Arts and Entertainment

Despite my obsession with Game of Thrones and Lucy Worsley’s The First Georgians right now, I am still televisually smitten with MTV’s Catfish. The show that exposes online love fraudsters. The throwaway youth TV show that one’s mind just cannot throw away. Instead, one sits post- episode genuinely saddened that our human need to love and be loved is so destructive. Or that  the earth’s supply of gullible optimists may well be infinite.

John Ross: Journalist and activist who became the first person to be arrested for refusing the US draft

The American reporter John Ross was a tireless fighter for social justice.

Howard Jacobson: Too wired to have a relaxing holiday

Outside, the waves broke; inside, two adults, tired from travel, hammered at dead computer keys

Tom Hodgkinson: 'Why is cleverness frowned upon?'

Having three children in the state primary system, I've seen the results of New Labour's Brave New World anti-intellectualism up close. Academic work has been largely dropped. Times tables, spelling, grammar and good handwriting are not taught. One teacher told us that correcting spelling might interrupt "the creative flow". In the playground, age-old games such as conkers and It are banned, as they might upset someone. The local authority, we are told, has also banned the ancient game of football, because it encourages competitive behaviour. Instead, pupils are treated to lavish praise, sex education and colouring in, plus a big dose of television via the whiteboards. The place is awash with laptops. There is a therapeutic ethos, and in "circle time", pupils are encouraged to talk about their problems at home. Cleverness is frowned upon: yesterday my daughter said she didn't like being clever and was considering doing bad work so she would be moved down a set.

Dom Joly: Welcome to my glass menagerie

I'm in Indonesia, on the island of Sulawesi, on a two-week trip to teach my daughter to scuba dive. I have a friend, Kaj, who is a scuba dive master and, whenever he moves to a new job we go and visit him. "You'll love this new place," he told me on Skype. "It's world-famous for muck diving and there are loads of weird creatures totally unique to here."

Sydney to Hobart protests dismissed

An international jury in Tasmania dismissed a protest by the organising race committee against Bob Oatley’s 100-foot Wild Oats and confirmed its fifth line honours win in six years of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. A similar protest against Britain’s 72-foot Rán, owned by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom and skippered by Tim Powell, about a failure to meet a radio reporting schedule, was also dismissed.

Cancelled trains and icy roads stall the mass getaway

Freezing temperatures are forecast to continue for days, with Boxing Day blizzards likely in the West Country, Wales and Scotland.

'Net neutrality' rules to protect web competition

Internet providers are barred from restricting how customers use their service even if it means allowing competitors to run rival services under new rules adopted by US Federal communications regulators.

Boring? The number 23 bus? Never!

A conference finds unlikely fascination in bus routes, breakfasts, car parks, and even in the humble pint of milk. Susie Mesure at the Boring Conference, London.

Polanski's 'The Ghost' wins best film at European Film Awards

Roman Polanski's The Ghost – the story of a journalist hired to write the memoirs of a British prime minister – has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards.

The English Concert, Barbican, London</br>Orpheus in the Underworld, Britten Theatre, London </br>La voix humaine, Kings Place, London

Even with a last-minute change of soloist, a choral society staple is sung with outstanding poise and poignancy

Matt Baker tipped for One Show as Jason Manford quits

Strictly Come Dancing star Matt Baker has become favourite to take over as The One Show host after Jason Manford quit over his online "flirting" with fans.

Changes for America's Cup and Audi MedCup

The revolving doors of the America’s Cup and the Audi MedCup, two of the top six pinnacles in world yacht racing, are spinning merrily as two directors join the board of America’s Cup Race Management and the man who founded the internet telecoms system, Skype, joins the TP52 class and the Audi MedCup circuit.

Cisco executive is Skyped as competition heats up

Skype, the pioneering internet phone and video conferencing company, is switching chief executives, in a move designed to improve prospects for its multibillion dollar stock market flotation.

Facebook and Skype 'exploring partnership'

Social networking website Facebook and Internet telephone company Skype are in talks to establish a partnership that is aimed at integrating their communication services, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Rhodri Marsden: Why we all hate website redesigns

Cyberclinic
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
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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
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little