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.

One Minute With: Lisa Appignanesi, cultural historian

Where are you now and what can you see?

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.

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.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game