Sport Seattle, led by Russell Wilson, are favourites to win next month's Super Bowl

For devotees of the NFL, this is as good as it gets – the divisional round of the play-offs, four games pitting the regular season’s finest against four challengers already battle-hardened by victory in last weekend’s ever-treacherous wild-card round. And in 2014 there’s an extra twist: the prospect that one of the longest, most painful droughts in US sport might be near an end.

The hundreds of illegal waste disposal sites near Naples are known as the Triangle of Death

Mafia finds new way to kill as waste trade is linked to cancer

The potential cost of the Mafia's booming trade in illegal rubbish disposal has been highlighted by a new study which claims that women in the Naples area are almost 50 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer than their compatriots.

David Haye on his way to victory over Dereck Chisor

James Lawton: Disabling left hook left Briton with little but heart

Last time it was The Man in the Hat who was said to have helped derail Amir Khan's journey towards a super-fight with Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. This time there was no doubt about how reality was imposed. Sadly, but maybe inevitably, it was by nothing more ornate than a disabling left hook thrown by the ill-considered Danny Garcia.

Philadelphia's Rodin Museum reopens after $9bn redevelopment

The Rodin Museum, in Philadelphia, a little jewel box of a building surrounded by formal gardens and showcasing the French artist's monumental sculptures, had by most accounts lost a certain je ne sais quoi in the 83 years since it was built.

Album: R. Kelly, Write Me Back (RCA)

A soul survivor who still has the power to seduce

Jeremy Laurance: The best defence against Legionnaires is vigilance

The citizens of Edinburgh are understandably worried. A lethal infection has swept through an area in the south west of the city claiming one life and infecting 20 others, 12 of whom are critically ill. More cases are expected before the outbreak peaks. It is a scenario out of the Hollywood blockbuster Contagion.

Humans 'can smell people's age'

Forget the botox and hair dye - people can smell your age, a study has shown.

Invisible Ink: No 119 - Donald Ogden Stewart

'The prettiest sight in this fine pretty world is the privileged class enjoying its privileges." For Don Stewart, this was a sardonic line of dialogue that came from the heart. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Stewart graduated from Yale and went to work for Vanity Fair magazine. His first novel, The Crazy Fool, was a hit, and he adapted the book as a film, gaining a lifelong love of cinema.

Two slices of Albert Einstein's brain and a model, above, are displayed at the Wellcome Trust's 'Brains: The Mind As Matter' exhibition

Brush with genius: Einstein's brain cells go on show

Part of the brain of Albert Einstein, the scientist considered one the most striking intellects in human history, is going on display for the first time in the UK.

Albert Einstein's brain to go on display

Dr Albert Einstein's brain is going on display for the first time in the UK - with that of an infamous murderer.

Start spreading the news, cheese and chocolate don't mix

Would you? Could you? Nigella Lawson's a fan, Jennifer Saunders fronted the online ad campaign but we're not convinced. Chocolate-flavoured Philadelphia? Surely that's the devil's dairy product.

Album: We Are Augustines, Rise Ye Sunken Ships (Oxcart)

Brooklyn trio We Are Augustines' debut album sounds like it's been pieced together with spare parts from various other big indie-rock bands.

The Saturday Quiz

1. The most populous country in the world where French is the official language is not France. Which country is it?

Coyle is on the brink, having taken just nine points from 16 games

Bolton take MLS striker Sebastian Le Toux on trial

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has confirmed striker Sebastian Le Toux has joined the club for a week's training.

In London before taking on Henry Cooper in 1963

Boxing: The Meaning Of Ali

As the world's greatest boxer turns 70, James Lawton considers his life and times with the help of Gene Kilroy, the man who shared them more closely than any

Eve Arnold: Photojournalist famed for her intimate portraits of Monroe and Malcolm X

My photographs," wrote Eve Arnold in 1978, "are, of necessity, subjective – filtered through my background and education, my prejudices, and the limitations imposed by chance and the time in which I lived."

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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
Spain
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
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'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
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?