News Duccini, right, at the 75th anniversary celebrations of 'The Wizard of Oz'

Ruth Duccini was the last of the original female Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz. Uncredited, Duccini, who was four feet tall, played one of 124 Munchkin townspeople in the 1939 classic. There is now only one surviving Munchkin, Jerry Maren.

Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

Polar vortex: frost throwers, freezing urine, cracking trampolines

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

US braced for record low temperatures as 'polar vortex' brings minus -51C wind chill

Extreme forecast in America with -31 Celsius in Fargo, North Dakota, -35 C in International Falls, Minnesota, and -26 C in Indianapolis and Chicago

Sex doesn't sell? This study into women's response to raunchy advertising starts wrong and gets worse

The conclusion that women use sex as a bargaining tool is wildly outdated

Serge Vorobyov said he used his last $1000 to fund the stunt

Man throws $1000 over shoppers to spread holiday cheer, gets arrested by police

Serge Vorobyov threw the cash from the top floor of a US mall on Black Friday as a choir sang ‘Let it Snow’

Happiness can be bought, apparently, but only to a point

Experts confirm that money does buy happiness – but only up to £22,100

It is widely accepted that money can’t buy you love. Now a new study has found that it can buy you happiness – but only up to a point.

Veteran Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, right, shone on his comeback game

American Football: Peterson helps Minnesota Vikings paint Wembley purple in win over Pittsburgh Steelers

Adopted home side for the week get off the mark with thrilling win in first of two London games this season

Kenya Shopping mall attack: ‘Deadly pipeline’ of US men leaving for Somalia to join al-Shabaab

Since 2007, 22 young men have left Minnesota, as well as two women

Nina Davuluri - the first Miss America winner from Indian background - dismisses barrage of racist abuse

Just minutes after the result racist comments began to appear on social networking sites

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines

United Airlines sells 'free' $0 tickets on their website

Customers wait to find out if the airline will honour the purchased tickets after a glitch on their site

Last Night's Viewing: The Men Who Made Us Thin, BBC2 The Field of Blood, BBC1

In 1943, Louis Dublin, the chief actuary for US insurance giants Metropolitan Life, published a series of charts that changed the world. Dublin used data from four million policyholders to ascertain the optimal weight for long life. Overnight, more than half the population of America was reclassified as overweight. The Men Who Made Us Thin, Jacques Peretti's engaging follow-up to last year's The Man Who Made Us Fat, was full of such stories about the arbitrary nature of weight and the weight-loss industry.

Pirsig: A survival guide for the soul

Invisible Ink: No 173 - Robert M Pirsig

In the roll-call of student summer reading certain volumes stand out, including Desmond Morris's body language phenomenon The Naked Ape and Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. To those can be added a volume by Robert M Pirsig that snuggled its way into every hitchhiker's hand-crocheted body satchel. Unlike Bach, whose books were like being hit with a wiffle bat full of pot-pourri, Pirsig is the real deal. Born in 1928, this precocious university student was eventually expelled for studying too hard, after growing bewildered by the choice of multiple hypotheses in his chosen field, biochemistry. Overwhelmed by the limitations of science, he tackled Eastern philosophy instead, spending time in India before returning to a US college.

Walking while I work has been a big step forward

Yes, the head of an august science institution and senior BBC science journalist have almost fallen off it. Yes, it does tend to raise eyebrows when people see it in my office. But it is gratifying to hear that my treadmill desk is not only helping me to keep trim but also reducing my risk of diabetes.

Max Kampelman addresses a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing

Max M Kampelman: Diplomat who negotiated with the Soviet Union on nuclear arms reduction

He worked for Republicans and Democrats at the same time – a situation now unthinkable

The Saturday Quiz

1. Which philosopher (1889-1951) said: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent"?

Unilever sells Skippy peanut butter brand for $700m

Hormel Foods has agreed to acquire the US peanut butter brand Skippy from Anglo–Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever for $700m in cash, in an attempt to capitalise on rising overseas demand for the spread.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
Dubrovnik
Vietnam
Bruges
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 12 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