Money

Smaller companies have been a lucrative, albeit higher-risk, area to invest over the long term. The Numis Smaller Companies Index has, since 1955, achieved an annual return of 15.8 per cent compared with 12 per cent for the broader UK stock market.

Anthony Pettis

MMA: A new year kicks into gear, but who will soon be challenging the UFC lightweight title with Anthony Pettis?

Last Wednesday, The UFC held their first Fight Night of the year in the USA. In the main event, Luke Rockhold defeated Costas Philippou via first round TKO. The 29-year-old was coming off of only his second career loss eight months ago when Vitor Belfort connected with a spinning heel kick in spectacular fashion. With a couple more wins, Luke could very well find himself back in title contention in the middleweight division.

The dragon Toothless from the DreamWorks Animation film How to Train Your Dragon

Australian scientists apologise to little girl for failing to ‘make her a dragon’

Sophie Lester, 7, asked the ‘lovely scientists’ if she could have a dragon to play with at weekends

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

Google is marking Christmas on its page

Christmas 2013: Google brings festive cheers to its page

Those wacky folks at Google have got festive today, adorning the top of their page with a snowy woodland cartoon.

Michael and Martin Gray have had their picture taken together with Father Christmas annually for 30 years

Two brothers get photo taken with Santa every Christmas for 30 years

Michael and Martin have had their picture taken with Father Christmas every year since 1980, now they are getting their children in on the act

Top 7 Xbox One launch games: Indyplus videos

From slashing up gladiators for the glory of Rome to exploring alien worlds from the back of a dragon, here are the Xbox One's best launch titles

Paperback review: The Lure of the Honey Bird: The Storytellers of Ethiopia, By Elizabeth Laird Polygon

Working with the Ethiopian government, author Elizabeth Laird travelled the country to seek out rural storytellers and document their art. The Lure of the Honey Bird describes those journeys, which took her from the Simien Mountains to the restive Somalian borderlands and on to the walled city of Harar, former refuge of the poet Arthur Rimbaud.

Primark stars but sugar not so sweet for ABF

Primark is outperforming its peers but sugar looks a bit sticky, Associated British Foods said today.

Review: Plants Vs Zombies 2

David Phelan explores the world of zombies, explosive potatoes and in-app purchases

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

Review: Plants Vs Zombies 2

David Phelan explores the world of zombies, explosive potatoes and in-app purchases

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

Round-up: Wolves rally to stay in race

Warrington came from behind to beat Castleford 40-30 and keep the heat on Super League table-toppers Huddersfield.

Between the Covers 23/06/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books
Teresa Palmer (left) and Nicholas Hoult in Warm Bodies

DVD & Blu-ray review: Warm Bodies (12)

Jonathan Levine DVD/Blu-ray (97mins)

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Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas