Environment A baby northern gannet stands next to one of its parents

The first “world championship” for eating pickled baby gannets, known as “guga”, has sparked new calls for a total ban on the Hebridean tradition of hunting chicks by clubbing  them with sticks.

Pandora: Knives out: Gordon's girls defend their boss

Could Gordon Ramsay's luck be changing? Ever since he was accused of liaising with "professional mistress" Sarah Symonds, the boorish chef has been dogged by a string of bad headlines, running the gamut from ready-meals to broken banking covenants.

Amy Jenkins: If I watch a crime show on TV, will it make me break the law?

Compliance. It's a spooky word, like some kind of euphemism employed by the Ministry of Torture in a totalitarian regime. If a female is "compliant" you imagine her as a limp doll that might be anyone's for the taking. But compliance, apparently, is big in television. And Jimmy Mulville and Stephen Fry have been making industry headlines by lambasting broadcasters at the Edinburgh TV Festival for what they call the box-ticking culture of "compliance" in television.

Ellie Levenson: Where jokes are concerned, context is all

Humour is a way we work through our feelings about difficult issues

Blumenthal and Ramsay top restaurant guide

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant was rated as a perfect 10 in the new edition of the Good Food Guide 2010, its editor said today.

Pandora: Barschak struggles at the Edinburgh Fringe

It Is just over six years since Aaron Barschak donned a merkin, pink dress and Osama bin Laden disguise to clamber over the walls of Windsor Castle and storm Prince William's 21st birthday party.

Andrew Lawrence: Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune! Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

With the fractious energy born of frustration that puts one in mind of an evil Lee Evans merging with the verbal assaults of the "equal opportunities offender" Jerry Sadowitz, this taut, scrawny ginger comic, with his strangulated London twang, fires his ire any which way.

Swearing outbursts 'can lessen pain'

There could be a good reason why hitting one's thumb with a hammer is likely to unleash the Gordon Ramsey within, say scientists.

Glasgow: a city on the up

Who’d have thought that a city whose most famous culinary export to date has been the deep fried Mars Bar could have also produced arguably the world’s best chef and definitely the most famous, Gordon Ramsay.

Sport on TV: Cold comforts for Cracknell as bottom falls out of his world

At last week's Henley Regatta, gentlemen in the Members' Enclosure were allowed to take off their jackets for the first time in 33 years, so intense was the heat. Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell may have allowed himself a wry smile. Six months ago he was trekking across Antarctica in the first race to the South Pole since Scott and Amundsen in 1911. It must have been tempting to tip the champagne bucket over his head as he mopped his brow with a sweaty slice of smoked salmon.

'Turbulent' year for Gordon Ramsay as profits dive 90%

Profits at Gordon Ramsay's UK restaurants plunged nearly 90% in a "turbulent" year in which the celebrity chef was forced to pump his own money into the business.

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1

Yes, all right, I DO know there's a recession on. But this isn't just any old restaurant review. It's that special once-a-year occasion when I get to blow the Independent's budget on a spectacular dinner with the winning bidders in our annual charity auction, raising money for aid projects around the world. This year's highest bidder was Roger Hambury, who secretly bid for the lot as a Christmas present for his wife Fleur, knowing she had long harboured fantasies of becoming an undercover food critic.

Terence Blacker: The problem with society is everyone else

That great and virtuous institution, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has for the past two years been studying why British society is in such a terrible mess. It has consulted with commentators and thinkers, and has conducted a survey of 3,500 people. Now and then, tantalising insights into its progress have been released to the press. A little over a year ago, we learnt that 10 social evils of our time, including selfishness and the decline of community values, had been discovered.

Australian PM is latest to join the 'I hate Ramsay' club

Rudd steps in after chef likens TV presenter to image of pig-faced woman

Leading article: Cooking up a storm

Gordon Ramsay has found himself in another kitchen nightmare Down Under. Last year, the celebrity chef was hauled across a roaring barbie by the Australian senate for his swearing. And now he has been plunged into scalding water over some ungallant comments about a female Australian TV host. No less a figure than the country's prime minister has been moved to describe Ramsay as "a new form of lowlife".

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
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People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
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Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
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Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

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Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas