News Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

Man of substance: Matthew Paris

For writer, broadcaster and wit-about-town Matthew Parris, absence of style is a positive virtue. He has no time for his appearance - aside, perhaps, from a sneaking concern that he may end up one day looking like an old tortoise

COMPETITION: LITERALLY LOST NUMBER 87

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us: a) where is the action taking place? b) who is the author? Blackwell's Bookshops will award pounds 30-worth of book tokens to the first correct answer out of the hat. Answers on a postcard to: Literally Lost, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Usual competition rules apply. Entries to arrive by this Thursday. Literally lost 86: The book was 'Driving Over Lemons' by Chris Stewart. The action took place in Andalucia. The winner is Christopher Day of Kent

Racing: Venture sends Woods off to York on a high

GENTLEMAN VENTURE won the Classic Boxes Maiden Stakes at Redcar yesterday after some hefty bets forced his odds down to 1-2.

Alain de Botton column

A good idea from... Baudelaire

Rowing: Slovenian holds on for narrow victory

THE THAMES World Sculling Challenge, newly introduced alongside the Boat Race to produce a weekend of rowing, pushed its ancient rival into the shade yesterday afternoon with a cracking race.

Did stress destroy the dinosaur?

HOW 70 MILLION-YEAR-OLD EGGS COULD EXPLAIN A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARING ACT

Travel: Talking tarantulas and turtles

From spiders so venomous they can kill horses, to the gentle and curious sloth, Costa Rica has it all.

Hearing clearly amidst the noise

THE VOLUME of the "how quickly should they come down" UK interest rate debate notched up a couple of clicks this week, with Eddie George supposedly displaying a hawkish tinge to his plumage. His comments about the North and the South needing different interest rate policies - no, he didn't quite say that, but it was implicit in his briefing - also raised the temperature more than somewhat.

Travel: Don't argue with a 500lb turtle on heat

The mid-Atlantic Ascension Islands once boasted the world's worst golf greens, but Michael Brooke recommends it for holidays like no other

RAF stops turtles being last of the few

IT SEEMS an unlikely haven for an endangered species but the drought- stricken and heavily militarised island of Cyprus is the scene of a reprieve for turtles facing extinction.

Turbo-charged tortoises overtaken by man

THEY WERE built for speed, moved in herds, and could reach up into trees for their food. They ruled their domain for millions of years.

Competition: Literally Lost: 47

This excerpt has been taken from a work of travel literature. Readers are invited to tell us:

Pop: Coming out of their shell

A gig by instrumentalist Chicago troupe Tortoise is usually a splendid event for several reasons, but there's one in particular that they are not always given credit for. Over the last few years they have graduated from the backrooms of Camden pubs to attracting what amounts to the fathering of the tribes, the ranks of fans swollen by everyone from techno-diehards, jazz evangelists and junglists as well as your average left-field electronic-rock obsessive.

Review: The devil you don't know

Opera: Mefistofele Barbican

Album Reviews: Watercolour blues

Andy Gill's round-up
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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
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor