The Pope described abortion as part of modern ‘throwaway culture’ which has grown to encompass human beings themselves

Fancy a cultural charabanc ride?

Am I the only single-parent father to have noticed that for all the good cleaning liquids are you might as well tip them down the lavatory? Run home from the Europa Stores with haddock-in-the-bag, open it up and you'll find it's a haddock more or less. A cleaning liquid, however - least of all if it's marketed as Mr Something - will no more remove limescale than play the Brandenburg Concertos. Mr Instant Sunshine, Mr Flush Fresh, Mr Happy Surfaces - Mr Bollocks, frankly.

He's Santa, God and Forrest Gump

Albert Einstein is Hollywood's favourite scientist. Great accent, strange clothes and lots of fluffy white hair. Only one problem really, says Jon Ronson - the real Einstein was too clever by half

Save us, or you're sacked


In Thing: Kiehl's beauty treatments

Kiehl's beauty products possess a no-nonsense glamour, cult status among movie starlets, models and fashion designers and a flawless reputation within the beauty industry.

Heart of grunge: The King's Road's day is over. Portobello's old hat. Carnaby Street is a bore. Camden's time has come. Peter Popham on Camden: They come for the market. What they get is a fully working model of a civilisation contemplating its own decline

An old derelict painstakingly hangs three overcoats on wire hangers on the outside wall of Camden Town Tube station. Is he offering them for sale? Or is this his wardrobe? It's only ten in the morning, but the Bohemians who cluster round the traffic lights nearby are already deep into their cider. The big fellow with the beard tilts his head back in the drizzle and pours it bravely down.

Christmas Shopping: From the dream-charms of American Indians to craftwork from Egypt via a Harley-Davidson you can't ride, Rosalind Russell seeks out some novel gifts

A gift from Egypt? The Egyptian House is an Egyptian government- sponsored shop helping unemployed families sell traditionally made goods and is the first of several to be opened around the world. Blue ceramic worry-bands are pounds 27.95, ear-rings from pounds 2.95, stone carved figures from pounds 11.50. The shop also sells rugs, brass lanterns, glass perfume bottles, scarabs and silver. The Egyptian House, 77 Wigmore Street, London W1 (071-935 9839).

Almanack: Loud volley from rocker Luke

LAST week Luke Jensen, a doubles player, was invited to address a tennis forum entitled 'The Fan's Experience' in Frankfurt. To the surprise of his audience, Luke let fly with some highly unorthodox suggestions, including the introduction of smoke, lasers and rock music. 'If I had my perfect situation,' he said, 'a tennis match would start out with a live band', and he summed up: 'Let's go crazy; let's go bananas; let's get rid of the white clothes; let's get out of the country club - people want to see out-of-control tennis.'

High fashion exacts a high price in China

For about three years' wages, fashion victims can buy the leather jacket being put on display by Tao Lie, an assistant at the Harley-Davidson shop in Peking.

REVIEWS / Rum punch-up in the sun: Sarah Hemming on the London Fringe

CLASSICS are on the move to the Caribbean. After Pecong, the Tricycle's recent version of Medea, the chilling story of Phaedra is now transported to Trinidad (Greenwich Theatre). In Stephen Landrigan's play, The Pan Beaters, Theseus is a property tycoon whose fortunes are sliding, Phaedra is his rich, white, American wife and Hypolite is the island's top pan- beater.

Management: Staying changed is the tough part: This is the first of a series of regular columns by the management consultant and best-selling author of In Search of Excellence

CONSULTANTS believe in change. It keeps bread on their tables. That is as true for the conservative sort (who sell corporate renewal via rational strategic plans) as it is for the instinctive types (bent upon altering 'corporate culture'). Ordinary people are hopeful, too: witness the millions of self-help books we buy each year. Yet most companies fail to execute the brilliant strategies the consultants propose. Most who swear by the transforming nature of their three-day 'culture-change workshops' revert to type on the job by mid-morning Tuesday.

Edinburgh shop plays host to a classic motorcycle marque and becomes home of the brave

THE 'IRON REDSKIN' rides again in Edinburgh, where Alan Forbes (above, astride a 1931 model) - a lifelong fan of the American motorcycle marque Indian - has established the only shop in Britain devoted to the brand, 40 years after its demise, writes David Swift.

TELEVISION / Pop opera

'WE CAN all discuss the relative merits of Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa and Nigel Kennedy,' said Evelyn Glennie at the beginning of her new series Soundbites (BBC 2). Oh yeah? Who y'all calling we? I would, with some nervousness, venture money on being able to have a conversation about Domingo's diet, Kiri's dress-sense and Nige's spray-painted BMW in the local pub but you'd have to give very good odds to tempt me on anything more high-minded than that. Still, it is virtually obligatory for cultural popularisers to be blindly optimistic about the public appetite for art and this could be forgiven as innocent exuberance, entirely fitting for a series which will attempt to bring classical music to a wider audience. Only a Tex Avery cartoon separates this in the schedules from Def II, the BBC's entertainingly didactic pitch at the 'I'm not a bloody kid anymore' audience, which perhaps explains something of the determinedly cheerful style.

Motoring / The Independent Road Test: You will fall in love with an ugly American: 'The American Legend' is coming back to Britain. Gavin Green samples the Cherokee, on- and off-road

AT HOME on the range, the American Jeep may well be. It is ideally suited to the outdoor huntin', fishin' and sportin' Marlboro Country lifestyle of the United States, where petrol is cheap, space is plentiful and cars are admired more for their robustness and room than for style and sophistication. It is easy to see why Americans love the Cherokee, the key model in the marque's new assault on the British market.

Column Eight: Diana's Dateline prince

Saturday's Daily Star yelled: 'We find the perfect partner to perk up the poor Princess', having had the bright idea of feeding Diana's details into the Dateline computer in search of her ideal match.

EC bureaucrats may force Harley-Davidson off the road

Bikers who fantasise about roaring along the road astride the ultimate dream machine - a gleaming Harley-Davidson - may soon have their hopes dashed by an EC directive on noise restrictions, writes Jason Bennetto.
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