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

Carol Sarler: There's far more to happy families than two parents, two children and a jam sandwich

The traditional model may be evolving but our kith and kin are special beyond words

Happy families: The non-nuclear options

As National Family Week begins, <i>The IoS</i> celebrates the rise of British diversity. Jonathan Owen reports

Alex James: Newton's fourth law: country life takes ages

Rural Notebook

Cycling: King of the road Cavendish has mark of Classic star

Former UK cycling champion Tony Doyle on why the Manxman is striking fear into rivals around the world

The Five Minute Interview: Fearne Cotton, television and radio presenter

Fearne Cotton, 26, is a television and radio presenter. She shot to fame working on children's television shows including Eureka TV and The Saturday Show before moving into more mainstream broadcasting with Top of the Pops, Love Island and The Xtra Factor. Fearne currently hosts the chart show on Radio 1 and presented this year's Golden Globes, Baftas and Oscars award ceremonies for the BBC. She is also the roving reporter for the Walkers ‘Do us a flavour’ campaign, where crisp lovers were challenged to invent a brand new flavour of crisp. The six final flavours are: Chilli & Chocolate, Fish & Chips, Onion Bhaji, Crispy Duck & Hoisin, Cajun Squirrel and Builder’s Breakfast. For more visit: www.walkers.co.uk.

The Complete Guide To: Asturias

This rugged mountainous region along Spain&#8217;s north coast is as inspiring for walkers as it is alluring for wildlife lovers, and there&#8217;s no shortage of fascinating history and culture in between.

Boarder control: The best terrain parks

Terrain park: two words to send any self-respecting snowboarder into a happy daydream – and most skiers running to the nearest après-ski bar. You may already have eyed one through the ropes at your favourite resort: a cordoned-off area populated by ominous-looking cheese wedge jumps (or "kickers" or "booters" – see panel, right), handrails, picnic tables and boxes bent into unusual shapes (these are known as "jibs"), and young people wearing unfeasibly voluminous trousers.

Minor British Institutions: The Austin 1100

This was Britain's bestselling car of the 1960s and 1970s. It was a typical British product of those times: technologically advanced, but not very profitable.

Johann Hari: Don't kill the planet in the name of saving the economy

The collision of the credit crunch and the climate crunch could be a boon

Proposal to tax plastic forks sticks in the throats of les pique-niqueurs

Not since the unveiling of Edouard Manet's scandalous painting Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe in 1863 has a row over the humble picnic – or pique-nique – so convulsed France.

Preview: Electric picnic, Stradbally Village, Nr Dublin

Go electro alfresco with pop duo

In the Red: For a thriving social life on the cheap, there's no place like home

Looking over my bank statements, I couldn't quite figure out what had happened. Where had my money gone? I'd been so well behaved, what with limiting my cash withdrawals, taking my own lunch in to work and buying things second-hand. But still I was broke. Again.

Secret Britain (part 2): The best places in the country for wildlife, heritage and scenery

Get off the beaten track. David Randall guides you to the best places in the country for wildlife, heritage and scenery that have managed to stay under the radar &ndash; until now

Peter York: Waitrose, that apogee of nice, adds price to its middle-class attractions

You have to admit it's been nice. The past 10 years have been nice as anything. You might say it's been a bit bland, with people urging us to be Corporately Socially Responsible, Politically Correct, to think about the environment (I've really tried). The usual suspects muttered about "nanny state" and "PC gone mad" but felt impotent for ages.

The 50 Best Picnic Spots - Parks and Gardens

Rhiannon Batten finds the perfect places to lay your blanket this summer
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
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James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
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filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to be a dramatic conclusion to Peter Jackson's trilogy
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Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?