Forgotten author No 44: Luis van Rooten

Once again the shops are flooded with books based on TV shows, war-time hobbies and compendia of schoolboy knowledge played for ironic laughs. Who would have thought there was money to be made from clipping children's pastimes out of Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia? Christmas wasn't always a cue to make money from old rope, though. In the past, there have been some inspired comic volumes, and it's a pleasure to see that Luis Ricardo Carlos Fernand d'Antin y Zuloaga van Rooten's masterpiece is back in bookstores this December.

Weekend Work: Time to sow lawn seed

Yeats extends the scale of greatness

Fourth Gold Cup victory elevates horse and trainer to unique place in firmament

Michael Church: Ian Bostridge up a blind alley

It sounded a neat idea, as Ian Bostridge outlined it in the Guardian. The Threepenny Opera’s perennial relevance - particularly marked, as capitalist binge leads to universal bust - makes it worth looking at anew: singing Lieder with Dorothea Roschmann and Angelika Kirchschlager prompted him to wonder "how wonderful it would be" to hear them tackling Brecht-Weill

What Texting Owes to the Literary Enlightenment, Radio 4

One man's texting hell is another's Gr8 Db8

Jeremy Warner: Can capitalism ever adopt a conscience? Perhaps it will have to

Outlook Can capitalism ever be socially responsible, or is that simply not part of its DNA? There are lots of fine words and good intentions being expressed here in Davos about the need to make free markets work for the public good – as there always are when capitalism goes through one of its perennial crises. Normally this talk lasts about as long as the conference itself.

Tindall lights up dry match

Bristol 10 Gloucester 29

Brave Inca rediscovers old fire

All manner of things might have happened during Saturday's meeting here without anyone being any the wiser, so dense was the fog, but there was no place to hide yesterday. The sunlight was as crisp as the frost that still gnawed the feet in the afternoon, though it must be said that you did not necessarily learn a great deal more than you might have done the previous day.

Day Like Those: No Esther Rantzen sniggering at rudely shaped vegetables now...

I could tell that Matthew was distracted when I phoned him in London. I wanted to give him the news that I had been asked to be a steward at the flower show in the village in Dorset where we have our cottage.

Armando Ianucci: Television still depends on a good story well told

In television, what happens, happens, and no matter what people say and do to make it happen differently, it doesn't. That's it. No one has the ability to draw a line under anything, no matter how much money and effort they put into trying.

Skills shortage in IT leads to rise in pay and jobs despite slowdown

Despite the economic downturn, IT departments still need more staff, and salaries for mid-level technicians are rising as the perennial skills shortage continues to bite.

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News
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Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes