Life and Style

Live-streams of meals can attract viewers of thousands night after night - with audiences donating enough money for the host to live on

Leading article: That sinking feeling

It might sound morbid to some that the menus from the Titanic should have been compiled into a book, including those from the infamous evening of 14 April 1912, when it really was last orders all round.

Tory MP Anne Main ordered to repay £7,100 after flat probe

A Conservative MP was ordered to repay £7,100 and apologise in writing today after a parliamentary investigation into her claims for second home allowances on a flat where her daughter was living.

My Week: Simon Fowler

The managing director of John Lewis's Peter Jones department store keeps staff and shoppers motivated during the busy Christmas season

Album: James Brown, Live at the Garden (Hip-O-Select)

Dating from 1967, Live at the Garden was one of James Brown's less auspicious releases, which is why it's taken so long to be reissued in this expanded format. In the first place, it wasn't actually recorded at Madison Square Garden, or even Kew, but at the Latin Casino, a New Jersey supper-club. To approximate the ambience of the larger venue, faked crowd noise was liberally ladled all over it, including a version of "Let Yourself Go" taken from an after-hours rehearsal. To squeeze the 150-minute show on to a 40-minute album, several of the best performances were either truncated or left off entirely, most notably a storming nine-minute version of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", which captures the Godfather on the cusp of his new funk sound, with Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks's double-drum alliance locking into an ingenious syncopated propulsion of the kind that would, just a few weeks later, produce the seminal "Cold Sweat"; and an extended "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" – though the microphone placement on the strings is so bad they're left buried in the back of the mix. Both are restored on a second disc that also dispenses with the fake crowd noise, leaving one better able to track the lock-tight changes of rhythm, and appreciate the interlocking rhythm guitars of Chank Nolen.

Ski reps' days off raise concerns

At Monday's inquest into the death of skier Stephen Gladman, who fell into a snow hollow while skiing at the French resort of La Plagne in February 2007, it was said that on the day of the accident none of the resort employees of Thomson – the company with which Mr Gladman and his family had travelled – were working. Apparently, they had all taken the day off.

Tim Walker: 'Salad Club takes place in someone's living room and has its own etiquette'

The Couch Surfer: 'The washing up was being done in the bath. This was a delightful quirk rather than irritation'

Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas: I want to visit my stepfather without getting abuse from his wife

Dear Virginia,

Every other afternoon, I visit my stepfather, who has terminal cancer. It helps to relieve his wife, who takes the dogs out, and does the shopping – and once a week I stay for supper. It gives me a chance to talk to my stepdad about the old days – he's the last connection I have with my family. But last time she hurled abuse at me, saying why should she be forced out into the rain whenever I came round and that she wasn't prepared to cook for me. I was so hurt. I was only trying to help. What can I do?

Yours sincerely, Caro

Can the Pope solve riddle of the Last Supper?

Vatican's designs on building annoy Israel

British businesses warned not to cut back on lunch and travel expenses

Nearly two-thirds of firms have now scrapped or reduced lunch allowances, according to a new survey.

Credit crisis diary: The bankers who sang for their supper

Yet more tales reach us concerning Sir Fred Goodwin's ultimately disastrous tenure at Royal Bank of Scotland. Sir Fred reputed to have been something of an authoritarian boss, apparently kept a karaoke machine at RBS's impressive head office on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Not because he enjoyed a sing-song himself, you understand – no, the idea was that getting top executives to belt out some tunes would hone their competitive instincts. What we now want to know is what was on Sir Fred's playlist? Simply Red's Money's too Tight to Mention, say?

Observations: Covent Garden chorus learn to sing for their supper

While the stars get the limelight, Covent Garden's unsung heroes are the chorus – 48 stalwarts who tread the boards night after night, rehearsing and performing for six long days each week. "It's a crazy life, but I love it," says tenor George Freeburn, who hopes to carry on until he retires at 65. Like many of his colleagues, he could have been a soloist, but life in these elite ranks is the summit of his ambition: this, he says, is the Manchester United of opera companies. But like all team work, this has its stresses, particularly since the arrival of chorus master Renato Balsadonna, a stickler for discipline whose ferocious technical demands have undeniably pushed up standards.

Love doctor: What's sex got to do with it?

Are love and sex inextricably linked? My dad was a love-and-sex man. At least I think he was. He certainly wasn't the kind of guy to say "phwooar!" (if that's how it's spelt). And he was never unfaithful to his partners. My mother, on the other hand, was a sex-without-love person. When they divorced, my father, on talking to the head of the Royal College of Art, where she worked, was asked by the principal how he could have stood all her affairs. "Oh, it wasn't affairs, it was only flirting," said my father. "Flirting?" replied the principal, his eyes bulging. "My dear man, your wife went to bed with everyone in the college, myself included!"

Pandora: Emily's no longer kissing for her supper

Nowadays Emily Mortimer prefers to try out for Hollywood blockbusters than trail the English drama circuit. And who can blame her? During one of the dainty actress's first major forays into British cinema, The 51st State, her audition merely required her to snog the Scottish actor Robert Carlyle.

'Spitting vicar' ordered to leave parish

A Church of England vicar accused of intimidating and spitting at parishioners was ordered to vacate his post by his bishop today.

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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
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

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The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

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A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

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From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star