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

The Information on: `Riddance'

What Is It?

Exhibition: The future is 'Blue Peter' models

Designing in the Digital Age V&A, London

Letter: In Hoover's honour

Sir: If Chris Gulker would pause for a closer look at Hoover Tower, mid-jog, in his circuit along Sand Hill Road and through the Stanford University campus, he would discover that Stanford's distinctive landmark was named not "for the cross-dressing former head of the FBI", but for the former US President Herbert Hoover ("Outraged? A brisk jog is just the ticket", 16 August).

Edinburgh Festival '99: Too close for comfort

THEATRE Riddance Traverse Theatre, Venue 15 (0131-228 1404) to 4 Sept

The Friary newsletter: Patience, patients: you're here till you're cured

Hello! And a specially big welcome to all our new patients. We deal in straight talking and common sense here in the Behavioural Monitoring and Addiction-Corrective Facility. We don't have any truck with silly euphemisms like "guests" or reductive labels like "inmates". You're patients who will remain patients until you're better - or at least until you tell OK! magazine that you have experienced a period of vital retrenchment following a personal upset and are now well on the road to recovery, a journey made easier by the support of your loving ex-wife (with whom your relationship has never been stronger) and your five lovely children.

Comment: There's no one quite like grandpa

These days they don't get round to thinking about having babies until they are almost pensioners

Advertising: Work, rest and play

Not convinced your whites are whiter than white ... don't feel like chicken tonight ... think energy drinks are a load of Red Bull? Apparently, we just don't respond to advertising like we used to, and one man wants to find out why. Photographer Florian Jaenicke and writer Matthew Sweet meet Siamack Salari, coming to your living room while you ...

Man who invented hovercraft using old coffee tins dies at 89

SIR CHRISTOPHER Cockerell, the inventor of the Hovercraft and one of Britain's greatest engineers, has died three days short of his 89th birthday at a nursing home in Hythe, Hampshire. Sir Christopher, who died on Tuesday, had a long and distinguished career which involved taking part in the World War II effort to build radar, designing and developing an amphibious craft that could ride on a cushion of air, and patenting nearly 100 inventions.

Wilts worried by Dyson plan to expand into greenfield vacuum

ONE MUST pity anyone who takes on the irrepressible James Dyson - the entrepreneur who single-handedly revolutionised vacuum cleaning.

Fast Forward: Done and dusted - Vacuum cleaners

They clean up spills and look great too. Michael Oliveira-Salac and Martin Skegg run a sweepstake. Photographs by Phil Ward

Music: Rach is seen to shine at last

Hidden Perspectives

Leading Article: Switch off the guilt and turn on your TV

IT IS time to liberate ourselves from one of the most tenacious guilt trips of modern life. A survey reports today that nearly everyone feels guilty about watching television. We know we should be reading Conrad, listening to Mahler, visiting lonely people in hospital, mowing the lawn, playing tennis, but let's just see whether there's anything on, shall we? From the earliest days, when the picture flickered if they switched on the vacuum cleaner next door, people pretended to watch less television than they did and television sets had doors to disguise them as drinks cabinets.

Dr Wordsmith decides to call time on the last baguette

PEOPLE ARE as concerned about the state of the English language as ever, and, to deal with the flood of inquiries about lexicological niceties, I am happy to welcome another visit from Dr Wordsmith. He has given up a few minutes from his ceaseless research into the evolution of modern English, conducted in pubs the length and breadth of the land; and here he is to deal with your latest problems. Take it away, Doc!

Design: The wash of the Titans

Can Martin Myerscough's monster monotub revamp the humble washing machine?

Books: Simple love story of unsuitable length

An Equal Music
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there