Perhaps the more concerning thing should be that, faced with challenges such as air pollution and the spread of viruses, our societal response is not to try to fix the source of the problems but to buy more products to try and mitigate their effects. Photograph: iStock

It seems to have started as a joke. Two friends decided to fill a small plastic bag with air from a hillside in Canada, and put it on eBay to sell for(...)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson: pocketed a reporter’s phone to avoid looking at a picture of a sick child on the floor of a hospital. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It’s two days to Election Day. Boris Johnson will be campaigning in Staffordshire today, warning of gridlock at Westminster if there is another hung p(...)

Paul Merton: the comedian’s grandfather James Power was a British soldier turned revolutionary. Photograph: Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty

PAUL MERTON ON HIS IRISH REVOLUTIONARY GRANDFATHER, 30 YEARS OF HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU, AND HIS NEW BOOK OF 80 FUNNY STORIES, SKETCHES AND SCRIPTS(...)

Carved Halloween turnip from about 1850 in the National Museum of Ireland. Photograph: Country Life/ Wikimedia Commons

Stories rarely stay the same over time. They change, evolve, become symbol and metaphor - especially when people move to new places and different myth(...)

 Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson waves as he speaks in the House of Commons in London on Monday. Photograph: UK parliament’s Parliamentary Recording Unit/AFP via Getty Images

I try not to be a pedant but I do get annoyed when people use “disinterested” when they mean “uninterested”. To be disinterested is to be impartial, t(...)

Lisa Grace and her partner Adam Staples  pose for a portrait at the British Museum on Wednesday in London, England. Photograph: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Two metal detectorists have told of their shock at unearthing a hoard of coins depicting William the Conqueror thought to be worth over £5 million (€5(...)

Leader of the House of Commons: Jacob Rees-Mogg in parliament. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament/AFP/Getty

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has issued a set of rules for staff in his office to follow, including a list of banned words and a req(...)

Working Abroad Q&A: Rosie Casey, from Walkinstown in Dublin, now lives in Newport in Shropshire, where she works as a handmade(...)

Jacob Rees-Mogg: his book on 12 Victorians   is described  as “a dozen clumsily written pompous schoolboy compositions”. Photograph: Bloomberg

Let’s hope that Jacob Rees-Mogg is keeping his chin – such as it is – up after last week’s critical reaction to his new book. The archest of arch-Brex(...)

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable addresses the media with activists outside Chelmsford City Council Civic Centre. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Vince Cable has hailed his Liberal Democrats party as “the big winners” of the local election, with the party gaining hundreds of seats and a series o(...)

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