Environment

New studies show what experts say is the direct consequence of global warming on Magellanic penguins in South America

The best science books for Christmas

Cold comforts for a warming world

Why we all need a little sunshine in our lives

Sunshine doesn't just lift your mood - it can help prevent all kinds of illnesses, including cancer. Roger Dobson reports

London Zoo: Did we leave anyone in the tiger's den?

London Zoo is raising money with a new scheme allowing members of the public to care for wild beasts, as keepers for a day. But it's not easy to keep on the right side of a penguin or a big cat, finds Peter Conchie

Penguins come out on top

Who would have thought a film about penguins could beat 'War of the Worlds' at the box office? Michael McCarthy explains why these amazing birds will always come out on top

Madagascar (U)

Cover Stories: Penguin departure and birthday; Foyles' expansion

The book trade has been shocked at the departure of Anthony Forbes Watson, chief executive of Penguin UK for eight years.

Life Etc: Mind: First impressions

Familiar with the phrase "Look before you leap"? How about "Don't judge a book by its cover". From childhood, we're told that it's better to take the time to gather as much information as possible before reaching a conclusion. Which, according to cultural commentator Malcolm Gladwell (pictured) is wrong. In his new book, Blink, Gladwell argues that decisions made quickly can be just as good then those taken slowly. It comes down to "thin slicing", the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behaviour based on very narrow slices of experience. Taking us through case studies and scientific experiments, he shows how our ability to make snap judgements, although fallible, can be educated, controlled and ultimately relied upon. Should you buy this book? You should already know the answer to that.

The best of 2004: music books reviewed

Flesh and blood on the tracks

Summer fiction special 2004

Want a holiday read that's a bit different? Here's a selection of the books which have most impressed our critics in recent months, from big names you mustn't miss to intriguing newcomers you may not have discovered yet...

Penguin Lost, by Andrey Kurkov, trans. George Bird

Surreal adventures in the post-Soviet bloc
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
World Cup 2014
Sport
Rihanna celebrates Germany's win
Sport
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
peopleNobel laureate was a powerful anti-Apartheid voice
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor