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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star