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
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
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A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
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Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
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