Voices Goggle box: the blocky looks of the Oculus Rift belie the breath-taking experience of what the wearer sees

This technology is about to change the way you perceive the world – and yourself

Great works: The Execution of Emperor Maximilian, 1867, by Édouard Manet

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Mitch Feierstein: Chancellor builds his policies on a Ponzi homes plan

Investment View: George Osborne is putting the good of his party before his country. Shame on him

Asunder, By Chloe Aridjis

This unusual novel of art, solitude and imagination breaks the rules but creates a vision of its own

Crime writer Lynda La Plante

Page 3 Profile: Lynda La Plante, crime writer

A new novel on the way?

Promotional artwork for the Tomb Raider video game

Tomb Raider publisher denies pressure to include 'more violence' after game is rated 18 for first time

Ian Livingstone, president of Eidos, said Lara Croft's latest adventure includes "gritty realism"

Indissoluble connection: Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera

Great Works: Mars, c 1638, by Diego Velázquez

Prado, Madrid

The 10 Best Spring talks

On a new year fitness drive? Get your mind into shape as well with these great talks and lecture series around the UK...

Before Facebook, there was Manet, painting friends

The Impressionist was into social networking long before the dawn of the internet

Ai Weiwei brands Nobel Prize for Literature decision an 'insult to humanity' as China's Mo Yan named winner

One of the “grand old men” of Chinese literature, who has chronicled the changing landscape of the country in the 20th century, was yesterday awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Yet the news sparked fury from dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who called it an “insult to humanity and to literature”.

Manet to remain in UK after public campaign

A celebrated painting by Edouard Manet has been saved for the nation after an eight-month public campaign raised £7.8m to prevent it heading overseas. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford called it the "most significant acquisition" in its history.

The Dinner, By Herman Koch, trans. Sam Garrett

This riveting Dutch bestseller will leave its readers feeling thrilled, chilled or cheated.

Last night's viewing - Blackout, BBC1; Jamie's Summer Food Rave Up, Channel 4

You might have thought that little could go wrong in a drama series starring the wonderfully intense Chistopher Eccleston and the equally wonderful Dervla Kirwan – he as a craggy-faced councillor with a drink habit and she as has his fulminating wife. But things went skew-whiff pretty quickly in the first episode of Blackout. Some of the skewing was intentional.

Stuff of fantasy: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Tom Sutcliffe: Wes Anderson is so animating

I finally "got" Wes Anderson the other day. Which is not to say that I hadn't "got" him before – in the sense of liking his work and always being willing to substitute his vision of the world for mine for an hour or two. Though I'm not very fond of fey art-house whimsy (see references to Miranda July passim), there has always been something about.

Redemption in Indigo, By Karen Lord

Magical realism without the realism

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada