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
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Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing