Friday, 8 February 2013

The Shard

Londoners can proudly say they have a new landmark for tourism in town. The Shard is the tallest building in the European Union with an astonishing height of 310 meters, as well as 72 floors. With such an incredible amount of floors, The Shard holds many activities and businesses on its inside. There you can find offices, luxury residences (£50 million each, no less), restaurants, a viewing gallery, a 5-star hotel, some shops and even a spa.

The Shard’s complexity was worth one episode for Discovery Channel centered on the building of this tower. This documentary was called “The Tallest Tower: Building The Shard”. On this documentary you will find out that 11,468 glass panels, 500 tonnes of steel and 100,000 tonnes were needed in order to build this masterpiece.

Besides being the tallest skyscraper in the European Union, it most likely holds the title of the smartest building too. It is said that the glass panels will open automatically when being hit by the sunshine. If it’s dark, cold and cloudy then these panels will close and the heaters will switch on.

There is only so much to be said about The Shard, but it is best to go and see for yourself. Starting on February 1st, The Shard will open its doors to general public so they can witness some of these amazing features, as well as its amazing view from the top. If you can’t wait to see what the view from the top is like, The Guardian recently produced a 360-degree panorama of it.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

New Year cleaning for a new start

Now that everything is back to normal and the Christmas tree has gone down (yes, it is now really time to take it down!), why not start the year with a good clear out? Whether you hosted the festivities of Christmas and New Year or you were away for a few weeks, your house could probably do with a bit of tidying up. As we all like to do a bit of spring cleaning to mark the end of the winter, a January cleaning is a good way to give ourselves a new start.

Get rid of things and rearrange

The first thing to do is to get rid of, or put back in boxes, all things related to the festive season. Then, anything that has been replaced by a new present can go. While this can be easily done in the evening, you might need to set aside a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon for the next steps. But there will be a fair number of rainy days this month to do so.

A good way to clear space in your cupboards is to go through your possessions and check the ones you haven't used for a long time, as well as the ones that actually can't be used anymore. Depending on their state, bring them to the charity shops or your local recycling centre. Finally, have a good look at the way your house is arranged and try to visualise a new arrangement of your furnitures. Most of the time, we haven't moved them for years but some shuffle around could free more space or just give a bit of novelty to your living space.