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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
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?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat