Photography book review: Strangers in the Light, By Catherine Balet

Inspired by a beautiful and painterly scene that she witnessed on a lonely moonlit beach one summer night, of a young couple taking a self-portrait on a mobile phone, the French photographer Catherine Balet set out to capture the specific spectral quality of the light that she sees emitted by our computer screens and electronic devices: "The chiaroscuro of the 21st century".

How long can you avoid the Harlem Shake?

Until today I ignored the Harlem Shake. I knew it was a video found online but that was it. I knew models were doing their own version of it, and fire-fighters, and bored office workers, but I didn't know what they were doing. I was not going to be sucked into another online meme. When people spoke of it down the pub, I would shake my head and proudly announce that I had no idea what the Harlem Shake was.

Reporting: The news outlets that can't handle the spoof

Who gets your vote for sexiest man alive? Ryan Gosling? Johnny Depp? What about George Clooney? Well, The Onion went with the less chiselled, but more powerful, Kim Jong Un, dictator of North Korea. "Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, that famous smile," read the article.

Berlin Stories, By Robert Walser

The third time proved charmed for Robert Walser (1878-1956). In 1905, after two initial attempts, the writer left Switzerland to settle in Berlin, where he would remain until 1913, joining his brother Karl, a painter. As it happens, Robert arrived right in the midst of Karl's annus mirabilis, which saw the elder Walser produce cover illustrations for bestsellers, as well as designing theatre sets for Max Reinhardt.

Pedigree chum: Is Alexander Armstrong the poshest man in comedy?

More so than Miranda Hart, Stephen Fry and David Mitchell, Alexander Armstrong seems to be the acceptable face of posh comedy. With his comically large ears (a gift from his father), crinkly smile, affable demeanour and (crucially, perhaps) lack of smarty pants, he's the cuddly side of the upper classes in an age when, rather oppressively, toffs seem to be taking over again. Even Armstrong's overgrown Hooray Henry, 'Harry', in those adverts for Pimm's – alcopops for the privileged – is cherishable. Not that he drinks the stuff in public, he says, for fear of wags shouting, "It's Pimm's o'clock" – one of the great advertising campaigns, by the way, that helps explain some of Armstrong's wider appeal. The more you parody the posh, as the creatives at the advertising agency Mother realised, the more accessible they become to other groups.

Perry Pontac: A man of infinite jest

Not many of us have heard of playwright Perry Pontac. More's the pity, says Alan Bennett – his Shakespeare spoofs, now in print, are perfect parodies

DVD: Black Dynamite, For rental & retail (Icon)

Streets ahead of Meet the Spartans, and the other dreadful efforts that pass for film parody these days, this beautifully realised blaxploitation homage gets every detail spot-on, and yet it's studded with so many perfectly timed jokes that you don't need to have seen a single blaxploitation film to fall about laughing.

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Judge blocks Catcher in the Rye sequel

A Swedish author whose new book was promoted as a sequel to J D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye cannot publish it in the United States because it too closely mirrors Salinger's classic without adequate parody or critique, a judge ruled.

Diary of the Dead (18)

Forty years on from his debut Night of the Living Dead, George A Romero reintroduces a zombie pandemic to America – like they don't have enough social problems already.