Life and Style

If you are reaching for your handkerchief it might be too late to stop the spread of flu, research suggests.

Great Works: Leda And The Swan (circa 1515) after Leonardo

Wilton House, Salisbury

Best of the west: Australia's largest state offers superb diving and the nation's finest wines

You look for omens on any sea voyage, and the cheeky young seal that was our escort to the sunken HMAS Swan's final resting place in Western Australia's Geographe Bay seemed to suggest a fine day's diving. Gambolling along the surface, flippers stretched towards the spring sunshine, he revelled in the calm seas and blue sky every bit as much as us. He came right alongside just as we reached the mooring buoys, fixed us with his big brown eyes and carefully preened his whiskers before sliding away into the depths.

Errors & Omissions: Once upon a time, people could distinguish fairy tale from reality

I hate to break this to you, but Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Pinocchio are fictional characters. Somebody made them up. When you watch a Disney film – indeed any film – the people on the screen are not really there. You are choosing to suspend disbelief in an illusion created by artifice.

Ain't life fadtastic? The A to Z of fads

From boob-tubes to Tamagotchi, human history is littered with ill-advised crazes. Rhodri Marsden looks back in wonder – and imagines what our future holds

Dom Joly: This cow row is causing a rift in my marriage

Stacey picks up the kids and sprints for the gate, while I dissolve into fits of giggles

Dinosaurs, the giraffes of their day

Ever since palaeontologists pieced together the many bones of lumbering sauropods they have argued about how these largest of dinosaurs would have held their immensely long necks.

The Wrestler (15)

Let's hear it for the fall guy

Ali Smith: Do you call that a Christmas present?

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me: a whole month whose daylight ended at roughly half past three. I looked out the window and watched it fall.

Swans stay in 'warm' Siberia

The late arrival in Britain of migratory birds from Russian region is being blamed on global warming, Ian Johnston reports

Ask Martha: Should I kick my flatmate out?

Got a social dilemma? Martha Arthur has the answer...

Album: Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Tin Angel)

A third album for Seb Rochford's jazz rats, and by far their best. Pete Wareham and Mark Lockheart are the frontal tenor sax lobes, but what makes this their most accomplished, coherent recorded work is the LP's unitary vibe: by the sound of it, the group now constitute a single brain, a listening one.

Swan, By Peter Young

When contemplating the serene splendour of the swan, one may be disagreeably surprised by its hissing reaction to friendly approach. The swan has fascinated humanity for aeons – a fascination provoked not by its mere loveliness, but by the contrast between its appearance of perfection and its somewhat perverse nature. Peter Young's study of the bird involves ornithology, but also covers poetry, science, philosophy, and even the movements of markets.

Bird flu tests on two more swans

Tests were continuing last night on birds found close to the reserve where three wild swans have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Poultry curbs as bird flu is found in Dorset swans

Restrictions on the movement of poultry were in force last night after three mute swans tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

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Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power