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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.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (18)

This curious essay in self-mortification has its moments, though one quickly begins to suspect its trustworthiness as a documentary.

Like Viagra for your brain

Professionals use them for jet lag, students to pass exams, soldiers to stay alert. Brain-enhancing drugs are the latest fix – and they're legal

How to boost your sex drive

Food, music, drugs and even scents can all help fire up flagging desire. Jane Feinmann reports on how to make Valentine's Day go with a swing

Will Self: PsychoGeography - Little Englander

... You take my impotence for example. Up until a few years ago the old todger was as big as a bloody battering ram: I used to fear my erections. Since then, well, I blame Nigerian traffic wardens. They come over here, can't speak the lingo and strut about the place slapping tickets on anything that moves – it's intimidating. I was coming out of the Cross Keys in Wilmslow and there was one of the bastards skulking under the moot hall having plastered a big yellow sticky one right across the Range Rover's windscreen. Well, I went to have it out with the blackguard – I wasn't about to be intimidated! I fought in eight world wars and put down the bloody Mau-Mau, man, armed only with a Martini-Henry! Anyway, to begin with he's cringing and scraping, but then he pulls some ghastly little fetish out of his tunic. Looks like a cat's paw wrapped in a hairball all tied round with kidney stones – fair gave me the willies, ha! If you'll forgive the pun – or rather, anti-pun – because it didn't give me the willies, it took mine away! Ever since I gave that illegal immigrant chappie a rollicking I haven't even caught sight of poor John Thomas, seems he's completely hidden away inside me. Saw the same thing in Malaya during the Emergency in the Fifties, native wallahs would get the damn-fool idea their meat'*'veg were sort of retreatin' inside their bodies – latah they call it – thing is, in their case it was a bloody fantasy, in mine it's a reality. My missus, well, she may be getting on but she has certain perfectly reasonable expectations: a Tory government, no one frightening the horses, no redevelopment in Hungerford High Street, Sunday afternoon rumpy-pumpy right after matins – you get the photo. When I realised I wouldn't be able to service the old mare I got pretty antsy, I can tell you. Went to see the quack sharpish. Well, she's only some junior harridan sporting a Harriet Harman horror mask, ain't she. Has the bloody nerve to tell me I ought to be cutting out the sleepy Ribena and the fags at my age. My age! I explored the Lost-bloody-World and climbed the Empire State Building with my mits up Fay Wray's jacksie so the likes of her could have free school milk. The chit wouldn't even write me a prescription for Viagra, told me it was "contra-indicated" for a man of my age. That wasn't going to stop me, oh no. Jimmie Wemyss, mine host at the Bald Eagle in Netheridge told me about this interweb thing, and how a chap can get anything he needs with a push of a button, so I ordered the contraption from little Freddie Dixon, and when it pitched up, he came up and got me started. Turns out you don't even need to go looking for the stuff, there are all sorts of obliging fellows out there who send jolly emails offering Viagra, Cialis, and even this sleepy Ribena in pill form called Ambien. But before I could even divvy up the old Diners' Club I got rather sucked into correspondence with them. I mean, I'm not lonely or anything, but the trouble and strife spends an awful amount of time with her committee work, and early February... well, the time before opening can lay heavy on a chap's hands. Besides, when you get a tinkle out of the blue yonder headed FuckStickAmpleFloyd, or GargantuanPenisBeau, well, it's a tonic in itself. I began writing back to Karen Knutsin, Stanislaw Baczmonski, Kumar Senthil, and all the other obliging souls out there in hyperworld. Nothing too personal, just stuff about the village, who's breaching planning regs with his fucking dreadful conservatory, and who's dipping his sheep in liquid MDMA then rogering 'em – harmless gossip, really.

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Just the odd kiss...

Dear Virginia, I'm 48 and a widow. Six months ago I met a wonderful man of 50. We share everything and we love each other. But he won't have sex with me - just the odd kiss. He says I am in too much of a hurry and it was a year before he and his last girlfriend went to bed. Do you think he's impotent and embarrassed? How can I broach this? Yours sincerely, Fiona

Rhodri Marsden: Cyberclinic

Are my downloads from Russia too cheap to be legal?

Weston Plan set to push RFU and clubs apart

Despite optimistic noises emanating from Twickenham last night from England's top clubs, all the signs are that the domestic game is in for a summer of discontent.

THE SKETCH: Dunwoody extends welcome - with a blow to the gullet

WE HAVE a new under-minister. Her name is - what is her name? I had it a minute ago. She is responsible for the whale industry. Sketch writers rejoice! She has a mild speech impediment! It's the little things that make us happy in the gallery.

Viagra flops for brainy women

Auction website sells fake Viagra

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
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Charlie Sheen said he would
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Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
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Apple CEO Timothy Cook
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes