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As drug fiends usually know, peyote is a Mexican cactus with hallucinogenic properties; the visions it conjures are so strong that a religious cult once sprang up to worship it. And a pretty hefty restaurant cult has appeared in the UK that worships simple Mexican cuisine.

Birds may use cigarette ends to protect chicks

It sounds like a surreal urban myth: birds in cities may be deliberately incorporating cigarette ends into their nests to ward off insect parasites. But scientists in Mexico offer compelling evidence that it is true.

WWII code experts called in to help solve mystery of the pigeon’s foot

GCHQ turn to Bletchley Park veterans for help with D-Day cipher

I'm A Celebrity: Nadine Dorries munches her way through camel toe and ostrich anus

Suspended Tory MP Nadine Dorries got her teeth into life in the jungle by chomping on a camel's toe and an ostrich's anus in her latest stomach-churning challenge on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here.

Green Man and French Horn, 54 St Martin's Lane, London WC2

I didn't do too much research before setting off for lunch at Green Man and French Horn. All I knew – all I needed to know – before piling in to this Covent Garden newcomer at the earliest opportunity was that a) it's the latest opening from those clever young chaps behind Terroirs, and b) they are very good at creating fine places to eat.

Birds still at risk from lead poisoning despite shotgun laws

Lead poisoning is still a major cause of death among swans, ducks and other waterfowl despite legislation aimed at restricting the use of toxic lead pellets by shotgun owners, a study has found.

Cheer up! It’s Not the End of the World .., Edinburgh Printmakers

According to the Mayan calendar, we have until 21 December and that’s it. With that in mind, Norman and Sarah Manning Shaw have collected apocalyptic images from Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and younger artists such as American Ricky Allman whom they discovered on the internet.

Scott Lidgett: inspired a generation of British publicists

Helen Scott Lidgett: PR supremo for major cultural institutions

In 1991, a sculpture by Patricia Finch called Golders Hill Girl was unveiled in a north London park. Dressed in bronze flip-flops and hot pants, the work is arresting for its unusual mix of glamour and informality. The same might have been said of Helen Scott Lidgett, née Finch, who sat for the piece for her mother and has died of ovarian cancer at 63.

Bignon says: 'I like The Square in Mayfair - it is classic French cuisine and the tastes are very clear'

Arnaud Bignon: 'The smell of broccoli is enough to make me want to leave a room'

My earliest food memory… Cooking with my mother and grandmother. My mother taught me how to do classic things such as make an apple tart, while my grandmother would cook a big meal every Sunday for 10 or 15 people, which I would help with. They had a lot of animals, and they would often kill a chicken or rabbit and cook that. But my favourite childhood dish was yoghurt cake. It was incredibly simple, but that's what you appreciate when you're young.

Dan Biggar kicked the decisive conversion for Ospreys in Dublin

Williams bows out by sealing final win for Ospreys

Leinster 30 Ospreys 31

Michael McCarthy: Real Spring starts this Sunday

I wrote recetly that four is not really a sufficient number for seasons, with mid-March, for example, being neither spring proper nor late winter, but something in between. And the spring's true heart also does not fit with the traditional versions. As far as I am concerned, spring in southern England, where I live, begins this Sunday, 15 April.

After 8,000 miles, Martin the cuckoo is almost home

It's nearly here, the best-loved sound of spring, the double note of the cuckoo: in fact, it's in southern Spain, on the last leg of a 4,000-mile journey from Central Africa.

Cate Blanchett plays Lotte in <i>Big and Small</i>

Heads up: Big and Small

Let the bright one in. Blanchett sizes up the London stage

Norwich win sends Bolton back into relegation zone

Norwich 2 Bolton 0

Chris the cuckoo: the birds were fitted with satellite transmitters

Extraordinary rendezvous of the migrating cuckoos

Researchers track five birds on their 3,000 mile journey to same area in central Africa

James Lyon-Shaw, ETM Group's executive chef prepares the boar at The White Swan gastropub

Boar necessities: Two restaurant-owning brothers are hunting down top-notch meat

The brothers have taken the business of acquiring meat into their own hands. Jamie Merrill joins them in the hunt.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?