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

I simply can't stand animals wearing clothes

I'd happily hunt down every frog, fieldmouse and squirrel in the Beatrix Potter canon

Sports Books for Christmas: A sporting chance of a good read

Cyclists, sailors and turbulent snooker players all had stories to tell in 2002

Mystery face in Victorian photo is revealed as Manet

A PHOTOGRAPH that has spent most of the century languishing in a locked drawer has been identified as a portrait of the Impressionist painter Edouard Manet, possibly taken on his only visit to Britain.

Film - the final crisis

I see the movies as a likely casualty in our next great quickening at the turn of the millennium

Film: It should never have been made

The War Zone Director: Tim Roth Starring: Ray Winstone, Lara Belmont, Freddie Cunliffe (98 mins; 18)

THE CRITICS: EXHIBITIONS: Realism doesn't come much dirtier

Larry Clark Photology, London Substance Dazed and Confused, London

Letter: Wrong thinking

Sir: At the heart of England's football problems lies what I call the Brian Clough fallacy, the deeply entrenched belief that all that is necessary for the England team to win everything is appointing the right manager. This person would then,by definition, select the right team and motivate them so that innate qualities of national superiority - codename, the bulldog spirit - would prove too much for Gianfranco Foreigner and his mercurial talents or cunning plans.

Books: A woman boxed in by family secrets

The Memory Box by Margaret Forster Chatto pounds 15.99

The Sitter's Tale: Helen Mirren

New faces at the National Portrait Gallery: 'It's me and yet not me,' says Britain's most alluring actress

The sitter's tale: Harold Pinter

New faces at the National Portrait Gallery: the master of the pause enjoys the chance to sit back, relax, and think about life and death

Visual Art: The trouble with Saatchi

He created an art movement. He built a gallery. He made the visual arts a talking point. But as Charles Saatchi's new exhibition reveals, he's overly fond of the brash, the violent and the twisted. And heaven help any artists over 30. By Tom Lubbock

Visual arts: Rubbish. Absolute rubbish

What's the best way to make sense of a cluttered world? If you're Tomoko Takahashi, it's obvious. Sculpt in junk.

Wednesday Book: A masterpiece of ordinary life

ETHEL & ERNEST: A TRUE STORY BY RAYMOND BRIGGS, JONATHAN CAPE, pounds 14.99

Yours sincerely: the anti-ironists

Hello!: An example of a product which, though widely read by ironists, staunchly claims to be straight-faced. Genuflective anti-irony.

Classic cinema: I wept and wept, from start to finish

A FRIEND of mine invited me to attend an advance screening of a Russian film in Soho. I asked him what it was like and he said, "Well, nothing really happens and then someone dies. Come along. You'll love it." My friend was releasing the film in this country, so I felt obliged. Sitting through a Russian film is the kind of thing friends do for each other.
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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
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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