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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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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
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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'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