Life and Style
 

Waterproofing your wardrobe with practical, yet luxurious, purchases is a wise investment, says Emma Akbareian

How Bin Laden 'planned to give al-Qa'ida an image makeover'

Osama bin Laden, holed-up in his Pakistan hideaway, contemplated changing the name of al-Qa’ida in order to rebrand the organisation and make it more attractive to potential recruits, according to documents recovered from his compound.

The Watts Gallery: A fitting makeover for a Victorian hero

TheWatts Gallery was neglected and shabby. Now a £11.5m refit has restored its former glory, says Virginia Ironside

Ready To Wear: A lesson in how to wear palazzo pants without stilts

The trouser shape of the season is the palazzo – so wide legged it might reasonably be described as billowy and so long the best way to wear it is possibly on stilts.

Linda Barker's bedroom makeover

The interior designer of BBC series Changing Rooms fame walks you through a few simple ways of transforming a drab room into a luxurious sleeping space.

Feelunique's profits makeover

Europe's largest online beauty products retailer, Feelunique, will reveal a 50 per cent rise in 2010-11 turnover this week.

Exiles given 'X Factor' makeover as fans pick team

If fans find themselves uninspired by the Exiles team that takes the field against England in June, they will have themselves to blame. The side that will be on duty at Headingley for the inaugural International Origin Match will be selected from the best overseas players in Super League partly by supporters' votes.

Burmese junta officially dissolved

Burma's junta was officially dissolved today after a swearing-in ceremony to appoint the country's so-called civilian government.

Elbow, SECC, Glasgow

"Do you like what we've done with the place?" asked Elbow's singer Guy Garvey, nodding towards the catwalk jutting into the middle of the hall. "It's like we've won the pools and had a conservatory built." There can be few more modest bands to have appeared on a stage of this size, but now, approaching their 20th anniversary together in June, Elbow are an arena band. And believe it or not, they're better than most at the job.

Ireland agree to 'makeover' before England match

Ireland's World Cup cricketers have agreed to undergo a charity makeover ahead of tomorrow's group match with England.

Robinson calls for fast start for Scotland

Perhaps Andy Robinson is taking a leaf out of the Welsh song book. A fortnight ago Warren Gatland and his players headed off to Murrayfield with "Under Pressure" blaring over the stereo system.

Album: Anthony David, As Above So Below (Dome)

Anthony David is apparently the Obamas' favourite nu-soul dude – and it's not hard to see why, given his espousal of core 1970s social-conscious soul values, particularly the "on-message" reference in "Reach Ya" to "hoping we get healthcare rights, so she won't be a victim".

Deborah Ross: There's a high price tag on the gift of beauty

If you ask me...

The Independent's charity auction raises £65,000

There's a sensational selection of treats, treasures and unique experiences up for grabs in our annual charity sale. John Walsh wields his gavel and introduces the lots

Noël's house party: A home that has never seen tinsel is given a last-minute festive makeover

Getting your home ready for Christmas is about the little touches – those are the things that will help to make guests feel welcome," says Sarah Dare, from the seasonal-events department at Peter Jones, part of the John Lewis chain. "And it doesn't have to take much time." Well, that's good, because it's Christmas week – and my home looks like Scrooge's grotto.

Album: The Puppini Sisters, Christmas with...(Verve)

On which the Puppinis – a sort of 21st-century take on the Andrews Sisters, minus the real-world sibling connection – apply a 1940s polka-dots-and-baubles makeover to the predictable ("Let it Snow") and the unpromising ("Last Christmas").

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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
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
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?