Voices 'Selfie': One of the peculiarities of the past few months has been how the idea of taking a photograph of your own face has become something new and interesting

'Banter', 'Aspiration', 'Selfie'? Not this year, thank you very much

Einstein on the Beach at the Barbican Theatre

Einstein on the Beach, Barbican Theatre, London Carousel, Grand Theatre, Leeds
Juan Diego Florez, Royal Albert HallLondon

How do you compare multiple Einsteins? Well, it's all relative

Oscars Trending: New Zealand's second most popular folk singer makes it big

Two things that we've never met anyone who dislikes – The Muppets and the Flight of the Conchords. As such, it was almost inevitable that Conchord Bret McKenzie's writing of songs for the recent Muppets movie was guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of most right-thinking fans of puppets and well-pitched parody songs.

When in Rome, don't do as the tourists do. Start your sightseeing early

Winter in the Eternal City provides the best chance to soak up the history without all the hassle. At least that's the theory

Howard Jacobson: Dickens is proof that humour improves with age

In total agreement with Terence Blacker's remarks earlier this week in these pages about "a new fear of seriousness" in our culture leading to an overabundance of feeble, inappropriate and half-hearted "humour".

Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee in 'Smash'

One part Entourage to two parts Glee – but is it a Smash?

America's biggest new show boasts such a conspicuous marketing budget that, unless its title becomes self-fulfilling prophecy, it will seem like a failure. Smash, NBC's story of a Broadway musical, premiered on Monday.

Urban hang-outfitters: Inside the chain's new store in Newcastle

The bright sparks

Not many retailers would expand during a recession – but Urban Outfitters is one of the loudest and proudest personalities on the high street, says Harriet Walker

Urban hang-outfitters: Inside the chain's new store in Newcastle

Bright Sparks: Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters may have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but it's still one of the loudest and proudest personalities on the high street, says Harriet Walker

In Malcolm McDowell's charismatic thug Alex, the film had a horribly seductive anti-hero

A Clockwork Orange at 40

Kubrick's dystopian 1972 vision sparked both moral outrage and admiration. Jonathan Romney, and those involved, look back on a monument of modern cinema

Harriet Walker: Fifty years on, let's embrace once more the spirit of Helen Gurley Brown

Like any liberated modern woman, the Single Girl feels no need to lie about her age: she is 50 next year – and my, hasn't she aged well?

To the surprise of many gardeners, pampas grass is said to flag up that swingers are in residence

Adrian Bingham: Swinging - only pampas grass is quite as suburban - and as British

Reading between the lines of the red-tops, coded messages and prurient myths

Minor British Institutions: The Today programme

If there's a radio show that stands for the BBC, then it's the Today programme. All the familiars are there, including disagreement about whether it's left-travelling, a liberal conspiracy or a middle-class smugfest.

Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story, Museum of London Docklands, London

Not all 'Yo Ho Ho' and buried booty

Album: Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What (Concord / Universal)

Describing the music Paul Simon makes these days as "pop" is like calling the Bible a bestseller – true but not quite fit for the purpose.

Nicolas Cage's rare comic recovered

A rare comic book stolen from Nicolas Cage 10 years ago has been recovered.

Barometer: Kurt Cobain

17 years ago today Kurt Cobain took his own life in a suicide that shook not just the music world, but pop culture in general. All this time on, there’s very little to say about Cobain, or indeed Nirvana – the ground breaking grunge rock’n'roll band he fronted – that hasn’t already been said.

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
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