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
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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
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried