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.

Learn Spanish with The Independent - Beginner

Cactus’ Language Minis is a Spanish podcast series, developed to offer easy learning on the go. It consists of seven levels, each with 10 downloadable podcast lessons and PDF workbooks, which take you from beginner through to advanced level. The Language Minis series is designed to help you increase your understanding of the Spanish language and equip you with language skills for use in everyday situations.

The Week In Radio: From female fascists to Jane Austen's iPod

Like the great white shark in Jaws that bobs up from nowhere, so P D James rose from apparently calm waters to devour an unwitting Mark Thompson. Did the Director General even see what was coming as the baroness sliced lethally through his arguments on the subject of BBC salaries and the need for the head of paperclips to earn £300,000? Either way, James's boat-rocking interview was a signal that this is going to be an important year for the corporation. An election is coming, and there is an Opposition with definite ideas about the BBC's future. So where better to start the debate than with programmes that truly justify the licence fee?

First the iPod, then the iPhone. So is Apple about to launch iSlate?

So where next for Apple, the company that has for 11 years turned everything it touches into gold? After revolutionising the music and mobile phone industries, it has returned to its roots with a piece of kit that it hopes will redefine computing.

Short stories aim to woo the iPod generation

Website aims to rekindle interest in classic works by giants of European literature

Bollywood podcast: Amitabh Bachchan

It's been great setting out on this new adventure with The Independent to bring you some of the biggest Bollywood stars for the last couple of months. As 2009 (and the decade!) draws to a close, I've lined up a couple of real treats.

Bollywood podcast: Saif Ali Khan

In my last podcast, you heard my interview with Kareena Kapoor. Picking up where we left off and having now seen the movie Kurbaan, which is one of the most powerful, thought-provoking, slickest and intense pieces of cinema I've seen this year, this week, you can hear my interview with Saif Ali Khan - the movie's protagonist, Kareena's real life partner and general Bollywood idol.

The Independent launches Spanish language learning podcasts

The Independent has launched a new language-learning series of podcasts to help users brush on their Spanish.

Moments in Medicine podcast: The 500-year old medicine chest

In this edition of Moments in Medicine, reporter Dylan Winter joins Rear Admiral John Lippiet and Andy Elkerton from the Mary Rose Trust in Portsmouth to investigate a 500 year old medicine chest.

ENO podcast: Duke Bluebeard's Castle and The Rite of Spring

Edward Seckerson talks to Duke Bluebeard's Castle director Daniel Kramer, The Rite of Spring director/choregrapher Michael Keegan-Dolan, and conductor Edward Gardner

Bollywood podcast: Akshay Kumar & Ajay Devgan

Hello again - don't worry, I haven't disappeared off the face of the Earth or anything, everyone's allowed to take a couple of days off to celebrate the misery of getting a year older aren't they?

Apple cashes in as millions buy iPhones

Apple said its net income rose 47 per cent in the most recent quarter as more people bought Mac computers and gave in to the iPhone craze.

Moments in Medicine podcast: Forensics - the real life CSI

In the second in our series of podcasts from Oxford Brookes University, Lizz Pearson investigates the origins of modern forensic medicine.

Amazon tie-up considered in library service revamp

DVD-style home deliveries and tie-ups with internet firms such as Amazon could be the answer to ensure the future of libraries for the iPod generation, Culture Minister Margaret Hodge said today.

Bollywood podcast: Govinda, Do Knot Disturb

It's a Bollywood double whammy this week - not surprising since Diwali's on the way; there's always an abundance of releases around this time.

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Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'