19 November 2011

• Found in the trash The Information Commissioner warned Oliver Letwin that he has broken the law by dumping documents, including letters from constituents, into litter bins in St James’s… Read more

12 November 2011

Another world Six cosmonauts have completed an experiment in which they were isolated inside a container for 520 days to simulate a voyage to Mars. A similar experiment, the Lunar-Mars… Read more

5 November 2011

• Initial problems The leaders of the eurozone countries have hatched a plan to bundle up dodgy Greek government debt and sell it to the Chinese. Without any apparent sense… Read more

29 October 2011

•  Rebels, rebels 81 Conservative MPs defied a three-line whip to vote in favour of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Some other big rebellions. Number of rebels… Read more

22 October 2011

• Mummy’s secret recipe A terminally ill taxi-driver from Torquay has volunteered to be mummified for a Channel 4 documentary. Here is what Egyptian mummification involved, according to Herodotus: —… Read more

8 October 2011

Late winners The Nobel Prize is not usually given posthumously; but an exception was made this week for Ralph Steinman, a cancer scientist who, unknown to the Nobel committee, had… Read more

1 October 2011

Up in smoke A coroner in Galway has passed a verdict of spontaneous human combustion on a 76-year-old pensioner whose body was found burned in a house otherwise largely undamaged… Read more

24 September 2011

Objects in space — The six tonne US Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite was due to fall to Earth, with Nasa calculating that it has a one in 3,200 risk of… Read more

17 September 2011

The comedian David Walliams performed the impressive feat of swimming 140 miles of the River Thames from Lechlade to Westminster. That is still a long way short of the swims… Read more

10 September 2011

A judge has described squatting as ‘good for society’ and called for lists of empty homes to be made available to an agency for squatters, while the Justice Secretary, Kenneth… Read more

3 September 2011

The taxes of sin Bonn has introduced a flat-rate tax of €6 a night for prostitutes working in the city, payable at a ticket machine. Attempts to tax prostitution have been… Read more

27 August 2011

A Red Arrows pilot was killed when his plane crashed, the first fatality in the RAF’s aeronautical troupe since 1988. — Aeronautics were once more hazardous. They were pioneered by… Read more

20 August 2011

Bishops and rioters From the Scarman report to ‘Faith in the City’, no British riot is complete without politicians and churchmen weighing in with the answers. It was no different… Read more

23 July 2011

Select company The appearance of Rupert Murdoch before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee confirmed that some of the best action in parliament is now before select… Read more

16 July 2011

Achieving closure The News of the World has shut after 168 years, joining a long list of defunct British newspapers. Here are some of the more notable ones: Daily Herald… Read more

9 July 2011

Victory celebrations Novak Djokovic celebrated winning the men’s singles at Wimbledon by eating grass on the Centre Court. While not doing a lot to boost the image of his native… Read more

2 July 2011

Life of Pi A group of mathematicians is campaigning for the mathematical constant pi to be replaced by tau, the latter being the ratio of the circumference to the radius… Read more

25 June 2011

Phreaks and geeks Police arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of hacking into the government computers containing data from the entire 2011 census. — Hacking evolved in the 1960s from phone… Read more

18 June 2011

Council housing Ed Miliband proposed that a Labour government under his leadership would send people in employment to the top of the council house waiting list. Mr Miliband risks criticism… Read more

11 June 2011

Suicide country The BBC is to broadcast a documentary featuring a man committing suicide at the Dignitas clinic in Zurich. Where else in the world can assisted suicide be carried… Read more

4 June 2011

This wek’s Barometer Crime lords — Lord Taylor of Warwick was jailed for 12 months for fiddling his expenses. He is the fourth peer of the realm to be jailed,… Read more

28 May 2011

Irish quarter Is there any such thing as a US president without Irish roots? The US genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts has researched the origins of all US presidents and concluded… Read more


21 May 2011

Royal reception — The first visit to Ireland by a British monarch in 100 years has focused attention on the last, by George V on his coronation tour in July… Read more

14 May 2011

A better class of tourist — The Seychelles tourism industry received a boost with the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to spend their honeymoon there. —… Read more

7 May 2011

Rules of engagement The strike on bin Laden has been widely celebrated in the US, even though there are strong grounds to regard it as illegal. — Section 5(g) of… Read more