Life and Style

Is there anything more festive than a magnum? Apart from a double magnum perhaps, a magnificent magnum is the most generous way to celebrate a great day with friends and family. It also keeps better than a bottle, so squirrel one away.

Secret life of the Empire State killer

The fatal shooting of two men is just one more episode in America's summer of gun sprees

Zoology: P-p-p pick up a penguin to see if it's p-p-p put on weight

I would love to weigh a penguin. I wouldn't mind assessing a stoat, either, or taking the inside leg measurements of a baby giraffe. A tarantula spider, however – well, not so much. At London Zoo this week, however, it isn't just the warm-eyed, cuddly creatures that will be given a once-over as part of the annual "weigh-in".

Southern Indians left penniless after emu investment scheme bosses disappear leaving thousands of birds to starve

When someone came up with the idea of breeding emus in southern India it sounded like a sure-fire way to prosperity. The meat could be sold to restaurants, the hide turned into leather.

Pappy's: Last Show Ever, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

After some muted outings, the sketch group Pappy's are back to their lovable best, on the kind of form that saw them shortlisted for Edinburgh's comedy award in 2007 and will probably get them a place on this year's list, too.

Album: Nora Gubisch, Alain Altinoglu, Ravel: Mélodies
(Naïve)

Ravel effected an understated formal revolution in vocal music, the pieces performed here by mezzo-soprano Nora Gubisch with pianist Alain Altinoglu being notable for their commitment to textual interpretation rather than sheer operatic grandeur.

Sarah Kendall: Get Up, Stand-Up, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

“So what happened in the first 15 minutes, did you just not like me?” asks Sarah Kendall of her audience at the end of her show. Observational comedians are supposed to say what everyone else is thinking but on this matter, Kendall is too close to the bone: her audience tonight just don’t buy into her.

When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, by Peter Godwin

Peter Godwin has written three pretty-much universally acclaimed, semi-autobiographical books about Zimbabwe. While When a Crocodile Eats the Sun is one of my favourite books of all time, I have yet to read the other two because I loved this one so intensely. It demanded so much, was so colourful, so wise, so... well, edifying, that I feel as though I have to do something amazingly heroic to earn the privilege of reading his others. It's anal, I know. I apply the same cracked logic to the books of my other all-time favourite author, Thomas Mann. Godwin – like Mann – writes literary caviar.

Hubbard's Cupboard: At least this time they are not shooting live pigeons...

The man with incredible tales...

Sixteen gulls found dead in Eastbourne resort

Sixteen gulls have been found dead in a seaside resort within the past week, prompting the RSPCA to call for greater tolerance of the birds.

Leading article: A delicate issue in Franco-American relations

The French are sensitive about their favourite dishes, as the fierce response to California's ban on the sale of foie gras has illustrated.

Campaigners win Woolley Valley land battle

A campaign group has won a High Court battle over the agricultural use of Green Belt land formerly owned by broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby for intensive poultry farming.

Aesop's fable experiment highlights how differently children and crows learn about the world

An experiment based on an Aesop's fable has shown how differently children and crows learn about the world.

A farmer force-feeds grain to a duck to produce foie gras

French call for Californian wine boycott as US state bans foie gras

Aggrieved diplomats in Paris to raise issue with US ambassador

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who runs a restaurant empire from Puerto Rico to Hong Kong to London: 'In Bali, my favourite restaurant serves only duck, which you eat with your hands'

My Life In Food: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef, Spice Market

'In bali, my favourite restaurant serves only duck, which you eat with your hands'

Probe under way after 30 swans found dead in Cardiff

An investigation is under way after the mysterious deaths of 30 swans in Cardiff.

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'