Sport Lizzy Yarnold is among the brightest hopes for Team GB in Sochi

A minimum target of three medals has been set - with as many as seven a possibility

Ray Mears: 'It's that bloke who lives in the woods'

The Surrey schoolboy who preferred sleeping out of doors has become television's favourite survivalist. But he's not protective of his imitators. Emily Dugan meets Ray Mears

Dom Joly: Let's bring snowballing in from cold

Weird World of Sport: It could be like javelin but ... with snowballs

48 Hours In: Vancouver

Summer is the ideal time to appreciate the natural good looks and vibrant culture of British Columbia's biggest city

Toddler survives floating eight miles

The three-year-old rode his toy truck into a Canadian river - and wanted to go back after he was rescued.

Serial killer farmer who butchered women and fed them to pigs loses appeal

The British Columbia Court of Appeal yesterday rejected the appeal of a farmer convicted of butchering six women and feeding them to his pigs.

Best for powder hounds: British Columbia

From high-level trekking in Morocco's Atlas Mountains to rubbing shoulders with A-listers on Hollywood Boulevard, and from rural retreats off Tuscany's beaten track to jet-set hang outs for Moscow's super-rich, our writers have been to the ends of the earth to find a world of inspiration

Leading article: White stuff

Ben Jonson was a fan: "O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she!" Carl Reiner is less impressed: "An unnecessary freezing of water." But whatever your view on the aesthetic merits of the white stuff, there can be no denying that we have had rather of a lot of it over the past two days. Snow, that is.

Dozens rescued as ski tower collapses

More than 50 people were rescued from about 30 gondolas after a tower supporting the lift cables partially collapsed at Canada's Whistler ski resort.

Trail Of The Unexpected: Two peaks united at Whistler

It's Thursday morning in Whistler and I'm living the dream. Just for once, it's got nothing to do with "epic landscape", "bucketloads of powder" (there is none), or any of the other excitable hyperbole that normally gets spouted in relation to Britain's favourite Canadian ski resort. All I've done is get on a cable car and cross from one mountain to another.

Ski secrets: hidden gems in British Columbia

With a helpful guide to lead the way, Roger Bray enjoys the secret slopes of British Columbia

Storyville: Tales of the unexpected

BBC4's Storyville is everything good documentary should be – fascinating, unpredictable, and truly eye-opening. As the new series gets under way, Sophie Morris looks at the highlights of the winter schedule

Last Night's Television: Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC1<br />Hole In The Wall, iPlayer<br />Greg Dyke on NYE Bevan, BBC4

I love iPlayer. I was having a little difficulty mustering interest in Jodie Kidd's ancestry, the subject of this week's Who Do You Think You Are? So I stuck it on pause and decided to catch up with Hole in the Wall instead, the BBC's new Saturday-tea-time game show, which began last weekend, but got nudged below the radar by Merlin. And, frankly, I'm very grateful to the BBC for preserving the evidence of its own inexplicable folly in this readily accessible form. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. A few television programmes are excellent, a larger number are good, and the vast majority are mediocre to poor. But it's only a few that qualify as memorably atrocious; programmes so cheesy and bereft of virtue that they will return through the ages as a regurgitated belch of "what were they thinking?"

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/a_nice_green_leaf/" target="_blank">A Nice Green Leaf: Oral pleasure, bat stylie</a>

As I said yesterday I have got a slight obsession with University of British Columbia's Botany Photo of the Day.

The Wire, FX<br/>Burn Up, BBC2<br/>John Barrowman: the Making of Me, BBC1

Most of the hype surrounding 'The Wire' is justified. Shame the same can't be said for the BBC's attempt at an eco-thriller
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn