Portfolio: Richard Bailey

Tom Lehrer's spring isn't complete without poisoning them in the park; Dick Dastardly dratted and double-dratted himself to near-oblivion chasing one. For the rest of us, it's become all too easy to vilify them as "rats with wings".

Robert Newman's New Theory of Evolution, Little Angel Theatre, London

Comedy review: Robert Newman's New Theory of Evolution, Little Angel Theatre, London

"Reviewers of alternative comedy have failed to do what the rock-music press did 30 years ago: evolve a critical language to talk about a new art form." So claimed Robert Newman in 2006.

The Silence of the Animals: on Progress and Other Myths, By John Gray

The heretic thinker rips into liberal and humanist delusions - but his pessimism needs a new focus

Slowly Does It:
The death of
Lonesome
George
highlights the
fragile ecosystem
of the
Galápagos
Lonesome George was the last remaining tortoise of his kind

Lonesome George, the rarest creature on Earth, dies at 100

It may be a curlew or a kakapo. It may be the baiji, or a bat. But no one knows for sure, now, what is the rarest creature on the planet.

Famed Galapagos tortoise Lonesome George dies

The giant tortoise Lonesome George, whose failed efforts to produce offspring made him a symbol of disappearing species, has been found dead, officials at the Galapagos National Park announced.

Charity Commission launches extremism investigation into Leyton Mosque

The Charity Commission has launched an investigation into allegations that one of London’s major mosques has been taken over by extremists after an imam who tried to preach that evolution was compatible with Islam was forced to resign.

A scene from Aardman’s 'The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists'

Ahoy! Meet the real-life pirate scientist 300 years ahead of Aardman

Steve Connor discovers uncanny parallels between a swashbuckling pioneer and a new animated hero

Simon Kelner: Twitterspeak evolved too late for Darwin, thankfully

Our world is a frantic, intellectually combustible place. Opinions are 10 a penny in the age of Twitter. Mature reflection does not play a major part in public discourse. Knee-jerk reaction?

The‘hybrid’ giant tortoise is linked to a species thought to have died out 150 years ago

'Extinct' tortoise found living in the Galapagos

A species of giant tortoise that disappeared after being heavily hunted in the Galapagos more than a century ago may still be living on an island 200 miles away, a study has found.

Laughter is free – well, it is at this year's Edinburgh Fringe

A spirit of free comedy has broken out in Edinburgh as performers and festival-goers shun expensive venues in favour of free shows to reflect straitened times – without cutting back on laughs.

Guy Adams: Charles Darwin - controversial in Oklahoma

Here, in the year 2011, Darwin and his new-fangled ideas about natural selection are still considered highly taboo.

National Museum of Scotland open to public again

The National Museum of Scotland opens its doors today after completing a three-year, £47m makeover.

Booby that inspired Darwin caught in an evolutionary trap

With its trademark flippers and comical mating dance, the blue-footed booby is one of the most commonly sighted birds on the Galapagos Islands.

Climate change puts the heat on Darwin's Chillingham cattle

The blast furnaces that powered the Industrial Revolution had only just begun belching clouds of carbon into the sky when, in 1860, Charles Darwin encouraged a Victorian nobleman to maintain accurate data on an intriguing herd of cattle living feral in the grounds of his medieval castle.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform