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Barbie's turning 60 – in pictures

She is 60 this year and still doesn’t have a single wrinkle! Blonde or brunette, slender or curvy, black or white, princess or president, Barbie is a forever favourite for young girls, even if she has caused controversy over the years Continue reading...
Tags: Toys, Life and style, World news, US news, Barbie


10 of the best creative retreats in the UK and Europe

Want to sit quietly with your paints or handicrafts, burst into song, or use kung fu or dance to get moving? We pick holidays for nourishing your inner makerTao’s, a meditation centre on a hill overlooking the sea on the island of Paros, hosts a dance retreat each September. The style of dance is “open floor movement”, which is said to boost creativity and help people “refresh, recuperate, recharge and rejoice”. It is suitable for anyone who wants to move, regardless of age or experience. The sc...
Tags: Travel, Art, Europe, UK, Life and style, Meditation, Health & wellbeing, Craft, Top 10s, Learning Holidays, United Kingdom Holidays, Europe Holidays, Health And Fitness Holidays, Christiana


Away with words: an Arvon fiction-writing retreat in Devon

Expert tuition, camaraderie and walks in the rain – plus a healthy lack of wifi and mobile coverage – leave our writer buzzing with creativity and short story ideasDespite the glowering weather, the 1½-mile walk from my creative writing retreat at the 16th-century manor house of Totleigh Barton is invigorating. The remote west Devon landscape is heavy with winter; it’s stark and elemental but also evocative and, most importantly, thought-provoking. Being in the wilds gives me the time and space ...
Tags: Travel, Books, Life and style, Health & wellbeing, Creative writing, Devon, Learning Holidays, Rest And Relaxation, England Holidays, United Kingdom Holidays, Devon Holidays, Health And Fitness Holidays, Totleigh Barton


Take the long view: Chile revisited

In three trips over 25 years, writer Sara Wheeler has discovered as much about this South American country as she has about herselfWhen I first went to Chile 30 years ago, I interviewed a television weatherman. Every evening after the six o’clock news, this fellow had to say : “Tomorrow it will be very hot in the north, pleasantly warm in the middle, and perishing at the bottom.”What a shape. That was what attracted me to this long, thin country. Could a Chilean woman at the top possibly have an...
Tags: Travel, Books, Life and style, Chile, Travel Guides, Travel Writing, South America Holidays, Chile Holidays, Cape Horn, Sara Wheeler


A new start: Esi Edugyan on meeting her grandmother on her only trip to Ghana

The Canadian author visited her parents’ homeland thinking she would find her home. She left feeling less Ghanaian than everI was 27 years old when I took my first and only trip to Ghana. My grandmother was old – rumoured to be 103 – and in fact she died the following year. I visited the noisy markets of Accra and the clean, palm-treed avenues of the national university; I visited the slave forts of Cape Coast and Elmina, desolate with their old horrors; I visited my mother’s birth city of Kumas...
Tags: Books, Music, Fiction, Africa, Americas, Life and style, World news, Culture, Canada, Ghana, Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast, ELMINA, Esi Edugyan, Man Booker Prize 2018


Humiliation, homoeroticism and animal cruelty: inside the frathouse

Photographer Andrew Moisey uncovered ritual hazing, extreme drunkenness and toxic masculinity on one college campus – from men destined to be America’s future leadersLast year in the US, four freshman students died as a direct result of hazing rituals during college fraternity initiation ceremonies. All the deaths occurred during or just after drinking bouts in which the victims consumed vast amounts of spirits in a short space of time while older students egged them on. One of the deceased, Max...
Tags: Books, Photography, Education, Abc, Alcohol, US, America, Life and style, Society, World news, US news, Culture, Art and design, Men, Young People, Social Mobility


Rose McGowan: ‘Which living person do I most despise? I think it’s fairly obvious’

The actor and activist on working with an undertaker, her relationship with her father and #MeTooBorn in Italy, Rose McGowan, 45, moved to the US at the age of 10. Her movies include Scream, Jawbreaker and Grindhouse, and the television series Charmed. One of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of assault last year, she has published a memoir, Brave. She appears in an immersive art film, Indecision IV, which will be screened at the Institute of Light, London E8, on 15 and 16 Dece...
Tags: Books, US, Life and style, Culture, Italy, Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan, MeToo Movement, Institute of Light London E8


At Christmas time it’s almost impossible to be both poor and ethical | Kathleen Kerridge

Children need toys, but when you have no money yourself, it hurts to know that those making them are paid pitiful wagesChristmas is a stressful time for families, especially those on strict budgets, and those surviving below the poverty line. Shops are filled with items crying out to be bought. Toys fill shelves, and children wait not-so-patiently for Santa to come. It’s well known that elves make toys in the north pole, and they will be delivered by a jolly fat man, via a sleigh replete with ma...
Tags: Toys, UK, China, India, Christmas, Life and style, Society, UK News, World news, Poverty, Asia Pacific, Social exclusion, Santa, Inequality, Kathleen Kerridge


What's the best video games console for Christmas 2018?

For harassed loved ones everywhere, we compare the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Nintendo Switch A games console is the perfect Christmas present – it’s exciting, it’s cool and everyone can join in on the day (as long as you’ve had the foresight to sneak it out of its packaging on Christmas Eve to download the inevitable six hours of system updates). But selecting which machine to opt for is complicated and confusing, and if you get it wrong you may end up with yet another unloved g...
Tags: Toys, Games, Microsoft, Xbox One, Christmas, Life and style, Playstation, Culture, Sony, Xbox, Nintendo, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch


‘I wanted everything’ – read an exclusive extract from Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming

In an excerpt from her book, the former first lady recalls her internal struggle with her identity in the first days of her marriageIt sounds a little like a bad joke, doesn’t it? What happens when a solitude-loving individualist marries an outgoing family woman who does not love solitude one bit?The answer, I’m guessing, is probably the best and most sustaining answer to nearly every question arising inside a marriage, no matter who you are or what the issue is: you find ways to adapt. If you’r...
Tags: Books, Barack Obama, Life and style, US news, Culture, Michelle Obama


Great literary getaways: 10 writers’ retreats for an inspirational break

Follow in the footsteps of George Orwell and nine other celebrated writers to the places that inspired their workSitting in the pretty walled garden of Montague House on Southwold High Street, it’s as if the clock has stopped. There is the same slope of pretty 19th-century roofs and tiles over the wall, the same languor and stillness. There are the same ancient bells ringing out from St Edmund’s church around the corner. All under the same low-slung gloomy Suffolk sky. No sounds of traffic, no d...
Tags: Travel, Books, Life and style, Culture, George Orwell, Cultural Trips, Richard, Orwell, Travel Writing, Suffolk, Literary Trips, Queen Street, Ida, Avril, St Edmund, Montague House


Give us the whole story on potholes | Brief letters

Potholes | The word ‘slut’ | Terrorist nicknames | Long books | Polyamory | Blue PeterThe AA is wrong to attribute the “pothole epidemic” to the “beast from the east” (Report, 26 September). After eight years of government-imposed austerity, starving local highways authorities of fundsfor routine maintenance, our infrastructure is crumbling while Brexit consumes our attention.Les BrightExeter• Re Rebecca Solnit’s article (Abused women are called sluts. Powerful men are excused, Journal, 22 Septe...
Tags: Weather, Books, Television, Relationships, Women, Life and style, UK News, Culture, Television & radio, Transport, UK security and counter-terrorism, Road transport, Brexit, Rebecca Solnit, Blue Peter, Margaret SimpsonBolton


​MIA and Lily Allen: staying loud in a world that silences women

In a thought-provoking documentary and a no-holds-barred memoir, these forceful music stars counter the ceaseless barrage of bile that has been directed their way since their debuts more than a decade ago. Have they just been unlucky, or are there more sinister forces at work? “The message to women – especially those whose voices might disturb the peace – has always been that things will go better for them if they keep their mouths shut,” writes author Rebecca Traister in a new essay. “And the b...
Tags: Books, Music, London, Media, Activism, Protest, Celebrity, Supreme Court, Film, Women, Life and style, Society, Rap, Culture, Pop and rock, Press intrusion


‘Would that all journeys were on foot’: writers on the joy of walking

Will Self, Fran Lebowitz, Helen Garner and others share their love letters to urban pedestrianismWhat is Walking the City week?Vision Zero: has the drive to eliminate road deaths lost its way?For Walking the City week – exploring all aspects of urban walking, good and bad – writers tell us where they walk and why.Will Self watches the world go by at Charing Cross in London; Fran Lebowitz finds areas of midtown New York off-limits because Donald Trump lives there; Helen Garner says her quotidian ...
Tags: Books, New York, London, India, New York City, Los Angeles, Life and style, UK News, World news, Australia news, US news, Cities, Culture, South and Central Asia, Health & wellbeing, Newcastle


The daughter Steve Jobs denied: ‘Clearly I was not compelling enough for my father'

Lisa Brennan-Jobs talks about how she learned to love the co-founder of Apple, who claimed for years she wasn’t his child• ‘He called me Small Fry’: scroll down for an extract from Brennan-Jobs’s bookIt is a good thing, says Lisa Brennan-Jobs, that she did not write her memoir of growing up in the shadow of her father, Steve Jobs, when she was still in her 20s. The 40-year-old, who lives with her husband Bill and their four-month-old son Thomas in Brooklyn, could not have done justice to the sto...
Tags: Apple, Books, Family, Technology, Steve Jobs, Life and style, Brooklyn, Computing, Bill, Thomas, Lisa Brennan, Lisa Brennan Jobs, Brennan Jobs


From the archive: Martin Amis on arcade games

An Observer Magazine cover story from September 1982 sees the novelist, 33, turn his attention to a ‘global addiction’Martin Amis discovered Space Invaders at a bar near the railway station in Toulon. It was 1979. The console had been installed in the corner and resembled a fridge, and as soon as Amis slotted in his first coin he fell head over heels. ‘I knew instantly that this was something different, something special,’ he explains. ‘The bar closed at 11 o’clock that night. I was the last to ...
Tags: Books, Games, Life and style, Culture, Toulon, Martin Amis, Arcade Games, Observer Magazine


The car for a true Guardian reader | Brief letters

The Hope valley | BAME children’s book characters | Christmas cake | Road tripping | 2CVs | Pasta strawsMuch as it delighted me to see a photograph of the valley in which I was born (Hope and glory, 23 July), I had already saved the same photo from the Guardian of 13 July to display at the annual Rumsey family reunion held in Hope each August.Kathleen Leonard (nee Rumsey)Brighton• Re Only 1% of children’s books have BAME main characters, study finds (17 July). In the 1940s, my mother used to car...
Tags: Travel, Books, Christmas, Life and style, World news, Pasta, Food & Drink, Race issues, Road Trips, Children and teenagers, Teen books, Baking, Motoring, Citroën, England Holidays, United Kingdom Holidays


Brick by brick: how Lego embraced video games

Lego The Incredibles is the latest video game to help introduce the brand to a new generation of children – one 3D block at a timeFor some parents, the idea of kids sitting down in front of a Lego-branded video game might be baffling: isn’t the point of Lego that it’s not on a screen? But the mega-success of Minecraft – based on building things out of blocks with different colours and properties – proves that Lego and video games have been influencing each other for at least a decade. There are ...
Tags: Toys, Games, Life and style, Lego, Culture, Minecraft, Pixar


Slam from Sudan: how Emtithal Mahmoud shook the world

She has debated with presidents, been comforted by the Dalai Lama, and been called one of the world’s most inspiring women – but it’s as a poet that Emtithal Mahmoud truly shinesEmtithal Mahmoud was brimming with rage and misery when she sat down to write her poem Mama. Her grandmother had just died in Sudan, her mother was on a plane to the funeral and she felt consumed by anger.“I wrote it in one of the darkest times of my life,” she says. “It felt like my grandmother had survived everything, ...
Tags: Books, Activism, Poetry, Africa, Religion, Women, Life and style, World news, Culture, Middle East and North Africa, Race issues, Islam, Refugees, Sudan, Spoken word, Mahmoud


Myrtle Allen obituary

Restaurateur and writer who created a new Irish cuisine rooted in the farm-to-table conceptMyrtle Allen, who has died aged 94, is widely credited with having established a new, modern era in Irish food and raised its international profile.In 1964 she placed a notice on her gate, inviting people to dine in her rural home, Ballymaloe House, near Shanagarry in County Cork. Customers arrived each night in her blue dining room, called the Yeats Room after her husband’s collection of Jack Yeats painti...
Tags: Europe, Books, Life and style, World news, Ireland, Food & Drink, Allen, Myrtle Allen, Ballymaloe House, Jack Yeats, Food and drink books, Shanagarry, County Cork Customers


Returning home to Felixstowe: ‘Stories are everywhere’

Novelist Hayley Long always thought her home town, on the Suffolk coast, was a bit of a joke but now she’s proud of its gentle charmPlus: three more glorious, less well-known coastal destinationsOn my bookshelf I have a 1914 Ward Lock travel guide to Felixstowe. I’ve had it for years and it introduces the town I grew up in with words that make me smile each time I read them. “There is in Felixstowe and its surroundings, a combination of grace, prettiness and interest which lingers pleasantly in ...
Tags: Travel, Books, Life and style, Culture, Southwold, England Holidays, United Kingdom Holidays, Suffolk Holidays, Aldeburgh, Suffolk Coast, Felixstowe, Hayley Long


‘I was reunited with my long-lost family on Oprah’

Clemantine Wamariya was separated from her family in the Rwandan genocide; 12 years later she was invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show...I t was an event that could easily have passed in an emotional blur: the moment Clemantine Wamariya was reunited with the family she’d last seen 12 years earlier, and had for a long time feared were dead. Instead, she can recall every second: the moment she threw herself into her father’s arms, before clinging to her mother and, in a gesture of disbelief...
Tags: Books, Family, Africa, Life and style, World news, Culture, Television & radio, Oprah Winfrey, Oprah, Rwanda, Clemantine Wamariya, Clemantine


Inside Nintendo's Labo toy factory: 'Creating and learning are fun!'

Developers at the gaming giant reveal the thinking behind their new range of hi-tech interactive cardboard construction kits, and the laughs they had while inventing themThe launch of a new Nintendo product always generates excitement, because you never quite know what you are going to get. In 2004, Nintendo abandoned the wildly successful Game Boy portable consoles in favour of an ugly silver clamshell with two screens, the DS. Two years later, when other games companies were focused on improvi...
Tags: Toys, Games, UK, US, Life and style, Culture, Nintendo, Game culture, Games consoles, Labo, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Labo


Wengie to RackaRacka: navigating the world of Australia's YouTube superstars

Everything you need to know about the videos your children are watching You don’t need to attend a VidCon meet-and-greet to be across the fact that young people are watching a lot of online video content; a casual glance around any bus, tram, cafe or quadrangle will reveal smartphones, tablets and laptops glued to favourite channels. The international phenomenon of teen YouTube stars is, by now, well-trodden ground – but who are the young YouTube superstars in Australia, and what are they peddli...
Tags: Toys, Games, Comedy, Technology, Fitness, Children, Australia, Youtube, Life and style, Australia news, Culture, Beauty, Game culture, Young People, RackaRacka


Benedict Wells: 'I use anger to keep going. Anger and love'

Separated from his parents at six, Benedict Wells poured his turmoil into The End of Loneliness, a tear-jerker that is taking Europe by storm. We meet the German wunderkindAt 34, Benedict Wells has already published four novels, nearly finished his fifth, and a short story collection is due later this year. Basic maths suggests that he must be cranking out literary works at an alarming rate, so it is a surprise to hear him say that his last – and first to be published in the UK this month – took...
Tags: Europe, Books, Family, UK, Germany, Fiction, Life and style, Culture, Awards and prizes, Fiction in translation, Wells, Benedict Wells


PlayTable tablet uses blockchain technology to enhance board games

Bored of normal board games? A San Francisco company has developed a tablet system to ride the resurgence in tabletop gaming San Francisco-based company Blok.Party has developed a new way to play board games using blockchain technology: the PlayTable, a hybrid of video games console and table-sized tablet.Designed to enhance the experience of playing tabletop games, the system will launch with digital versions of popular board games such as Catan, Ticket to Ride and Texas Hold ’Em, and a bespoke...
Tags: Toys, Games, Texas, Technology, San Francisco, Life and style, Culture, Computing, Tablet Computers, Hobbies, Board Games, Blok Party


From kickass heroine to soppy student snowflake: the many lives of Lara Croft

Hot pants in the tundra? As Tomb Raider hits cinemas, Lara Croft’s writers and developers explain her evolution from pneumatic bait for teenage boys to global sensation – and reveal why motherhood may be nextLara Croft is one of the few video-game characters to have crossed over into real-world celebrity. As with James Bond, her various iterations have reflected the times. When the first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996, she was a sex symbol in sunglasses and a tank top, later featuring in ...
Tags: Books, Games, London, Media, Film, Women, Life and style, Pc, Playstation, Culture, Film adaptations, James Bond, Game culture, Angelina Jolie, Marketing & PR, Comics and graphic novels


Frida Kahlo’s great-niece calls for Barbie doll to be redesigned

‘The doll should have to match what the artist really was,’ says lawyer for late Mexican artist’s great nieceThe toymaker Mattel is in a dispute with a distant relative of the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo over rights to a Frida Barbie doll released as part of the company’s Inspiring Women series. Related: Barbie comes out in support of same-sex marriage Continue reading...
Tags: Toys, Mexico, Americas, Life and style, World news, Culture, Art and design, Barbie, Mattel, Frida Kahlo, Frida Barbie


Naples: Elena Ferrante’s brilliant city

Fans of the writer’s Neapolitan novels are flocking to discover the south Italian city, whose personality is as important to the books as the protagonistsLike many tourists in Naples, I have only ever been there en route to somewhere else. For years the city has had a reputation for being dirty, dangerous and traffic-choked: why on earth would anyone choose to linger? But this has changed. Naples is becoming a destination in its own right, thanks in part to the huge popularity of the enigmatic a...
Tags: Travel, Books, Life and style, Culture, Naples, Literary Trips, Elena Ferrante, Europe Holidays, Italy Holidays, Naples Holidays


Dreams: the video game that unlocks the suppressed artist within us all

Ever yearned to chisel a sculpture, compose a symphony or design a gigantic neon metropolis? A riveting game from the makers of LittleBigPlanet unleashes your suppressed artistMost homes hide abandoned easels, guitars and origami kits, all bought with good intentions to express the latent creativity that grownup life can easily stifle. You might want to unlock it, but the effort is too intimidating. Media Molecule, a game developer based in Guildford, believes that video games can help. A studio...
Tags: Toys, Games, Technology, Life and style, Lego, Playstation, Culture, Playstation 4, Game culture, Minecraft, Guildford



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