Be grateful for the Met Office. It basically gets stuff right

It’s actually very easy to predict the weather. You can look out of the window, see what the weather is doing, and say “tomorrow will be like today”. In much of the world – southern California, the Mediterranean – that will be pretty reliable. It’s called the “persistence method” and works fairly well in places…

Why diamonds will always be everyone’s best friend

Nearly three years ago, I got down on one knee on a beach in Gaansbai, South Africa, and proposed to the woman who is now my wife. Owing to a retrospectively hilarious series of cock-ups, I had failed to bring my late grandmother’s ring with me; I’d only found some bizarre brassy thing with huge…

Naming the hostage: how should we cover the Isil murders?

Steven Sotloff, a second American hostage of the sorry fantasists of Isil, has been murdered, we read this morning. And a third man, a Briton, is currently held and will, we are warned, be the next to die. The question of how to report these disgusting acts of propaganda is a difficult one for news…