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Potato chips. In the 1800s in New York, a customer at a restaurant sent back French fries because they were too thick. The cook made thinner ones that the customer still thought were too thick. Exasperated, the chef made ones that were exceedingly thin to piss off the customer... who loved them.

BBC criticised for using fake orgasm clip on show

The BBC was criticised today after a radio presenter played a clip of Meg Ryan faking an orgasm during a show broadcast during the time of the school run.

Jeremy Laurance: Are we expecting too much from medicalised sex?

The launch of Viagra in 1998 was a landmark. Within weeks it became the world's fastest-selling drug, within four years it was being used by 20 million men worldwide, and within a decade it had spawned a dozen rivals.

Leading article: Sexual revolution

"Love is the answer," said Woody Allen, "but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions." Indeed. And in that particular field, few subjects have inspired quite so much inquiry as the female orgasm. Some of the greatest male minds, from Sigmund Freud to Billy Chrystal, have wrestled with the subject. Does it exist? What is its evolutionary purpose? Can it be faked?

Judge bans pensioner paedophile from Viagra

A judge has banned a 71-year-old paedophile from being in possession of Viagra, a court heard.

The Girlfriend Experience, Young Vic, London

Turned off by the brothel creepers

Editor-At-Large: The class rift at the heart of the expenses debacle

I laughed and laughed when a hapless MP moaned last week about the hypocrisy of journalists attacking MPs for creative work with their expenses. Well, if only I could claim that my work for this newspaper required my Aga being serviced or my garden weeded, and that charity wreaths, comedy wigs, flapjacks and hair straighteners were essential to carrying out my duties, I'd be thrilled. If I could charge for food against tax, you'd all be invited round on a rotating basis. Even now, MPs just don't get it, do they? On the radio on Friday, someone was trying to justify the expenses debacle by waffling, "They work in a palace, so this kind of grand behaviour has just rubbed off on them." I'm sure that the Queen's footmen can't claim for duck ponds, second homes or crisps, so that argument clearly doesn't wash. Another commentator called it "a sickness" – well, it's a pretty attractive disease that's got them a lot of property, big tellies, and a grandiose sense of their own importance.

Pygmy, By Chuck Palahniuk

It all gets a tad convoluted when 13-year-old Agent 67 infiltrates the US on a terrorist mission

Obits in Brief: Robert Furchgott

Robert Furchgott, who died on 19 May at the age of 92, was a Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist whose work with the gas nitric oxide helped develop the anti-impotency drug Viagra.

Man jailed over erectile dysfunction drugs

A former bankrupt businessman who funded a luxury lifestyle by selling millions of pounds worth of unlicensed Viagra-like drugs over the internet was jailed for two years yesterday.

Donizetti L’elisir d’amore, Royal Opera House

Laurent Pelly’s incurably cute 2006 staging of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore adds a whole new dimension to that well-worn phrase “make hay while the sun shines”.

How the smell of rotten eggs makes men randy

Scientists take eight transsexuals and a whiff of hydrogen sulphide to begin making an alternative to Viagra

The facts of life: love and age

A comprehensive study by Swedish researchers, published this summer, found that 68 per cent of married men in their seventies and 56 per cent of married women in their seventies were having sex, with almost a third of those surveyed (31 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women) having it once a week.

The trouble with sex

One major cause of misunderstanding between men and women is the awkward fact that sexual intercourse, which we imagine will bring us closer together, is poorly designed to give pleasure to both parties. Jeremy Laurance goes back to physiological basics

Inside China: Beijing changes its spitting image

There are just 33 days to go before it all kicks off, and all Beijing needs is a bit of spit and polish. Well, perhaps not quite so much spit. That's something which the Chinese government is trying hard to eradicate. It's an old Chinese custom to clear the throat lustily and let fly with the sputum but, conscious of the sensitivity of visiting westerners – not to mention hygiene issues – a campaign to put a stop to public expectoration seems to be working. As for the polish, well there's barely a venue remaining that needs more than a final lick of paint before what is certain to be the most lavish and spectacular of Olympic Games begins. But not all is plain sailing. A frantic clean-up operation is going on out at sea in Qingdao, where Britain's yachties are expected to win a fistful of medals. The competition is threatened by an invasion of green algae. And while the lattice-like Bird's Nest Stadium is ready for the opening ceremony, the atmosphere around it remains suspiciously smog-like, despite intense efforts to clear the pollution. Will we be asking if this is what they mean by Bird's Nest soup?

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travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss