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Drawings from the Codex Atlanticus were used by a Polish pianist to resurrect the 'mythical' instrument

CENTREFOLD / Elvis, wart and all: South Bank's shrine to the King

'The King' may be long dead but his legend lingers on, not least in the work of artist Joni Mabe, whose installation 'Everything Elvis' hits London tomorrow. What Mabe calls her 'travelling panoramic encyclopedia of Elvis' is an attempt by the artist to capture the essence of the shy country boy from Tupelo by juxtaposing a bizarre collection of objects. The walls of the Royal Festival Hall will be covered with Elvis trivia - photographs, posters, badges and clothing related to his life and the culture which it inspired. Here are the things which truly touched Elvis's powerful aesthetic awareness: personalised car number plates, medallions and paintings on velvet. Pride of place, though, is reserved for Mabe's prized personal possessions: water from Elvis's pool, mud from his garden, a vial of his sweat and one of his warts. Welcome to the shrine of St Elvis.

Silly Questions: A tongue-twister for Americans

WHY do Americans pronounce 'squirrel' as a monosyllable? According to R J Pickles: 'It is the result of a genetic speech defect where the tongue, when rolling a double 'r' in anticipation of the 'e', goes into a spasm which can only be relieved by the pronunciation of an 'l'. It has led to the grammatical rule in America that a double 'r' negates the following 'e' before an 'l'.'

BOOK REVIEW / A triumphant journey for madmen: 'Resurrection at Sorrow Hill' - Wilson Harris: Faber, 14.99

EVER SINCE the appearance of his first novel, Palace of the Peacock, in 1960, Wilson Harris, born in Guyana but long resident in London, has been acknowledged as a true original. Philosophy, criticism and fiction may seem unlikely occupations for a qualified land surveyor, but work expeditions into the awesome rainforest of the Guianas in the 1940s and '50s provided inspiration for many of his novels, including the latest, Resurrection at Sorrow Hill, and the newly reissued The Carnival Trilogy (Faber pounds 9.99).

Michelangelo sells for record pounds 4.18m

ALL EYES were on one man in Christie's London saleroom yesterday as a Michelangelo drawing sold for pounds 4.18m, the highest auction price for any Old Master drawing. That man was George Goldner, curator of the Getty Museum in California, United States, the world's richest museum, which was widely expected to buy it, writes Dalya Alberge.

Fertiliser island scents musical success: First Night: Leonardo

ART HISTORIANS in the audience may have felt queasy midway through Act One when Leonardo da Vinci slapped the Mona Lisa on the bum, and asked her to 'help me with my research'.

BOOK REVIEW / No meat, high moral fibre: The Heretic's Feast: A History of Vegetarianism - Colin Spencer: 4th Estate, pounds 20

THE EARLIEST recorded jokes at the expense of vegetarians appear to date from the fourth and third centuries BC, according to Colin Spencer in this meticulously researched book. The followers of Pythagoras and his doctrine of asceticism inspired Antiphanes and Alexis and other Greek writers of comedy to much sarcastic banter about their strange dietary habits. Alexis, in Men of Tarentum, observed that the Pythagoreans 'are the only ones who drink no wine'. There are people today who believe that vegetarianism is synonymous with teetotalism. Some myths never seem to vanish.

Silly Question: The right leg wins yet again

SOME weeks ago, we questioned whether anti-clockwise races favoured athletes with longer right legs. Ian Selbourne has added significantly to the theory by pointing out that in one 400-metre lap, the right leg would travel nearly 63 centimetres more than the left.

Food and Drink: Pythagoras, Da Vinci, Hitler and Colin Spencer: The heretic's path to truth is lined with vegetables. Robert Tewdwr Moss went to lunch with the latest in a line of nonconformist eaters and thinkers

'I'M NOT strictly a vegetarian,' says Colin Spencer as we drive very slowly along a dirt track towards his house in Tunstall Forest, Suffolk. 'I do eat fish and game.' He is not quite a vegetarian who has written the first history of vegetarianism, just as he is not quite a homosexual who is now writing a history of homosexuality. Despite espousing various tenets about animal rights, Spencer is splendidly politically incorrect.

THEATRE / Love, Lennie da Vinci and me: Financed by a Pacific island, created by a maverick businessman, scored by the singer of 'Concrete & Clay', Leonardo is an unlikely addition to musical showbiz history. Sabine Durrant reports

LEONARDO - A Portrait of Love may be the first musical to be financed by seagull droppings. The show, about a love affair between Leonardo da Vinci and the Mona Lisa, previewed in Oxford last year before a small group of invited dignitaries - Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh's brother, Robert, a party of 10 from Debenhams, and a delegation from the Pacific island of Nauru. The President of Nauru, the Minister for Finance, the President's Special Adviser and their wives were particularly enthusiastic. Many were moved to tears. The Naurean President liked it, but then he'd already bought the company.

BOOK REVIEW / Last ripeness of the Renaissance: 'Leonardo da Vinci: The Artist and the Man' - Serge Bramly: Michael Joseph, 25 pounds

LEONARDO DA VINCI was cursed with abilities, but we need not envy him. Think of his restlessness as, twanging the strings of the intricate lyre he has designed, he worries whether to get on with his flying machine or his treatise on the behaviour of water, or those plans for a two-tier city; or, reluctantly, that painting over there, the one thing most likely to bring in the money.

MUSIC / Broadening the mind: Musica Transalpina - Almeida Theatre

'M usica Transalpina' ('Music from across the Alps'), originally the title of an English anthology of Italian madrigals, acquired new shades of meaning at the Almeida Opera Festival's two Thursday evening concerts. In the first, the intriguingly named I Fagiolini ('The Kidney Beans', apparently an undergraduate joke that stuck) gave an interestingly selected and well-balanced programme of mostly German and Italian secular vocal pieces, which showed how trans-Alpine influences worked in both directions during the 16th and 17th centuries.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
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Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game