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
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
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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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?

Some couples are allowed emergency hospital weddings, others are denied the right. Kate Hilpern reports on the growing case for a compassionate cutting of the red tape
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit