News German cockroaches - smaller than the famous American cockroach - have evolved to lose their sweet tooth

The creature crawled into his ear as he slept

Investment Column: Bananas ripen for Fyffes

AFTER a lean couple of years, bananas have started to bear fruit for Fyffes. The Irish fresh food group, which distributes two of every five bananas sold in the UK, benefited from firmer prices across the European Union and reported a 15 per cent rise in interim pre-tax profits to IRpounds 23m.

Be ordinary and make your millions

IF YOU had to name three particularly ordinary activities at random how about these? Having a cup of coffee, taking the bus to work, and vacuuming the living room. Ordinary, even boring. But those three activities have made three spectacular fortunes. Read on.

Theatre: Tomorrow's World Today

Some mornings, pushing a soft, plastic button and smiting an ergonomically- designed computer keyboard in order to log on (clocking in, so to speak) is as much 'work' as a person can bring themselves to do until they've had a stiff cup of tea and read the job ads. This five-second process is as unremarkable a daily routine as smiling at the receptionist or hanging up your coat. Had you been one of the first schoolchildren to learn how to use a computer, however, you may appreciate the effort that has gone into making it such a simple process.

Bagless wonder taken to cleaners

WHICH? consumer magazine yesterday entered the dust-up between rival vacuum-cleaner makers.

THE TRUTH ABOUT... Laying a path

LAYING a path should in theory be simple enough: a matter of slapping down some paving stones or cobbles or bits of wood in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, in such formation as to keep everybody's feet out of the mud underneath. In fact, installing a concrete or paving-slab path is an operation akin to resurfacing the M25, though on a slightly smaller scale. It involves digging a trench, adding a layer of hardcore, then either pouring in the concrete or adding a layer of sand and placing the slabs on top. Bricks are even worse: a brick path involves similar hard labour plus attempting to lay the things out in a fancy pattern (if you don't know your basketweave bond from your herringbone pattern, beware). Bricks also need some form of permanent edging or they will make a slow but determined attempt to escape, and they also need a firm hand to squish them down into their sandy bed (the extremely patient can use a piece of board and a club hammer, those with other commitments outside the garden will end up hiring a very scary petrol-driven plate vibrator). Attempting any of these on curved or wiggly paths multiplies the labour and headache factor by 20 (approx).

Outlook: First taste of Argos's defence

FOR A retailer that never seems to have moved out of the 1970s, Argos has suddenly come over all designer trendy. Instead of its usual grey presentations the company yesterday hired the London Weekend Television studios to regale audiences with its new retail strategy. There were lots of yellow kettles and bright red vacuum cleaners everywhere and, up on the podium, new chief executive Stuart Rose was reading from his autocue with all the aplomb of a seasoned Oscars presenter. Amazing what a hostile bid can do.

Doctor's boyfriend 'was like a timebomb'

THE murdered doctor Joan Francisco was warned that her alleged killer, Tony Diedrick, was "a walking time bomb", the High Court heard yesterday.

Family of murdered doctor launch civil action against her ex-boyfriend

THE FAMILY of a young doctor who was murdered more than three years ago yesterday launched an unprecedented High Court civil action against her former boyfriend whom they suspect of killing her.

Blood, sweat and sawdust

INTERIOR MOTIVES

The precise science of a great sleepover party

Not many people have slept in space. But every month more than 100 children lie in the darkness gazing at the the Apollo 10 Command module.

Briton looks to create power vacuum in Japan

BUNHILL

New Year Honours: CBE for inventor whose new design cleaned up

The inventor of the bag-less vacuum cleaner, James Dyson, whose revolutionary "cyclone" design ousted giants Hoover and Electrolux from the top of the British market, has been rewarded with a CBE.

Property: Doctor On The House: Only boffins can keep their cool with bo ilers

We're too darned hot. So please give us central heating with programmes we can follow, begs Jeff Howell

Thirty-seven hours (not) at home with the agony family Atkins

A 12-year-old girl disappears from home. Her mother is `The Daily Telegraph' agony aunt, Christian, moralising. What, asks Virginia Ironside, can one say?

Clean-living robot moves into the sitting room

In his novel 3001, the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke envisaged a future where tiny household robots came out at night to take care of domestic chores while humans were asleep. That dream looks set to move a little closer to reality - with the advent of the self-operating vacuum cleaner.
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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
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering