Life and Style

At the risk of straying into territory staked out by my more lurid male counterparts, I once saw a strip bar in Nashville with a neon sign outside advertising '99 Beautiful Girls! And One Ugly One'. They can get away with that kind of playful hucksterism down in the American South. Here, outraged punters would be demanding refunds and invoking the Trade Descriptions Act.

Mellow yellow: a warming spoonful of polenta

Samuel Muston: A hug on a plate - my paean to polenta

Opening a new restaurant is often a quick way for rich people to lose money. It is a gamble opening your doors to the public, just like playing poker. But as with cards, there are ways to hedge your bets. The cautious restaurateur might tend towards well-worn concepts such as the burger joint, for instance, or the fried-chicken shop.

The mankier the better: Explaining the allure of the grotty student pub

A paean to the humble student watering hole - and the Friday hangover

Twitter user Craig Davies claims to have taken this photo of a hearse at the drive-through of a fast-food restaurant

Picture of a coffin-carrying hearse trying to 'visit KFC and Starbucks' posted on Twitter

Twitter user Craig Davies said the driver gave up and moved on to Starbucks

Postcard from... Brussels

Ticking all the boxes: Bill's warming soup

Salad days: A January detox doesn't have to mean dour dishes says Mark Hix

After festive over-indulgence, many of us will be in the mood to detox. And there are lots of healthy ingredients that can be used in bright, tasty recipes

Cockerel makes a warming and healthy main course

Mark Hix recipe: Poached cockerel with roots

Serves 4

A tweet showing Russian artist Viktor Ivanov's bear fashioned from cuts of chicken.

The nightmare before Christmas: the terrifying 'Turkey Bear'

The photo of a bear put together using clumps of meat is almost enough to put you off Christmas dinner

Mark Hix recipe: Turkey meatballs in sweet and sour sauce

You’ll likely have turkey remaining after Christmas Day and this is a good variation for the leftovers, with cranberries helping to make a nice sauce.

Yule save: Cooking a delicious Christmas dinner for your student house on the cheap

Want to celebrate with your flatmates before you all head off home? Here are a few simple tips to keep the costs of your Christmas dinner down

I'm a Celebrity 2013: Westlife boy band member Kian Egan

I'm A Celebrity 2013: Westlife's Kian Egan crowned king of the jungle

The Westlife singer beat fashion designer David Emanuel to claim the title

Harriet Walker: You can eat the pasty, but you know full well that no good can come of it

I joined a gym this month – it's the first I've been to in almost 10 years, and pretty much the first exercise I've done in just as long, apart from the odd dance-floor workout or trot for the bus. And since I joined, I've found the way I approach food has become like that of a hangman contemplating death.

Hong Kong reports first case of deadly H7N9 bird flu strain amid fears it is spreading from China

Government issues ‘serious’ influenza pandemic response alert

Baked Quails' Eggs, Trotter and Bacon

Mark Hix recipe: Baked Quails' Eggs, Trotter and Bacon

Serves 6 as a starter

Edwina Currie unveils the new version of the British Lion Code of Practice at Portcullis House in London

A safe pair of hands? Edwina Currie launches egg safety code

Edwina Currie, the former Health minister who once nearly bankrupted Britain’s egg producers, has been chosen to promote the new version of the red British Lion, which tells you that an egg is safe to eat.

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Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
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Not quite what they were expecting
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When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires

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Angelina Jolie and Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal at the Golden Globes in 2011
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Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...