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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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