Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Rubbing shoulders with wild mountain gorillas is likely to be one of the most emotional, humbling and exhilarating 60 minutes of your life

Animal magic: Welcome to a world of wild wonders

Zoologist, conservationist and TV presenter Mark Carwardine has had his share of exotic animal encounters. Here, he reveals some of his favourites

Along the river: the Peruvian Amazon

A luxury lodge with a mission in deepest Peru

The Amazon rainforest is under threat but, as Mark Rowe discovers, tourism could help to save the planet's most precious natural resource

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: For the first time, we can see spring coming from 4,000 miles away

Over six months, the mystery of where cuckoos winter has revealed itself

Martin Hickman: Short-term drive for profit is behind this travesty

Teeming with rare mammals, the Tripa swamp is an orangutan stronghold and vital carbon store in north-western Sumatra, an island larger than the UK whose natural wealth for decades has been relentlessly stripped by Indonesia's corrupt rulers. Nearly half its forest was burnt or chainsawed between 1985 and 2007, proportionally more than neighbouring Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia and the more orderly Malaysia and Brunei.

Palmy days: Christmas Island’s coastline is rugged and its beaches small - but ideal for twitchers

Christmas Island: 'The kingdom of the crabs'

Christmas Island is a naturalist's dream, finds Kathy Marks (but a kabourophobe's nightmare)

Gabon's President Ali Bongo

Bongo and Bell Pottinger can't stir voters in Gabon

Rebranding effort abroad – but elections leave country unmoved

Chiquita dried pineapple, banana and mango chips

On The Menu: Dried fruit; The Silver Spoon; Heston Blumenthal; Suka; Fortnum & Mason

This week I've been eating... dried pineapple, banana and mango chips

Bell Pottinger targeted Wikipedia entries for Claire Rewcastle Brown and Boris Berezovsky

The arms company, the oligarch and the ex-PM's sister-in-law: lobby firm's Wikipedia hit list

Hundreds of entries on the site were changed by Bell Pottinger without the subjects' knowledge

Two-month trek ends in La Paz

Cheering crowds greeted more than 1,000 indigenous protesters as they entered Bolivia's capital, La Paz, after a two-month march from the Amazon lowlands.

How dentists are saving Borneo's rainforest

Dentists are offering free treatment to patients who oppose illegal logging. Stanley Johnson visits an award-winning clinic to find out more

A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Poor James Boswell. After a triumphant London run and subsequent tour Russell Barr, who plays the irascible lexicographer's co-star and just about everyone else was taken ill. Luckily for the audience, David Beames tied on a pinny and played the ladies while Andrew Byatt read the sidekick's role from the script.

Google Street View wades into the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon rainforest may be one of the most impenetrable places on Earth, but Google is on a mission to tame it.

Leading article: Impartiality is part of the deal

More than any other media outlet, the BBC relies on a reputation for independence and impartiality. It is a status that is both the result of its public funding, and an implicit part of the bargain.

The mystery of the missing Amazonian rubber slaves

Two men brought to the UK to highlight their tribe's fate never made it back home

Video book review: State of Wonder, By Ann Patchett

The book reads like a Dan Brown novel, with a plot line that dashes from one continent to another, with secret scientists working deep in the Amazon rainforest and remote tribes guarding ancient secrets.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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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