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Poignant letter is filled with words of encouragement for her 22-year-old self

John Walsh: Mississippi rising, or the end of time?

I spent last week with a river lapping at my feet. I was in America's sublime Deep South, researching a story about music; from Memphis, Tennessee to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I drove through a thousand miles of Mississippi, the poorest state in the Union, and everywhere we went, the river came too. It wasn't just a conversation topic; it was the only topic – the river and how much it might inundate the homes of its inhabitants with its greasy, muddy, cold, brown presence.

Residents flee ahead of Mississippi floods

Residents of Memphis have begun to abandoning low-lying homes as the dangerously surging Mississippi River threatens to crest in coming days just shy of a 48.7ft record set by a devastating flood in 1937.

Album: Toy Horses, Toy Horses (Albino Sparrow)

Toy Horses are the Welsh stepson/stepfather duo of Adam Franklin (21) and Tom Williams (40) whose music has, as they say, "gone viral" in the past year, with the result that they were invited to Nashville to record their debut album.

Ferlin Husky: Country singer who pioneered the 'Nashville Sound'

One of the most versatile vocalists in country music, Ferlin Husky was also one of its most popular all- round entertainers, as assured handling a comedy routine as he was performing classics like "Gone" and "Wings Of A Dove".

Outside Edge: Making waves in Tennessee

Department of Unfortunate Timing, Pt I: after decades of not bothering to give a name to their sporting teams' tiger mascot, Tennessee State University recently decided to put it to a student vote.

Leonard 'Bud' Lomell: US Ranger who led a successful attack on German clifftop machine guns during D-Day

Leonard "Bud" Lomell, at the time a 24-year-old sergeant, led a platoon of US army Rangers, climbing hand-over-over hand by rope, up the sheer, 100ft Pointe du Hoc cliffs in Normandy on 6 June 1944 in one of the most crucial actions of the Second World War. The objective of his platoon, and 200 other men of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, was a cluster of five or six clifftop German 155mm artillery guns which threatened the entire allied D-Day landing force on the nearby Omaha and Utah beaches. Allied intelligence had suggested that the guns, with a range of up to 15 miles, could decimate the allied landing force and turn the D-Day landing into a disaster.

Album: The Secret Sisters, The Secret Sisters (Decca)

Laura and Lydia Rogers are twenty-something sisters from Alabama.

Charlie Louvin: One half of the celebrated country music duo the Louvin Brothers

Almost unchallenged, the Louvin Brothers were the greatest brother act in country music and several of their songs, "When I Stop Dreaming", "The Christian Life" and "Cash on the Barrelhead", have been recorded by contemporary acts. "Being brothers really helped our harmonies," Charlie Louvin told me on a UK tour in 1988, "but I doubt if you could think of one brother act that grew old together. It just don't work."

Album: Abigail Washburn, City of Refuge (Rounder)

Born in Illinois, educated in Minnesota, now living in Tennessee via time spent in Vermont and China, it should come as no surprise that Washburn sounds like no one else.

Leading article: What the weather is telling us

The massive floods in Australia have tended to overshadow similar disasters in Sri Lanka, where a million people have seen their homes engulfed, and in Brazil, where 350 people have been killed and thousands affected by torrential downpours which are the worst in 25 years. The discrepancy might tell us something about the biases of western news media. But the phenomenon reveals more than that.

Dick Griffey: Record producer and executive who spoke out against the exploitation of black musicians

With infectious, irresistible invitations to the dance-floor such as "And The Beat Goes On" by the Whispers, "A Night To Remember" by Shalamar and "Midas Touch" by Midnight Star, Sound of Los Angeles Records – commonly abbreviated to Solar – the West Coast label founded by Dick Griffey, provided the sunny, soulful soundtrack for much of the Eighties on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sarah Palin email hacker sentenced

A man who was convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's emails during the 2008 presidential campaign has been sentenced to a year and a day, with the judge recommending the term be served in a halfway house, not prison. The judge rejected a recommendation from prosecutors who argued for 18 months in prison.

Touch-typists catch errors on 'autopilot'

Touch-typists catch errors without even noticing them using an unconscious "autopilot", research shows.

Duane Eddy, Royal Festival Hall, London

His 1959 debut might have been called Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel, but the legendary Duane Eddy hadn't graced a British stage since a tour with the Everly Brothers in 1991. All dressed in black, including an immovable Stetson, and playing his beautiful Gretsch signature guitar, Eddy rolled back the years from the off with "Detour" and his debut hit, "Moovin'N'Groovin". Backed by Richard Hawley's excellent band and a very adept saxophone player, he re-created his run of instrumental hits that are so evocative of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Eddy and his co-writer and producer, the late Lee Hazlewood, had a way with a title – cue "Cannonball" and the even snappier "Yep!" and "Shazam!" – and moved the guitar on from Les Paul's clean sound to a meaner, leaner rock'n'roll style.

Experimental film award identifies emerging talent

Experimental films shortlisted for the Jarman Award will be screened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London next Tuesday.

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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
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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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
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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

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Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

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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

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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
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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