Word Games: Telegentsia
By Sophie Elmhirst - 27 January 13:06

Sometimes a word comes along that makes you feel sick. It doesn't happen very often. But when it does, you sense it deep in the gut: word-nausea is visceral. Enter "telegentsia".

The Observer and US - based conference and events organisation TED to hold one day "festival of ideas"
By Dominic Ponsford - 24 January 11:18

The Observer and US-based conference and events organisation TED to hold one day "festival of ideas

What If . . . We'd spared the Volunteers
By Dominic Sandbrook - 20 January 15:29

Dublin, 1916. After seven days of savage fighting and at a cost of almost 200 lives, the Easter Rising is over.

The NS Interview: Antony Gormley, artist
By Samira Shackle - 20 January 10:59

“You should definitely cut defence before you cut art”

Word Games: Bonus
By Sophie Elmhirst - 20 January 10:56

Bonus, boni, bono, bonum, bono, bone. Not a chant for U2's Ray-Banned frontman, but the declension of bonus in Latin. We use the word all the time; it lives, even though the language died.

Word Games: Purple patch
By Sophie Elmhirst - 13 January 11:18

Thank God for cricket. Without it, the first days of the Year of the Cuts might have descended into deep gloom, but instead we were distracted by Down Under and its sunshine, success and sprinkler dance.

Diss capital
By Paul Mason - 06 January 13:00

Karl Marx, in London for a book signing, stumbles off the Eurostar and straight into an interview wi

Word Games: Chaos
By Sophie Elmhirst - 06 January 9:59

Weather, the lifeblood of a British newspaper in a snow-gripped winter. Vince was a brief distraction from weeks of ice analysis. Have there ever been so many disgruntled interviews conducted from Heathrow Airport?

Inside the mind of a man
By Simon Baron Cohen - 06 January 9:52

Science tells us that men’s brains are different from women’s – but that doesn’t mean we should not

Ricky Gervais: They call me the entertainer
By Sophie Elmhirst - 29 December 11:01

Ricky Gervais came late to showbiz via <em>The Office</em>. Now, at 49, he appreciates every moment

Our leaders are ham-fisted chumps
By Russell Brand - 22 December 14:30

“The spectacle of implicated governments trying to stifle WikiLeaks is futile and undignified,” writ

By Sophie Elmhirst - 15 December 9:55

(Warning: this column will bypass all hand-wringing discussion of the commercialisation of Christmas and its severance from religious meaning.

The NS Interview: Mary Warnock
By Jonathan Derbyshire - 15 December 9:43

“The ‘big society’ doesn’t speak to me. It doesn’t speak to anyone”

What If . . . Reagan had lost in 1980
By Dominic Sandbrook - 15 December 9:42

Amazingly, it is 30 years now since the constitutional crisis that briefly left the United States without a president.

A graffiti image of Jesus. Photo: Getty
Jesus was a lefty
By Mehdi Hasan - 15 December 9:19

Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed son of two asylum-seekers with all the personal traits of a modern revolutionary. 

Let the American anti-Quran pastor visit Britain
By Sholto Byrnes - 12 December 10:55

Theresa May is being urged to ban him. Free speech demands she shouldn’t.

Does the BBC really have a left-wing bias?
By Daniel Trilling - 12 December 9:53

If most of the corporation’s staff don’t vote Tory, that’s only a reflection of the country at large

The contempt for democracy
By Steven Baxter - 10 December 11:50

Think about this while you read press coverage of the student protests.

Last of the Irish rovers?
By Maurice Walsh - 09 December 11:48

Roger Casement made waves with his exposés of imperial abuses on the rubber plantations of Belgian C

Value of a soft cell
By Michael Brooks - 09 December 11:46

Stem-cell therapy is about to prove itself. Over the next few months, researchers will inject stem cells into the retinas of 12 people with a genetic condition that has slowly robbed them of their eyesight.

Sharing the pain?
By Jeremy Gilbert - 07 December 15:53

Why the coalition's cuts agenda draws on a masochistic streak in English culture.

Welcome to New Socialism
By Neal Lawson and John Harris - 02 December 15:22

After its defeat in May, Labour moved to elect a new leader. It was just the beginning of the overha

Stretch of the imagination
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb - 02 December 9:11

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the bestselling book on black swan events, delves deeper into the u

What if... Egypt had ruled over us
By Dominic Sandbrook - 02 December 7:58

Of all Shakespeare's plays, Antony and Cleopatra is my least favourite.

By Sophie Elmhirst - 02 December 7:22

You've probably read quite a lot about students in recent weeks, what with the protests, and the way certain newspapers (hello, Daily Mail) can't get out of bed without publishing a bevy of pictures of beautiful girls

"No one is going to do this for us, so we'd better get it right"
By Sofie Buckland - 29 November 13:35

Why the university occupations are giving students a crash course in political activism.

Of culture and anarchy
By Daniel Trilling - 22 November 10:01

The student protests were not an aberration but part of Britain’s rich history of dissent

The Memory Chalet
By Jonathan Derbyshire - 18 November 12:49

In 1998, in the introduction to The Burden of Responsibility, a book about French intellectuals in the 20th century, the historian Tony Judt made this observation about individuals and their pasts: "Except at moments of unusua

Death becomes you
By Ned Denny - 18 November 12:47

Ned Denny negotiates the perils of the ancient Egyptian underworld.