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.

Winnie The Pooh (U)

Voiced by: John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson

Flawed Angel, by John Fuller

A sweeping philosophical fable from a playful poet's pen

Picture books reviewed

Songs of super furry animals

Proms 38 and 43, Royal Albert Hall, London

The truth about Hans and his mermaid

Sue Arnold: Happy birthday to the greatest Dane of all

There is more magic in Hans Christian Andersen than in the entire Harry Potter canon

Otello, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Two cheers for the leads - but save the roar for the chorus

John Fiedler

Voice of Piglet

John Fiedler

Voice of Piglet

The ten best illustrated books

1 GRIMMS' FAIRY TALES By Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm; illustrated by George Cruikshank (Puffin Classics, £3.99)

Album: Aesop Rock

Bazooka Tooth, Def Jux
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

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The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
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Army general planning to come out
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25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
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A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

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A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project