Arts and Entertainment

There is a certain pleasure (however smug) in being ahead of the curve when spotting a particularly gifted writer, and a certain regret when the masses catch up with your discovery. The latter, of course, is the state desired by author and publisher, and Peter May has now made the transition from connoisseurs’ taste to popular bestseller.

Chris Haney: Co-creator of Trivial Pursuit

A 1979 game of Scrabble led Chris Haney, picture editor of the Montreal Gazette, and his friend Scott Abbott, a sports journalist with the Canadian Press news agency, to come up with their own board game. Trivial Pursuit, launched two years later, was described by Time magazine as "the biggest phenomenon in game history".

The Besnard Lakes, The Legion, London

The Besnard Lakes, a quartet fronted by a husband-and-wife songwriting duo, hail from the same musically fertile land of Montreal in Canada as Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, The Dears, and Stars. Like their peers, they boast an experimental and artful slant to their rock music. This is the last show in a short tour to promote their latest, third album, The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night, an intoxicating shoegazey set of tracks which immerse the listener in a heavy-reverb wall of sound reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, with the melodious harmonies of The Beach Boys.

A Brit on the side: Why American comic Bill Hicks felt most at home in the UK

Bill Hicks is a byword for acerbic brilliance in the UK – but he couldn't buy a laugh in his native America. On the eve of a new documentary about the maverick comedian, Peter Watts asks: what makes us love him so?

Union urges BA chairman to intervene in dispute

The chairman and board members of British Airways were tonight urged to "use their influence" in a bid to resolve the cabin crew dispute, which descended into a bitter war of words after a weekend of strike action.

Don't cut off aid, warns Haiti PM

Dispute over relief effort follows Italian criticism of 'pathetic' US coordination

Canadian folksinger Kate McGarrigle dies aged 63

Canadian folk singer and songwriter Kate McGarrigle, best known for performing with her sister Anna, has died of cancer. She was 63.

Best of '09: Just for Laughs

Julian Hall on the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. Plus: nominate your favourite cultural moments of 2009.

Yellow Bird Project: Harnessing indie power to help those in need

"Indie rock bands are leaking creativity. Why not harness their magical indie powers to help out those in need?" - so says the website of the Yellow Bird project, a Montreal-based charity whose offerings include sartorial items plucked from the imaginations of Broken Social Scene, Devendra Banhart and Of Montreal.

Cyclo-therapy: Unleashing thousands of bikes on terror vortexes like the Elephant and Castle could be, well, messy

I'm the cycle snob who looks down his nose at hapless riders and their rubbish bikes. But during a recent trip to Montreal I was the one eliciting scornful glances from local pedal pushers. Not because my bike was rubbish – it wasn't bad – but because, with my spidery limbs and hunched form, I looked like I'd ridden out of a Quentin Blake illustration.

Hit & Run: Land of the truly warm welcome

You can sort of see what the suits at the Danish tourist board were trying to achieve. They recruited a beautiful actress, created a bit of a story and sent their ad viral, saving big money on shoots and TV spots. But by suggesting Denmark is not only a land of plastic bricks and bacon, but also hot single girls wanting to go to bed with foreigners, its latest campaign has backfired in a big way.

The Disappeared, By Kim Echlin

A love that pulses in the killing fields

Laughing gas is biggest threat to ozone layer

It is no joke: laughing gas is now the biggest threat to the Earth's ozone layer, say scientists.

Professor Jerry Cohen: Maverick philosopher who subjected Marxism to the rigours of analytical philosophy

Proof of the catholicity and openness of British philosophy is that it could embrace and heap the highest of its academic honours upon a maverick such as Jerry Cohen.

Five hotels in newspaper buildings

Stop press: yesterday's newsroom is tomorrow's luxury bedroom
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Independent Travel
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Lake Garda
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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor