Sport Seattle, led by Russell Wilson, are favourites to win next month's Super Bowl

For devotees of the NFL, this is as good as it gets – the divisional round of the play-offs, four games pitting the regular season’s finest against four challengers already battle-hardened by victory in last weekend’s ever-treacherous wild-card round. And in 2014 there’s an extra twist: the prospect that one of the longest, most painful droughts in US sport might be near an end.

Walking six miles a week boosts the brain

Healthy people who walk at least six miles a week have bigger brains, better memories and improved mental function compared with couch potatoes, a study has found.

JetBlue attendant wants his job back

The fed-up flight attendant who set a new standard for quitting when he abandoned his job via an emergency chute isn't as much of a quitter as everyone thought.

Judge brings name change petitioner to heel

A US judge denied a man's petition to legally change his name to Boomer the Dog.

LinkedIn makes first acquisition

LinkedIn is making its first acquisition, a company that sifts through large amounts of data to try to determine relevant information, the business social networking site said on Wednesday.

Story of the Song: Bob Marley's Redemption Song

Despite never making the UK charts, "Redemption Song" remains one of Bob Marley's defining songs. The closing track on his final studio album, 1980's 'Uprising', it's the sound of the reggae star signing off with special poignancy. It was written and rehearsed by Marley and the Wailers in the closing months of 1979, during the band's live shows for the 'Survival' album, but kept in the can. When Marley presented Island Records' Chris Blackwell with the tapes for 'Uprising', the following year, Blackwell nodded with pursed lips. Good as it was, he thought it lacked something. Marley took his point and the following day he returned with the outstanding "Redemption Song" which duly completed the album's running order.

Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Young Vic, London

Arresting but quite hard work

She's Out of My League (15)

Kingsley Amis used to divide lookers and non-lookers into "smashers" and "duffers". In this American romcom, wouldn't you know, it's boiled down to numbers.

David Usborne: Disaster is casting dark shadow over President's reform agenda

The oil spill in the Gulf Coast is threatening wildlife, tourist beaches and the company responsible for it, BP. But another victim has started to come into focus: President Barack Obama.

Obama's men face drubbing in anti-Washington electoral revolt

Swing state Pennsylvania is headache for all on Capitol Hill as Tea Party effect bites

Manhood for Amateurs, By Michael Chabon

In the name of bungling fathers

Zelda Rubinstein: Actress best known for playing the eccentric medium in 'Poltergeist'

Zelda Rubinstein will be best remembered for her role as the eccentric medium attempting to free a home of demonic influences in Tobe Hooper's horror film Poltergeist (1982). Rubenstein was 4ft 3in tall, and the original script, co-written by Steven Spielberg, who was also a producer of the film, was conceived with the role of psychic Tangina Barrons expressly written to be played by a little person.

Clouds gather as G20 finance ministers try to engineer a global recovery

Follow-up to Pittsburgh summit will grapple with growth and climate issues

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: America's racial divide is healing faster than our own

Black Americans can rise to the sky – but the poorest languish forever

David Prosser: Let's milk the squid, not murder it

Outlook The great vampire squid, as Goldman Sachs was notoriously dubbed at the height of the backlash against bankers this summer, is back with a vengeance, wrapping itself around the face of humanity to the tune of £5.35bn in pay and bonuses for the past three months alone. What a naughty vampire squid.

Bruce Anderson: We are in desperate need of good and honest government

In trying to describe Gordon Brown's task, its impossibility becomes manifest
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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence