Life and Style Buttering up: The popularity of artisan butters has forced the big makers of other spreads to change their products

Margarine makers have an unusual response to  our renewed taste for butter

The Austerity Issue: don't panic

Amid the bewildering complexities of the global financial crisis, one simple fact stands out: the little we have left needs to go a lot further. Fear not! We'll show you how to endure the forthcoming recession with a bit of grit, some nous and the wise advice of our post-war forebears. And you never know, you might have a laugh or two along the way... To begin our special issue, a celebration of the true heroine of austerity Britain: the housewife

Paperback: Hubbub, by Emily Cockayne

Provided the reader is in robust good health and not about to eat a meal, this account of "filth, noise and stench" in 17th and 18th-century England makes an entertaining, even amusing read. Cockayne draws us into a world where snickleways (narrow, often noisome passages) might be contaminated by fallen axunge (pig fat used to grease axles) or the overflow from a "house of easement". Butchers, dogs, fleas and gin play leading roles in this account of history's backside. We learn that umbrellas were black "so that the sooty rain did not stain them", while London's Mount Pleasant was "a tongue-in-cheek name" for an 8-acre soil dump. Like Dung Wharf adjoining Puddle Dock, it was literally a shit-heap. The pollution could be aural as well as physical. Described as "unpleasing and tuneless", street musicians provoked the proverb: "Give the piper a penny to play and twopence to leave off", but laws were passed to limit nocturnal racket, like the 1598 statute that "no man shall after the hour of nine at night beat his wife". Cockayne concludes by observing that, though urban dwellers were subject to stink, itch, racket, filth, overcrowding and murk, at least they were not stranded in the countryside among rustics castigated by one Londoner as "clownish, ignorant, rude, slovenly, absurd, boisterous and blustering".

Market Report: InterContinental Hotels surges on £5.7bn bid talk

The private-equity industry may have spent a staggering $700bn(£357bn) on deals across the globe in 2006, but investors do not expect the spending spree to end just yet. InterContinental Hotels rose 56p to 1,217p yesterday, easily the best blue-chip performer, as talk of a 1,500p-per-share bid persisted.

Cod Liver Oil: Should I continue taking it?

A recent study showed that taking cod-liver oil supplements may have no benefits and indeed may be harmful. My husband and I, both in our seventies, have been taking cod-liver oil tablets for the past five years. We take regular exercise and have a good diet. Should we continue taking cod-liver oil?

Time to step on the bio-gas

In Brazil, cars run on sugar cane. In the US, a lorry is fuelled with wood. Terry Kirby wonders why we're being so slow to follow the lead

Words: butter, n.

"DO YOU want butter on it?" asked the man in a Brighton sandwich- shop. "Yes, please." With which, he dug his knife into a tub of grease which I could not believe was butter. "Is that margarine?" "Yes." "But you just asked if I wanted butter." "I know," he said, knife aloft, "it's a figure of speech, isn't it?"

Formula milk `can set back babies'

BABIES MAY suffer early impairment of their intelligence if, for their first four months, they are fed infant formula that lacks an ingredient found in breast milk, say British scientists.

Non-stick ketchup runs out of the lab

A SCANNING technique for head injury patients is helping to develop the perfect ketchup.

Cod-liver oil health fears

Cod-liver oil health fears

Girl, 13, was `bullied to death'

A teenager took an overdose of pills out of desperation at the bullies who were hounding her, her family claimed yesterday.

Oldest person, 122, dies

Jeanne Calment, who credited olive oil and port for making her the world's oldest person, died aged 122 in Arles. Though blind, nearly deaf and in a wheelchair, she remained spirited and mentally sharp to the end. On her 121st birthday she released a CD, Time's Mistress, on which she reminisced to rap. AP -Arles
Arts and Entertainment
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Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?