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

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

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

Tales of a house of spirits

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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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent