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At least not in the way we perceive them now, he suggests

Niagara Falls frozen in time by polar vortex

Record-breaking temperatures froze the water in its tracks

He was often compared to The Great Blondini

Henri Rechatin: Tightrope walker who traversed Niagara Falls and once spent six months 66 feet above a supermarket

Henri Rechatin was a celebrated French tightrope walker and chair-balancer who was known professionally as Henry's and was often compared to The Great Blondin. Over a long career he balanced high above the Alps, Niagara Falls and for months over a supermarket in his home town of Saint-Etienne.

Cochrane in 2002 on top of a hotel at Niagara Falls, scene of some of his most spectacular achievements

Jay Cochrane: Tightrope walker who became a star in China when he made a 700-yard crossing of the Yangtze

Jay Cochrane was a tightrope walker who set several world records. His greatest achievement was in 1995 when he walked more than 700 yards over 400 feet above the Yangtze River in China before a crowd of 200,000 and a live TV audience of 100 million. The feat made him a star in China – he appeared on a Chinese stamp and a school was named in his honour.

Album review: Steven Isserlis, Dvorak cello concertos (Hyperion)

Isserlis, who has resisted for 40 years recording this much-loved piece from the heart of the cellist’s repertoire, breaks his duck, and even adds an earlier Dvorak concerto, orchestrated by Gunter Raphael.

'Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine' - church sign attacking homophobia goes viral

Pro-gay signboard photo has attracted over one million online views

Nik Wallenda crossing Niagara Falls on a wire in 2012

Niagara Falls daredevil plans to cross Grand Canyon without a harness

Seventh-generation acrobat says it's "exciting" that there will be no safety precautions in place

Hamish McRae: Ireland - A brand to make the rest green with envy

Some good news about Ireland. No, it's not that austerity seems to be working and that Dublin is regaining access to the financial markets and is now less dependent on life support from Europe. Austerity may indeed be working, but the social costs are huge and continuing, and they are falling largely on people who had nothing to do with the disaster. So any success has to be set against those costs.

Agenda: Maria Francesca Pepe; Lewis Watson; Mad Men; Doctor Faustus; Girls

Fashion: Why guys will go Gaga for MFP

HMS Queen Elizabeth warship is a UK success story, says David Cameron

The Prime Minister told workers involved in building the largest warship for the Royal Navy that it is a “UK success story” as he visited the Scottish dockyard where it is being assembled.

Largest Navy warship HMS Queen Elizabeth recruits first crew members

The largest warship built for the Royal Navy now has its first crew members - around eight years before it is fully operational.

Nik Wallenda nears the Canadian side of Niagara Falls by tightrope, attracting 100,000 spectators

Nik Wallenda's Niagara tightrope triumph

Nik, a seventh-generation member of the daredevil and circus legends, the Flying Wallendas, became the first to walk a tightrope over the full 1,800 feet of the gorge, fulfilling a life's ambition and boosting tourism

Zoe Leonard, Camden Arts Centre

The world usually rushes at us so quickly – its perfume, noise and changing weather, the skewing angles of our emotions and thoughts – that we find it hard to see.

Survivor, Barbican Theatre

We all know what a Gormley looks like: gazing straight ahead with his arms limp by his sides, he’s been placed by his creator on bleak seashores, on the roofs of high buildings, and anywhere else you’d least expect to find him, so it was no surprise to be confronted by the back view of a Gormley who remained motionless at the front of the Barbican stage for so long that one was driven out of boredom to read the programme.

Woman's body recovered from Niagara River

Authorities say a woman's body has been recovered from the Niagara River, not far from where a 19-year-old Japanese student was swept over Niagara Falls after tumbling into the water.

Woman swept over Niagara Falls

Authorities say a woman is presumed to have drowned after being swept over Niagara Falls when she fell from a railing along the Canadian side of the Niagara River.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project