News

Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Book of a Lifetime: Love Medicine, By Louise Erdrich

In 1986, my husband and I went to Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands for Christmas. We ate ice cream under palm trees and swam with exotic fish. But then the weather turned stormy. I passed the rainy days on the lanai, lying in a hammock, reading books, and looking for inspiration. I was a beginning fiction writer and had written a total of three short stories, each with its own first-person voice. I had wrestled with the idea of revising the stories so that they belonged to one family and were told by one voice. But the storylines made that impossible.

Danny Alexander’s father Di takes aim at ‘bedroom tax’

The father of Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has launched a scathing attack on the “bedroom tax” in the annual report of a Scottish housing association.

Paperback review: Forest of a Thousand Daemons, By D O Fagunwa (Trs by Wole soyinka)

First published in Nigeria in 1939,  D O Fagunwa’s Forest of a Thousand Daemons is a treasure of world literature: it was one of the first African novels, and the first to be written in the Yoruba language. It tells of Akara-ogun, a legendary hunter; he battles shape-shifting “ghommids”, marries an enchantress and carries out “gory assignments” at the behest of a giant ostrich.

The help desk: My children are addicted to computers - should I restrict their time online?

Q. I have a son aged 12 and a daughter of 14. I'm devoted to both of them but I'm becoming extremely frustrated by their addiction to computers. My 14-year-old daughter in particular seems almost obsessed and this is a cause of quite a lot of conflict in our house. I restrict her time on the internet (including iPhones) to an hour a day (half-an-hour for my son), but they're resentful and always trying to get around it, and it's getting more and more difficult to police.

Green heaven: Most of Asia is a paradise for vegetarians, but that’s not the case everywhere

Chris Caldicott: A few magic words that could save a vegetarian traveller's bacon

"Ana natbateeyah", "Watashi wa nikku-o tabemasen", "Ich bin Vegetarier"...

Broken Homes, By Ben Aaronovitch. Gollancz, £14.99

London is, like all cities, made up of layer upon layer of story, and not all of those stories are about the real and mundane. The Matter of London has for a long time been a staple of the literature of the fantastic. Among the hipsters and banksters, the rich and the poor, it is a city where shamans and wizards seem plausibly our neighbours.

Labour has asked the Government’s independent tax and spending watchdog to audit its 2015 election manifesto

Labour Party conference: Ed Balls pledges 25 hours' free childcare for working parents

Shadow Chancellor said he would expand childcare by raising extra £800m from Government’s levy on banks

Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work as 'f***ing people over for money'

A trainee with City law firm Clifford Chance faces the sack after a video has emerged of him drunk and describing his work as “f***ing people over for money”.

Five-minute memoir: Annabel Markova recalls the day her mum cast a spell on her

A knotty legal dispute is resolved in the unlikeliest of ways for the author

Twitter users can now share looped video clips of six seconds' length using the comapny's standalone iPhone app, Vine

Will Vine and video kill the snapshot?

Are we done with the snapshot? Following an Independent report on Vine last week (the 'six-second video app that is reinventing film') Slate's Farhad Manjoo believes so. The thesis runs like this: if we've got the technology to take video - and transmit it at high speed - then the need for actually-not-moving-at-all photography is pretty much null and void.

Audio: Caught in the Net

Listen to the tracks mentioned in Caught in the Net below:

The future according to Microsoft: the Magic Window revolutionizes video chat

<b>David Phelan</b> has an exclusive peek behind the scenes at Microsoft’s research and development facilities – here’s his first report

Review: Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4), By Ben Aaronovitch

Magic is like gravity, even in Southwark

Goat: Secretive Swedes go global

Goat: Secretive Swedes go global

Daft Punk may be the most successful act since Kiss to make an impact while disguising their identities, but they are not alone. A psychedelic outfit claiming to hail from the backwoods of Sweden have been causing a stir while hiding behind ritualistic masks, and telling an unlikely backstory.

Album: The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars (Columbia)

The story so far: man meets woman and the pair soon discover that their singing voices have more chemistry than a science lab.

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Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
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Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
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Day In a Page

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
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone