The lampshade that drives its owners mad: Strange truth behind 20th century's most disturbing object

Looted from an abandoned house, sold as junk for $35 – and finally mailed to the American author Mark Jacobson by a man who couldn't wait to get rid of it. It is the lampshade that drives its owners mad – but what is its macabre secret? Robert Chalmers investigates

The Turn of the Screw, Grand Theatre, Leeds<br/>Strange News, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Alessandro Talevi's high-risk production around an old four-poster pays off, with a terrific Opera North cast and an astonishing richness of sound

Relics kept in the Twin Towers sent back to Iraq

In all the twists and tragedies spanning 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, few would think to look for a happy subplot in the world of archaeology. But consider the travails of 362 tiny clay tablets. Forged in southern Iraq 4,000-odd years ago, then crushed in the collapse of the twin towers, the tablets are now back in Iraq.

The Innocent, By David Szalay

David Szalay's anti-hero, Aleksandr, is a relic of the Communist revolution, who grew to manhood at the beginning of Stalin's regime when betrayal and execution were the order of the day. Now, in 1972, while Bobby Fischer robs his Soviet opponent, Boris Spassky, of the world chess championship, and the Munich Olympics endure bloodshed and terrorist attack, Aleksandr is looking back over events after the Second World War, when he was sent to investigate the case of Anatoly Yudin.

Mystery Jets - From songs of innocence to grown-up experience

Mystery Jets began as an eccentric father-and-son outfit on London's Eel Pie Island. But, they tell Nick Hasted, they've moved on

Mystery Jets, Somerset House, London

Mystery Jets' apparent popularity has always been rather confusing.

Singing cowboy relics for sale

An upcoming auction will feature the belongings of the singing movie cowboy Roy Rogers, including his horse, Trigger, which has been stuffed.

World's best-preserved gladiatorial relics are discovered in the suburbs of York

Eighty skeletons &ndash; including one apparently killed by a large carnivore &ndash; found close to city centre

114 terracotta warriors discovered in the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang

114 Terracotta Warriors, and several artefacts, have been discovered in the mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The warriors were discovered in the largest of the pits, No 1 pit, and retained some of the richly-coloured paint that all of the warriors would have displayed originally.

Peter Popham: Shrouded in the faith of centuries

The Catholic Church has never officially endorsed the claims of the Shroud's true believers

Cloth of gold: The glittering return of the Turin Shroud

The Turin Shroud captivates the faithful, intrigues even the sceptical &ndash; and earns the Catholic Church a fortune. What is it about this ancient relic that makes it so special? Michael Day reports from Italy on this spring's real blockbuster exhibition

Turin Shroud expected to attract two million visitors

World's most famous holy relic on display for only sixth time in a century

The London stone 'just needs some love'

Mix two parts legend to one part myth, sprinkle some facts and grill for a few decades: the London Stone is London's enigmatic emblem, tightrope-walking over a sea of mystery and romance from its ersatz home on one of the city's busiest commercial streets.

CND plan nuclear weapons site blockade

Hundreds of peace activists from across the UK will today try to blockade a nuclear weapons site where warheads for the Trident submarines are made.

Army may patrol streets to confront terror threat

Long-awaited Green Paper foresees new domestic role for Britain's services, with emphasis on greater co-operation as chiefs face up to budgetary constraints
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A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
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Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
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Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
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Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
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'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home