Album: Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima/Popcorn Superhet Receiver/Polymorphia/48 Responses to Polymorphia (Nonesuch)

Jonny Greenwood's debt to Penderecki is clearly acknowledged in this pairing of the two composers' works.

Fossils of giant fleas discovered

Giant Jurassic fleas measuring more than two centimetres (about an inch) may have fed on feathered dinosaurs, say scientists.

Last night's viewing - How to Grow a Planet, BBC2; Jo Brand on Kissing, BBC4

There's an obvious machismo problem if you're going to move from presenting a programme about tectonic forces to a series about botany. With the former you can abseil off the lip of an active volcano or do a piece to camera while diving into the flooded rift between two continental plates. It's positively Action Man compared to wandering through a wood and looking at flowers. So, kudos to Iain Stewart and the How to Grow a Planet production team for coming up with the most aggressively blokey way possible to convey the evolutionary advantage that toughened seeds confer on those plants that have them. Load up an empty shotgun cartridge with canna indica seeds and blast away at a plywood target. Excellent. You can do the slow-motion footage of the muzzle-flash. You can get your presenter to prod his finger through the smashed bull's-eye. And then you can plant the recovered "ammunition" and show how they can still do what seeds are meant to. If Guy Ritchie had been asked to film a GCSE biology module this is what it might have looked like. Except Vinnie Jones would have been wielding the shotgun, obviously.

Low property prices are the key to recovery in the rental market

Buy-to-let booms despite faltering property market

Investing in houses and flats to rent is on its way back according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Harlequin ladybird: First seen in the UK in 2004, the harlequin is now the most populous species of ladybird. It feasts on aphids, other ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies. It is rapidly spreading across the country

Invading cannibal ladybirds take over Britain's homes

Asian interlopers devour native insect populations and exude chemical that could ruin your curtains

Female Golden Orb Weaver spider in web

Well, it worked for Peter Parker: genetic scientists unleash power of the spider web

Breakthrough may pave way for new biomaterials that could be used in medicine and engineering

Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria This yellow star is normally the first spring flower (snowdrops being winter flowers) and normally appears in early March, but parts of December were so mild that it was flowering in the west country

The year of strange weather

From a baking-hot spring to a chilly summer, 2011 played havoc with our plans, our wardrobes – and our native wildlife.

Gold: Prices have soared as the economic crisis rumbles on. The current price is £1,029.20 an ounce

Who'd be a wise man? Gold's gone through the roof, frankincense is 'doomed', and as for myrrh...

They journeyed from the East to pay homage to the boy king bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But they would struggle to complete the feat today. Times for wise men have never been tougher. Gold prices are soaring on commodity markets, myrrh crops have been hit by drought – and now frankincense could soon be no more.

DVD: The Killing II (15)

She's back, sporting a new red jumper and tasked with solving another gruesome crime.

DVD: The Killing II (15)

She's back, sporting a new red jumper and tasked with solving another gruesome crime.

The end of that buttercup myth

Scientists have discovered why buttercups glow yellow under people's chins – and it has nothing to do with liking butter.

Sarah Hall celebrates the untamed freedom of the runaway horse

The Beautiful Indifference, By Sarah Hall

I'm nervous just writing the title of one of the stories in Sarah Hall's collection – "She Murdered Mortal He" – for fear of music copyright lawyers breathing down my neck. But they should breathe down Hall's first. Knowing my luck and ignorance, this could be the moment I'll discover that Bob Dylan didn't coin the phrase and instead lifted it from, inevitably, either Shakespeare or the Bible.

Great Works: Single Lily with Red, 1928 (30.5cm x 15.9cm), Georgia O'Keeffe

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Government cuts a threat to butterflies

The continuing survival of Britain's most-threatened butterflies has been put at risk by swingeing government cuts, conservationists are warning.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: The loveliest living creature

What's Britain's most beautiful creature? Many people would name a bird: the kingfisher springs to mind at once, and there'd be a raft of other candidates from the goldfinch to the roseate tern, all plausible. Some might name a mammal: I can see how the pine marten might have its supporters, all sleek deadly elegance in fur; and the common dolphin, with that great pale stripe along its side, is a heartstopping animal when you see it surging around your boat. But I'm going to name an insect.

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Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
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Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness