The perfect day for a huge argument

The fourteenth of February holds out the alluring promise that, today, a flagging relationship can be revived. If you are honest with yourself, there have been times over the past year when you've seriously wondered what you are doing with this person in your life. You've wondered whether there isn't some other solution, though any move wouldn't of course be easy at this stage.

Bad pictures create unhappy love

Our society gives us plenty of pictures of love. We think we know what the emotion looks like and search for it on the basis of what we have seen.

Why isn't the news more cheerful?

Earthquakes, cyclones, war, malnutrition, disease, crime, poverty, sexual abuse. It often seems as if it's not really news unless and until it's very grim.

Victoria Beckham is a philosopher

Fashion is potentially a very serious part of life - but it has largely been abandoned to pretension, eccentricity and silliness.

Memento Mori: Sudden death on an Alpine Train

It was a completely ordinary journey on an unremarkable morning. Passengers were silently fretting about their credit-card repayments, speculating about sex with someone further down the carriage, idly taking in the winter scenery, thinking about a sandwich for lunch.

Rupert Murdoch avoids therapy; world unhappy

There's nothing very strange in the fact that Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng had an unhappy marriage.

Psychotherapy for Vladimir Putin

Typically, we hear the suggestion that someone needs psychotherapy as implying that they are seriously disturbed or traumatised. Of someone in high office it sounds like a major criticism - a way of declaring them unfit for the job.

Storms teach England a lesson

It's rare to think of the weather when it's being gentle. Few of us are like John Constable, who was so interested in what was going on in the sky that for periods between 1821 and 1822, he spent several hours each day on the slopes of Hampstead Heath, intently examining the moods of the weather.

Interview with the Soul of Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel has just embarked on a third term as Chancellor of Germany - the most robust economy in the developed world and the country with the most traumatic political history on the planet.

A colourful seductive church in southern Germany offers The Guardian a lesson

The church of the fourteen helpers, in Bavaria, was built about two hundred and fifty years ago.

Kiev is in flames and I don't care

Ukraine is sliding into anarchy. The President, Viktor Yanukovych, was planning to build closer ties with the European Union.

Boring looking old woman gets ignored by (almost) everyone

She was painted by a Canadian artist at the end of the 19th century. She used to be strong and decisive. She had lovers once; she put her make-up on carefully and set out with a quiet thrill in the evening.

Ugliness triggers housing crisis

People living in pleasant rural towns across the South East of England, places like Chipping Norton and Ashford, are horrified by government aspirations to build thousand of new homes in the surrounding fields - to satisfy enormous public demand.

Who are we and what do we want?

The Philosopher's Mail is a new news organisation, based in bureaux in London, NYC and Melbourne, run and staffed entirely by philosophers.

Chef boils wife's body, leaving only fragment of skull - and does us great service in process.

Californian chef David Viens and his wife Dawn were having problems in their marriage. He became controlling; whenever Dawn went out he wanted to know exactly where she had been.

Still extraordinary news: Cameron and Hollande have a packet of crisps together in an English country pub

President Francois Hollande of France came to Britain to discuss aspects of nuclear defence and military cooperation with Prime Minister David Cameron.

Best not to spend too long on all this

We want you to keep reading, but we also know there are times you should stop. The news is the best distraction ever invented. It sounds so serious and important.

Why we don't allow comments

The ability to post comments at the end of on-line news stories has revealed something unusual about our fellow citizens.

Love only for the one per cent

Prince George is very unintellectual

It's a huge operation of rented villas, entourage and security - so that Prince George can escape for a little while the achingly long and gloomy English winter.

Live: The 2118 Ulan Bator Olympics

The Olympics have their origins in things people needed to be good at in ancient times.

Stars rescue world from feelings of insanity

Today, like so often, the world seems insane. We need perspective. We need to breathe deeply and climb high above the mantle of the earth, beyond the atmosphere, out into a place of unfathomable silence and majesty.

Prime Minister takes 63 years to walk his daughter to nursery.

With a discrete but substantial security presence, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, regularly takes his daughter Florence to nursery school a few blocks from Number 10.

Arctic flower bides its time

Right now, up in the arctic, in Northern Greenland, it's light for less than an hour a day. The winds gust at 200 km/hour and the temperatures never rise above - 20c.

Man, too optimistic about relationships, jumps out of a hotel after an argument with his wife.

Karl Slym was middle-aged and putting on a bit of weight - as one does. But his career was going well. Born in the UK, but working in India, he was settling into a major role in the global car industry.

Not as much news as previously thought

It feels like there is always an infinite amount of news, so much is happening in the world every day. A newspaper could be 1,000 pages long and hardly scratch the surface.

One bowl of Dutch strawberries could save your relationship

This bowl of strawberries was painted by a Dutch artist called Adrien Coorte at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Coorte (generally unknown outside his native Netherlands) loved painting modest, everyday things: like loaves of bread, glasses, chairs and, most of all, strawberries (and pears).

How much we wanted Amanda Knox to get away with it

US citizen Amanda Knox has just been found guilty of the murder, in Italy in 2007, of Meredith Kercher.

What's the point of Scotland? Bob Dudley and Pericles debate Nationalism

Bob Dudley, the Group Chief Executive at BP, has been airing concerns about Scottish independence. From his point of view, divorce from the rest of the UK makes no sense.

New scandal at the BBC: News found not to be biased enough

The real scandal at the BBC has come to light. It isn't to do with abuse of staff, swollen salaries, or sloppy editorial standards. For years, the BBC has wantonly and blatantly attempted to put out news without any bias attached to it.

Urgent breaking news from Athens

What is news? A standard definition might go: 'news' is something that people don't know about, that matters a lot - and that has happened just now.

Latest news from the Ecuadorian mangrove forest

Today, dawn broke as usual over the mangrove swamps of Ecuador's largest tropical forest, the Manglares Churute Reserve.

Man finds tuna on his plate and tries to discover where it came from

We used to know where stuff came from. Our ancestors knew the history and source of almost every one of the limited number of things they ate and owned.


The School of Life