"While you sleep!" is a catchphrase on hundreds of internet sites selling products that are supposed to help you, for example, "overcome fear of clowns" and "master the bagpipes". "Sleep learning" comes out of the "self-empowerment" movement, dating back to the 1930s. Instructions on how to do all manner of things while having a snooze used to be contained in cassettes kept in the section of the bookshop next to macrobiotic cookery books.
Last month came the news that Christian conservatives across the United States must secretly have been dreading. Long in love with the dastardly Vice-President Dick Cheney, they have always struggled to reconcile this with the fact that his daughter Mary is an out lesbian. And finally, it appears, their tolerance has reached tipping point.
With less than a day to go until the first matches kick off in the Soccer World Cup tournament, shops are heaving with World Cup merchandise: football shirts and scarves. And then there are the condoms. It may seem reassuring that football supporters travelling to Germany are being encouraged to be sensible, but there is a pernicious side to the connection between the 2006 World Cup and sex.
Is anyone going to mourn the impending death of the word ''spinster''? It is described in the Cambridge dictionary as referring to ''a woman who is not married, especially a woman who is no longer young and seems unlikely ever to marry''. In Finnish, Bulgarian and Arabic the equivalent translates literally as ''old maid''.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Andrea Dworkin thought her life was over. Just more than four years ago, she wrote an article for New Statesman magazine about being drug-raped in a hotel room in France. Dworkin's account of her rape, like much of her writing (including the feminist texts Pornography: Men Possessing Women and Intercourse), polarised opinion.