Arts and Entertainment

Bob Dylan, I can take him or leave him. Sorry, but it's true. Oh I get that Bob is a big deal. You can bang on all you like about how he's a peerless songwriter and poet and maverick who changed popular culture for ever, and I will nod sagely in agreement.


The Independent on Sunday yesterday asked the veteran Labour MP and former minister Tony Benn for his own highlights of the century. Mr Benn, a vociferous critic of New Labour's desire to bury its socialist past and

Letter: GCSEs' success

Sir: It is not the case that "the percentage of [GCSE] candidates awarded a grade C has risen more sharply than the proportion awarded As and Bs" (leading article, 26 August). In fact, the proportions were as follows: A* +0.3 per cent, A +0.2 per cent, B +0.4 per cent, C +0.2 per cent.

Education: Feathering an empty nest

It's not just new students who can feel a bit lost. Parents find it hard as well.

Press the button for direct digital democracy

I SEE Sky are playing around with interactive football this weekend. I had a glimpse of the future a few years ago when the cable company Videotron did their own experiment. Technology has doubtless moved on since then, but it was deeply disappointing.

Open Eye: Paddy's passion for statistics

All establishment operations must be kept on their toes, an OU lecturer tells Fiona Leslie


Do you go on holiday more than twice a year? If so, you should consider taking out an annual travel insurance policy.

Open Eye: Insurance for a bright future

CGU's link with the OU extends beyond a business deal - and into business classes

Open Eye: Chancellor for USOU

Doctor Richard Jarvis has been appointed as the first Chancellor of USOU, the United States Open University. USOU, the OU's sister university, will be offering its first courses to students in America from September this year.

Open Eye: Meet Gilbert and George

They are controversial, they're current... and now they're at the OU - where you could be joining them, courtesy of Open Eye. Gilbert and George, two of the contemporary art world's most talked-about characters, are headlining a series of lectures and events at the OU to celebrate both the opening of Milton Keynes' new gallery, and a new exhibition of their own work within it.

Open Eye: Graduates go global

If I were to put together a list of Open University graduates' study areas and leisure pursuits, I would fill an encyclopedia or two!

Open Eye: Who governs the University?

From The Vice-Chancellor; Sir John Daniel

Letter: Barbaric drug tests


Distance Learning: The benefits of studying at home

A Government initiative encourages people on income support to learn, and the Open University is all set to help.

Open Eye: New study pack puts people first

If working as 'equal people' is a challenge at the best of times, add into the mix three languages and some major cultural differences.

Open Eye: The university challenge: How do we know?

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own