Creativity

SO WHAT was the inspiration for Fungus the Bogeyman, Raymond Briggs's comic saga of snot, slime and existentialist angst?

Revolution in botany as family trees of plants are uprooted will rewrite botanical textbooks

BOTANISTS have abolished the single plant kingdom of the textbooks and established four separate kingdoms in what is being described as a revolution in biological classification.

Magic mushrooms enlisted in war on dope

THE BIGGEST environmental hot potato in Britain is genetically modified crops. But American politicians have fewer qualms. Drug enforcement agents in Florida think they have the perfect solution for eradicating marijuana crops in the state: dusting vast areas with a genetically engineered fungus which would kill the illicit plants but leave everything else unharmed.

Words: Quorn, n.

CUT FROM The Girl Who Came to Supper (now in The Complete Lyrics) was "What's the Matter with a Nice Beef Stew?" Coward advises: "it fills the crevices and makes you grow / . . . when you've had a little grouse / At Lyons' Corner House / Or a steak and kidney pud at Slater's / You'll appreciate a chew, / At a nice beef stew / With greens and mashed potatoes."

Words: Tactile, adj.

THERE'S NO muddling those two grey-haired, 90-year-old, finely spoken English gentlemen who have made Manhattan their home and regularly deliver commentary upon its manifold delights and absurdities: Alistair Cooke has an apartment on Fifth Avenue by the Park while Quentin Crisp makes do with a dusty room in Greenwich Village.

Food & Drink: Trough Trade

Even with Kiki the pig in tow, Raymond can't find many truffles in the field he's nurtured for 40 years. Catherine Guilyardi joins the hunt for the world's most rarefied fungus

American Association: Ecology - Corals being killed by fungus disease

THE DESTRUCTION of the coral reefs is being caused by a fungus, normally only found on land, which is being washed out to sea by soil erosion.

American Association: Biology - Corals being killed off by fungus disease

THE CURRENT decimation of the coral reefs is being caused by a fungus, normally only found on land, which is being washed out to sea by soil erosion.

Restaurants: Business is mushrooming

Autumn is mushroom season, and the best time to find fungi on the menu. By Nikki Spencer

RESTAURANTS: HAVING FUN WITH FUNGI

Chewton Glen

Letter: Men and apes

Sir: I take issue with John Gribben's Evolutionary Notes (7 October).

Truffle cheats unearthed

BALKAN IMPOSTORS are threatening the integrity of the prized white Alba truffle crop - to such an extent that experts are relying on a computerised nose to sniff out frauds.

The Independent Archive: A primitive activity but a delicious breakfast

30 September 1989 Out in the dew, Duff Hart-Davis concludes that it is the elusive and mysterious nature of wild mushrooms that makes their pursuit so rewarding

Black outlook for the truffle

THE BLACK truffle - one of the world's most revered culinary delicacies - is more vulnerable to extinction than scientists realised because it has almost zero genetic variation to protect it against disease.

Outdoors: Nature Notes

WILL THIS be a good year for field mushrooms? The omens are not propitious, since the basic requirement for a heavy crop is always held to be a hot summer.
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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
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker