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Colonel Meow, the cat with the longest fur in the world and the brooding face of an evil genius, has sadly passed away.

Huge rise in cruelty convictions pushing RSPCA to 'breaking point'

A huge rise in the number of pet owners convicted of animal cruelty is pushing the RSPCA to “breaking point”, the charity said.

Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Science, By Professor Jim Al-Khalili

The curiousness of the dark in the night time

Rebecca Armstrong: Why do bidders go bonkers for celebrity ephemera?

Earplugs for sale. One careful owner. It's not quite Ernest Hemingway's famous, poignant six-word story ("For sale: baby shoes, never worn") but when the owner in question is Sir Winston Churchill, there's a strange level of excitement about auctioning a set of sleeping aids. The wax pellets in question were sold in an auction on Friday for the prime-ministerial sum of £1,650, having had a reserve price of £2,000.

<p>1. John Lewis Winter Snow Goose Down</p>
<p>£150, johnlewis.com</p>
<p>A supremely comfortable pillow using down from geese native to Russia's glacial mountains.</p>

The 10 Best pillows

1. John Lewis Winter Snow Goose Down

£150, johnlewis.com

A supremely comfortable pillow using down from geese native to Russia's glacial mountains.

'George III' and 'Queen Charlotte' at the RA – both painted by Johan Zoffany in 1771

Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, Royal Academy, London

A German-born observer of British society is eclipsed today by Gainsborough and Reynolds, but his pictures, decoded, are revealing

On reflection: Henrietta Lidchi, world cultures keeper, with one of Ankhhor’s coffins at Fascinating Mummies, which advances our knowledge of the Egyptians

Fascinating Mummies, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The wonders of ancient science – it's amazing what you can learn from a cat scan ...

DVD: Lady and the Tramp (U)

"He's a self-confessed chicken thief, and all-around sleazeball," is how scoffing Josh described the Tramp in The Last Days of Disco.

Whatever killed Gloucestershire deer, it wasn't a panther...

DNA tests have concluded that a mystery beast lurking in the Gloucestershire countryside, suspected of being responsible for grisly attacks on deer, is not the "big cat" that locals feared.

I Married You For Happiness, By Lily Tuck

The professor and the painter:a marriage made in heaven

Get with the beasts: a big game hunter's guide to modern Britain

Reports of a big cat going wild near Stroud only scratch the surface. Tom Peck and Joshua Carroll investigate

The carcass of this deer bears the hallmarks of a killing by a big cat

Will DNA tests solve the mystery of Gloucestershire big cat sightings?

It began with dark mutterings in the local pub, that a strange beast might be stalking the woods around the little village of Woodchester, savaging the local wildlife and frightening local dog walkers.

Ex-councillor jailed for cat deaths

A former councillor who killed four kittens in "appalling scenes" of "unimaginable cruelty" has been jailed.

Glenn Tilbrook, Blackheath Halls, London

Back in 2004 Glenn Tilbrook, his wild hair sticking out like Christopher Lloyd's Doc in Back to the Future, cheerfully tore through a short set of Squeeze classics in support of an awed Fountains of Wayne, the US equivalent of Squeeze.

1. Terry Pratchett Discworldforbiddenplanet.com

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The 10 best Calendars

Whether you like poetry, pop stars or polar bears, with this selection you can make 2012 the year you get organised

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'At least Billie Piper never threw a cat in a wheelie bin'

Who knew that, before she became a child pop sensation at 15, Billie Piper's guilty pleasure was throwing animals? For a while in the early 1990s, it was literally raining cats and dogs in Swindon. "I used to pick up animals on the street," she confessed in a questionnaire, "and launch them as far as I could."

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album