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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
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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
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