When was the last time you had a first time.....?

Kiev riot police surround a protest rally this week. President Yanukovych says BBC Panorama's 'Stadiums of Hate' was a gross exaggeration

Racism, fear and loathing in this glorious capital city

Metal fences and riot police fill the streets of Kiev on the eve of a supposed football festival

Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic

Sandor can't decide whether to protect drippy Sansa or disembowel her. I vote for the latter

Civilization, By Niall Ferguson

Europe’s journey from medieval civilisers to today’s idlers

Bird's-eye shots show stunning Britain

In a year that marks a celebration of Britain, one photographer has taken to the skies to offer a different perspective on world-famous landmarks including Trafalgar Square, The Angel of the North and Stonehenge.

Observations: The trebuchet: the best way to get in touch with the past

The artist Matt Baker and partner TS Beall have devised one of the most attention-grabbing events in this year's Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. Today, an afternoon community experiment entitled "Nothing about Us without Us Is for Us" will see various local groups and organisations attempt to communicate from one side of the river to the other using medieval methods.

Early books reveal sleepy readers' fear of illness

Researchers at St Andrews University have learnt about the lifestyle of medieval people through their reading habits by analysing well-thumbed book pages.

Dante's Divine Comedy too hot for school use

Dante's Divine Comedy, arguably the most famous work in Italian literature, is too politically incorrect for undiluted consumption in schools, a group of academics has claimed.

Notre Dame cathedral in Paris has had its bells replaced temporarily with a recording

The bells, the bells...! Why Notre Dame is ringing the changes

Paris has echoed to a discordant tune since the medieval bells of Notre Dame were melted down for cannons during the French Revolution. But now the original peals are to be restored, reports John Lichfield

The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, By Faramerz Dabhoiwala

In the 1970s, you could hardly open a magazine or pass a billboard without seeing the advertisement for Virginia Slims cigarettes that said, "You've come a long way, baby." It usually featured a flowing-haired, liberated modern woman alongside some drudge of a generation or two earlier, pegging out laundry. The implication (as well as that smoking was good for you) was that women had revolutionised their lives in unprecedented ways over a few decades, and that a great broad path of such freedoms still lay ahead, along with some fab new haircuts.

Rogelio Hernandez: Voice actor who dubbed more than 1,000 films

For over a half a century and for tens of millions of Spaniards the grainy baritone voice of the actor and film dubber Rogelio Hernandez was indistinguishable from those of some of Hollywood's greatest stars, from Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis to Richard Harris and Cary Grant.

'Marigliano is a town of the living dead', so said the mother of 21-year-old Andrea Capasso, who died of cancer. Here, Andrea's best friend Amodio is held up by his friend Pasquale,
as he shares in a last smoke by Andrea's grave following a tearful funeral

Triangle of death: Surge in cancer cases in Italy linked to illegal dumping of toxic waste

The Ancient Romans called this region Campania felix, "happy Campania", and you can still just about see why. Once it was an earthly paradise: the aquamarine Tyrrhenian Sea full of fish, the bulk of Vesuvius to the south, which menaced destruction but was also responsible for the immense fertility of the soil.

Album: 1982 (Nils Okland, Sigborn Apeland, Oyvind Skarbo) Pintura, (Hubro)

This extraordinary album of chamber-style improvisations by the Norwegian trio of Okland (violin/Hardanger fiddle), Apeland (harmonium/Wurlitzer) and Skarbo (drums) lasts a little over half an hour and casts a very powerful spell.

Da Vinci's Ghost, By Toby Lester

Surely not another book about Leonardo! Can there really be space for it? Yes, because this one is more than the description of a great drawing, the so-called "Vitruvian Man", executed in 1490. It demonstrates, with skill and lightly worn erudition, how Leonardo, aged 38, came to make his drawing of the naked human body of a spread-eagled, mature young man (which may be a rare self-portrait of the artist) set within a circle and a square.

Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural

Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event formed the image on the Turin Shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'