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.

The Chefjet produces multicoloured confectionery with 3D technology

Intricate, beautiful sugar cubes could be the key to getting 3D printers into the kitchen

We might not be ready to 3D print a roast, but the complicated and edible structures produced by 3D printers could be the start of something new

Ice forms on the shore of the East River due to unusually low temperatures caused by a polar vortex in New York

Polar vortex: frost throwers, freezing urine, cracking trampolines

All 50 US states are below freezing as the polar vortex sworls around North America, shattering temperature records and causing a collective shudder across the continent.

VIDEO: Surfer takes on huge waves amid 'The Black Swell' sweeping over the Atlantic

'It's as dangerous as it gets' explains big wave rider

Elmwood Village residents walk down Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, New York

Polar vortex: All 50 US states are below freezing – and even Hell's frozen over

Central Park breaks 118-year-old record when the temperature dropped to -15C

Temperatures have plunged to -13C in the town of Hell, Michigan

The storm so bad even Hell has frozen over

The extreme weather in the US has got so cold that even Hell has frozen over.

The site of the rock arch at Porthcothan Bay before (L) and after it was destroyed by the recent storms

Storms destroy Porthcothan Bay rock arch formation at Cornwall beach

The landmark arches have been demolished by high tides and 70mph winds

A pedestrian makes their way along a snow packed street in Indianapolis

What is a polar vortex? The arctic winds that brought cold air and chaos to the US

Much of the United States is currently in the grip of a polar vortex, a system of dense air producing plummeting temperatures and swathes of freezing weather, bringing some parts of the country to a halt and causing chaos in others.

Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al in Lawrence, Kan, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snow blower early morning

'Polar vortex' snowstorm plunging America into record-breaking cold snap may bring coldest day of 21st century

With Arctic winds plummeting temperatures to  -50C, much of North America has shut down as authorities warn of the life-threatening freeze

US braced for record low temperatures as 'polar vortex' brings minus -51C wind chill

Extreme forecast in America with -31 Celsius in Fargo, North Dakota, -35 C in International Falls, Minnesota, and -26 C in Indianapolis and Chicago

Postcard from... Montréal

A fire officer next to the small aircraft which made an emergency landing on a New York highway

Pilot makes emergency landing on New York City highway

Workers fixing potholes on the the highway stopped traffic to clear space for the plane to land after noticing it heading towards them

The major storm has left up to eight inches of snow on pavements in New York

US set for record low temperatures as historic freeze heightens fears of frostbite and hypothermia

At least 16 deaths were blamed on a snow storm that swept across the eastern half of the US as North Dakota experiences -35C

A man walks along a snow covered Cass Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. The first major winter storm of 2014 bore down on the US northeast on Thursday and Friday with heavy snow, Arctic temperatures and strong winds

Arctic blast kills at least 16 across US Northeast

A second storm is set to hit the region over the next few days that could be even worse, just as the clean up begins

A train passes along the coast at Saltcoats in Scotland, as a combination of high tides, heavy rains and strong winds are expected to bring yet more severe flooding to many parts of the country

UK weather: Conditions set to deteriorate as storms, high tides and gale-force winds continue

Experts have warned weather conditions look set to deteriorate over the weekend as storms, high tides and gale-force winds continue to leave a trail of devastation around the UK.

Icy weather to play a part as wild-card teams start the chase for the Super Bowl

Today, the battle for the Super Bowl starts in earnest. The regular season is out of the way, and so is Black Monday which immediately follows, the now traditional cull of NFL head coaches who didn’t deliver the goods. This year five were sacked (the most noteworthy among them Mike Shanahan of the utterly dysfunctional 3-13 Washington Redskins).

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas