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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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Day In a Page

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 timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
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Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
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The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
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'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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The stories that defined 2014

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