Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

Madagascar tackles taboo on twins

Superstition holds that twins bring bad luck in Madagascar.

Lucky for some: Science of superstition

Black cats, broken mirrors; superstitions may seem silly, but, asks Sanjida O'Connell, could they be the secret of our survival?

Stevie Wonder, NIA, Birmingham

A rather muted master blaster

Last Night's TV: The Genius of Charles Darwin, Channel 4; I'm Kylie's Body Double, BBC 3

It is a very strange thing, the way in which the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has come to resemble that which he most despises. There is something almost biblical in the desire of this high-profile hard-rationalist to smite the unbelievers, and remove them from the face of the earth, using the implacable power of science and reason. God knows, as he wouldn't say himself, how we'd manage without the chap.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Country Doctor's Notebook, by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Michael Glenny

There are some books, like places, that it's better not to encounter too soon in life. I visited Venice for the first time recently and was moved to tears. Perhaps it was the contrast of so much shimmering colour after the grey-green architecture of Geneva, where I was living, but I prefer to think of it as the impact of beauty, an effect that might have been missed had I been younger.

The curse of Red Cliff - John Woo's £40m problem

John Woo's epic £40m film has been beset by setbacks and tragedy. Clifford Coonan reports from Beijing

Bradford 16 Hull 22: Sing hits high notes for Hull

The superstitious believe that sometimes your name is written on the cup. Given that Hull are exceedingly fortunate to be still competing in this season's Carnegie Challenge Cup after they fielded an ineligible player in an earlier round, fans of the black and whites could be forgiven for thinking that a Wembley victory is written in the stars for 2008.

Scientists rally against creationist 'superstition'

To mark a double anniversary celebrating Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, his supporters are taking the fight to their opponents

The Sum of Our Days, by Isabel Allende, trans. Margaret Sayers Peden

Tales of a house of spirits

Jaco van Dormael - The return of a hero

After 12 years off, the award-winning Jaco van Dormael is finishing a new film. What took him so long, asks Sheila Johnston

10,000 BC, 12A<br/>The Cottage, 18

Charging mammoths and creeping ice caps &ndash; those were the days

Paperback: Suckers, by Rose Shapiro

This ferocious assault on the evidence-free mountebanks who peddle alternative medicine, and the dupes who fund them, is a bracing tonic. From aromatherapy to "zero balancing", Shapiro runs through the alphabet of false claims and dud research, exposing quackery. She mounts a terrific defence of science against superstition. But something's gone wrong with the tone – a sneery arrogance that (as with the Ayurvedic tradition) can only bother to caricature its few substantial foes.

First Night: The Man Who Had All The Luck, Donmar Warehouse, London

The girl, the garage and the mink-breeding isn't enough to leaven this lucky man's lot
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...