Sal Khan, who set up the Khan Academy’s first non-digital school 10 months ago and believes pupils should not be segregated on the basis of age

Sal Khan is revolutionising education. The motto of the Khan Academy, the online school he founded pretty much by accident, is: “A free, world-clas(...)

Feeling good: Anne Marie Hourihane has discovered  that, despite evidence to the contrary, drinking alcohol isn’t compulsory. Photograph: Alan Betson

When you give up a vice, even temporarily, you secretly think that both you and the world will be remade. It is disappointing to find that you are sti(...)

A chara, – I have been asked by a number of people to correct the account given in the article by Ann Marie Hourihane, (“Betty Purcell: war sto(...)

Sugar is an emotional food – perhaps the most emotional food of all. It is routinely used as a comforter, a pacifier, a stimulant, a leisure accessory. Photograph: Getty Images

So now sugar is the new Satan and we, the worried well, have to run off to another part of the great ship Hypochondria. Suddenly fat is no longer the (...)

11/12/2013 - NEWS - ‘Bridget’ (Not her real name) photographed for a Focus Ireland story by Ann Marie HourihanePhotograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times  Bridget: “This is the happiest Christmas.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Gráinne and Finn wear slippers in their new house to keep the floors clean. Their slippers are neatly lined up in front of the washing machine, alongs(...)

What fresh hell is this?: Twink at rehearsal with her dog, Teddy Bear. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rehearsal rooms are grim places, and pantomime is especially tough. (Oh yes it is.) The cast of Aladdin, which will open at University Concert Hall in(...)

Nigella Lawson: she looked vulnerable, a beauty mired in scandal. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

As far as we know Nigella Lawson has never tried to throttle anybody in a restaurant or to commit fraud with another person’s credit card, yet it was (...)

Gay Byrne presenting his show on RTÉ Lyric FM. Photograph: Alan Betson

In studio Gay Byrne is a vision in cornflower cashmere. He has his newspaper clippings, which he reads out during the show, carefully pasted on to A4 (...)

One thing at a time:  Valerie Farragher at home in  Co Mayo. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

It is unlikely that Valerie Farragher’s new work, Come Back When You’re Sober, will be anyone’s book of the year in those Christmas round-ups (see pag(...)

Boyzone today

The audience at the recording of the ITV music special Boyzone at 20: No Matter What consists mainly of middle-aged women and their adult daughters: t(...)