Man in black: Howard Goodall

Television choices: From a squeak to a roar - the story of sound and its growth

TV pick of the week: Howard Goodall's Story of Music

Fred Sandback’s Untitled (1988)

Visual art review: Fred Sandback - Minimalism? There's really nothing to it ...

The moment when artists abandoned their brushes, paints and bronzes and found art in new places is revisited at two exciting new galleries

Mayan apocalypse 21/12/12: 'The planets are aligned the sun will activate, let the deluge come'

An end-of-the-world party in Moscow was charging $1,000 for entry. Still, you can’t take it with you

DVD: The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler (12)

The title's a little misleading, as the diminutive fruitcake appears to have had very little charisma, which is extraordinary given that he convinced a nation that they were “a superior race”.

‘Destroy the sphinx and the pyramids’, says Egyptian jihadist

An Egyptian Islamist leader with ties to the Taliban has called for the "destruction of the Sphinx and Giza pyramids", suggesting these "idols" contravene the laws of Islam, reports Al Arabiya.

Mel Bochner, If The Colour Changes, Whitechapel Gallery, London

A photograph of Matisse working in his studio as an elderly man inspired the young American conceptual artist Mel Bochner to create Theory of Painting (1970). It was not the woman that Matisse was painting on the canvas that caught Bochner’s attention, however, but the newspapers spread under his feet.  

Islam gets a bad press, but there are many stories our media doesn't tell

As the history books illustrate, Islam has as much claim to be the religion of forgiveness as Christianity. So why don't we hear these stories?

The sombre day a language dies

Scots dialect Cromarty is no longer a living tongue - and hearing it in old recordings makes clear just how much we've lost with its passing

Postcard from... China

The network of caves in Dunhuang in the far west of China rank among the wonders of the world. The 800 grottoes are home to frescoes a millennium old and more, placed there by devout Buddhist merchants about to embark on the treacherous Silk Road through the Gobi Desert.

Simon English: Kate Swann's off after a job well done – for herself and Smith's

Outlook Is Kate Swann a retail genius? It is possible to think so, and plainly she has assets. Announcing a decision to quit as chief executive of WH Smith yesterday looks typically savvy.

Artes Mundi Prize, National Museum of Art, Cardiff

Phil Collins was working in Jessops and studying for his MFA when he came upon the idea of turning customers' photos into art. These common-place images - of people getting married or getting drunk - possessed an unguarded intimacy, at once posed and trusting.

The Cutting Season By Attica Locke

An engrossing crime novel which, at times, chafes against demands of the genre

Dan Deacon, The Scala, London

Whatever else he is - one-off musical alchemist, jocund beard-wearer - Baltimore's Dan Deacon is a genius of performance art. His shows are quite unlike anything else you've ever been to; not so much because of the music, good as it is, as the fresh attitude he brings.

Chris Mahlangu, right, is led away from court after being sentenced

Life for man who killed Terre'Blanche with axe

A South African court sentenced a black farmhand to life in prison yesterday for the axe murder of Eugene Terre'Blanche, a white supremacist who was prominent during the dying years of apartheid.

Darksiders 2 – Review

If you've ever played The Legend of Zelda, in any of its iterations, you'll know all of Darksiders 2's moves almost before it makes them.
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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there