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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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral