Voices

For do-gooders the world over it's a familiar problem. How do you make charity, or in this case corporate responsibility, appeal to a wide audience with a short attention span?

Earthworm Jim to the rescue - Retrospect

Hope lives on among fans that the franchise will be revived but perhaps it's better not to go back – even today the first two Earthworm Jim games are jewels of the genre, always there to pick you up when you need a little rampant absurdity in your life.

The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists (U) / Wrath of the Titans (12A) (4/5, 2/5)

Voices: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, Brian Blessed

Animal rights activists halt transportation of laboratory animals

Vital medical research is being "choked off" because airlines and ferry companies are refusing to bring animals into the country for testing in the face of pressure from animals' rights activists, a former science minister has warned.

The beasts of the field must be puzzled by humans

A N Wilson: If Raisa could only talk, imagine what she'd neigh

Our writer finds in the story of the police horse lent to Rebekah Brooks a Swiftian satire that highlights animal nobility and human awfulness

Wild animals to be banned from circus

Ministers will today dash hopes of an immediate ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Lonely at the top: llamas graze at the Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru

The Great Divide: History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New, By Peter Watson

The Great Divide is one of several recent books on the deep ecological roots of human history, a trend begun by Jared Diamond with Guns, Germs and Steel (1997). Peter Watson takes some leads from Diamond but goes much further in his attempt to rescue the pre-Columbian world of the Americas from the contempt and even hatred expressed by many at the time of the 2009 Aztec exhibition at the British Museum. One article called the artefacts on display "As evil as Nazi lampshades made from human skin".

Last night's viewing - How to Grow a Planet, BBC2; Jo Brand on Kissing, BBC4

There's an obvious machismo problem if you're going to move from presenting a programme about tectonic forces to a series about botany. With the former you can abseil off the lip of an active volcano or do a piece to camera while diving into the flooded rift between two continental plates. It's positively Action Man compared to wandering through a wood and looking at flowers. So, kudos to Iain Stewart and the How to Grow a Planet production team for coming up with the most aggressively blokey way possible to convey the evolutionary advantage that toughened seeds confer on those plants that have them. Load up an empty shotgun cartridge with canna indica seeds and blast away at a plywood target. Excellent. You can do the slow-motion footage of the muzzle-flash. You can get your presenter to prod his finger through the smashed bull's-eye. And then you can plant the recovered "ammunition" and show how they can still do what seeds are meant to. If Guy Ritchie had been asked to film a GCSE biology module this is what it might have looked like. Except Vinnie Jones would have been wielding the shotgun, obviously.

The Sketch: By jingo, 2012 is the year of true-blue bulldog spirit!

It's quite a Tory year coming up – what with the Queen's Jubilee, Boris's victory in the mayoral elections, Lord Coe's Olympics, the anniversary of the Falklands. Cameron seems to have lifted himself up an energy level to meet it. He's fizzing. He sometimes goes off in the wrong direction but his blast-area has doubled in size since the Opposition collapse.

Nearly one in 10 monkey tests has no benefit

Some scientists failed to publish any details of their research, which could have stopped repetition of their work

Experts warn over humanising apes

Action is needed now to prevent nightmarish "Planet Of The Apes" science ever turning from fiction to fact, according to a group of eminent experts.

Super (18)

Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler

Johnny Vegas: 'I never liked being the centre of attention'

How has Johnny Vegas done it? By 'it', I mean transformed himself from a failed priest and potter to sought-after comic actor and much-loved household name. As he says himself, he's "no great shakes in the looks department" and first made his name as a stand-up who specialised in being bitter and drunk and bellowing insults at audiences.

Jodie Foster - A single-minded star who is nobody's puppet

Jodie Foster has been steadfast in her defence of her friend, and latest leading man, Mel Gibson. She opens up to Kaleem Aftab

Katy Guest: Put your abacus away, Ms Spelman

Our writer recoils from the costing of nature's bounty

The Earl of Onslow: Colourful hereditary peer who advocated reform of the House of Lords

It is a measure both of Michael Onslow's courage and tireless sense of duty that within weeks of his death from cancer he was still active in the Lords; his last speech was made only three weeks before he died. Paradoxically, although he served it well, he thought the House of Lords was well past its sell-by date.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee