A double espresso after revision might be the best way of preparing for an exam, new research suggests

Scientists find first clear evidence of caffeine’s memory-boosting effect, and shown that it lasts for at least 24 hours

Album: Arbouretum, The Gathering (Thrill Jockey)

According to singer/guitarist Dave Heumann, this fourth album by Baltimore quartet Arbouretum is inspired by C G Jung's The Red Book, and the psychologist's fascination with the numinous – hardly the best advertising tagline to maximise those downloads, but deserving of approval for that reason alone.

The end for Poe's mysterious mourner

A mysterious visitor to Edgar Allan Poe's grave has failed to show up for the second year in a row.

'Stop snitching' flyers posted on shooting estate

Flyers encouraging people not to hand over information to police have been posted on an estate where a teenager was shot dead.

Noah's Compass, By Anne Tyler

Old age is apparently more feared than terrorist attacks. But philosophical schoolteacher Liam Pennywell knows better than to submit to over-reactions something that is natural and inevitable. So when he is made to retire, he decides to downsize and move from his house into a tiny flat in another part of Baltimore.

Now it's official: 'The Wire' is a work of genius

David Simon, the show's creator, has been awarded a grant normally reserved for pioneering scientists

10 weird and wonderful university courses

The University of Baltimore is offering the opportunity to study zombies as part of ‘English 333’.

Album: M.I.A. /\/\ /\ Y /\ (Neet / XL)

The return of M.I.A.: pop's rebel without a clue

Randy Newman, Royal Festival Hall, London

"No one is retiring from the rock'n'roll business anymore," quips Randy Newman. "Rock'n'roll is like chess but stupider. You've done all your best work at 14," he adds before launching into his typically arch "I'm Dead (But I Don't Know It)" where he encourages us to call out "he's dead, he's dead". We gamely do. The US satirist has never fitted the rock-god bill, he's always been a tad too portly around the gills – resembling an avuncular turtle with a sly, wry smile – but he's always attracted a loyal, similarly shaped, following. And as a lyricist he's right up there with Cohen, Lennon and Dylan.

Treme: Better than The Wire?

Last night the first episode of David Simon’s follow-up to his Baltimore epic premiered on HBO in America. So how does Treme measure up? Sarah Hughes delivers the verdict

Katrina on screen: How the creators of The Wire are dramatising the tragedy of New Orleans

Treme, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is the latest epic from The Wire's creator, David Simon. Ahead of its American premiere, Tim Walker looks at how the Big Easy and the disaster have inspired great art

Album: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gershwin (Decca)

The reputation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue has been transformed in recent years as, starting with Michael Tilson Thomas in the 1970s, arrangers have rediscovered its jazz origins beneath decades of orchestral polish. Working with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Martin Alsop, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the latest to return to the original jazz-band version orchestrated by Ferde Grofé for Gershwin and the Paul Whiteman Orchestra back in the 1920s, and hearing this ebullient interpretation is akin to returning a piece of folk art to the masses after years in a museum.

Alexander Haig, Reagan's Doctor Strangelove, dies

The soldier and statesman served three presidents but was always haunted by his 'I'm in control' gaffe

Blood test offers hope to cancer sufferers

DNA analysis will enable doctors to pinpoint whether treatment is working

Lies, damn lies and Tory crime statistics

Shadow Home Secretary is accused of using figures 'likely to mislead the public'

Album: Beach House, Teen Dream (Bella Union)

The first two BH albums fitted neatly into the dream-pop bracket and came on a little too woozy for these ears.

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project