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.

Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric, Hammersmith, London 

The idiosyncratic and richly intentive Filter Company are one of my favourite theatrical outfits.

Mary Dejevsky: An epitaph for the selfish charm of yesterday's bourgeoisie

If you have visited the cinema recently, you will be familiar with the scenario of Carnage, even if you have not actually seen the film; the promotional clips have been aired endlessly.

Keeping Up with the Germans: A History of Anglo-German Encounters, By Philip Oltermann

Only a few months after England had lost on penalties to Germany in the European championship semi-final at Wembley Stadium in 1996, 17-year-old Philip Oltermann moved to London from Hamburg with his parents. He was unimpressed with the traditional English Sunday roast, which centred around "an extremely stringy, dry morsel of beef". In following their hosts' lead, Philip's father generously slathered horseradish and yellow mustard over his food, only to suffer a severe coughing fit which left his eyes bloodshot and watery. This was an inauspicious start.

Tributes to the singer on a Grammy street plague

Pharmacy used by Michael Jackson may have supplied Whitney Houston with pills

Coroner confirms singer was found by make-up artist amid reports of empty medication bottles

The beach has no sand, but bags of charm

Stay The Night: Castaway Cottage, Whitstable

Fiona Sturges stayed at a stylish former fisherman's cottage and made sure the well-equipped kitchen enjoyed a good rest as well

Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences

Age: 17

1. Silk cushion, John Lewis, £20
Buchan's picture of herself with Nelson Mandela

Janey Buchan: MEP who fought for artistic and political causes

Janey Buchan, who died at the weekend, was not a professional politician as we now know them but an old-fashioned political activist of the kind who always had a cause to fight and never allowed herself to be put off by the possibility of defeat or failure. Those who knew her learned not to be surprised to receive a telephone call out of the blue, which would last a good long time as she unburdened herself of whatever had excited or angered since the last call. Alternatively, it could be a hastily written letter, sometimes containing an unexpected gift such as a book that she thought deserved a bigger readership. She held strong opinions, but not easily predicted, of everyone she met. She was a Scot but had no time for the late John Smith; a left-winger who held a low opinion of Tony Benn; a lover of political folk music who thoroughly despised Bob Dylan.

1. Bird loo roll holder

How to be beautiful: Glow of happiness

However you chose to see in 2012, the mirror is rarely kind on New Year's Day. Cold weather, low light and the drip-drip effect of a month of elevated indulgence gleefully conspire to make sure we look most jaded on this symbolic day of renewal.

Midwife in a hurry at home

A midwife has delivered her own baby at home with the help of her mother's make-up mirror.

Dom Joly: I love 'Matilda'. It's almost as good as television

I'm not a lover of musical theatre. By this, I'm not subtly trying to put an end to the scandalous rumours that I'm a homosexual. No, it's just the truth. Musicals are not for me. OK – I did once enjoy Evita when I was a kid. I even bought the album.

MFI relaunches as online retailer

Flatpack furniture brand MFI was back in business as an online retailer today - three years after its collapse left customers out of pocket.

<p>1. Poilâne bread</p>
<p>Around £10, from selected Waitrose branches</p>
<p>Chewy inside, crisp crust, this is the best bread for communal breakfast. A Poilâne loaf lasts for days and toasts brilliantly.</p>

The 10 Best guest essentials

1. Poilâne bread

Around £10, from selected Waitrose branches

Chewy inside, crisp crust, this is the best bread for communal breakfast. A Poilâne loaf lasts for days and toasts brilliantly.

Strutting her stuff: At 41, Blige is looking pretty damned magnificent

Mary J Blige: 'I've been through hell, but I survived'

Mary J Blige has beaten drink, drugs and her demons – and a brand new album is in the bag. So why is the hip-hop soul superstar so insecure?

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Career Services

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
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn