Arts and Entertainment

What goes on in our brains when we’re not thinking? Why do some animals lounge around all day doing nothing? Is outer space completely empty? Why did it take so long for the number zero to be accepted? These are just some of the questions discussed in this intriguing collection of essays on “nothingness” by science writers including Ian Stewart, Marcus Chown, Nigel Henbest, Michael Brooks, Paul Davies and David Fisher.

Cinderella: the Midnight Princess, Rose Theatre, Kingston

A massive clock with a complicated system of whirring cogs dominates Ruari Murchison's fetching, resourceful set. It betokens how time is of the essence in Charles Way's inventive, charming, if slightly stuffy, reworking of the Cinderella story at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

Page 3 Profile: Hans Christian Andersen, writer

Experts have found an undiscovered work?

The 10 Best puzzles and games

Cool, fun, silly and educational – here’s our pick of the finest distractions for children. No screens required...

Being Modern: Trick-or-treating

Say the words eggs and flour to the average householder and a fair proportion will doubtless respond, "Bake Off!" But mention those cakey basics on 31 October and they might equally induce feelings of dread. Eggs plus flour? That's a recipe for but one thing: a surprisingly hard-to-clean front door thanks to the dastardly menace of trick-or-treaters.

A crime-fighter who makes them quiver

Arrow will give the superhero genre a new shot of life, says Sarah Hughes

DVD: Snow White and the Hunstman (Universal)

This year's second live-action version of Snow White re-imagines the fairy tale as a dark, rain-lashed, mud-spattered epic, full of siege engines, burning villages, and all sorts of borrowings from the work of Tolkien and C S Lewis.

Grimm Tales for Young and Old By Philip Pullman

A master of crossover fiction presents a fine blend of old tales and new twists

The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess, Cape Town Opera, London Coliseum

Behind poster images of iconic black crusaders - from Nelson Mandela to Steve Biko - the township that is Catfish Row is revving up for another day. And such is the pumping dynamism of the Cape Town Opera ensemble that you can barely hear George Gershwin’s tumultuous xylophone-driven prelude for the hollering and whistling.

Fairy-tales: So, do you think you're fair enough?

Fairy-tale films aren't for little girls any longer, with their explicit battles for sexual power. Matilda Battersby looks into a darker mirror

Kristen Stewart: Stepping out of the twilight

She made her name in the long-running vampire saga, but now Kristen Stewart is relishing playing a very different kind of role. Emma Jones meets the 'kick-ass' heroine of the new Snow White

Snow White and the three-and-a-half-inch Lavender Hill Mob

Eddie Marsan is starring as a dwarf with fellow dwarfs Ray Winstone and Bob Hoskins in Snow White and the Huntsman.

Mirror Mirror (PG)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Lily Collins

Beyond Ballets Russes, Coliseum, London

You can teach an old bird new tricks – but they might not be as good as the old ones

The Blagger's Guide To ... Grimms' fairy tales

Scaring children everywhere for 200 years

DVD: Winnie the Pooh (U)

"Promise me you'll never forget me because if I thought you would I'd never leave," Christopher Robin famously tells his beloved Pooh, a bear with "very little brain", in A A Milne's heart-rending children's tale.

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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
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Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
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Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
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Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

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How did our legends really begin?

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Lambrusco is back on the menu

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A new Russian revolution

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