Arts and Entertainment

Germaine Greer planting some trees, is there a whole book in that? The answer is a resounding “yes” after reading this heartfelt, sharp and meticulously researched account of the author’s decade-long efforts to rebuild a small corner of rainforest in her home country of Australia.

Wednesday Books: Where society is not a dirty word

CONVERSATIONS WITH ANTHONY GIDDENS: MAKING SENSE OF MODERNITY BY ANTHONY GIDDENS AND CHRISTOPHER PIERSON, POLITY PRESS, pounds 12.95 PAROXYSM: INTERVIEWS WITH PHILIPPE PETIT BY JACQUES BAUDRILLARD AND PHILIPPE PETIT, VERSO, pounds 11

LETTER: Live art needs cash

LETTER:

Games: Raising Cyberbaby

Fast forward

Genetics: Unease at use of modified crops

British Association: Predisposition to social problems inherited; orgasms aid fertility; and `phantom limb syndrome'

The knack How to be an eco-warrior

"If your local environment is under threat, try the normal channels first. Call a meeting and get as many useful names and phone numbers as you can. Find out who has access to fax machines, the Internet and photocopiers, and get them to contact the local newspapers to complain about the proposed scheme. Ask local groups for support; try writing to anyone in authority who may be able to halt the `development'. Look for irregularities in the planning applications. Cross-reference company names, building contractors, names of directors and major shareholders against the council and look for links: for example, wife works in planning department, husband has building company.

People & Business: Maharishi gets a flexible friend

WHEN John Lennon sang "Sexy Sadie" on the Beatles' White Album in 1968, he cannot have imagined that 30 years later the man he lampooned in the song, the Maharishi Yogi, would be issuing his own credit card to the British public.

Prague Greens smash symbols of global market

EVENTUALLY, it seems, every dream must turn sour. Four Prague police officers were injured and several dozen people arrested at the weekend in protests in which shop windows, including that of McDonald's on Wenceslas Square, were smashed.

The start of something big for small-scale living

PETER ANDREWS has just added to the long list of British eccentricities. He's formed the Secret Shed and Handmade Hideaway Society - and is hoping that it will soon become a familiar name to all but a dedicated troglodyte.

It's spintime, and cuckoos are all around

PERHAPS I should write to the Times. The other day, as we lay- in later than usual (thank goodness for half-term) both my wife and I thought we heard a cuckoo.

Letter: Spengler described our world

BERNARD Noble's description of the impact of global communications on societies - commercialised subversion and fragment-

Allotment holders dig in to protect their patch

A parliamentary committee will investigate the plight of allotment gardeners this month as their plots are eaten up in the rush to build new housing. Enthusiasts hope MPs can persuade ministers to act but, writes Fran Abrams, there has been little sign that this will happen.

A mother's place is in the wrong

MADONNA AND CHILD: Towards a New Politics of Motherhood by Melissa Benn, Cape pounds 12.99

Skiing: green channel

One would think that sliding down a mountain on a couple of slats of wood was one of the least environmentally damaging things a fun-loving tourist could do. Unfortunately, when there are thousands of us doing it all at the same time our need for chalets, roads, ski-lifts, water and fuel puts a heavy burden on the environment and on the local villages. We even often need snow made for us by gas-guzzling snow cannons.

Property: The ethical ideal home

Consumer pressure has forced suppliers to offer environmentally- sound house products. Gareth Lloyd tells you where to find them

Books: More snow falling on readers

After Miss Smilla came a storm of icy chillers. Now the genre's gone green, says Jane Jakeman
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?