Environment

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

Facts that prove life is beautiful

So January's over: and here's why it's now OK to feel chipper. Spring is coming. Maybe tonight's the night you'll break a month long detox. It's Friday. And these facts, collected by Ink Tank blog, will (temporarily) make you feel like the world is a brain-meltingly wonderful place (which it might be).

Thomas Pynchon joins Bowie as the second returning recluse of the week

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Pearson to close adult education arm with £120m loss

Pearson took a £120m hit yesterday as its new chief executive, John Fallon, announced plans to close its UK adult education arm less than three years after buying the core business, Melorio, for £99m.

Last Night's Viewing: Snow Babies, BBC1
The Christmas No 1 Story, BBC2

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the television's schedules, not a half-decent programme was stirring, not even a documentary about a mouse. Actually, there was a half-decent documentary about baby penguins, polar bears and other fledgling creatures of the Earth's colder climes. Snow Babies was about youngsters learning to hunt and generally toughen up before the onset of Arctic and Antarctic winters. The 18 years (and more) in which humankind takes to launch its young seem ludicrously indulgent in comparison, although admittedly juvenile caribou don't have to worry about finding a deposit on a flat.

IoS paperback review: Dial M for Murdoch, By Tom Watson and Martin Hickman

News of the underworld: a toxic culture of scandal and corruption

IoS paperback review: Parade's End, By Ford Madox Ford

Back on parade after nearly 90 years in the shadows

Skyfall: The Bond film, the third starring Daniel Craig, was shot in Glencoe, Dalness Lodge, and Rannoch Moor

Skyfall writers leaving on a high - and other literary rivalries

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Pippa Middleton's book sold around 2,000 copies in its first week despite a 50 per cent discount on the cover price, and a considerable publicity campaign by Penguin. She reportedly received a £400,000 advance

It's not just Pippa Middleton: how on earth did they get that huge book advance?

Big fees don't always mean big book sales, so why do publishers keep paying them? Tim Walker finds out

Pippa Middleton’s party-planning book was panned by the critics

Celebrate? I doubt it… Pippa's party book tumbles down charts

Penguin left ruing £400,000 advance after first-week sales of 2,189

Scrooge, London Palladium

Tommy Steele is not the first performer that you'd associate with Dickens's misanthropic old tight-wad - a man described in A Christmas Carol as "hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster".

Business week in review

In profit...

Five-minute Memoir: Salley Vickers on first-job hell

When I was not quite 15, my dad, who was the kindest of fathers, decided that I should learn what 'real' work meant. He was a trade union leader, head of what is now the PCS – the Public and Commercial Services Union – having come to that brand of socialism via a youthful commitment to communism. His particular union served that branch of the public sector which included office cleaners. Indeed, it was his proud boast that he had been responsible for unionising the public sector cleaners.

What a pickle: Demographic, political, technological and commercial forces are making jobs disappear.

Sales that leave our high streets in a bit of a pickle

As whole industries leave our shores, Britain's poor are asking an almost unanswerable question: what jobs will we do now?

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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