News File: Glass capsules containing ketamine found in Bang Pa In on 26 June, 2008

The anaesthetic has become a popular recreational drug

Album: The Beatles, Stereo Vinyl Box (Apple)

The Holy Grail of audiophile pop: The Beatles' entire output re-pressed on 180g vinyl, 16 records accompanied by a lavishly bound hardback book, all packaged in the sturdiest of boxes.

Album: Various Artists, Nuggets (Rhino)

When Elektra's Jac Holzman first commissioned future Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye to compile Nuggets, back at the start of the Seventies, the intention was simply to collect overlooked Sixties gems worthy of rescue from oblivion.

Album: Various artists, Diablos del Ritmo – The Colombian Melting Pot 1960-1985 (Analog Africa)

This is another one of those indispensable compilations where you can only marvel at the heroic dedication of the man who put it together.

Album: Lucas Santtana, The God Who Devastates Also Cures (Mais um Discos)

Maybe it's no coincidence that the cover of this Brazilian modernist's latest shows a world dissolved by a rain-washed car windscreen.

The drugs are sold under such brand names as Annihilation (pictured), Black Mamba, Soulman, XoXo and Love

Club drug 'Mexxy' and other legal highs to be made illegal

The club drug Mexxy - which has been blamed for a series of deaths this year - is to be made illegal.

The Kings of Cool, By Don Winslow

The drugs that made them Savages

Album: Various artists, Vanguard Records in the Sixties (Vanguard)

Not usually considered one of the world's top labels, Vanguard – set up in New York in 1950 by the blacklist-busting Solomon brothers – struck gold with the folk, blues and old-timey revivals of the 1960s, celebrated in this terrific four-CD collection.

Album: Sam Sparro, Return to Paradise (Virgin/Positiva

Sooner than you could say "one-hit wonder", Sam Sparro sank from the public eye.

Album: Richard Hawley, Standing At the Sky's Edge (Parlophone)

Psychedelia and sunshine fuel a classy reinvention

Album: Darker My Love, Alive As You Are (Dangerbird)

You'd never guess from Alive As You Are that Darker My Love's Tim Presley and Rob Barbato were once part of The Fall: this third album from their Los Angeles quintet shows that the kind of psychedelia they're interested in is not the garage psych-rock beloved of Mark E. Smith, but a more refined strain rooted in the sylvan harmonies and cosmic sentiments of West Coast alumni such as The Byrds and Grateful Dead.

The Word On Pop... Dan Black, Un

"Black has yet to score a chart hit, which is a shame given the flashes of genuine talent on show. It's these flashes, however, that highlight the shortcomings of some of the other tracks, leaving plenty of room for improvement for that difficult second album." - musicomh.com

Moon Dust, By Andrew Smith

Smith's notion of finding the men who walked on the moon between 1969 and 1972 is brilliant, necessary (only nine of the 12 are still alive) and wonderfully realised. The ironic thing about this brief adventure is that it was only the straightest of individuals who made the biggest trip of the psychedelic era.

Album: Radar Bros, Auditorium (Chemikal Underground)

Unfashionable, unloved and barely even functioning as a group, LA's Radar Bros might wish to consider changing their name to Under the Radar Bros. Big shame. Because 12 years and five albums in, 'Auditorium' is head brother Jim Putnam's finest hour, the point at which his love of 1960s psychedelia and country music merges effortlessly into one harmonious, happy/sad celebration – think early Floyd, Midlake and 'Friends'-era Beach Boys. Wikipedia-sourced aside: Putnam's father, Bill, is widely credited as being the "father of modern recording", pioneering the use of echo chambers. Daddy would be proud.

Career Services

Day In a Page

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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
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'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick