Life and Style

The international puzzle that requires knowledge of steganography, Aleister Crowley and the darknet is back again, and the internet is just as confused

The loss of happiness: Giacomo Leopardi

Book review: Zibaldone, By Giacomo Leopardi, eds. Michael Caesar, Franco D'Intino

This extraordinary 'mish-mash' opens up the creative workshop of Italy's great Romantic poet

Paperback review: The Carbon Crunch, By Dieter Helm

Jim Thorne's first love is an inflatable dolphin named Dilly. But he's quite fond of pillows, too.

Franklin D'Olier Reeve

F D Reeve: Poet, novelist and Russian translator

In the early stages of his career, the poet F D Reeve found himself best-known as the translator who accompanied Robert Frost on his 1962 visit to the Soviet Union, the man in the middle of Frost's showdown with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Years later, having established himself as a poet, novelist and translator, Reeve would find himself overshadowed again – by his eldest son, Christopher, who achieved fame playing Superman in the smash 1978 movie hit.

Bank's bumper send-off for Sir Mervyn King

Sir Mervyn King received a £10,000 portrait of himself and other retirement presents worth £3,000 from the Bank of England last month, it emerged yesterday.

Album review: William Sweeney, Tree O' Licht (Delphian)

The cello is key to the music of William Sweeney, something that becomes luminously apparent in these works showcasing the skills of Robert Irvine, either solo or partnered by pianist Fali Pavri or second cellist Erkki Lahesmaa. Inspired by Gaelic psalm-singing, the title track features the two cellists' lines intertwining like a double helix: the effect resembles a lower-register "Lark Ascending", until a pungent dischord appears, prompting more disparate progressions. "Sonata for Cello and Piano" offers an intriguing combination of exploration and introspection. But "The Poet Tells of His Fame" is the standout performance, Irvine playing over pre-recorded cello samples treated to give a series of tonal washes, whines and textures.

Lucy Porter and friend see the joke

Edinburgh Festival comedy review: The best jokes by a royal mile

Edinburgh guffaws from end to end as four fine acts return with some sparkling new material

Google poetics: predicting a new world of poetry

Google Instant is the sometimes illuminating, sometimes bizarre feature of the search engine that provides four predictive results as you type based on frequent searches by other users.

Paperback review: John Keats, By Nicholas Roe

Roe’s focus on Keats’s early life challenges many of the things we think we know about the poet, bringing to the fore instead the sudden death of his father when he was very young, his mother’s indecently hasty remarriage, and the family’s social and financial decline.

Crash course: France's Bastille Day

Raise the Tricolore for France's most important public holiday - 'La Fête Nationale' - when all things Gallic are celebrated with a day off work. Quel dommage that it falls on a Sunday...

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

Album review: Robert Zuidam, McGonagall-Lieder (Challenge Classics)

Dutch composer Robert Zuidam believes bad poetry may be a better spur to musical creativity than great verse. And when it comes to the monumentally bad poetry of William McGonagall, Zuidam clearly knows what he’s taking on, brilliantly describing how “a limp sense of meter wanders, seemingly clueless, through an unhinged linguistic landscape”.

Video: Film trailers for the latest releases

Watch the videos below for a selection of trailers for the latest releases:

The Queen's Birthday Honours refuseniks: The alternative list of those who said 'thanks but no thanks'

About 20 names are missing from this year’s honours list because the people concerned did not want to be on it.

Album review: Mark Padmore, Morgan Szymanski, Alec Roth: Sometime I Sing (Signum Classics)

Best known for his Schubert lieder, tenor Mark Padmore here performs Alec Roth's arrangements of songs and poems for voice and guitar, ranging from a sequence of Thomas Wyatt poems of love lost, to the more reflective, crepuscular tone of modern verses on nocturnal themes by Vikram Seth.

One to watch: Sophie Robinson, Poet, 27

One to watch: Sophie Robinson, Poet, 27

There was a reason Robinson went into poetry. “I'm no good at anything else,” she says. The north-London-born poet writes about sex, love and politics.

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us