A 1926 London Underground painting foresaw the city’s skyscrapers


Most artistic visions of London’s future have been darkly pessimistic. But this Underground poster painted by Montague B Black in 1926 offered an uncanny – and much more optimistic – view of the modern city.

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In 1926, London Underground published a poster painted by Montague B Black, a publicity artist who also created images for Liverpool’s White Star Line, which imagines London in 2026. A golden sky enfolds a cityscape of skyscrapers over which various types of flying machine hover.

London from the Rooftops: Incredible Images of the Capital Taken from the Heights of the City


For eight years, London-based photographer James Burns has used the capital’s rooftops as a point from which to capture stunning images of the skyline.

Entitled ‘London from the RooftopsJames began the project in 2006 and received many positive reviews.

The images are incredible. Whether it be a full moon above Battersea Power Station, or the Shard arising from the clouds, various weather conditions have provided Burns with ideal opportunities for spectacular scenery images.

Reflecting on his work this year, Burns told The Independent that “interesting skies” and a mixture of weather had led to him producing some of his best work. He said: “The reason for the great images this year is simple; we have had some very interesting skies. We have had a good variety of weather from clear skies, to thick fog, and lots of great storms, not to mention the supermoons. The only thing we haven’t had is snow.”

Burns hopes that 2015 can be an even better year, as he builds up to his 2016 book that will bring together a collection of some of his best images from a decade of work.

You can follow James Burns fantastic work on Twitter OR on his website.

London’s Shard Lights up the Night Sky for Christmas #ShardLights

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The Shard is celebrating the festive period with ‘Shard Lights’, a spectacular light installation that will reinforce the building’s status as a beacon for London. Created by award-winning art collective, Jason Bruges Studio, ‘Shard Lights’ will occupy the highest 40 storeys of The Shard.

Each evening from Friday 19 December a different show will use beacons, smoke machines, LED panels and projections at the top of the 300m building in central London. There’s a variety of effects being planned, with a different display every night, from 5pm-midnight to celebrate the festive season.

Jason Bruges, the installation artist behind the show, said:

The odd few people who happen to be about and have seen it have reacted with whoops of delight. I’m looking forward to seeing people’s reaction. We’re going to have effects that run across those 40 storeys that will ripple and rotate while the building sparkles and glimmers. Big search lights are going to frame the building by pointing straight up and then going out laterally and at 45 degrees to create different shape around the top of the spire.

The Tower Poppies, a look back at the Poignant Remembrance Day Tribute

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The major art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London, marked one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat between 17 July and 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war.

The poppies encircled the iconic landmark, creating not only a spectacular display visible from all around the Tower but also a location for personal reflection. The scale of the installation was intended to reflect the magnitude of such an important centenary and create a powerful visual commemoration.

I visited the Tower Poppies twice, once in August, half way to its 888, 246 Poppy target and again in November when they had finished – the sight was both stunning and moving.



Fantastic footage of Mount Tavurvur, in Papua New Guinea Erupting with Sonic Boom


The eruption of Mount Tavurvur volcano on August 29th, 2014. Captured by Phil McNamara.

A tropical paradise in.. Germany, yes, Germany..


When you think of a vacation in Germany you don’t imagine palm tree’s and sunny beaches, but now you may just have to. The Tropical Islands resort pictured below is housed within the largest free-standing hall in the world near Berlin in Germany. The space inside measures around 66,000 square metres and is so tall you could fit the Statue of liberty in it. The water park is home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest, along with pools and beaches, with capacity for 6000 visitors.

Located in Krausnick, near Berlin it claims to offer tourists all the elements of a tropical holiday destination in the middle of Europe. The huge hangar once housed Zeppelins but its owners went bankrupt in 1992 and the building fell into disrepair. It was transformed 10 years ago into an indoor paradise by a Malaysian company. Inside the temperature is always a pleasant 26c, which makes the water slide inside all the more attractive. The resorts indoor rainforest has a one-kilometre walkway and 50,000 plants of which there are 600 different species. The complex offers bars, saunas, lagoons and grottos to entertain with six different treatment areas which are modelled on various cultural sites.

Drawings of major British historical events from first illustrated newspaper


The Illustrated London News published intricate artwork on its front covers for more than 160 years, this included historic moments in British history such as royal ceremonies and the Great War – boasting as many as 300,000 readers. The works were by famous artists such as Terence Cuneo, Fortunino Matania and Bryan de Grineau.

World War One Centenary, Spectra Light in London means every man will be Remembered


To commemorate the World War One Centenary across the United kingdom (and Commonwealth) there have been various poignant events to remember the fallen. One hundred years ago on the 4th August 1914 Germany declared war on Russia, thereby putting into motion events that would ultimately devastate Europe – the United Kingdom commemorated this day with LIGHTS OUT; a nationwide black out. But as lights across the country were extinguished, a single column of white light soared through the London night sky, this project is called ‘Spectra’.

Spectra is a twenty-metre grid containing forty-nine searchlights placed in Victoria Tower Gardens by Ryoji Ikeda, what made it all the more impressive is that this had been a kept a secret many months before this event. It appeared in the sky at dusk on Monday 4th August and has been visible for seven nights only across the city from sunset to sunrise. Accompanying this stunning piece of art is a specially composed soundtrack by Ikeda which really does make it all the more poignant when you visit.

On Friday night I popped up to see Spectra for myself and I was not disappointed, it truly is a stunning piece of work and the music really does make it all the more touching a tribute to the fallen.


#ComicCon News Summary – Avengers: Age of Ultron & Batman vs Superman at #SDCC


Comic Con is famous for being the worlds greatest geek fest, and this year did not disappoint! The two most highly anticipated movies were of course, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Avengers: Age of Ultron. So lets see what both had to offer this year.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers themselves took to the stage to the tune of Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ with Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Cobie Smoulders (Maria Hill), Paul Bettany (The Vision/JARVIS) and James Spader (Ultron) – and breath!

The footage that screened sounds amazing, the tone it took was to start out light and fun and then get darker as the reel went on – much the direction the second film will take in comparison to the first. It opened with the Avengers (and War Machine himself, Rhodey) all hanging out in Stark Tower (now Avengers Tower) enjoying a few drinks. As they are all having a laugh together they each take turns at trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Tony Stark and Rhodey use their gauntlets to no avail, Bruce Banner practically hulks out but has no luck, Cap however did make the hammer move, just a little!


The fun is suddenly disrupted by a very creepy moment as a broken-up robot suddenly enters the scene. It’s barely able to stand, hanging in mid-air it tells the team that they are all killers. Its one of Stark’s Iron Legion, but one that has clearly gone wrong, all of a sudden a mass of bots crash into the tower and attack.

speed leaving a trail in his wake whilst Scarlet Witch controls stuff with her mind. Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor makes an appearance facing off against the Hulk, as seen in concept art already, but why are the two fighting? However we do see Banner curled in a blanket at one point having some kind of inner turmoil with himself with a shot of Black Widow then lifting her hand up to the Hulk’s. Ultron’s voiceover references The Vision but we don’t actually see him in action (although he is in the concept art below) and finally we see Andy Serkis himself, not in a motion capture role. s, the Avengers’? Is it a dream or something more? All of this shows the movie will be going down a far darker road… The last thing we see is Ultron in a new, shinier body armor. But one last bit happened at the Avengers portion of the panel as Josh Brolin took the stage with an Infinity Gauntlet toy glove.

batfleck-reg-6a419Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice

Warner Bros. have released the first footage from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at Comic-Con 2014. re angry. s eyes are glowing during this part of the clip and when Superman sees that, he makes his eyes glow red.

They’re clearly angry with each other and this is the beginning of what Batman v Superman is all about.  The teaser’s setting takes place during the night where it’s pouring rain. They’re on a rooftop with Ben Affleck as Batman in a bulky armor almost, military grade, and his eyes are glowing as he pulls a tarp off the Bat signal.

It shines far into the sky where it’s lightning and standing inside Batman’s symbol is Henry Cavill’s Superman. He looks angry, his eyes are glowing red similar to what we’ve seen with his heat vision ray in Man of Steel. The camera pans in on Batman’s face as he looks angered and ready to fight when the film cuts to black. For this the audience went crazy. This is something I was initially sceptical about with the choice of Ben Affleck as Batman and all, but its grown on me significantly!


Royal Navy’s largest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth officially named by Her Majesty


Today Her Majesty The Queen will officially name the Royal Navy’s largest ever warship after smashing a bottle of Whiskey against the ships hull. HMS Queen Elizabeth weights 65,000 tonnes and can carry 40 jets and helicopters at a time. It will have a permanent crew of almost 700 when it enters service in 2020.

Six shipyards in the UK – Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne – have been involved in building parts of the carrier. More than 10,000 people in more than 100 companies have worked on HMS Queen Elizabeth, which has been beset by construction and design delays. The estimated cost of the aircraft carrier and its sister ship is £6.2bn, well over the initial projected cost of £3.65bn.

There has only been one previous HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was completed 100 years earlier. The new ship’s name is both the continuation of this historic Royal Navy name and a tribute to the Queen. Those behind the project, which costs an estimated £6.2 billion overall, say the QE Class will be the centrepiece of Britain’s naval capability. David Cameron today hailed the ship as a symbol of ‘a truly great country’ which has its roots in maritime prowess. In a comment for the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s naming book, he said the ship would help secure ‘British prosperity and our country’s place in the world’. He wrote: ‘Defending our nation, protecting our way of life, promoting our national interests: these are the vital priorities of Government and in each of them the Royal Navy has a key part to play.

The unusual choice of whisky – rather than champagne – for naming the ship was made as a nod to the prominent role Scottish docks and workers have had in its construction. The variety chosen was from the Isle of Islay, one of the Outer Hebrides, as was provided by the island’s Bowmore Distillery. Earlier First Sea Lord George Zambellas, the head of the Royal Navy, described the ship as ‘a steel-clad phoenix’ which will give rebirth to British sea power when it becomes fully operational in 2020.

At the naming ceremony, Her Majesty said:

In sponsoring this new aircraft carrier, I believe the Queen Elizabeth, a flagship for the Royal Navy, will be a source of inspiration and pride for us all. The Lord High Admiral, the Duke of Edinburgh, joins me in congratulating all in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance on this magnificent achievement and wishing the first ship’s company well in the time ahead. Wherever this ship may serve, whatever tasks may be asked of her, let all those who serve on her know that on this day she was blessed with the prayers of us all for her success and for her safe return to calm waters. I name this ship Queen Elizabeth, may god bless her and all who sail in her.