Arts and Entertainment

There comes a point, usually in the dead of winter, when one is forced to look further afield for one's listening, preferably to a place where the presenters don't sound as though they have lost the will to live or, conversely, as if they are trying to batter you to death with their joie de vivre.

Trending: Headphones 1, Speakers 0

The days of sitting around the record player have fallen further into history, alongside fireside story-telling, as more music listeners seek solo aural satisfaction. Sales of headphones now outstrip those of speakers by almost two to one, according to the analysts, GfK, and Asda.

Trending: Mac addicts looking for a fruity partner? There's an app for that

Some of us meet our partners in boozy bars, others come together over art or books – and some, this St Valentine's Day, will be drawn, magnet-like, to their future bit of stuff's electronic device.

Album: Speech Debelle, Freedom of Speech (Big Dada)

Speech Debelle was already being written off as a bad joke within hours of winning the Mercury Prize, filed alongside Gomez, Roni Size and Antony and the Johnsons as an example of the career-ending curse of that particular gong.

Body Pods: Art from the heart of science

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, many people's thoughts are turning to matters of the heart. So it's timely that the performance poet Francesca Beard and the micro-valve surgeon Dr David Hildick-Smith got together to launch the Body Pod The Heart today. This is the second in a new series of podcasts that focus on different parts of the body, made by an artist in collaboration with a scientist.

One Minute With: Lisa Appignanesi, cultural historian

Where are you now and what can you see?

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past, By Simon Reynolds

Pop, deprived of fresh meat, feeds on itself

Independent podcast: Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor and David Wood's musicalisation of L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between for the West Yorkshire Playhouse marks a further departure in the development of that many-faceted genre we call musical theatre.

The PROBIZ Football Podcast: Premier League special with Ian Herbert and Ron Atkinson

Welcome to The PROBIZ Football Podcast – a one off special for The Independent looking ahead to the new Premier League season.

Andrew Martin: A couple of units is never enough

The guidelines on safe alcohol consumption are to be reviewed by the Science and Technology Committee of MPs. Now alcohol consumption is an area in which I have considerable experience – you might almost say it was a speciality of mine – and so I therefore presume to offer some advice to the Members concerned.

iDrive: Hyundai i10 Blue - iDrive

Price: £9,195

Engine capacity: 998cc three cylinder

Power output (PS@rpm): 68 @ 62000

Top speed (mph): 93

0-62 mph (seconds): 14.8

Fuel economy (mpg): 67.3 (combined)

CO2 emissions (g/km): 99

Gove plans disciplinary spot-checks

Inspectors will be able to drop in on schools "on spec" after claims that heads send home disruptive pupils and poor teachers on scheduled inspection days.

A Day That Shook The World: iPod released

On 23 October 2001, the music industry was revolutionised forever with the release of the Apple iPod.

Mick Potter questions Super League licence process

Bradford Bulls head coach Mick Potter has questioned the validity of the Super League licence process in the week when the Championship hopefuls find out their fate.

Music & Me: Breakage

Breakage (James Boyle to his mum) drops the kind of bass heavy D’n’B meets breaks beats that hits you square in the chest. This producer du jour’s tracks have now been voted “Hottest Record in the World” five times in a row by Zane Lowe. He took time out from hitting chests and wooing Lowes to answer a few of our questions...

Castleford Tigers captain Ryan Hudson bemoans poor atmosphere at Magic Weekend

Castleford Tigers captain Ryan Hudson is still to be convinced as to the merit of moving Magic weekend to the start of the season.

Sport
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?