You think the Shard is tall? You don't know tall

The Shard may be big for London, but it's dwarfed by really tall buildings.

The Shard opened on Thursday, to much fanfare a disappointing laser show, but regardless of the questionable symbolism behind the fact that the biggest building in the city is a monolith to the power and wealth of a group of foreigners (a situation which reminds me of nothing so much as the Citadel from Half Life 2's City 17), one thing which everyone is agreed on is that it really is very tall.

It's not. It's a tiddler. Sure, it may be the biggest building in Western Europe – at least until Paris's Hermitage Towers are finished around 2015 – but compared to really tall buildings, it hasn't got a chance. 

Via the Mirror, here's a view from the top of the building:

For the sake of comparison, here's that same view replicated using Google Earth, with all those pretty 3D buildings:

Here's what it looks like if you put the Burj Khalifa, the biggest building in the world, at the same location:

The Gherkin is dwarfed in the bottom right, and see that green line in the middle distance? That's Hertfordshire. This is what tall looks like.

What the Shard lightshow should have looked like. It didn't. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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Harry Potter Week

Celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter.

Do you know what day it is? Today is Monday 26 June 2017 – which means it’s 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published in the UK. That’s two decades of knowing and loving Harry Potter.

Here at the New Statesman, a solid 90 per cent of the online staff live and breathe Harry Potter. So we thought now would be the perfect time to run a week of Potter-themed articles. We’ve got a mix of personal reflections, very (very) geeky analysis, cultural criticism, nostalgia, and some truly bizarre fan fiction. You have been warned. 

See below for the full list, which will be updated throughout the week:

Jonn Elledge and the Young Hagrid Audition

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.

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