Invisible Ink: No 129 - Arthur Ward

He seemed an ordinary working-class fellow with an interesting middle name (Sarsfield), born in Birmingham in 1883, where he grew up to become a civil servant. Early photographs are unassuming, but compare them to his later pictures, when he appears in a silk dressing gown, puffing on what looks like an opium pipe: what happened to transform the conventional Mr Ward?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009, By Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen arrives in the present, and surveys our contemporary culture with dismay

Tom Hodgkinson: Why Shakespeare's pain is pure poetry

Do we need poetry? Last week, appearing on a Radio 4 programme, I praised the poets for making our lives bearable with their words, for adding meaning to our world. Another of the guests, a hard-working businessman wearing a gold watch, attacked me for promoting poetry, and therefore idleness: "People need food!" he raved. "You can't eat poetry!"

The Baroness: The Search for Nica, the Rebellious Rothschild, By Hannah Rothschild

A tantalising portrait of a British society beauty who became the ‘crazy friend’ of Thelonious Monk

Graham Coxon, HMV Forum, London

Boyish Blur guitarist Graham Coxon is clearly multi-talented.

International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Royal Festival Hall

A showcase for three young conductors, a malfunction at the printers, and for the first time in my experience no programmes for the audience and the prospect of blind-tasting their talents.

Melisande! What Are Dreams? By Hillel Halkin

Hillel Halkin's touching novel about love and friendship opens in New York in the 1950s and ends on a remote Greek island in the 1980s.

Alice Jones: What the new Sgt Pepper cover tells us about modern Britain

Where once stood Marilyn, now stands Delia, in a Norwich City scarf. HG Wells has been ousted by JK Rowling, Marlene Dietrich bumped by Kate Moss. As for John, George and Ringo – they're nowhere to be seen.

One Minute With: Tim Lott, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Jean-Pierre Delord, Bugarach's mayor, with a postcard of a UFO hovering over a local peak

Hippies head for Noah’s Ark: Queue here for rescue aboard alien spaceship

Thousands of New Agers descend on mountain they see as haven from December's apocalypse

Even a candid, generous Emma Bell in the title role - here with Anthony Jackson of the dance troupe Soul Mavericks - can't save Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune, Royal Opera House, London
The Barber of Seville, Hackney Empire, London
Eugene Onegin, Hackney Empire, London

Judith Weir's rare failure is an inner-city Cinderella story that never lifts off ... unlike the kebab van

Jack White premiered his excellent new song Sixteen Saltines on last week's 'Saturday Night Live'

S.C.U.M., Bush Hall, London

Bob Geldof leans, stony-faced, against a wall as his daughter Peaches’ fiancé Thomas Cohen performs.

A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg, 100 mins (15)

Do go through, Fräulein Knightley – the doctor will undress you now

The Heresy of Love, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Eight years ago, in their excellent Spanish Golden Age season, the RSC presented the English premiere of House of Desires, a surprising event on several levels.

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
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people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
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Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
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Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes