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

Tyson Keats of London Welsh

London Welsh charged with fielding ineligible player in 'a number' of matches

The issue relates to the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats

Five-Minute Memoir: Creature comforts in a remote Orkney cottage

I reach into the dark grate, meaning to reshuffle the coals, and my fingers touch something soft, something silky, delicate: definitely not coal. Something so soft that in other circumstances, I might like to stroke it, to brush it against the back of my hand, my cheek; but context is all. Instead I quickly withdraw my hand with a shudder and a loud gasp which makes me realise how many hours it's been since I heard anyone's voice, even my own.

Album: Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet, Wislawa (ECM)

The familiar soulful meditations of Polish trumpeter Stanko lift this collaboration with three younger US musicians, including star drummer Gerald Cleaver.

Charles Ives, A Songbook (hat(now)ART)

Album review: Charles Ives, A Songbook (hat(now)ART)

As with his larger musical works, Charles Ives' songs occupy a peculiar position that offers a bridge between Old World classical art-song traditions and the more demotic, folksy New World modes, but charged with the questing experimental spirit that characterises his entire output.

Why don’t more politicians wax poetical like Winston Churchill?

There are one or two who would probably contribute to the public good much more effectively by writing poetry

Hollo: he was talented, intelligent and wild; there was alcohol, riotous times, crazy drives

Anselm Hollo: Poet, translator and teacher

In a famous 1965 photograph he sits on the steps of the Albert Memorial behind Trocchi and Ginsberg. His hair is dark; his eyes slant. His clothes, as always, are black.

Poet Sharon Olds scoops TS Eliot Prize for 'confessional' work about her husband's affair

If revenge is a dish best served cold, Sharon Olds must have been licking her lips last night. Fifteen years after her husband ran off with another woman, the poet scooped the UK’s most prestigious poetry prize for a collection that explored the experience in detail.

Tony Harrison's infamous poem can still shock and divide people

Radio 4 plans to air 'obscene' 1980s poem V by Tony Harrison

Mary Whitehouse must be spinning in her grave. A quarter of a century after she led the uproar over Channel 4 broadcasting the notorious poem V, the work is to be reprised by BBC Radio 4.

Oswald 'not lone gunman,' says Robert F Kennedy Jnr

Robert F Kennedy Jnr is convinced a lone gunman was not solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, John F Kennedy, and said his father was disparaging about the official report into the killing.

US jockey Gary Stevens, pictured here back in 2001, is set to to race again at the age of 49

Universal Soldier prepared for National service with the benefit of course recce

Longsdon's young chaser can thwart dual runner-up Giles Cross in Welsh marathon

Five ladies leaning ... Salvador Dalí’s Dawn, Midday, Sunset and Dusk (1979) was inspired by the female figure in Jean-François Millet’s Angelus, which has been loaned to the Pompidou for this show

IoS visual art review: Dali, Pompidou Centre, Paris

Over-familiarity with the Surrealist has bred contempt, but beyond the showmanship there was a true talent for invention

The Customs House, By Andrew Motion. Faber & Faber, £12.99

We need to renew the language of remembrance. Even before state-funded commemorations of the First World War begin in 2014, a year of solemn preludes looms. Factor in the political push for exit from the EU, and on the national stage the warmer, more inclusive climate of the Olympic season may yield to a backward-looking, introspective mood: a chilling cult of the dead and the past.

Sachin Tendulkar’s 76 was effective but no thing of beauty

The Indian Angle: Tendulkar keeps ego at bay to scrape one of his ugliest innings

Sachin Tendulkar finds himself in unfamiliar territory. If he fails, he raises the decibel level of the cries for his retirement; if he scores runs, he gets the other side excited. It is a head versus heart debate that has been exercising cricket fans in India for a while now. His 76 at Eden Gardens will probably preserve the status quo since it has given both sides of the divide equal ammunition.

The White Goddess: An Encounter, By Simon Gough. Galley Beggar, £10

Simon Gough calls this book a "fragment of autobiography written in narrative form", by which I think he means it is, if not fictionalised, then perhaps novelised. In his foreword he apologises to anyone who may be hurt by the book, which is always a good sign.

Former teacher Mark Grist stands his ground at the Edinburgh Fringe

Poetry, please: language lovers give verdict on attack of the scientist

Sir James Dyson’s derision of the study of verse has drawn protests from academics and writers

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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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture