Agenda: MC Nicki Minaj; Sarah Winman; Strange Rain; #Meateasy; Born this Way; Rubber

Sunday 30 January 2011 01:00

Fashion: step aside, Gaga

Cometh the new year, cometh the new post-Warholian pop starlet. When Nicki Minaj made a recent visit to the capital, her newly assembled fan army caused such a hubbub that the Trinidad-born MC found herself ejected from the Dorchester. We suspect her ability to inspire hyena-pitched shrieks rests less on her serviceable R&B tunes than on her assiduously understated wigs and bubble-gum sci-fi couture. It's a fine line between quirky and quirksome, but this Barbie-rella's got it made.

Face to watch: Sarah Winman

It's a novel move, indeed, for Winman, an ex-Holby City star now sitting pretty on the new annual Waterstone's hotlist of first-time authors. Likenened to Lorrie Moore and John Irving, her debut When God Was a Rabbit is out in March.

Lexpionage: Hackarazzi, n.

News gatherers – rogue or otherwise – who employ underhand techniques to intercept celebrities' mobile-phone calls and messages then present their details as good old-fashioned EXCLUSIVES!!!

Social networking: Match the tweet to the star

Simon Pegg, Jonathan Ross, Armistead Maupin, Joan Rivers...

1. Joan Crawford would have killed for Twitter

2. I am back in NYC and couldn't be happier. I love a city where I pay more to park my car each month than my parents paid for their house

3. Tragically, I am sober

4. The inability of some to recognise the fact that there is more than one time zone on this planet beggars belief

Answers at the bottom of the page

App watch#3: Strange Rain

This wondrous curio turns your iPhone or iPad into a skylight on a rain-drenched day. Pitch and roll your device to catch splodges of synthesised raindrops or switch to "whispers" mode to see raindrops morph into words as they fall. An oddly cathartic experience that proves practicality is overrated. £1.19 from iTunes

On the radar: Because some things are still worth getting excited about...

Food: #Meateasy

Heston, pfff... for a true buzz bite, we suggest hotfooting it to this guerrilla burger joint in London's New Cross run by famed Meatwagon founder Yianni Papoutsis. The patty paradise is open until mid-March

Web: Born this Way

Following last year's "It Gets Better..." project, this rather wondrous blog ( compiles childhood photos and stories from gay people across the world. Melanie Phillips, this one's for you

Film: Rubber

Thought you'd heard all the crackpot B-movie concepts there were? Well you hadn't counted on this French horror about a homicidal tyre. Directed by one-hit-DJ Mr Oizo, no less. See the trailer at


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