Arts and Entertainment

Last month’s news that the Inchindown oil storage tanks in Scotland have entered the record books as the man-made structure with the longest echo – a resonating 112 seconds – is very largely due to the author of this book. Cox, a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford, embarked on a quest to find not only the longest echo (or more correctly, reverberation) in the world, but also the noisiest, the quietest and even the most musical places around the globe.

A sheep and her lambs in Northern Ireland, where up to 10,000 animals were buried in snowdrifts

Lamb births at 30-year low after drought, heavy rain and snow blizzards

The number of lambs born in the United Kingdom has fallen to a 30-year low after a year of bad weather, culminating in blizzards.

Harriet Walker: It may sound trite, but sun and smiles are natural partners

Spring – and the advent of the wedding season – and such a fluttering of new feeling that I hardly know what I'm about any more. Now that I regain consciousness to Radio 4 in the morning rather than the American high-school guitar strains which used to permeate slumber when I was about 16, getting up rarely feels like a scene in the film of my life any more. But when the rays filter through the curtains, they can't but make waking up a bit more special.

The Ballad of Halo Jones, By Alan Moore and Ian Gibson

An ordinary superwoman who broke the mould

Glorious scenery and a race to relish – the Giro has it all

Giro d'Italia: A ride as tough as the Tour de France, as Italian as pasta

It always pleased the purist – now general fans are catching up

Ueli Steck, left and Jonathan Griffith, right, were both nearly killed when a they were threatened by a mob of up to 100 angry sherpas

Truce reached after fight between climbers and Sherpas near Everest summit

Nepal's Mountaineering Department said a truce was reached at base camp

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'By 2020, the hope is that Britain will have a politician named Street Downing'

Who knew that there is a member of the US House of Representatives by the name of David Camp who may yet pioneer an exciting variation on the idea of "nominative determinism", or "cognomen syndrome" as Tom Stoppard coined it in his play Jumpers.

The Business Matrix: Thursday 25 April 2013

Eurotunnel sees revenues rise 8%

Bad weather hits Debenhams' profits but store puts confidence in new clothing ranges

Debenhams today pledged that Britain's second-biggest department store chain would make progress over the rest of the year after first-half profits were hit by the snow in January.

Bad weather makes it a game of two halves for pub chain Marston's

Pub chain Marston’s today warned that first-half profits would not match last year’s because it had been hit so badly by the weather, but reassured investors that it expects to more  than make up any shortfall in the second half.

Clean break: The long, cold winter has made my garden tidier than ever

Yes, we know it's been a long, cold winter. And to be quite frank, we're bored of hearing about it. But has any good come of it, asks Emma Townshend?

Magical mystery tour: The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize finds landscapes of wonder

First-rate fiction in top-quality translation can do more than transport the reader into a different or a distant world. Just as valuably, it may open our eyes to scenes we thought we knew, casting them – and us – in an entirely fresh perspective.

By next week, temperatures are expected to reach 20C in the south east

Farewell winter! 20C temperatures heading up from the south

Be patient though - they might not arrive until after the weekend

Growing pains: Plant nurseries complained of disastrous sales in March

Trouble in store for agriculture: Crops and gardens
join the economy in not growing

Special report: The harsh weather has led to the loss of livestock and problems in both vegetable and cereal production

Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

TV review: Game of Thrones - Bring me a dragon... and make it snappy

Pay attention at the back: 'GoT' Series 3 is seriously worth watching

Five-Minute Memoir: Tash Aw recalls the relentless pace of life in Shanghai

Life in Shanghai was beginning to get me down. I could feel myself tiring, feeling breathless from the pollution and breaking out in a nagging cough. The fresh autumn breeze gave way to a bitter winter chill that seeped into my bones, making my joints ache.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
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What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
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British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
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Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
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Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
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Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

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Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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Climate change key in Syrian conflict

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How I outwitted the Gestapo

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