Voices

Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Cooper Brown: Trunk stunt

I left Mulligan busy with another plan to catch the Lesbian Sticker Lady. He intends to stay in the trunk of my car and jump out when he feels her presence.

Manic Street Preachers, Brixton Academy, London

The savage rip in the Manic Street Preachers' life was, of course, the disappearance and likely death of Richey Edwards in 1995. The loss of their friend and bandmate still brought Nicky Wire close to traumatised tears when he spoke of it last year. Musically too, there was the rupture of the giant stadium-filling singles they wrote afterwards, the almost guiltily ironic achievement of the subversive dreams they and Richey had. Tonight's tremendous, happy gig shows that that scar is healing over.

How We Met: Sarah Millican & Tom Allen

'Everyone was mingling; we sat in a corner, downing juice and devouring the buffet'

Postcards From Vegas: Rob and Nick Carter's fluorescent glowing glory

The works in Rob and Nick Carter's new exhibition ought to be garish. Instead, they're gorgeous. "Sin Will Find You Out", declares a condemnatory neon crucifix, overlaid on a hyper-enlarged old postcard of America's Spaghetti Junction: an interchange on the Eisenhower Expressway near downtown Chicago. It might as well be an entry in one of those novelty Boring Postcards books. The crucifix, meanwhile, is a miniaturised recreation of a sign that still hangs from a Christian mission on the West Side of Manhattan.

Gilbert & George: Urethra Postcard Art

Britart double act Gilbert & George are famed for using unorthodox materials (bodily fluids) and controversial subject matter (mainly sex) in their work. So it is unsurprising that although their latest exhibition - a collection of artworks made from postcards sourced from British souvenir shops- looks harmless enough, the series is actually based on "an angulated sign of the urethra".

Clinton Cards suffers in Ireland

Clinton Cards, the greetings card retailer, has revealed that dire trading in the Republic of Ireland has hit its recent group sales, but said that it was "well prepared" for the crucial Christmas trading period.

Which picture is by a famous artist? Answers on a postcard

How confident are you at distinguishing between the work of an art world legend and that of an unknown student? One of these pictured works, going on sale for £45 next week, has been produced by an A-list British artist. The other five, while no less impressive, are by anonymous rising stars.

Album: Manic Street Preachers, Postcards From a Young Man, Columbia

According to the rock-band cliché: "We just make music to please ourselves and if anyone else likes it, it's a bonus." For the Manic Street Preachers, that sort of talk has always been an unforgivable, bourgeois conceit. If you've got something worth saying, you want it to be heard by the maximum number of people. That, at least, is half the story.

Album: Manic Street Preachers, Postcards from a Young Man (Columbia)

There are two distinct strains of Manic Street Preachers album: the grandiose agit-rock ones designed to force-feed arena crowds the sorts of philosophical ruminations they won't encounter at school; and the more hermetic, astringent exercises like The Holy Bible.

Postcards reveal writers and artists' trips, treks and travails

The tan is starting to fade, the suitcases have finally been put back into the loft and even though you've only been back at work for a couple of weeks, the holidays are starting to seem like a distant memory. Apart from the postcards, which have only just started to trickle through the letterbox after making their slow way via sorting offices all over the globe. Five such postcards have been sent to us at Observations: all are from writers and artists, and each describes an aspect of the relationship between their travels and their work.

Moonpig greets £11m profits

The two biggest shareholders in Moonpig, the online card retailer, have shared a dividend of nearly £5m after crafting a 67 per cent jump in the business's annual profits.

Clinton card shops warn on profits

Clinton Cards was forced yesterday to lower expectations for this year after weaker trading caused by the poor performance of its stores in Ireland.

DVD: The Beekeeper (18)

A ponderously paced but poignant story about an ageing beekeeper, who follows the pollen trail around a drearily grey Greece that is far from the picture-postcard vision usually seen on screen.

Simon Calder: 'Bring our guys home before the postcards'

The man who pays his way
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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
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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

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Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
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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

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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