Are you snarky or smarmy? Too much sunny side up will fry the brain

A Gawker essay has ignited a culture war on the value of niceness

The eight most annoying things about Christmas for students

From essay deadlines to heating bills, is it really the most wonderful time of the year?

The winner Oscar Whisky rises with Wonderful Charm at the last in the novice chase at Cheltenham yesterday

International Hurdle: The New One mature enough to turn tables on hurdling’s old guard

The New One, part of a new wave of top-class young hurdlers threatening to swamp the reigning champion, Hurricane Fly, at the Cheltenham Festival next March, will have his credentials properly examined by a high-class yardstick, Zarkandar, in today’s International Hurdle.

“Shoppergeddon” is coming to the UK and you can't escape it

Just when you thought Black Friday's shopping madness was over, an angry mob of shoppers is set to take over the high street in what some are describing as a “Shoppergeddon”. Yes, you heard it here first.

In the Red: Present misery will await me after a hard Christmas Day’s work

I implore you to shed none of your tinsel tears for me, but come Christmas Day – when those of you who celebrate this festival of generosity and indigestion will no doubt be up to your forehead in the high yuletide – I will be working. No intravenous eggnog for me.

Choreographer Arlene Phillips led hundreds of Save the Children supporters in a dance routine as they attempted to break the record

In pictures: Save the Children attempt to break a Guinness World Record on Christmas Jumper Day

Save the Children has celebrated the Christmas Jumper Day by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most people wearing Christmas Jumpers in one place at Westfield London. Choreographer Arlene Phillips led hundreds of Save the Children supporters in a dance routine as they attempted to break the record. 

Obama and Cameron cosy up for ‘inappropriate’ selfie with Danish PM at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service

'Just a bit of fun': Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt defends her ‘selfie’ with Barack Obama and David Cameron

The Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has defended her now infamous ‘selfie’ with Barack Obama and David Cameron, claiming the snap that sparked debate across the world was just a “bit of fun”.

Riverside Theatre in full flight en route to victory at Huntingdon

Riverside back in limelight with Peterborough win

Jumping returns to its spiritual home at the natural amphitheatre in the Cotswolds today, for the latest instalment in the all-consuming soap opera whose denouement comes at the Cheltenham Festival next March, but the man-made arena quarried out at Huntingdon provided a theatre of dreams for a day when one of Nicky Henderson's old stagers revived past glories in the Grade Two Peterborough Chase.

Carol singer: Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’, from 1994, is one of the last huge Christmas hits

Christmas songs: Jingle sells

As Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their Christmas classics, Gillian Orr wonders why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for nearly 20 years

Manchester United manager David Moyes (L) and Manchester United's English midfielder Ashley Young

Manchester United players must take blame, says Ashley Young

The English champions were back to winning ways last night with a 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk

Calvin Harris and Biffy Clyro among first acts on Isle of Wight Festival 2014 line-up

Rudimental, The 1975, Passenger and The Waterboys will also play in June

Christmas lights on display in Byron Road, New Milton, Hampshire where each year, a group of residents on Byron Road switch on their lights to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Christmas lights: are you for or against?

New research suggests another property divide is emerging ...

The Audit: Ape’s adventure and Bro-tox

We love: Ape’s adventure

Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece, By Michael Gorra - Paperbacks of the Year review

I wish I could give this sublime marrying of the art and the life 10 stars. This is very much a writer’s biography, and an absolutely gorgeous demonstration of how to frame a narrative begins, appropriately enough, with the framing by Gorra of the author, Henry James: “Many years later he would remember the way the book had begun. He was old then, and in England ....” It’s a description that mirrors beautifully the framing by James himself of the entrance of his great heroine, Isabel Archer, in The Portrait of a Lady, as “the girl in the doorway”.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect