Life and Style

The website that aims to let users 'annotate the world's text' has launched its first iPhone app following a spat with Google

Carol Ann Duffy : 'I was told to get a proper job'

She's the first female poet laureate and a set-text fixture, but, says Carol Ann Duffy, life hasn't really changed all that much

Birthday boy Blunkett bested by bovine bully

MP breaks rib after confrontation in Derbyshire field

The people's poet

The <i>IoS's</i> literary editor, Katy Guest, considers how Carol Ann Duffy will handle the 'poisoned chalice' of being the new Poet Laureate

First Night: Tusk Tusk, Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Youngsters carry off remarkable stage debuts

Aldo Williams: A brilliant film &ndash; and a tribute to teachers

If you're a secondary teacher, you're lucky if it's just one class and unlucky if it's two or more. These are the classes that utterly, miserably, wretchedly, exhaust you. End of term can't come soon enough. In fact, in your worst moments maybe you have been thinking that the end of the school year and a change of job can't come soon enough – maybe to the private sector, where you know such grimness just doesn't occur.

Tom Sutcliffe: It's time we redefined the word 'adult'

Odd phrase "adult movies" – and one that's only been with us, according to the OED, since 1958, where the first citation comes from a New Musical Express small ad offering "unusual adult photo sets".

Downstream, By Tom Fort

Finding a trickle of water measuring just "12 inches across" in a field in rural Staffordshire, Tom Fort feels kinship with Speke at Lake Victoria. Travelling by foot, bicycle and sometimes punt, his easy-flowing narrative follows the River Trent until it mingles with the Ouse.

One Minute With: Lissa Evans

Leading article: University challenged

T S Eliot wrote that humankind cannot bear very much reality. It sometimes seems that we British cannot bear very much intelligence; at least if the gnashing of teeth that Gail Trimble has provoked through her virtuoso performances on University Challenge is anything to go by.

Obituaries: Derek Stanford

I feel bound to add to James Fergusson's scholarly obituary of Derek Stanford (9 January), since I had been acquainted with Derek since the early 1970s, when I joined his Poetry Writing Class at the City Lit in London, writes Julie Whitby. He didn't merely "subsist" in this capacity; as tributes from some of his ex-pupils avow, he was a brilliant lecturer, working by encouragement rather than overt criticism. James Berry (one-time winner of the National Poetry Competition) and dozens more benefited from his inspired instruction.

Book of a Lifetime: Four Quartets, By T S Eliot

Some books, like some pieces of music, works of art, conversations, people, change everything: once experienced, nothing is ever the same again. From many such before-and-after books I have chosen Four Quartets by T S Eliot (1943). I had read The Waste Land at school, but it wasn't until my first term at Cambridge that I discovered the Quartets in G David, a legendary second-hand bookstore. Pulling out an elegant Faber edition, I skimmed the first few lines of "Burnt Norton", felt the instant clamour in my head and heart and promptly threw down my paltry two quid. Rushing back to college, I gobbled up all four poems in one breathless, astonished sitting.

Minor British Institutions: Now That's What I Call Music

Can you believe that we're up to Now 71? Seems only yesterday that Woolies were selling Now 23. Ah, nostalgia. With the iPod, the idea of compilation has become universal; but we should pay tribute to the pioneers. Once upon a time, the idea of the compilation album was anathema to the true music fan.

Poetry enters remarkable new territory

Glitzy readings, throngs of fans &ndash; verse has never been more vibrant. John Walsh works the crowd at the TS Eliot prize, and witnesses the birth of a star

Tom Hammick: Holding, Eagle Gallery, London

Lonely figures on the path of life
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all