Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

The Eclipse: Hungary - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

MILLIONS OF eclipse-watchers flocked to Hungary's Lake Balaton to see the total solar eclipse over this inland sea, the largest lake in central Europe, its 600 square kilometres of tranquil waters packed with every kind of craft.

The Eclipse: Iraq - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

IRAQI ASTRONOMERS were given unimpeded views of the last solar eclipse of the century yesterday as Western warplanes skirted their camp.

The Eclipse: India - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

MONSOON RAIN clouds blanketing most of India put paid to the hopes of many longing to see the eclipse as it moved across the country from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. But visible or not, many Indians laid preparations for the event that some believed would herald some form of disaster.

The Eclipse: France - World shares a strange ceremony of science, superstition and awe

DESPITE APOCALYPTIC forecasts that the Moon would become glued to the Sun and the Mir space station would fall on Paris, the most untoward incident in France before or during yesterday's brief mid-day darkening of the skies was a sunglasses riot in Marseilles.

Theatre: Skilful hokum

THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH COTTESLOE THEATRE LONDON

FICTION IN BRIEF

2 The Great Ideas by Suzanne Cleminshaw, Fourth Estate pounds 14.99. Haddie is 13, bright, inquisitive, justly unnerved at the fact that she has the same name as her sister, dead before she was born. Haddie the first fell out of a window in the next-door house, smashing her head on the concrete. Haddie the second worries obsessively at the incident which her best friend, 16-year-old Louis Lewis, might have witnessed as a toddler.

Books: A plunge into loopholes between Logic and Life

Novel? Encyclopaedia? How-to manual? Liz Jensen gets mixed messages; The Great Ideas by Suzanne Cleminshaw Fourth Estate, pounds 14.99, 312pp

Cricket: Kiwis must swallow bitter fruit

Graeme Wright at Edgbaston watches and winces with his compatriots

Education Comment: Monsanto may or may not be greedy, but its managers won't destroy its own business by poisoning its customers

TWO YEARS ago I was asked to chair a working party for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to look at the regulations governing introducing genetically modified food plants into Britain: the subject is only mildly interesting ethically as most issues that medicine and animal husbandry raise are not at stake. Plants don't have rights, and it's not easy to be cruel to them. There are interesting ethical puzzles about our relationship with the natural world, but they are too metaphysically complex to build public policy on.

Agony for agnostics agony: God's Funeral by A N Wilson John Murray, pounds 20, 402pp

As the sea of faith receded, late-Victorian free-thinkers looked forward to a century of peace and truth. Little did they know... Christopher Hawtree asks why reason's victory turned sour

Politics: The Sketch - The PM has some good news - there's no bad news

AS TRIUMPHS go it was a very muted affair. Mr Blair rose at 3.30pm to make his statement about Kosovo with the next best thing to good news: No confirmed bad news. He did so to the most doubtful of cheers from the Labour Party, as though a kind of superstitious dread of premature celebration had hushed his supporters.

Faith & Reason: Elvis, Dawkins, the Pope and the lesser of evils

Want to know the difference between religion and mere supersition? Then first consider the distinctions between atheism and science and decide which could best do business with organised crime

Film: A superior intelligence with just a hint of the perverse

Woody Allen says she is an `acting genius'. She, typically, disagrees. Adam Mars-Jones meets Judy Davis

The Information On `The Carmelites'

What Is It?

Travel: Where Santa Claus was born and King Midas lost his touch

In the shadow of a volcano in Cappadocia, Jonathan Begg encounters a land drenched in history and covered in the strangest rock formations
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US comedian Bill Mahr
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Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
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The artist Grayson Perry in an example of his trademark headgear
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Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
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Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
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Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us