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
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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
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A shot in the dark

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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