Extras

As the temperatures dip, the birds need our help. We round-up the most innovative (and occasionally bonkers) feeders and houses for our feathered friends

Ai Weiwei became the loudest arts story of the year and an internationally recognised symbol for China

Ten people who changed the world: Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist became a truly global force

Whether in the cut-throat field of politics or the fashion industry's corridors of power, this year they left our planet a better place. Celebrate 10 of the best, nominated by Independent writers

Professional grump: Rooney in 1978 at the desk from which he delivered his televised diatribe

Andy Rooney: Writer who found fame with his grumbles about modern life on CBS

Every American age has had its licenced curmudgeon. A century ago Mark Twain filled that role, then came Will Rogers and HL Mencken. The latest of that line was Andy Rooney, whose pungent television commentaries about life's myriad petty irritations made him a national institution.

Light fantastic

Chris Levine made his name with a hologram of the Queen. Now he has rock royalty queuing up at his studio. Charlotte Cripps meets the laser artist

Chris Levine: Light fantastic

Chris Levine made his name when he created a hologram portrait of the Queen. Now he has rock royalty queuing up at his studio. Charlotte Cripps meets the laser artist

Roman Opalka: Polish-French conceptual artist who explored the passing of time in an extraordinary series of canvases

The Polish-French conceptual artist Roman Opalka was best-known for his attempt to reflect and define the progression of time through his series of acrylic paintings of numerals titled Opalka: 1965/1-oo (one to infinity).

Tony Cragg, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Works by Tony Cragg may adorn many a company atrium, but that doesn't mean he has sold out

Von Ribbentrop in St Ives, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge

Andrew Lanyon plays with his viewers in a show that gleefully sacrifices accuracy to imagination

Orpheus: The Song of Life, By Ann Wroe

Lyric poetry is poetry sung to a lyre; the figure of Orpheus embodies it. So what does his myth tell us about how lyric poetry connects to life and what poetry offers modern lives today? Orpheus emerged from a culture intensely aware of its own communality. Ancient Greeks wove into their poetry and philosophy what it means, politically and imaginatively, that different people play different roles in society. "Music", which meant poetry as well as melody, symbolised the way many different elements combined to make harmonia. Harmonia - from harmottein, "to join or fit together" - was an important concept in moral philosophy and medicine as well as music. It was the taut balance of different forces in one body, either our own bodies or the body politic.

At home with Betty Jackson

The iconic fashion designer shares interior tips, colour advice and a few home truths with Annie Deakin.

Beautiful and damned

The rich and famous of 1920s era Hollywood appeared to have it all - but artist Pam Glew's new exhibition examines the curse of the seemingly blessed

Cultural Life: Tim Minchin, comedian

Books: Christopher Hitchens's autobiography, 'Hitch 22', is a poignant read, and very interesting because I have a very poor knowledge of recent political history – or for that matter distant political history. I'm also reading 'Jasper Jones' by Craig Silvey, about an Aboriginal kid and a white kid who find a dead woman, hanging from a rope. I was completely sucked in.

Sport on TV: Olympic pastiche ticks all the boxes in race against time

One of the dilemmas of writing a topical comedy must be that your script can be overtaken by events. The makers of a new sitcom about the London Olympics, Twenty Twelve (BBC4, Monday) might have been bemused by the apparent ability of Locog, the real organising committee, to deliver on time and on budget. Not many laughs there.

Nancy Spero: Shocks to the system

Spero spent six decades 'making the personal political' with her feminist artworks, yet recognition came late. Arifa Akbar argues that the Serpentine Gallery's retrospective is a timely tribute to her talent

The Secret History Of: The Arco light

By Kate Watson-Smyth

Christie's uncovered: Anatomy of an auction

we all know how an auction ends – with a crash of gavel, a depleted wallet and a dented ego or two – but how do they begin? Christie's auction room in London's St James's has seen more action than most. It has been in use since 1823 and the blockbuster Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale on Wednesday will be one of its busiest of the year. Dealers and collectors from all around the world will be donning their smartest suits and gathering to bid on landmark paintings by Monet, Picasso and Degas, spending millions during a frantic and dramatic evening. But this is merely the public climax to a project that is three months in the making. Long before a painting reaches the rostrum, it has to be sourced by Christie's multinational team headed by Giovanna Bertazzoni and Olivier Camu, and its owners persuaded to sell. Potential buyers across the globe are alerted. Paintings are restored, reframed, studied and valued. And throughout, the team must balance their visceral love of the art and the calculating demands of the market.

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The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
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Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
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Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
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Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
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The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
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newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
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Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
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Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links