Why has TV sports giant ESPN invested in a booksy sport and culture website?

The list of things to make print journalists feel better about the impending demise of their medium is brief, but may include free ice cream, a generous voluntary redundancy package (yeah, right) and/or the launch of a well-funded new website featuring exclusive, long-form writing composed by a cohort of peerless hacks.

Dudamel, Simon Bolivar Orchestra, NYC, Persson, Larsson

I’ve never seen a Prom queue like the one drawn by Gustavo Dudamel’s return: snaking away out of sight through the streets, waiting with infinite patience to worship at the shrine. Youthful dynamism, the triumph over social adversity, the Third World trumping the old world: the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and their charismatic leader incarnate the headiest of dreams, and when they came on stage they were hailed like champions. And, as usual with this inspirational job-creation scheme, there were an awful lot of them, including three long rows of wind-players and fourteen double-bas

Electric Eden, By Rob Young

Those who experienced the musical annus mirabilis of 1967 will recall the brief flowering of the Incredible String Band, a group that influenced both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney chose their waxing 5,000 Spirits as his most treasured LP of 1967. Anyone too young or too old to turn on to the Summer of Love may be mystified by the appeal of this record. Though described by Young as "an infinitely more intimate and disorienting happening" than Sergeant Pepper, non-believers are liable to view it as self-indulgent caterwauling.

Neil Macvicar: Soldier, lawyer, public servant and writer with a passion for Greece and its history

Up to Oxford in Michaelmas term 1938 came a golden youth, a Scot, a scholar from Loretto, a classical scholar of Oriel College, to read Mods (Latin and Greek) and Greats (Ancient History and Philosophy), destined undoubtedly for a double first and, maybe, Secretary of State for Scotland.

Album: Various Artists, The Rough Guide to Sufi Music (Second Edition) (World Music Network)

This fascinating CD takes the listener to the mystical, liberal side of Islam, where the puritanical and negative effects of orthodoxy do not hold.

Last Night's TV: Town with Nicholas Crane/BBC2<br />The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch/BBC4

There are almost no chains in Ludlow, said Nicholas Crane. There's no McDonald's and no Burger King, no Topshop or Next. I wonder what else it doesn't have. Is there a Starbucks? A Caffè Nero? A Boots? Everywhere has a Boots, surely. I bet it has Hobbs – or if not Hobbs, then at least Whistles or Jigsaw or something similarly ladylike. L K Bennett, maybe. Kate Middleton shops there.

Conservatism, By Kieron O'Hara

Conservatism is par excellence the ideology of modernity. It reacted against Enlightenment efforts to engineer social change almost before they started. That conservatism is an ideology, Kieron O'Hara leaves little doubt, despite the (highly ideological) disavowals of some conservatives. Though Conservatism carries encomia from the Prime Minister and David Willetts, O'Hara underlines that his subject is "small-c" conservatism, rather than the credo of the Tory party.

From skate ramps to chocolate fountains: Why dotcom offices still party like it's 1999

It used to be company cars, pensions and private healthcare plans that lured bright young things in to otherwise dull office careers.

Letter from the editor: Runaway bride Charlene

It may not be world-beating, but Londoner Michael Dean’s claim to have told 63,000 lost tourists the correct way to Regent’s Park and MadameTussaud’s is the most esoteric of all i readers’ “World’s Top” talents.

Trevor Frankland: Painter who valued controlled passion and mathematical clarity but was also drawn to the arcane and esoteric

The artist Trevor Frankland was, first and foremost, an intellectual; there was a concept or scheme behind all his work.

Richard Long: Human Nature, Haunch of Venison, London

The world has many mysterious stone circles. Who made them? And why? We never really know. Their mystery is part of their charm. They are symbols – but of what exactly? Now we have two more. These two have cropped up – or bedded down – in a pair of 19th-century rooms in Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, and they sit on polished parquet floors beneath coffered ceilings. These stone circles, unlike the others, are not old at all. They are by Richard Long, our most celebrated land artist. Land artists make their art in reverential partnership with nature in the raw. They use wood, stones, slate, mud. They often make it in the land itself so that it gets slightly lost, as if to tell us that it is really part of its environment. This land art in Mayfair has made the journey from outdoors to indoors.

Emperor and Galilean, National Theatre: London

Admirers of the excellent Andrew Scott (the campily baleful Moriarty in Sherlock) have the chance to feast on his talents in Emperor and Galilean, Ibsen's vast 1873 two-part drama. It here receives its much belated English premiere in a condensed and vigorous adaptation by Ben Power that reduces what would take eight hours to perform uncut to a more manageable three-and-a-half-hour marathon. Traversing Europe and the Middle East and spanning the years 351 and 363 AD, the piece is unveiled in a production by Jonathan Kent that encompasses its epic sweep and philosophical agitation with enormous technical flair and dialectical dynamism.

The Forty Rules of Love, By Elif Shafak

Skittish and serious, satirical and otherworldly, Elif Shafak's fiction trips across the lines between the spirit and the flesh. Her latest novel, a chart-topper in her native Turkey, characteristically yokes together far-flung people, eras and events.

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How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

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British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

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Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
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A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
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Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
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Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
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Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
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10 best baking books

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Jury still out on Pellegrini

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Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

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Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
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Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit