Arts and Entertainment Catherine Tate and David Walliams bond in Big School

A dated and mild-mannered sitcom is saved by  its casting, but a social experiment goes phut

Technology: Time for a new app?

Now Mark Zuckerberg's corporate behemoth controls your ever-so-cool Instagram photos, it might be time for a change. Here are your options...
Making science sexy: Brian Cox

Ten people who changed the world: Brian Cox, the man who turned science into a sexy subject

Whether in the cut-throat field of politics or the fashion industry's corridors of power, this year they left our planet a better place. Celebrate 10 of the best, nominated by Independent writers

Russell Kane: Manscaping, Hammersmith Apollo, London (4/5)

It was typical of the self-aware, self-referential and self-deprecating “third Russell of comedy” to acknowledge that the X Factor final had taken a slither out of his audience share tonight.

John Bird: Fashion has become a weapon on the streets of London

What you wear can be a matter of life and death – as last week's riots demonstrated

Joan Smith: Lack of empathy made it easier to wreck and rob

Mix violent street disturbances, excitable commentators, angry politicians and "experts" on youth culture and what do you get? Hot air. It is perfectly possible to be horrified by last week's riots without rushing into a moral panic or claiming that they fulfil doomy predictions about the impact of spending cuts. But it is vital to identify the causes, because the response of national politicians, local councils and schools will be shaped by assumptions about why the violence happened. Yet much of what has been said in the past few days has been irrelevant for a simple reason: mobs are not driven by reason.

Being Modern: High-street jeans

In 1950s America, jeans were deemed so culturally subversive that teenagers were banned from wearing them in many public buildings. It's hard to imagine the same furore today over a rack of identically "distressed" (and distressingly flimsy) high-street skinnies or supermarket stretch denim.

Music and drugs - It's a hard habit to break

Amy Winehouse's popularity came in part, says Andy Gill, from the honesty with which she sang of her addictions. But pop hasn't always faced up to the dangerous reality of drugs

Curating online: Hobbies for the hipsters

Tumblr has changed the art of collecting by offering its users an easy way to curate their interests – whether snow globes or dogs in hats

Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt to stand down

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt is to leave his role at the station after 13 years.

Lessons from the future: What lies in store for our education system in the next 25 years?

Dr Martin Stephen, who has just retired after 24 years as one of Britain's leading headteachers, reveals his predictions

The family blockbuster returns

JJ Abrams's Super 8 is inspired by the rites-of-passage movies he loved as he grew up. Kaleem Aftab celebrates a golden age

A user's guide to age: We can't truly become 'amortal'

In an age of teenage millionaires and 60-year-old new mothers, it's tempting to think anyone can do anything - any time. But no matter how good the plastic surgery, we can't truly become 'amortal', argues Peter York

Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out: 'Classical music is irrelevant to today's youth'

As he prepares to take part in a Cambridge Union debate with Stephen Fry, Radio 1 DJ Kissy Sell Out explains why classical music has had its day

Club class: 20 years of the Ministry of Sound

Twenty years ago, a club in south London opened its doors, turned up the volume and transformed nightlife. Ian Burrell rewinds to the beginning of the Ministry of Sound
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones