News A colony of ants have set up home in the International Space Station as part of an experiment to see how their behavior changes in an environment of low gravity

It's hoped the way they adapt their foraging behavior will help to develop smarter robots

Boiling Frogs, Southwark Playhouse, London

It was an inauspicious start when an audience member spilled a glass of red wine down the back of playwright Steven Bloomer before the curtain was even up on the opening night of his new play, Boiling Frogs.

Campaign funds and broomsticks haunt darling of the Tea Party

They wanted unorthodox, and Republican voters in Delaware surely got it in their newly anointed candidate for the US Senate, Christine O'Donnell.

Holy Warriors, By Jonathan Phillips

In a work "aimed squarely at the general reader", Phillips tells the story of the Crusades from 1095 to Bush's response after 9/11 that alienated moderate Islam. As Phillips reveals, earlier crusaders were better informed

Summer in the city: Norwich offers secret gardens, mercantile history and a wealth of architecture

With its riverside setting, unexpected nooks and mediaeval crannies, Norwich is a perfect destination for a summer visit.

Fringe Notes, 18/08/10

- It's a hard-fought category at this year's Fringe, but top prize for discomfort goes to HighTide's 'Lidless'. For the play about Guantanamo Bay audiences are shipped into a brightly lit white box and made to sit on tiny fold-out picnic stools around the edge. Great play, though.

DVD: Hotel, For retail & rental (Artificial Eye)

Austrian director Jessica Hausner's nerve-jangling psychological horror combines the darkness of countryman Michael Haneke, Tarkovsky-esque static shots and the supernatural suggestiveness of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Picnic concerts: Rock'n'roll and royalty don't mix

The trend for gigs on country estates makes Fiona Sturges nostalgic for the beer-soaked mosh pits of her teens

Editor-At-Large: Say 'fat', and stop the nation eating itself to death

If I call you fat, is it kind or cruel? A plain-speaking government health minister says describing the overweight as "obese" isn't direct enough to make them lose weight. According to Anne Milton, if a doctor uses the F-word, we're more likely to realise it's our responsibility to shed surplus poundage. She's expressing a personal view and not government policy, but this no-nonsense approach has found support in the medical profession. Obesity has become a meaningless word. It sounds as if you're suffering from a social disease, not a condition that's clogging up your arteries and hastening your date with a coffin. This modern blight isn't confined to the two-legged – a charity report claims half our dogs are obese and will suffer early deaths. We're killing our pets by overfeeding them, human-style.

Dordogne: Saddle up on the scenic route

Armed with a riding hat, Michael Kallenbach meanders through the rolling French countryside

DVD: Picnic at Hanging Rock (PG)

Peter Weir's 1975 masterpiece, adapted from Joan Lindsay's Victorian mystery novel, receives the Blu-ray treatment: a director's cut, a 120-minute-long making-of and an interview with Lindsay.

Brightest and best picnic accessories

Whether you’re planning to entertain the kids al fresco, attend a music festival or stroll along the sea shore, make hay while the sun shines and take inspiration from our pick of perfect picnicware.

Fig and almond biscuits

Serves 4

Picnic paradise: Skye Gyngell's al-fresco feast

Sunny days don't require too much blue-sky thinking: just pack up a picnic full of unfussy, easy-to-make food and head for the nearest shady tree. Skye Gyngell lays out her favourites for all to share...

Orange with orange flower water

Serves 4
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A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape