England's Chris Ashton goes for the gap during the QBE International at Twickenham

Lancaster needs to become the father of invention – and fast

There is no vim. England didn't lack effort. What was missing was a clue

Guess Who’s sexist?

Guess Who’s sexist? Classic board game’s gender bias leaves six-year-old fuming

It’s the hit guessing game which invites children to use their skills to solve a mystery. But a six-year-old girl left the games giant Hasbro struggling for an answer when she asked “why are there so many more boys than girls in Guess Who?”

Nancy Donaldson falls for Furby. 'I liked the way you could feed him by sliding food from a phone or iPad,' she said.

Furby rides again: The must-have toy this Christmas is back with an app

Nick Donaldson and daughter Nancy reveal what's going to be on children's wish lists

Old favourites including Lego, Twister and the Cabbage Patch Kids are set for Christmas return

Old favourites Lego, Twister and the Cabbage Patch Kids are among the toys being tipped for the top this Christmas.

The 10 Best puzzles and games

Cool, fun, silly and educational – here’s our pick of the finest distractions for children. No screens required...

A baby wearing electronic monitors is studied

Science behind a baby's laugh

A study into why infants smile can help us teach us about autism and Down syndrome. Charlotte Philby pays a visit to Babylab HQ

A baby wearing electronic monitors is studied

Revealed: The serious science behind a baby's laugh

The first attempt in 50 years to discover why infants smile can help our understanding of conditions such as autism and Down syndrome. Charlotte Philby visits Babylab HQ

Robin Ironside, Grosvenor Museum, Chester

It’s a family kind of place, the Grosvenor Museum. This being Chester, there is a child-friendly section on the Romans.

Skylanders Giants: Innovator or money-spinner?

Creative characters, ground-breaking design and 48 toys to collect, but does Skylanders Giants represent value for money this Christmas? Andy Robertson investigates.

Fear in Las Vegas at Roth's new haunt

The American horror director Eli Roth who is best known for Hostel and Cabin Fever has opened a haunted-hotel-themed horror attraction in Las Vegas.

Last Night's Viewing: The Plane Crash, Channel 4
Homefront, ITV1

What Hollywood wants from a plane crash and what air-safety investigators want from an air crash turn out to be substantially different. Hollywood wants a fireball and apparently endless momentum – that gratifying destruction smeared out by slow motion so that it seems as if it will never end.

On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does, By Simon Garfield

Apple recently found to its cost just how much maps mean to us when it replaced the Google maps on iPhones with its own handiwork. It was not a success. Railway stations were labelled as parks, parks became airports, Woolworths stores were resurrected. Wolverhampton disappeared entirely. Apple fans overreacted floridly, but not just because maps are handy for finding the nearest petrol station. It's more primal. They tell us how we see ourselves, how we used to see ourselves, and the journey from A to B. Simon Garfield's new book is a rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve.

Being Modern: Tweens

on this day in 1955 the actor James Dean was involved in a fatal head-on car crash. Not that the 24-year-old’s tragic death would slow the phenomenon he had done as much as anyone to create – the cult of the teenager would persist for a fair few decades to come.

Swimming: Team GB's Jonathan Fox sets new world record at the Aquatics Centre

Jonathan Fox and Sophie Pascoe both set new world records this morning as the swimming got under way at the Paralympics with some blistering racing at the Aquatics Centre.

Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Though this 24-year-old comedian fails to convince that he has brought a complete hour with him to Edinburgh, he does enough with this debut show to flaunt his potential star quality.

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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 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...