News

Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Video of RHex the 'Parkour Robot' is magnificent, idiotic

Latest iteration of the beloved hexapod shows off a new slimmer figure and some 'parkour' moves

Lukas Podolski of Arsenal FC is dressed as Samurai Warrior in the Urawa Royal Pines Hotel in Japan

Video: Lukas Podolski starts a new craze among the Arsenal squad with the "ah haa" set to bring some magic to the Emirates

German forward is known for his sense of humour and this latest video compiles the best impersonations of his latest saying

Dragon’s den: John van der Put and Mr Piffles are a deadpan double act

Edinburgh Festival: Piff the Magic Dragon and the lunatic Fringe

Unlikely magician Piff the Magic Dragon is set to fire up this year's Edinburgh Festival. Brian Logan meets him and his lovely chihuahua assistant

Album review: Rolling Stones, Hyde Park Live (Polydor)

While acknowledging that there must be omissions when the two sets of the Stones' Hyde Park shows are condensed down into one manageable download album package, I'm frustrated that so many of my favourites have been cut in favour of a more populist sequence. But there's no denying the power of a set stuffed with riffs like “Honky Tonk Women”, “Brown Sugar” and “Jumpin' Jack Flash”, played with that inimitable loose/tight dialectic that characterises the Stones at their best. And it's worth it for “Paint It Black” alone.

A view of the Olympic Stadium

You can doubt concrete parts of the Olympic legacy, but there's no questioning its spirit

A run around the Olympic Stadium offers hope for the future

Arthur Williams: Paralympic events can only get bigger and better

The Games were  the time of our lives,  magical. People just couldn’t get enough of it

Olympic volunteers pose in front of the National Gallery before the victory parade

Volunteer numbers receive Olympic boost

The steady decline in Britain’s volunteer culture was dramatically halted by the Olympic and Paralympic Games as thousands both formally and informally offered to help others for the first time, an official review has revealed.

Book review: Sketcher, By Roland Watson-Grant

The swamps to the east of New Orleans are an exciting place for a boy. Nine-year-old Terence "Skid" Beaumont is the youngest of four brothers. His father, Alrick, decided to build a shack here, prompted by a vision after a drunken bender. He was convinced he was set to make a killing from his property speculation, because New Orleans was bound to expand over the mire. That never happened and so the Beaumonts are stuck in the mud.

The Pet Shop Boys perform during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games

Album review: Pet Shop Boys, Electric (x2)

Album of the week: Good-time grooves that will electrify the dancefloor

Top five law firms in pay bonanza despite flat profits

Top partners at the country’s five most prestigious law firms have shared in a £2.2 billion pay jackpot, according to new research, as Freshfields and Linklaters unveiled contrasting annual results today.

Castleford 30 Hull 28: Ben Crooks haul fails to clinch thrilling contest as Castleford edge Hull

The name Crooks is a celebrated one at these two clubs, thanks to the exploits for both of the former Great Britain prop, Lee Crooks.

Paperback review: The Daylight Gate, By Jeanette Winterson

Winterson's novella reconstructs the pursuit of the "Pendle witches" in 1612.

Jonny Wilkinson 'falls into the elite category of rugby players'

The 10 Best children's activity books

As half-term hovers into view, make sure you have one of these secret weapons on hand to beat boredom

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?