Arts and Entertainment

What goes on in our brains when we’re not thinking? Why do some animals lounge around all day doing nothing? Is outer space completely empty? Why did it take so long for the number zero to be accepted? These are just some of the questions discussed in this intriguing collection of essays on “nothingness” by science writers including Ian Stewart, Marcus Chown, Nigel Henbest, Michael Brooks, Paul Davies and David Fisher.

Indyplus video: TV and Film trailers

A 1952 illustration of the popular fairy tale

Why grandma, what a big family tree you have... Scientific research has been used to trace Little Red Riding Hood’s roots....

... and, as Nick Clark discovers, she has ancestors spanning Africa, Asia and Europe

DVD: Blancanieves

Forget last year's two live-action film versions of Snow White.

'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' - full company

Theatre review: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Bristol Old Vic

Directed by Sally Cookson

Video: Tuppence Middleton

Watch the videos below to see actress Tuppence Middleton in her latest role, in ‘Trap for Cinderella’ and in the BBC's ‘The Lady Vanishes’

The Hangover star Ed Helms is in talks to co-star in Stretch

Screen Talk: Ed Helms hails taxi thriller

Tinseltown Insider

Dressing table: Father's Day gifts

Further than their favourite fragrance, many men don't take much interest in lotions and potions. So Father's Day is the perfect opportunity to treat them to smellies of the 'fancy' variety.

Hull City's George Boyd is mobbed by fans as he leaves the pitch

Hull City 2 Cardiff City 2 match report: Tigers triumphant after a day of ups and staying downs

'I've never seen anything like it,' says Steve Bruce as he leads his side to Premier League riches

Look for Pooh

Review: Poison, By Sarah Pinborough

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to bed we go
Goodbye Kansas: James Franco charms the locals in Oz the Great and Powerful

Film review: Oz the Great and Powerful - You thought the Wizard should be left alone? Step this way …

So, how did Oz gets its Wizard? This question has never exercised me for more than a nanosecond, but as redundant as Oz the Great and Powerful might seem, this Disney prequel turns out to be something of a classic: a family friendly fantasy which delivers as an affectionate prologue to The Wizard of Oz, that works just as well as a spectacular, neatly structured stand-alone adventure. It's directed by Sam Raimi, who once again brings irresistible enthusiasm to cartoonish genre entertainment, but it could also pass for the best Tim Burton film in a long time, and the best Terry Gilliam film in even longer.

Charlize Theron sports a new cropped hairdo at the Oscars

Charlize Theron on 'freeing' new cropped hairstyle

At the Oscars last night Charlize Theron said that shaving her head was the “most freeing thing” she’s ever done.

Bitter pleasures: Village children in southern China's Guangxi region

Lenin's Kisses, By Yan Lianke, trans Carlos Rojas

Open your mind to this epic fable of China in transition. Just don't mention 'magic realism'...

Face the future: If partying has taken its toll, give your skin a fresh star

(From top) 1. New Beginning scrub £26, Ole Henriksen, feelunique.com

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Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas