Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

People want to know: has Jarvis got a brand new bag?

Retro-chic sex idol Jarvis Cocker made perhaps his most complex image statement yet when he was spotted backstage at a Blur gig with a little strappy oblong number draped over his arm. A handbag? So it would seem, but Jarvis's people are denying all knowledge. "Are you sure you don't mean his satchel?" asked his PR representative. The Melody Maker news desk were none the wiser, but helpfully suggested that the phantom handbag might contain Michael Jackson's home phone number.

Competition puzzles

Perplexity

Hidden danger of the pet lizard in the living room

Doctors are warning people of the dangers of keeping reptiles as pets, after a baby girl developed meningitis following contact with a lizard.

Don't mention the J-word

Meet John Lurie, Bill Frisell, Henry Threadgill - jazzmen for whom jazz is a four-letter word. They constitute 'Sharp New America', says Phil Johnson

Pet City poised to be the lizard kings

CITY TALK

Getting out of my skull in the den of the ju-ju man

LAGOS DAYS

Thumper, Sally and Chipmunk come to market

NIGEL COPE

Men take lizard's way out when emotions run high

Eric Cantona's outburst is evidence that the difference between the sex es extends to the brain, writes Steve Connor

I saw eternity, and it's dying

I saw a salamander the other night. This is, I believe, like seeing eternity. I had heard that they are common in the Dordogne, yet in 23 years here I've never seen one before.

William Donaldson's Week: Stuff Ibiza, I'm off to the Algarve

I'M IN THE Algarve (a four-ball later with the Patersons from Sandwich, a rubber of bridge thereafter) and this may surprise you, since you thought I was in Ibiza for Radio 4.

Reptile ring

CUSTOMS officers broke an international ring dealing in exotic animals when they found more than 100 reptiles including lizards and baby alligators in a shed in Cardiff. Two men were being questioned.

Scientists warm to dinosaur theory

STEVEN SPIELBERG was right to depict Tyrannosaurus rex running around in the rain trying to gobble up the heroes of Jurassic Park. The dinosaur was warm- blooded enough to perform aerobic exercise in cold weather, scientists have discovered, writes Steve Connor.

Don't mind if I do: How do you feel when you get carried off by a large pterodactyl? Nick Pemberton found it all too real for his liking. Well, virtually

Virtual reality will change how we perceive the world, free our imagination and refresh the parts that its quotidian counterpart cannot reach.
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A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935