Arts and Entertainment

The great thing about "counterfactual" history is that anyone can play. If Gordon Brown hadn't been caught making those remarks about a "bigoted woman" might he still be PM? If Hitler had invaded England in 1940 would we all be speaking German? If the judge in the Rivonia trial had sentenced Nelson Mandela to death rather than life in jail?

Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos and Prime Minister David Cameron

Do You Want To save the music industry? Franz Ferdinand call on David Cameron for help

Music stars are urging David Cameron to take urgent steps to combat web piracy when the Prime Minister stages a record industry summit on Thursday.

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live

Music review: Franz Ferdinand deliver polished dance-rock, but don't exactly shake things up

"Lick your cigarette and then kiss me," yelps Alex Kapranos on the ripe "No You Girls". The trim frontman (and part-time food writer) sports a short-sleeved gold shirt, trademark pointy shoes and is looking considerably younger than his 41 years.

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand arrives for the

The Playlist: Wavves / Icona Pop / Fantastic Mr Fox

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

Night Engine, a four-piece from London fronted by Phil McDonnell

Music review: The Great Escape, Various venues, Brighton

It’s hard to shake the feeling that The Great Escape, the annual three-day gigathon for new bands and Brighton’s answer to Texas’s South-By-South-West, has grown too unwieldy for its own good. Certainly, the queues outside venues that snake all the way to Eastbourne offer little hope to the majority of seeing the year’s buzz bands such as The Strypes, Swim Deep or Parquet Courts.

Reinhart and Rogoff vs Herndon: the austerity maths doesn’t add up – but the theory does

As one of the many journalists who took Reinhart and Rogoff’s work to be a brilliant empirical underpinning for what appeared to be common-sense – that you simply cannot tax and borrow your way out of chronically unbalanced public finances – the discovery that it was, well, flawed, is something of a disappointment.

Glory: Stravinsky said the ballet came to him in a fleeting vision

The Rite of Spring: Happy birthday to music's most famous flop

Century-old Rite of Spring couldn't be more popular – now

Foals, Holy Fire (Transgressive)

Album review: Foals, Holy Fire (Transgressive)

It may simply be the influence of producers Flood and Alan Moulder, who have a track record of rendering indie-rock commercially palatable, but on Holy Fire, Foals move further away from their nerdy math-rock origins to a more muscular rock'n'roll style.

Jamie Merrill: Big and brash, but a Chelsea tractor has put car maker on a new road to success

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Porsche is booming. The German firm is in the middle of a full-throttle recalibration from niche sports car manufacturer to all-purpose purveyor of luxury SUVs and saloons.

Album: Bloc Party, Four (Frenchkiss)

As ever, Kele Okereke’s energies are divided between the political and the personal on Four, with agit-punk assertions like “ Coliseum” and “Kettling” and the contemptuous pillorying of political duplicity in “So He Begins to Lie” punctuated with more tenderly rendered emotional wrestling on tracks such as “Truth” and “Real Talk”.

Express delivery from Africa

African musicians take to Britain's railways

Almost Nothing to Do With Frogs, Underbelly, Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Fringe is all about talent-spotting but forget Footlights - if you really want to see the next generation of performers first, the smart money is on Double Edge Drama. This is theatre company of Eton College, whose recent alumni include Eddie Redmayne, Harry Lloyd and Tom Hiddleston, to name but a few.

Franz Ferdinand spearhead the line-up at Field Day

Pop gigs of the week: Field Day & Apple Cart, Victoria Park, London E3

Two urban festivals in a similar rural spirit occupy Victoria Park this weekend.

Mercury Music Prize moves to Channel 4

The Mercury Prize is to move to Channel 4 after many years on the BBC in a revamp of the music award.

Grimes

Caught in the Net: Pedal to the metal in a propulsive return

The new-wave synth sounds of George Lewis Jr, aka Twin Shadow, wouldn't have been out of place on the film soundtrack of the Ryan Gosling vehicle (ahem) Drive.

Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex, By Christopher Turner

Slice them where you will, any collection of psychoanalysts is as mad as a parliament. Novelty beards, whirling eyes, twitches, deranged clothing, tics, jitters and habits you wouldn't want to go into. But Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was the maddest of the lot. His mainspring theory was that all human ills stemmed from not enough orgasms, and, in particular, not enough proper orgasms, which he plotted on graphs from foreplay to the molten afterglow of WH Auden's "Lullaby" (1940): "Soul and body have no bounds:/ To lovers as they lie upon/ Her tolerant enchanted slope/ In their ordinary swoon."

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newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
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Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
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Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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Jihadi John
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Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
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Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn