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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power