Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, has been sued for allegedly misrepresenting the Ramapough tribe of New Jersey

Christian Bale film Out of the Furnace sued by Native American tribe

Members of the Ramapough tribe of New Jersey have claimed misrepresentation

The photo that the mother of a suicide victim sends along with his ashes to strangers so her thrill-seeking son can fulfill his dream of travelling the world

Facebook gives mother of US Air Force thrill-seeker CJ Twomey one final adventure in ashes scattering

Hundreds of strangers on Facebook have helped Hallie Twomey with her mission

The Hart district of Hampshire has been named the most desirable place to live in the UK. With 84 square miles of green wooded landscape and Hampshire's largest freshwater lake, the area has been dubbed

Hart can't possibly be the best place to live in Britain – there's not even a decent restaurant

Hampshire exile Jamie Merrill fails to see what’s so great about this particular slice of pricey commuter belt

Alastair Cook pictured after England lost the Ashes

Donald MacInnes: Surprise, Surprise! There is a limit to American overspending

As we trudge ever onwards towards Santa's ghastly grotto, bearing that annual downcast air; heading for yet another financial cavity search of Christmas spending, I thought it timeous that I address some possible differences between how we approach emptying our bank accounts in celebration of the birth of Jesus (how apt, how suitable... not) and how our American third-cousins-twice-removed do so.

Parsifal: Opera review

Royal Opera House, London

Protesters march against plans to develop Rosia Montana
Graeme Swann takes part in an Aboriginal dance during a visit to
Ayers Rock

Ashes 2013-14: England find time to smile for now but vow to resume sledging war in second Test against Australia

Tourists must prepare in the outback this week for the cauldron of the second Test in Adelaide

Madonna di Campiglio’s Spinale Direttissima is one of Europe’s toughest descents

Steep thrills: Italy's recession-hit resorts put faith in hair-raising black pistes

Testing a skier’s limit is at the heart of plans to reverse a drop in holidaymakers

The Australians celebrate after Ryan Harris of Australia claimed the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during day two of the First Ashes Test

Ashes 2013-14 comment: Alastair Cook is a problem, and his lack of runs are costing England

England's batting deficiencies well exposed by Australia on day two of the First Test

Mitchell Johnson of Australia bats during day one of the First Ashes Test match between Australia and England at The Gabba

Ashes 2013-14: The Aussie Angle - Mitchell Johnson provides one of the few positives

The late coming of Mitchell Johnson – with the bat – has papered over the thick cracks that still race in all directions through the Australian top order.

The Week in Radio: From Our Own Correspondent is a jewel in the BBC's crown

I can't remember the first time I heard From Our Own Correspondent on the radio. What I do recall is that it was part of the background noise of my childhood alongside the Blue Peter theme tune, the sound of farmyard animals and the words: "You're not going out dressed like that."

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in the video for 'Bound 2'

Kanye West debuts Nick Knight-directed Bound 2 video featuring Kim Kardashian

The artist debuted his new video on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Powder room: skiers assail the pristine slopes of Whistler

Make your own tracks at dawn

Alf Alderson advises you to rise with the lark if you want to enjoy the best skiing

Career Services

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?