Arts and Entertainment

There comes a point, usually in the dead of winter, when one is forced to look further afield for one's listening, preferably to a place where the presenters don't sound as though they have lost the will to live or, conversely, as if they are trying to batter you to death with their joie de vivre.

Trending: Headphones 1, Speakers 0

The days of sitting around the record player have fallen further into history, alongside fireside story-telling, as more music listeners seek solo aural satisfaction. Sales of headphones now outstrip those of speakers by almost two to one, according to the analysts, GfK, and Asda.

Trending: Mac addicts looking for a fruity partner? There's an app for that

Some of us meet our partners in boozy bars, others come together over art or books – and some, this St Valentine's Day, will be drawn, magnet-like, to their future bit of stuff's electronic device.

Album: Speech Debelle, Freedom of Speech (Big Dada)

Speech Debelle was already being written off as a bad joke within hours of winning the Mercury Prize, filed alongside Gomez, Roni Size and Antony and the Johnsons as an example of the career-ending curse of that particular gong.

Body Pods: Art from the heart of science

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, many people's thoughts are turning to matters of the heart. So it's timely that the performance poet Francesca Beard and the micro-valve surgeon Dr David Hildick-Smith got together to launch the Body Pod The Heart today. This is the second in a new series of podcasts that focus on different parts of the body, made by an artist in collaboration with a scientist.

One Minute With: Lisa Appignanesi, cultural historian

Where are you now and what can you see?

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past, By Simon Reynolds

Pop, deprived of fresh meat, feeds on itself

Independent podcast: Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor and David Wood's musicalisation of L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between for the West Yorkshire Playhouse marks a further departure in the development of that many-faceted genre we call musical theatre.

The PROBIZ Football Podcast: Premier League special with Ian Herbert and Ron Atkinson

Welcome to The PROBIZ Football Podcast – a one off special for The Independent looking ahead to the new Premier League season.

Andrew Martin: A couple of units is never enough

The guidelines on safe alcohol consumption are to be reviewed by the Science and Technology Committee of MPs. Now alcohol consumption is an area in which I have considerable experience – you might almost say it was a speciality of mine – and so I therefore presume to offer some advice to the Members concerned.

iDrive: Hyundai i10 Blue - iDrive

Price: £9,195

Engine capacity: 998cc three cylinder

Power output (PS@rpm): 68 @ 62000

Top speed (mph): 93

0-62 mph (seconds): 14.8

Fuel economy (mpg): 67.3 (combined)

CO2 emissions (g/km): 99

Gove plans disciplinary spot-checks

Inspectors will be able to drop in on schools "on spec" after claims that heads send home disruptive pupils and poor teachers on scheduled inspection days.

A Day That Shook The World: iPod released

On 23 October 2001, the music industry was revolutionised forever with the release of the Apple iPod.

Mick Potter questions Super League licence process

Bradford Bulls head coach Mick Potter has questioned the validity of the Super League licence process in the week when the Championship hopefuls find out their fate.

Music & Me: Breakage

Breakage (James Boyle to his mum) drops the kind of bass heavy D’n’B meets breaks beats that hits you square in the chest. This producer du jour’s tracks have now been voted “Hottest Record in the World” five times in a row by Zane Lowe. He took time out from hitting chests and wooing Lowes to answer a few of our questions...

Castleford Tigers captain Ryan Hudson bemoans poor atmosphere at Magic Weekend

Castleford Tigers captain Ryan Hudson is still to be convinced as to the merit of moving Magic weekend to the start of the season.

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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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Autism-friendly theatre

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