Voices

Plus: Totally bus-ted, star-gazing bugs, Taiwan's new Barbie restaurant and if you Wannabe evicted (you better get with my friends)

Shoes kill more than your feet

AN OUTBREAK of killer shoes has prompted safety experts to consider attaching warning labels, such as: "These shoes could seriously damage your health", to precarious footwear.

Women will be wanting orgasms next

I ONCE MET a woman who confided, over dinner, that she had not had an orgasm until she was nearly 40. There was nothing unusual about her story, just a note of regret in her voice that she had had to wait so long. She had never consulted a doctor about it, assuming that her GP would not regard it as a medical problem or that she had had bad luck with men, a circumstance which clearly fell outside his remit. Not any longer: on Friday, the demand for orgasms on the NHS reached a deafening crescendo, with doctors suddenly discovering that a full sex life is vital to health.

Spice Girls in Rome

La Dolce Vita: A parking attendant watches as Spice Girls Emma Bunton (left) and Geri Halliwell take a walk near Rome's Villa Borghese

Film: Meet Postmod Spice (she's really nice)

A Film Critic confesses: I watched Spiceworld the Movie (PG) in a daze of pleasure. Some had predicted that it would prove to be its stars' obituary - but in fact, it's an uproarious pantomime of ironies that dramatises celebrity in a delightfully topical and sophisticated way. I think it's as important to the 1990s as A Hard Day's Night was to the 1960s. But I have a terrible feeling that nobody will take it seriously.

The Things That Shaped Our Year: The Rise And Fall Of The Spice Girls

From the death of Diana to the birth of Dolly, and from the rise of Bridget Jones to the fall of the Spice Girls - our writers choose the 10 people and events which made 1997 so special

Ciao Baby: Platform plimsolls

Notwithstanding their commendable ability to put Baby Spice out of action for a couple of weeks, the platform plimsoll is fast approaching its sell-by date. You stand tall, but then what? Every vertiginous step becomes a perilous duel with gravity. A couple of years after they first hit the streets pundits are beginning to question the fashion genius in glueing foam bricks to your trainers because ...

Spice girl effect on City and business

Are the Spice Girls finished? And does it matter a jot? Yes and yes, says the stock exchange. David Lister, Arts News Editor, analyses the rumblings and concludes that girl power has not yet been deposed.

Spice Girls' ex-manager really really wants pounds 20m

What the Spice Girls really, really wanted, it turns out, was to get rid of their Svengali, and shape the future of the band. What Simon Fuller really, really wants in return is about pounds 20m.

Under the counter

Next month I will be twenty-nine. So you know what that means, this time next year... I've spent the last couple of years not really remembering whether I was 26 or 27 or 28 - no worries. But I can see now that this was a kind of sub-conscious avoidance of anno Domini, refusing to acknowledge the GMT of my biological time-clock.

If you really wanna put some spice into fashion

World domination continues as the Spice Girls put their name to a range of clothes.
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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?