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.

British train fares are highest in world, but London slips down priciest cities list

Just in case hard-pressed travellers in this country were in any doubt, economists at UBS have confirmed that Britain has the highest railway fares in the world. Launching their latest review of prices and earnings across the world, including the so-called "Big Mac" index, the researchers say that a 125-mile train trip from, say, Liverpool to London costs £54.39 second class, with the equivalent journey in Germany, the next most expensive nation, costing £40.41. Fares in France and Italy are about half the British level.

Zune HD - finally a real iPod challenger?

There are plenty of unanswered questions around the final price capacity and spec for Microsoft's rather lusty Zune HD (according to the rumour mill MS are likely to launch both 16Gb and 32Gb versions), but if early geek blog reviews are anything to go by, Microsoft could finally have an iPod challenger.

Microsoft prices Zune HD below iPod

Microsoft Corp put its new Zune HD digital music and video player on sale in the US on Thursday, pricing it below comparable Apple iPod devices, in an attempt to claw some market share away from the dominant leader.

Podcast: The adventures of Mr Broucek

Edward Seckerson talks to John Fulljames about his staging of Janacek's 'The adventures of Mr Broucek' for Opera North.

Pimping your iPod

So you've splashed out on a shiny new iPod Touch. It's a real stunner, brimming with bells and whistles.

Podcast: Nigel Richards - A Shining Truth

Nigel Richards talks to Ed Seckerson and introduces excerpts from his new album 'A Shining Truth' - 14 previously unrecorded songs from the best and bravest of contemporary musical theatre composers. Among them is Adam Guettel - whose Floyd Collins Richards originated in London at the Bridewell Theatre - Michael John LaChiusa, and rising star Conor Mitchell. The album is, in Richards' own words, "A love-letter to great and authentic writing".

Mobile gadgets threaten in-flight entertainment

Airlines around the world now spend millions of dollars annually upgrading their inflight entertainment systems, but iPods and other mobile entertainment gadgets could render all that useless.

Laura Dockrill: A poet for the iPod generation

Laura Dockrill, aka Dockers MC, is a poet on a mission to spread the spoken word, playing gigs with Kate Nash and headlining festivals along the way. Ian Burrell meets her

Glyndebourne podcast: Dvorák's Rusalka

Melly Still, Director, and singers Ana Mara Martnez, and her on-stage Prince, Brandon Jovanovich, discuss the new Festival production of Dvorák's Rusalka with Edward Seckerson.

Walkman turns 30 as Sony struggles against MP3 rivals

When the Sony Walkman went on sale 30 years ago, it was shown off by a skateboarder to illustrate how the portable cassette-tape player delivered music on-the-go - a totally innovative idea back in 1979.

Andrew Buncombe: If it's broke, let a handyman fix it

Delhi Notebook

ENO podcast: L'amour de loin

You can now taste rice and peas in a pod

A new BBC podcast highlights the black diaspora across Britain, reports Ian Burrell
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us