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The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Gaps in data on Arctic temperatures account for the ‘pause’ in

It was the evidence that climate change sceptics loved to cite. While the scientific community’s warnings about global warming had become ever more convincing, the critics pointed time and again to graphs showing the rise in the world’s average surface temperatures has slowed down since 1998 – a fact extensively interpreted by many vocal opponents as a fundamental failure in the basic science of climate change.

Last year was second hottest on record, say scientists

In Britain it ended in freezing temperatures and weeks of snow and ice. Globally, though, 2010 was still the second warmest year on record, according to Met Office scientists who yesterday reaffirmed that the world is continuing to get warmer.

How We Met: Oliver Sacks & Tobias Picker

Tobias Picker, 56, is an award-winning American composer whose work has been performed by the world's leading orchestras and opera houses. In addition to his symphonic and chamber music, song cycles and concertos , he has written four operas, including 'An American Tragedy' and children's opera 'Fantastic Mr Fox'. He lives in New York

John Walsh: Just keep Gordon off the politics

Consternation and ridicule have greeted the news (on The Spectator's blog) that Gordon Brown is looking for a new career as an after-dinner speaker, and hopes for $100,000 for a night's work. (For $20,000 more, Sarah Brown will come too, either to hand out prizes or stand around looking supportive, like Linda McCartney in the line-up of Wings, but without the tambourine.)

Frankly, my dear, those dresses have seen better days...

They are not quite gone with the wind, but the dresses that the actress Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett O'Hara in the Old South movie classic are well on their way to falling apart. Curators at a museum in Texas are appealing for $30,000 (£19,000) to restore them.

Oops, that's torn it – clumsy art student rips £80m Picasso

Art students who are invited to take a class in the hallowed halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York know better than to chew gum or chitchat. Nor do they need to be told not to touch. Pity the poor student then who lost her balance, toppled over and fell smack into a Picasso.

Album: Laura Nyro & Labelle, Gonna Take A Miracle (Rev-Ola)

Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro was renowned for blue-eyed soul standards such as "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Wedding Bell Blues" when, in 1971, she decamped to Philadelphia International studio to record this album of soul covers with the PI production team of Gamble & Huff, taking along her new friends Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash.

'24' star quizzed over nightclub confrontation

When the clock’s ticking, Kiefer Sutherland’s famous alter ego Jack Bauer likes to save the world and get the girl by cracking a few heads together. But in real life, the 24 star’s style of conflict resolution can have awkward unintended consequences.