Nilesh Coco Mistry

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10 of the best New Year’s Eve pubs: readers’ travel tips

The Hanging Bat, Edinburgh<p>For the quality of the beer and the fact you can pile out of the pub and see the fireworks from the castle at midnight, it has to be the Hanging Bat in Edinburgh. The pub has six cask and 14 keg lines and serves “flights” of beer, so you can sample five different ales …

Scientists use skin cells to create artificial sperm and eggs

Scientists have made primitive forms of artificial sperm and eggs in a medical feat that could transform the understanding of age-related diseases and fertility problems.<p>Researchers in Cambridge made the early-stage sex cells by culturing human embryonic stem cells under carefully-controlled …

Observer Food Monthly: the best thing I ate in 2014

<b>Banana peel ice-cream</b><br>Massimo Bottura<i><br>Chef patron, Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy</i><br>The other day I saw one of our chefs, Davide di Fabio, coming back from the market with a box of black bananas. “They were free,” he said, “just sitting next to the trash.” Two days later he called me over to his …

The best photobombing animals

Costa Rica

Best Space Pictures of 2014: A Year's Delights Courtesy of Starry Nights

Of the 350 breathtaking space photos we published in 2014, here are our picks for the 12 best of the year.

25 things you never knew about The Simpsons

As Matt Groening's sitcom celebrates its quarter-century, we list 25 surprising facts about the show<p><b>1. God and his son Jesus are the only characters on The Simpsons to have a full set of five digits</b><p>They also have five toes on each foot. Everyone else in the Simpsons universe has three fingers and a …

Action Hero

Last minute Christmas gifts for gadget lovers

Panicking about what to get the gadget lover in your life? Sophie Curtis rounds up the best of this year's techy gifts<p>We could tell you how many shopping days are left until Christmas, but we don't want to scare you. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the gadget lover in your life, …

IPad Air

These Pedal-Powered Pod Cars Travel Above City Streets, So You Can Avoid Traffic

They’ve already been installed in an amusement park. Next up: Google’s main campus.<p>Why drive to work when you can arrive in your own pedal-powered pod car, far above traffic? That’s the vision of a Canadian company called Shweeb, which hopes to soon begin installing what it calls the “most …

Transportation

Guide to Patagonia: what to do, how to do it, and where to stay

Forty years ago this month, Bruce Chatwin visited Patagonia and his subsequent book lit a beacon for the remote region in many travellers’ minds. Chris Moss picks the highlights among its peaks, glaciers and lakes<p>For my first forays into Patagonia, in the 1990s, I left behind my guidebooks and …

How to make perfect festive treats for your staffroom

It’s official – ‘tis the season to eat indulgently and wrap up in cosy clothes. It’s also the perfect time of year to keep warm by the oven with a bit of baking. To inspire your culinary endeavours, we’ve put together some exciting festive recipes that will put shop-bought treats to shame and …

Milkshake vodka, anyone? The weirdest spirits this Christmas

As Heston Blumenthal launches a Cherry Bakewell flavoured vodka, we look at the most eccentric booze on the market this festive season<p><b>Cherry Bakewell vodka</b><p>Chef Heston Blumenthal, the real-life answer to Willy Wonka, has come up with some pretty mad combinations in his time (snail porridge, …

The world's 50 greatest countries – according to you

Costa Rica

From Lyrids to Perseids: Meteor showers to watch out for in 2018

Every year our skies are lit up by returning meteor showers, from Lyrids to Quadrantids, Orionids to Geminids.<p>If the weather conditions are in our favour and the moon isn't too bright, there's a chance you'll be able to see the shooting stars in action.<p>Here is our guide to the must-see meteor …

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies: All the Christmas Cookie Recipes You'll Ever Need

There's always a reason to eat a cookie. So here are 71 of 'em, great for holiday baking or just because.<p><b>Sometimes, you just need a cookie</b>. Scratch that. There's always a reason to eat a cookie. So here are 71 of 'em, great for holiday baking or just because.

Dessert

Rosetta discovers water on comet 67p like nothing on Earth

Findings from Rosetta spacecraft’s Rosina instrument appear to suggest previously held theory is simplistic<p>The Rosetta spacecraft has detected water coming off comet 67P, the rubber duck-shaped lump of ice and dust that it placed the Philae robotic lander on last month.<p>The presence of water is not …