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 News Matrix: Monday 16 December 2013

Mandela buried in ancestral village

UK weather: Forecasters warn of 80mph wind and rain to batter Britain before arrival of ‘Storm Emily’

Met Office predicts ‘significant winter storm’ to hit Britain later this week

Rowing on a crisp winter morning: Why do they do it to themselves?

An ode to the dedicated souls pounding away out on the river before the sun's even up

Ded Moroz (Father Frost) meets children in Moscow. The Russian equivalent of Father Christmas has been banned from state TV in Tajikistan

Father Christmas outlawed by Tajikistan TV

The country has banned Father Frost - the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas - from appearing on state TV as the character 'bears no relation to national traditions'

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City during a snowstorm on 13 December 2013

Rare snowstorm leaves Jerusalem in lockdown

A rare snowstorm has blanketed Jerusalem, forcing a lockdown with police blocking access to and from the city.

Regent Street snowflake Christmas lights, 1955

In pictures: Christmas in London through the ages

We take a look at the remarkable set of black and white photographs showing how London celebrated Christmas during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They come from the Museum of London’s unique photography collection, which provides a glimpse into all aspects of London life during the second half of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 12 December 2013

Arsenal through as runners-up, despite defeat

Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder (R) fights for the ball with Juventus' Leonardo Banucci
Bryce Brown #34 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by Glover Quin #27 of the Detroit Lions

NFL: A blizzard helps blow in the liveliest weekend of the season so far

A round-up of the latest events and talking points from the world of NFL

Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage

Group splits up as animals flee, with four taking the odd decision to just stand still in the path of the snow

Morrisons scraps window cleaning to save cash as sales decline

Morrisons supermarket has scrapped window cleaning in a bid to slash costs as it battles declining sales.

Christmas lights on display in Byron Road, New Milton, Hampshire where each year, a group of residents on Byron Road switch on their lights to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Christmas lights: are you for or against?

New research suggests another property divide is emerging ...

Emily Mytton, Kelly Williams, Adam Godley and Victoria Mosely in 'From Morning to Midnight'

From Morning to Midnight, theatre review: 'A strangely hollow experience'

Lyttelton, National Theatre

Motorists try to get vehicles and a jack-knifed city bus up an icy hill on East Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth, Texas

Deadly ice storm pushes up US east coast as temperatures drop to -29C

'Historic ice event' swept from Dallas, Texas towards the Eastern Seaboard

The Snowman, dance review: 'performed with bounce'

Peacock Theatre, London

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Independent Travel
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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
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
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
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
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee