Life on Mars, in Utah

As rock samples show evidence of life on the Red Planet, scientists and enthusiasts live like astronauts far closer to home,  in the harsh terrain of Utah's desert

Photography book of the week: Black Maps - American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime, By David Maisel

"These photographs," writes David Maisel, one of a group of landscape photographers dubbed "the New Topographics", "depict the landscape of the American West as the site of human-induced trauma."

IoS book review: The Friday Gospels, By Jenn Ashworth

The lives of Latter Day Saints

Face-tattooed neo-Nazi is sentenced to life for the killing of a prison guard

Curtis Allgier, a neo-Nazi and inmate of Utah Department of Corrections offered a oddly affecting plea when sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for killing a prison guard five years ago. He said: "Just because I've got tattoos on my face and I'm proud of my race, I'm not some violent monster."

Great getaways: Chamonix and Salt Lake City

French fancy

Obama's re-election: a time for prayer?

Dear Lord... Energy firm boss's prayer after Obama re-election

For the chairman and chief executive of Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company, the reelection of President Barack Obama was no cause for celebration. It was a time for prayer — and layoffs.

Team Romney prepares for power and patronage

Romney has promised to do two things on his first day in office – and there are plenty of jobs to fill

Forza Horizon – Review

Forza Horizon shrugs off the straitjacket and lets the franchise run free.
Quite an inheritance: the sale of Ancestry.com has netted founder Paul Allen and CEO Tim Sullivan a share of £1bn

Mormons proves money grows on family trees

For the newest members of the dot-com millionaires club, money grows on family trees. A Mormon company have cashed in after their genealogy service agreed to a £1bn buyout lead by UK investors excited by a global roots-finding trend boosted by, among other celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Man missing in desert for three weeks survived on diet of frogs and roots

An autistic man survived in the desert for three weeks on a diet of frogs and roots, US authorities have said.

Reading Like a Writer, By Francine Prose

As novelist and critic, American writer Francine Prose has always gloried in a robust wit and heretical spirit that set her at odds with the po-faced pieties of the US literary scene.

Five Wives vodka 'offends Mormons'

If drinkers in Idaho fancy having Five Wives, they will now have to go elsewhere: regulators in the state have banned the sale of the humorously titled vodka after deeming it offensive to Mormons.

Kerchner, right receives his DSC from Lt-Col James Rudder in June 1944

Lieutenant George Kerchner: Veteran of the D-Day landings

Injured later, he wrote in his diary, 'Attack. Rough! Got hit. Million dollar wound.On way back'

David and Louise Estes' daughter Jade was born on Wednesday morning in Provo, near Salt Lake City, Utah

Woman has third consecutive leap year baby

Three American siblings have equalled a world record set in the 1960s by each being born on three consecutive leap year days.

When I really felt in the firing line... at the premiere of my first film

Tom Bradby has been shot during riots in Indonesia, he has reported from Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles, and he has unwittingly triggered the biggest crisis in the British media for a generation. But the ITV News Political Editor has found a new terror – attending film premieres as a guest of honour.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada