Sonic Mania: A Nostalgic Return to Form.

It’s been a long time coming! Sonic Mania has finally arrived and is a nostalgic return to form with the help of Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, PagodaWest Games, Lola Shiraishi & Headcannon!

Reliving 26 years of some of the most iconic levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Mania revisits Green Hill Zone with an easter egg of an old landscape that was ditched from the final release of Sonic the Hedgehog, with the zip-line being re-introduced, and a lost level which was meant to appear in the original Sonic games but never got used finally came to Sonic Mania, and that lost level was Mirage Saloon. Studiopolis is an all-new level that officially débuts in Sonic Mania with a city-like landscape that makes it feel a little like Stardust Speedway, Casino Nights and Carnival Night Zone mixed in.

After such a long wait, Flying Battery Zone has officially been revived and is officially a part of Sonic Mania, which wasn’t just a fan favourite, but is also one of the most iconic levels taken from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles and Sonic & Knuckles, a level of which I absolutely love. Both Acts for Flying Battery Zone have had some changes here and there with access to some new and unseen areas, giving all gamers a chance to discover certain parts of both levels that have never been seen before.

Chemical Plant Zone has returned in Sonic Mania but with a difference; Chemical Plant Act 2 contains an upbeat sound whilst giving gamers like myself the chance to go inside the Chemical Plant. This gives the Sonic franchise a new lease of life considering that Chemical Plant is often seen in some or most of the games released in the Sonic series. The last known appearance that Chemical Plant made was in Sonic Generations, but this time, it’s back with quite a few changes. The songs for Chemical Plant receive up-to-date futuristic sounds, modernising the old into the new.

The man behind the soundtrack for Sonic Mania is Tee Lopes, who, just like Christian Whitehead, is also a massive fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog series and his work on making the soundtrack for Sonic Mania is sure to make everyone’s eyes water with joy.

Special Stages are back and have an eerily similar feel to the Sonic CD Special Stages, though you will need to think quickly and act quickly to catch the UFO that carries the Chaos Emerald per each Special Stage that you play.

Eggman is back but with a difference. Working alongside him, the Hard-Boiled Heavies aim to manipulate the timestream by stealing the mysterious gemstone, which is revealed to be the Phantom Ruby, which is the energy source Tails picked up on one of his energy readings far away from Angel Island Zone.

The new levels that make their début in Sonic Mania are Press Garden Zone, Oil Ocean Zone & Titanic Monarch Zone, though the other few notable levels that have been revived for Sonic Mania are Stardust Speedway Zone, Metallic Madness Zone, Hydrocity Zone and Lava Reef Zone.

Does Sonic Mania live up to the hype and anticipation?

Of course, it does! Sonic Mania brings about the nostalgic days of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, including Sonic CD. With past levels, such as Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant Zone, Flying Battery Zone, Lava Reef Zone, Hydrocity Zone, Stardust Speedway Zone & Metallic Madness Zone making a comeback, Sonic Mania truly lives up to the hype and anticipation me and everyone else have waited for. Sonic Mania was delayed earlier this year as more time was required and some more levels were being added in, but I was glad it was delayed until today for its release as a delayed game is better than a rushed game.

Does Sonic Mania capture the true essence of old-school retro games?

Definitely! Because Sonic Mania has revived some of the well-known and well-loved levels from the 16-Bit Sonic franchise, the old-school retro appeal gives Sonic Mania the true essence that it needs. The true essence of old-school retro games is the nostalgia the games carry, and for Sonic Mania, it does exactly that, it captures the true essence of old-school retro gaming.

How many levels are in Sonic Mania?

In their particular order, the levels that are in Sonic Mania are:

  1. Green Hill Zone
  2. Chemical Plant Zone
  3. Studiopolis Zone
  4. Flying Battery Zone
  5. Press Garden Zone
  6. Stardust Speedway Zone
  7. Hydrocity Zone
  8. Mirage Saloon Zone
  9. Oil Ocean Zone
  10. Lava Reef Zone
  11. Metallic Madness Zone
  12. Titanic Monarch Zone

I must admit, when I heard that Titanic Monarch was a completely new level, I was a little bit stunned at first with the name, but I was pleased the name was used as the name pays homage and pays tribute to the RMS Titanic ship that sunk on the 15th April 1912, 105 years ago. Although this might not seem like a relevant connection between the level and the ship, it certainly pays tribute respectively as the name remembers the ship perfectly. Fair play to Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, PagodaWest Games, Lola Shiraishi, Headcannon & SEGA for paying homage and for paying tribute to the RMS Titanic, I think it’s a perfectly respectful and touching gesture.

Below are the screenshots for Sonic Mania that I managed to gather together during gameplay.

Below is the video playlist I’ve created for Sonic Mania. Please feel free to watch the gameplay footage I have uploaded to my YouTube Channel, and if you have a YouTube Channel and want to see gameplay footage from Sonic Mania, please make sure to like, comment and subscribe.

Sonic Mania hasn’t just proved to be so popular, but because Sonic Mania has brought back the nostalgia and magic of past games, this gives the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise a new lease of life and also brings to the table the potential for more Sonic games and potential sequels now that Sonic Mania has exceeded mine and everyone else’s expectations. Sonic Forces follows on from Sonic Mania this holiday season, but I can be absolutely sure from my own perspective, that the Sonic franchise will be open to the potentiality of more games and sequels.Sonic Mania has me falling in love with retro games once again.

To conclude, Sonic Mania has me falling in love with retro games once again.

If you haven’t yet purchased your copy of Sonic Mania, I strongly recommend you do, because Sonic Mania isn’t just a nostalgic game worth playing, it’s a game that stays completely true to the entire Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. What are you waiting for? Purchase your copy of Sonic Mania now! If you pre-ordered the PC version of Sonic Mania on Steam before today, the PC version will be released on the 29th August 2017. To make up for polishing the PC Version, those who pre-ordered the PC version of Sonic Mania before the 15th August will receive a free copy of the first ever Sonic game, Sonic the Hedgehog.

SEGA, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, PagodaWest Games, Lola Shiraishi and Headcannon, including all those involved in the making of Sonic Mania, you are awesome! Thanks for making Sonic Mania the perfectly crafted masterpiece it truly is, but more importantly, thanks for taking me and everyone else for a nostalgic trip down memory lane. You are all awesome and all of you rock!

Alex Smithson

© SEGA, Sonic Team, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Lola Shiraishi, PagodaWest Games & Headcannon 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

© The Sonic Mania logo, including all the screenshots, all of the gameplay videos, thumbnails and official art, are all copyright of SEGA, Sonic Team, Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, Lola Shiraishi, PagodaWest Games and Headcannon. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

Sonic Mania Rating: 10/10

Croydon Murals Defaced Beyond Recognition

Just a few short weeks ago, I recently photographed the beautifully exquisite Amy Winehouse: “Tears Dry On Their Ownmural, which was produced by the artist, Bareface, in conjunction with and as commissioned by the RISE Gallery.

Fast forward to Saturday just gone, while I was with my close friends, who I just recently photographed a few weeks ago, with some more photographs on the way soon, all three of us paid a visit to Katharine Street because we wanted to find out if the mural of Amy Winehouse was still in the same finished state it was when I photographed it just a few short weeks ago.

On closer inspection, however, I was devastated to discover that not only was the mural defaced, but a grey block drawn just below Amy Winehouse’s eye, with a teardrop also drawn just below her eye, with some graffiti included on the back of Bareface’s clothing has ultimately destroyed a true work of art.

I just, in the last few days, spoke to the man behind the Amy Winehouse mural, Bareface, over Instagram, and even he is just as furious as I am about the mural being defaced.

Bareface made this statement during a conversation I had with him on Instagram. Permission was granted by Bareface for me to release his statement on his mural being defaced alongside the other murals that were also defaced.

“I did notice in a few pics I was tagged in this week that it had been worked over. It’s a shame but sadly it’s the law of the jungle. These “thugs” seem to think it’s fair game if it’s out in the street to tag over something that’s already there. The bigger issue is that if it continues the council will think it invites more vandalism and it will put a stop to public art so it’s a tough one to tackle. I will be in town today so I will be able to see it up close but it would have been nice for it to remain “clean” for a lot longer as it is a legal wall, but that’s something the organisers need to consider for next time.”

Bareface went on to say:

“I had a look today and it’s a shame most of the work has been tagged over apart from the lettering “graffiti”. There is always a rift between people that do lettering graffiti and people that do stencil art and other styles but that’s another story for another time.” – Statement released by Bareface on Monday 7th July 2017.

You can see just by the statement he released to me in our conversation just how disgusted he is by the fact his mural was destroyed because I too would be the same in his shoes. To think that those who defaced this mural would go to such lengths to destroy such a beautiful and exquisite masterpiece, as well as two other murals proves the lack of respect those have. Those who did it should be ashamed.

Below are the photos I took, which were featured in two articles that were published in the Croydon Advertiser, the first article of which was published on Monday 7th July 2017 and also Tuesday 8th July 2017. You can also read the articles in which I expressed my fury on the murals being destroyed by clicking here and here.

It’s a distasteful and remorseless act and it shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Alex Smithson

Should We Change at the Expense of Others?

From a personal perspective, changing ourselves at the expense of others means we are putting ourselves in a position where we are made to change ourselves in order to be socially acceptable to everyone else.

I personally refuse to change myself at the expense of others because I am happy with who I am, what I look like, including how I present myself to other people.

So what, I don’t give a damn if some people don’t accept me just for being myself, at the end of the day, I refuse to let anyone change me so that I can appear acceptable to them.

It’s a messed up world, there’s no other way of describing this world, but at the end of the day, if no one can accept you for who you are, what you look like, including how you present yourself to others, and if they expect you to change yourself at their expense, forget them and just be yourself and never change for anyone.

Never change yourself.

If you feel what I have said here is powerful and eye-opening, please let me know. I would love to know if I inspired you as I want to inspire you all and for you to be yourselves and to never change yourselves at all at the expense of others.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to August!

Welcome to August on Mother Nature everyone! As the next few weeks are set to be peaceful, but also a little busy, it is safe to say that time sure will fly this month, as I’ve got my next batch of photographs on the way very soon for my own photography series which will be of a certain someone who is a very close friend of mine.

I have photographed this person before, but I will reveal the person I will have photographed very soon once another article goes up for: “The Concept of Expression” Photography Series.

What are your plans for August? I would love to hear what you are planning to do over the course of this month. Please feel free to submit your response below, I would love to hear what plans you have got in store for this month.

Until then:

Welcome to August!

Alex Smithson

 

2016: A Year in Review

As 2016 finally draws to a close, I will be taking a full look back at all of the articles that were published over the course of this year. Of course, this year has been good and bad but this year has certainly been much busier than the last. So now, I will finally look back on this year in review as promised.

January 2016

1.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for the New Year, and with a redesigned appearance, I mentioned that Mother Nature had changed its colours to: “accommodate for a maturer appearance, given that Mother Nature has now evolved into more of a presentable appearance.” I also mentioned that I would be doing some housekeeping, as I would be taking down some articles and some pictures to free up the website space for Mother Nature.

I had also mentioned that this news had come as I wanted to get back to my roots fully of doing more photography articles. However, all wouldn’t be lost though, because any articles I would be taking down would have their spaces filled with some new articles, as I wanted Mother Nature to focus more on photography, but also on certain interests, as I don’t want to talk too much about one thing, knowing full well that the whole idea of this website is to be a photography site.

3.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang in terms of photography, I did the first Historical Photographer article for 2016 on Walker Evans, who is the second in the Historical Photographers series that I introduced back in December 2015. In this Historical Photographer article, I would talk about Walker Evans’ life, as well as the timeline of events that unfolded up until his death on the 10th April 1975.

Also on this day, I published an article based on my thoughts about maturity and communication in modern society, as I felt that in modern society, maturity was something that shouldn’t really go amiss, especially in our generation and in this day and age, but when it came to maturity in modern society, among many other areas of life, our generation unfortunately lack almost all of maturity.

6.1.2016 – As I wanted to make sure to keep to my promise of being more productive and by also promising to publish more articles on a frequent basis, I started by doing a topic that would focus on whether the media was responsible for promoting eating disorders and negative body image problems in young people. I did also mention that I would tread very carefully when it came to writing this article, as I knew something like this would be sensitive.

8.1.2016 – As I wanted to refer to studying in general, I decided to talk about study time, and whether a large workload from school, college or even university stressed you out. I mentioned that: “Although I believe study time is crucial, I have known on some, if not, a lot of occasions, that it can be stressful, especially when you’re in school, college or university. Over the course of last year, I did notice how stressful the workload was, because I would get on a number of occasions, a lot of work piled on top of me, which, when deadlines were around the corner, I would sometimes panic about any work that may have not been completed, and in a lot of cases, I would often get stressed out.”

15.1.2016 – As violent video games are overruling modern society and my generation nowadays, given that violence is one of the most controversial subjects to talk about, I thought it was good to create a topic of discussion based on whether you thought violent video games should be banned. In this article, I had made sure to give my reasons for why I felt they should be banned, and how banning violent video games could help to prevent the younger generations of today from being brainwashed into committing violence against those around them. I did keep in mind though that a topic like this one is often touchy, and that I would tread very carefully whilst talking about it.

18.1.2016 – As this is something that is close to my heart, which also often bothers me, vanity has been something that I’ve noticed in the real world. In this article, I wrote about how I’ve heard about all these celebrities who have either had work done or had something enhanced to boost their self-esteem, and the same has happened to some of those who aren’t famous at all, and it really bothered me how vanity could cause someone to change something about themselves when they don’t need to.

23.1.2016 – As gangs are becoming a major problem in modern-day life, I focused this topic of discussion on whether the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people. I did know for a fact that this was something that some people may be too afraid to talk about, but I decided to stand up and speak up about this topic in detail because I would not hide my views on gang culture, as I would make sure to outline in this topic whether I thought the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people.

Also on this day, I published two more articles, one of which focused on my trip up to the Croydon Museum, as the museum contains so much information and research “based on a large number of photographers, as well as certain collector’s items, such as an old-fashioned retro 1950s car.”, while the third article was based on uplifting photo moments, given that I took a photo of Croydon College’s Rotunda, as well as getting a photo with The One Show’s Marty Jopson, who is such a nice guy and so down to earth.

30.1.2016 – With it being in the last couple of years since I last visited, and despite the fact my feet were killing me as a result of going up to London for this trip, I went on a trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and while we were there, I wanted to get some photos of the museum, considering that the last time I went, it had a dramatic overhaul in design, and not only that, but some or most parts of the museum had changed from when I made my first ever visit to the Science Museum. Also, on the same day that I went up to London with my class for a trip to the Science Museum, we also went to the Natural History Museum to study further for our stop-frame animation project. While we were there, I also took a large number of photos, considering that I took a trip up to the Science Museum. It was also the first time in nearly 15 years since I last visited the Natural History Museum.

As I published both of these articles on this day, I wanted them both to be like a two-part photography article, in other words, a 2-in-1 article.

February 2016

1.2.2016 – To kick February off on Mother Nature, I had made sure to say that this month was set to be possibly a complete washout because of the odd weather we’ve been getting, given that we were also getting large gusts of wind, including the odd spot of rain, but I had also made sure to do a lot more articles this month.

Also on this day, I mentioned the stars we lost over the first few weeks of 2016, given that we lost the likes of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Terry Wogan of which had passed away just the day before, but I also made sure to keep to my promise of publishing the tribute articles as soon as I could.

2.2.2016 – 3.2.2016 – Whilst I was waiting for my bus on this day at one of the bus stops further down from the one I usually wait at to board my 367 bus, I took some photographs with the Camera+ app (Recommended) before dusk, considering that the sky stayed bright for a little longer, and I was able to get these photos in a much better form than what I wouldn’t expect to get with the pre-installed Camera app.

The day after I took the first set of photos of Croydon Before Dusk, I published another article that focused again on Croydon, but this time, with the main focus being Croydon in Broad Daylight, and because I took these photos in broad daylight, this was the perfect opportunity for me to get these photos in before I headed home from college.

12.2.2016 – As it was almost a year since his passing, I thought it would be good to pay tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton by dedicating a tribute article to him, given that he was best known for rescuing 669 children on the eve of the Second World War. As I wanted to pay my full respects and tribute to him, I would take a full look-back on his life as it unfolded, as well as the timeline of events that took place up until his death on the 1st July 2015.

14.2.2016 – As it has been 104 years since the original Titanic ship sank after hitting an iceberg, the Titanic 2 most certainly did the rounds on the internet, after it was revealed that the Titanic 2 would set sail in 2018. As a result of hearing the news, I thought it would be a good idea to create this article in the style of a debate, as I had made sure to ask all of you if you would get on the Titanic 2. I also gave my own views based on why I thought it was a bad idea, and why it shouldn’t set sail.

16.2.2016 – Back in October, during the course of the Light Play Project, I did some darkroom experiments, considering that this was my first time using darkroom materials, considering that I had never done anything like this before. As I had already completed my darkroom experiment pieces, I thought it would be a good idea to showcase them in the article: “Darkroom Experiments: My Photograms“.

17.2.2016 – As technology is a major key factor that plays a role in our lives, it is also known to be the leading cause for maturity and communication skills being thrown out of the window. As I wanted to make sure to talk about technology, I decided that it would be a good idea to publish a topic article, as I wanted to give my views based on whether technology throws all forms of maturity and communication skills out of the window, but most of all, wanted to know your views based on this kind of topic.

18.2.2016 – As photographs can capture all kinds of happy memories, including all kinds of emotions, I decided to publish another topic article based on whether each photograph had captured a memory or emotion, and in this topic, I would give my views based on whether I thought each photograph I took captured a memory, and whether each photograph I took captured an emotion as well.

21.2.2016 – Reports had recently surfaced in the news after a baby dolphin died as a result of a number of tourists that paraded around it taking photos. The news of the baby dolphin’s death came after it made headline news across the world, and had, in the last few days, sparked untold controversy among animal rights activists. As I wanted to make sure to raise awareness, I decided to publish this article based on whether selfies had gone too far, and I wanted this article to focus on your views on Animal Cruelty.

Also, as I wanted to make sure to share my views on Animal Cruelty, I had made a geometric lion design and also a “STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY” sticker that features the lion, as I wanted to make sure to raise awareness and to make sure to stop animal cruelty from ever taking place.

25.2.2016 – In life, we can procrastinate over even some of the smallest or biggest things, as we sometimes tend to hold things back that will, over time, leave us in a near-sticky situation that we may or may not be able to get ourselves out of. For instance, you get given a piece of work that you’ve been asked to complete within a specific time scale, and by not doing that specific piece of work, whether it would be exam-based or not, it can cause you to procrastinate and can then throw you into a panic, because you may have left something to chance which you will or may have left to the last minute.

As I wanted to share my experiences of procrastination with you all, I decided to publish an article based on how holding back would affect your chances of living, as I wanted this article to be something that not only I could relate to, but an article that you could all relate to as well.

26.2.2016 – When me and two fellow classmates were producing our final photos for our final stop-frame animation film, one of my fellow classmates brought in a set of Star Wars Figurines, from the likes of Jar Jar Binks to Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and with the Star Wars Figurines came the Storm Trooper, which was stood on my friend’s Manfrotto tripod, and I took the opportunity to take this photo, which was originally in colour, but because the Star Wars Storm Trooper character was the main character in this photo, I decided to put my own spin on this photo by changing it to black and white first after taking it in colour with the Camera+ app (recommended), and afterwards, I used the Instagram filter, Sutro, to make further edits to the photo, and the photo that is the featured image on the article: “Photo Moment: May the Force Be With You” was the final result that I achieved.

As I loved how well the final edit of the photo turned out, I decided to publish it, but also include it as the full image on its own so that all of you could download it for free to use as a Laptop/PC Wallpaper or Screensaver, and that it could also be used as an iPhone, iPod touch and iPad wallpaper, and that it would also work on all Android, Mac and Windows Devices.

29.2.2016 – As today marked the milestone of my how-to article becoming the 300th article I had published ever since Mother Nature made its début on the 6th June 2013, I wanted to make sure to give you all a full run-down on how you could get the best breakthrough in life. Today I had made history as I had published this article on a leap day, but also made history because I had published 300 articles, which is an achievement in itself considering that the three-year anniversary of Mother Nature isn’t set to take place until the 6th June 2016.

March 2016

1.3.2016 – To kick March off with a bang, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature, with this month being set for some possibly nice weather, despite weather reports that suggested that there would be rain and snow. I also mentioned that I would add a widget that would state the times for each and every week that I would publish my articles, so that I could keep to a specific publishing timetable that would suit me best for when it comes to publishing articles on here.

4.3.2016 – As we had relatively mild but refreshing Spring weather in Croydon on this day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity during my lunch break to get a large number of photos whilst I had the free time available. I took a large range of photographs with the Camera+ app (recommended), and because there was not a single spot of bad weather on this day too, this day was the perfect opportunity for me to get a large range of photos in before my lunch break came to an end.

5.3.2016 – Last year when I was on the UAL Level 2 Diploma Art & Design Course, I took some photos in and around Croydon, but around certain parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed before. I must admit, on the 7th May 2015, I went down to Reeves Corner with a student from my class, though I asked the fellow student from my class if they could come with me because I was worried about going down to Croydon on my own, considering that the Nikon D3300 DSLR I use to take my photos with is quite expensive, and that I was worried about it being stolen, given that what happened down that area with the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down during the riots in 2011 had worried me. On this day, I published the small set of photos that I had taken on the 7th May 2015, with Reeves Corner being the featured place I would use in the article’s Featured Image.

7.3.2016 – Life throws at us what we do or don’t like to experience, but it’s being able to accept who you are that really matters. Whether you have anyone around you who chooses to see you differently because of who you are and how you choose to appear, that doesn’t matter, it’s what comes from your heart and who you are that really matters the most. I wrote this article as a way of wanting to inspire you all.

11.3.2016 – Your life is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece. Why? Because it is. Your life is sensational because you have decided to be you and have decided to forget what other people think of you, and you are also a remarkable masterpiece as well, because not only have you decided to be yourself, but you have also proved that you are 10,000 times better than they will ever be. I also wrote this article as I wanted to inspire all of you to believe in yourself and to always be yourself, no matter what.

13.3.2016 – Security is the major key factor that plays its part in the digital world, but at the same time, we are left with the question that we sometimes ask ourselves or other people, and that is: “Are We Really Safe?“. I wrote this article mainly because I wanted to know whether you felt your security in the digital world was safe, considering I had fallen victim to a “malware and virus attack after some viruses and malware got past my security software, which resulted in me having restore problems, until I was advised to create storage media on one of my USB’s using the Media Creation Tool (provided by Microsoft) which actually helped, as I was able to completely wipe my laptop of any viruses, malware and even any other kind of general virus attacks.”

21.3.2016 – From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original. I published this article as I wanted to showcase to all of you my current drawing skills, given that my drawing skills have advanced in the last few years.

22.3.2016 – Let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of bad experiences, whether it would be to do with a fall or whether it would be to do with the consideration of any passenger‘s safety, especially for those who wait at their bus stops to get the next bus that’s due. I wrote this article in light of my recent experience in which a bus driver drove past me and a couple of passengers, even though full indication was given by a fellow passenger for the bus driver to stop at my usual bus stop, which resulted in me having to run to the next bus stop just around the corner, which as you can imagine left me in a seriously foul mood afterwards.

23.3.2016 – As the article had suggested, what was the one true thing that scared you? I outlined that the one true thing that scared me was “death, as I hate the thought ofdying, given that after death, nothing carries on, and not just that, but after death, everything just stops forever.” I did this article as I wanted to know what the one true thing was that genuinely scared you.

24.3.2016 – Back in 2012, I did a piece of creative work in my Art & Design class when I was in Year 9, and I had to create a kind of pop-art piece which would consist of two famous faces, which were of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) and the model, Kate Moss. This of course did require the use of different materials which would help me to produce this piece, but aside that, I also used the Colors! 3D app (available on the Nintendo eShop) to produce some pieces of art work, which does shock me to some extent given how my drawing and design skills were then compared to the drawing and design skills I have now. I also presented some drawings in this article that I created in 2013 and 2014.

25.3.2016 – Equality & Diversity are just two of the main key factors that make up all the societies in this world. Whether it would be to do with a person’s religious background, sexuality or even how someone chooses to look and appear, both key factors should be taken into consideration no matter what society any of us come from. I wrote this article as it’s the kind of subject that is close to my heart, as I always believe that we should be equal and diverse towards one another.

Also on this day, I published another article, but decided to keep the second article short by showing a photo of the lovely weather on this day, as I “wanted to relax a little bit just for a change, considering all of the hard work I’ve been producing for my film and photography course most recently.”

27.3.2016 – I published a moderately tiny article in which I had wished you all a Happy Easter.

29.3.2016 – As I headed down to Charlie’s Rock Shop in Merton on this day, I did notice that the landscape around me was full of tranquility, as everywhere around me was quiet, which was a change considering how busy it can be sometimes, but the landscape around me was peaceful and also refreshing. Despite the fact that the weather couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be sunny or to be pouring down with rain, I decided to get a set of photographs in that I took whilst I was there and while I was on my way back home. I also took some of the photos I selected that were originally in colour and converted a select range of them into black and white.

30.3.2016 – As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986. This drawing took from the 25th March to the 29th March to complete, and I was absolutely over the moon with the final result that I was able to achieve.

31.3.2016 – I felt absolutely honoured to have been nominated by Brooke (The Utopia Universe) for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the first award that Mother Nature has received since the start of 2016. Today, I also paid tribute to the Man of Mighty Humour, Ronnie Corbett, who sadly passed away this morning at the age of 85. He will be greatly missed but will never be forgotten. We will miss you Ronnie Corbett.

April 2016

1.4.2016 – As March ended on a productive note, I had made sure to welcome you all to April on Mother Nature, as this month would be set to get a little warmer considering the wintry spells had finally passed.

Also on this day, I published a tribute article which paid tribute to the nation’s most loved Agony Aunt, Denise Robertson, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer on the 31st March 2016, with the news of her passing being announced just 24 hours after the news broke of Ronnie Corbett passing away.

2.4.2016 – After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March), Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo came exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after its release worldwide, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on finally setting your creativity free, as it was based around how we all have ideas of being creative, but would leave us wondering how we would all set that creativity free.

3.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the truth that I had about abstract art, which was me answering that it was interesting and innovative. This article was based around an abstract art piece I created using a pen and a piece of paper, which took less than 24 hours to produce. I also made sure to create different colours of the same abstract art piece that I had finished, and I had made sure to do some significant editing, using the editing skills I currently have to make it look exactly as to how I saw it on paper, so that I could reproduce the same appearance I saw in drawing form, but in the form of a digital version as well.

Also on this day, I published my first Quote of the Day, which would be useful as I wanted to make sure to inspire you all and to put some light in your day.

4.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that I wanted to make sure would be short, but would be inspiring as well, as the article I published was based on doing something for the first time in this world, which was for you to do you and to be happy. It was my way of saying that you should be you, be happy, but most of all to be yourself.

Also on this day, I published another article which was based around three key factors of life, which were Strength, Courage & Willpower, and it was based around just how powerful they can be in all walks of life.

Ending Day 4 of the month on a high note, I had made sure to publish Quote of the Day #2, which was based on redefining ourselves for the better in this world.

5.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on how, over the years, we had all seen some disaster films, but the question was whether they were feasible in terms of real-life situations.

Also on this day, I published an article which was based on whether protective headgear should be worn at all times in boxing, following the news of the boxer, Nick Blackwell, who collapsed shortly after a boxing match between him and Chris Eubank Jr., the son of Chris Eubank Snr.

To end this day, I published Quote of the Day #3, which was based on helping you all to believe in yourselves, including being yourselves.

6.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based around expanding your horizons with all-new ideas. This article was also a 5-Step Guide that I created which was my way of being able to show you how you could broaden your horizons with all-new ideas.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based around the April showers, considering that the name of the article, which was called: “April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers” was based around the small showers we were getting, which brought along with it some gusty winds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #4, which was based on aspiration and inspiration, as well as inspiring anyone to do better.

7.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that expressed my excitement for the Summer Break, given that the time has been flying like clockwork and that the long holiday break was not far behind. I mentioned that although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I did mention that I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on music, as well as wondering how we’re able to relate our lives to songs. I talked about how it was the first thing we would make sure to listen to everyday, as well as how there would be something about music that would make us feel connected.

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows was based around the unexpected flow of hailstones that we had where I live and it came down so fast that it had felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm.

To end the day on a good note, I published Quote of the Day #5, which was based around not the kind of people we become, but the kind of people who we choose to become in life that would really matter.

8.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the two-week holiday, in which I asked you how yours went, given that I had two very productive weeks, which I had absolutely loved.

I also talked about success, as well as asking you all how good it felt to achieve something, given the joys and excitement of being able to succeed at something that we may have worked so hard for.

As the two-week holiday was quickly drawing to a close, I asked you all if you were ready to head back to school or college, considering that I felt more than ready to go back to college after a productive and relaxing break, given that I was able to recuperate fully considering I had a huge amount of energy that I still had on hand despite the productive and relaxing holiday break that I had.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #6, which was based on determination, success, as well as working hard for something, not to forget to mention the chances of being able to follow your dreams.

9.4.2016 – On this day, I published three Weekly Logs, the first two of which were based around the Light Play Project that I completed and passed, which was based around darkroom experimentation work, while the third one was based around the first week of the Ghost Stories Project, which would be based around the Uncanny, as well as a mixture of different backgrounds, such as supernaturalism, ghouls, as well as mysterious things, not to mention tension, including strange and horrid backgrounds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #7, which was based on excelling in life, as well as working hard and producing something new, including being stronger than you think, not to mention believing in yourself, including being yourself.

10.4.2016 – On this day, I published three more Weekly Logs, two of which were based around the Ghost Stories Project, including the third, which was based around the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on an upcoming newspaper called: “The Word: Telling it As it Is.”, which would be launching on Friday 27th May 2016. As The Word is currently being funded on the crowdfunding site, crowdfunder.co.uk, I thought it would be nice to contribute and spread the word of this new community-based newspaper, as I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to help out. After a friend of mine sent me a logo of the name of the newspaper, I offered to help out by giving the logo a complete design overhaul, so that it would be bold and professional, but also create an in-your-face approach, so that it would be the community-based newspaper that people will read and enjoy.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #8, which was based on being yourself, including always being confident and to always to do you, which is what matters.

17.4.2016 – As I was requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and draw them. I published the final version of this drawing on Mother Nature as this was the first drawing I had done that didn’t require a single photo reference, but was all from memory. I loved the final result of the drawing as it was how I wanted it to be.

As we also had lovely weather on this day, I ceased the perfect opportunity to get a photo of the lovely silhouette sunset shift just before nightfall was due to commence.

20.4.2016 – The week before, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap up to almost 40 photographs and I was absolutely pleased with the collection of photographs that I created and published on Mother Nature.

21.4.2016 – As I had photographed one of my friends at college the day before, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, this meant I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them. I also listed below in the article: “A Bright & Peaceful Spring!” the details of the photograph, which showed what the focal length was, including the exposure time and the F number, which was 5.6.

In light of the sudden death of the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who died at the age of the 57 on this day, I had made sure to pay my full respects to him by publishing a tribute article that would give me and all of us the chance to remember him forever in our hearts as the iconic music legend he truly is.

22.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based on my own views of my generation, as well as how my generation has changed how we live. I won’t deny that I didn’t hold back, but I wasn’t afraid to make my feelings known to those who treated others like dirt. I must admit, having a go at some of the secondary school students from a high school that’s near to where I live was a force to be reckoned with, but after I lost my temper at the secondary school students, they never did anything to me, nor did they even say anything to my face as a result of how angry I was, but I did, however, receive an apology from some of the high school students for the way they were treating each other, but even though that apology was aimed at me, it was more or less aimed at everyone else on my bus, which just goes to show that if you cannot be considerate of the passengers who are on board the same bus as you, then the simplest thing is to not board the bus.

26.4.2016 – As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015. This Special Tour Review was my way of saying a massive, massive thank you to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, as this was my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour and for Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer to put on such a perfect night, I absolutely loved it. Thanks guys!!! Also again, thanks so much to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and to James Plimmer for getting photos with me on the night, it means so much🙂.

29.4.2016 – A few weeks before, it was reported and confirmed that David Gest, who had recently made an appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house, had passed away at the age of 62 at a London Hotel on the 12th April 2016, just before 10:20 AM. The news of his death seriously shocked me and I was absolutely gutted, as this news came nearly two weeks after we lost Ronnie Corbett and Denise Robertson, but when I heard the news of David Gest’s death on the 12th April, I was absolutely shocked and upset. I paid tribute to him by publishing this article as I wanted to make sure he was remembered in our hearts forever and also for the footprints he left on our hearts.

30.4.2016 – On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce. I published this photography article as I wanted to give you all an in-depth look at the kind of concept I have in mind, as well as using the photos I took as ideas for how I could produce that concept for my final piece, but in a completely realistic setting.

May 2016

1.5.2016 – As the next couple of weeks were set to get warmer considering that Summer would be just a few weeks away, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for May. I also mentioned that I would be very busy with my college studies, which meant I would be publishing articles less frequently than the month before, considering that April was extremely productive. I did mention that I would be travelling up to London on Tuesday 10th May to the Barbican Gallery where Madonna was a few weeks before as I would be going to see an exhibition that would comprise of over 250 intuitive works produced by Martin Parr.

5.5.2016 – On the 20th April 2016, I ceased the opportunity to take some photographs for my Final Major Project, and I headed to the 96 George Street Building opposite Croydon College to snap a photograph from the viewpoint space that was free for use. I used the photograph for the featured image of this article, including showing it below in full colour, along with the details of the photograph. For instance, the dimensions of the photograph, including the make of the camera, not to forget to mention the F Number, Aperture Priority, including the ISO Speed etc.

6.5.2016 – As the weather on this day was absolutely peaceful, I was able to cease the opportunity to take some photographs of some of the blooming flowers that were in my garden. I did attempt for the first time with my Nikon D3300 with Aperture Priority, which delivered some fantastic results considering I never experimented with Aperture Priority on my own camera before.

15.5.2016 – On Tuesday 10th May 2016, I travelled with my Film & Photography class up to London on a trip to the Barbican Gallery. As it was the first time I had ever visited the Barbican Gallery, I was shocked to find just how massive it was inside the Gallery. There was so much information available at hand and whilst I was there, I was able to take photographs around certain parts of the Barbican Gallery where I was allowed, and I must say I was surprised. The damp and dismal weather that day didn’t stop me from getting a collection of photos together.

17.5.2016 – Over the years, I’ve known some people who can be thoughtless and heartless, no matter how hard you try to put yourselves out there for them, especially where your respect to them concerns. I’ve had my fair share of that experience and I’m not ashamed to say this, but I will not put myself out there for those who feel it’s okay to take others for granted, have a go at those who are trying to respect and help them and I will most certainly not put my neck on the line for some people who think it’s okay to treat me like I’m something they’ve trodden in.

I wrote this article based on how I felt not just over the few stressful and eventful weeks I had with my work, but also because I felt I needed to get everything off my chest about what I really thought about those who take others, including myself for granted, including the lack of equality, diversity and respect that goes amiss nowadays.

23.5.2016 – A hilarious Facebook Live video broke the internet within a few days after Candace Payne, who purchased a Chewbacca Star Wars mask for her birthday left herself in stitches due to the mask making a funny noise, which also left the internet amused and in stitches of laughter.

I thought it would be nice to write an article on Candace Payne’s hilariously infectious video because it made me smile and laugh for all the right reasons, given that the video put a smile on my face despite the amount of stressful and eventful weeks I had with my coursework. I also thought it would be nice to share this funny moment with all of you as Candace Payne brought me and everyone around the whole world 4 minutes and 4 seconds of happiness, joy and humour. Again to Candace Payne, thank you🙂.

26.5.2016 – I published a note of sincere apology for all of you to see, as I wanted to apologise for not being as productive over the course of this month, considering I had a lot of personal things going on, including not being able to have the energy to publish as many articles as I hoped. I mentioned that the past few weeks hadn’t been easy for me as I had so much going on personal-based, but also a lot going on with my Final Major Project, which I’m ready to start wrapping up and finalising before the public show goes on at Croydon College from the 13th – 17th June.

28.5.2016 – Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We have all worried that we might not be able to succeed in life and we have the dreaded existential crisis that may affect what we want to do in the future. We often worry about certain things that we shouldn’t worry ourselves over. For example, we may feel petrified of the thought of dying, including what happens to all of us when we are no longer here.

I wrote this article because I did, at certain stages, feel like that, where I wanted to give up, but I also thought at those stages in my life that my future was at stake and I couldn’t afford to give up now. I also know it’s not an easy ride where an existential crisis concerned, given that I have been there, but this article was about asking you whether an existential crisis had affected you, despite my experiences of going through an existential crisis of my own at certain stages of my own life.

31.5.2016 – As Apple released their first ever Apple Watch last year, I thought it would be nice to review the Apple Watch Sport considering I brought it a short time ago. With Apple’s first iteration becoming a part of the watch industry, the Apple Watch has been able to help those who own the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition and the Hermés version of the Apple Watch have the ability to track the person’s Activity in terms of exercise, steps taken, not to forget the amount of calories it tracks that you burn off over the course of 24 hours.

I decided to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport 38MM 7000 Series Edition considering that I’ve loved and enjoyed using the Apple Watch Sport ever since I brought it, but I also wanted to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport in case you are someone who has been looking to purchase an Apple Watch for a while. I wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Watch to every single one of you, as it’s absolutely useful for productivity and it has most certainly helped me to be more productive at what I do.

June 2016

1.6.2016 – With the weather being expected to get warmer considering that Summer was almost here, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for June. I mentioned that it was great to know that the Summer Olympics in Rio are almost here, considering just how amazing and how quick the time has flown since the London 2012 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games concluded.

6.6.2016 – 3 years ago to this day, Mother Nature started up as PhotographyNature: To bring the vibrancy back into your life. What started as a nature blog turned into a website, as I expanded my interests beyond nature into technology, college-related studies, music, games and also topics, some of which would focus on certain things that have gone on throughout the course of everyday life.

12.6.2016 – After a few weeks of working on the drawing, I finally completed my third artistic interpretation of Madonna. This drawing was based on a photo that was taken back in 1994 for a song called: “I’ll Remember“, which Madonna produced for an Original Motion Picture film called: “With Honors“, which would see her undergoing a radical change in her image and style for this particular song.

13.6.2016 – In light of the recent events in which 50 victims lost their lives as a result of the deadly massacre that occurred in Orlando, I published an article announcing the news that I wouldn’t be publishing any articles for Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th June as I wanted to pay my full respects to all the victims and families who are grieving at this time. I also mentioned that Mother Nature would resume operation on Tuesday 16th June. I created a Pray for Orlando badge that could be used on any blog/website, in which I asked all of you to show your support by placing the Pray for Orlando Badge I created on your blog/website.

16.6.2016 – Almost two weeks before, I took the opportunity when we had the lovely sunny weather to take some photos out in my garden, and for the first time with my Nikon D3300 DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex), I used the Aperture Priority (Av) on all of the photos, which delivered spectacular results that I didn’t achieve as much as I used to before. The Natural Roots of June consisted of all 31 colour photographs, including 5 black and white photographs of some of the colour photographs I hand-picked at random from the photo collection.

21.6.2016 – We all experience certain moments of tranquility and euphoria at certain stages in our lives, but what is so good about tranquility and euphoria is that they both connect and merge together very well, as tranquility can be recognised from certain angles; peaceful, tranquil, quiet. Euphoria, on the other hand, can be recognised from other certain angles; happiness, excitement, and paradise. Having a mixture of both create a sense of joy and happiness which can be found to be overwhelming at the best of times. The article, Tranquility & Euphoria, was all about finding out different perspectives of tranquility and euphoria and how they both work well together.

Also, on the same day, I published another article, titled: “It’s a Beautiful Day.”, as we had such lovely weather on this day, and I ceased the opportunity to publish a photograph I took in its edited and original form so that you would get a choice of the same two, depending on which one took your interest the most.

23.6.2016 – Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

I wanted to make sure to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse by drawing just her face, and nothing else, as I wanted to make sure the most important features of her face stood out, which were her eyes, her nose, her piercing and her mouth and teeth.

Also, on this day, I published an article about the EU Referendum being the most talked about event of the year, considering the controversy and history behind it. I chose to vote Leave and was pleased that the Leave side of the campaign won, and I gave my reasons for why I chose to Leave the European Union in the article: “The EU Referendum. The Historical & Most Controversial Voting Event in History.”

26.6.2016 – Since I voted to Leave the EU on the 23rd June, which I don’t regret in doing so, I have noticed the large amount of Facebook statuses on my News Feed, not to mention the large amount of tweets that have appeared on Twitter that are xenophobic, racist and even disgraceful, especially certain statuses that have come up on my News Feed from those who feel I should have to delete them off of my Facebook because I chose to Leave. I wrote this article in which I vented my frustrations loud and clear, and not for a split second did I even hold back.

I was sick and tired of the way everyone was reacting to the result on social media, and I felt by writing and publishing this note, I could get all of my frustration off of my chest, and it actually felt good to use this note as my opportunity to shut the kind of people down that kept complaining that they didn’t get the result that they wanted by giving those my full outlook on what I thought about the whole thing.

30.6.2016 – Recently, I mentioned to all of you I had some stuff personal-wise going on with college work, well these past few weeks haven’t been easy for me, as there has been so much stress and upset given something far more serious which I can’t discuss for certain reasons in mind, but the work has been stressful lately and with learning the news about something as horrible and grim, it just sent me over the edge.

I wrote this article explaining why I wasn’t as productive and I also apologised for not being as productive recently, but I also used this article I published as my own way of letting go of it all. Writing this article was my way of letting go and releasing it all, so that I could, in other words, never look back, but most of all, look forward.

July 2016

1.7.2016 – As this day would kick off a long Summer holiday for me and everyone else, I welcomed you all to July on Mother Nature. I mentioned that despite two months of less productivity, I was pleased to announce I would return to publishing articles on a frequent basis considering I would have the huge bag of free time available. I also mentioned the news of the fourth book’s name being changed as I wanted to make sure that the fourth book wouldn’t be based around photography, but around the topics I have covered over the course of this year, as well as other things I have talked about on Mother Nature.

3.7.2016 –  On the 1st July, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the raindrops after a downpour of rain, as the calm before the storm came and went, and then the calm after the storm came after the storm passed. This photo set: “A Splash of Vividness” was quite well received and attracted a lot of good attention after I shared this photo article I published with some Facebook groups.

On the same day, I thought it would be a good idea to inspire you all by talking about being unique, as well as it being who we are and being unique, including taking control of how we choose to present ourselves to others.

I also published 5 of my Weekly Logs from the Stop-Frame Animation Project on this day, which would document the kind of skills I would develop, including the research, practical tasks and Critical Analysis I had done over the course of this project.

5.7.2016 – 6.7.2016 – Over the course of these two days, I published the final set of weekly logs which came from the most recent Final Major Project which I finished and passed, which helped me to pass the first year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, but my second year at Croydon College.

10.7.2016 – It was a long time coming, but on this day, I finally did away with the Motif theme altogether by switching to the Karuna theme, with a warm welcome to you all on the all-new look for Mother Nature.

I also published a large photo set on this day, which were of the photographs I took on Wednesday 6th July 2016, in which this photo set was titled: “The Truth About Summer? It’s Sweet, Serene, Stunning & Gorgeous!“.

Also on this day, I celebrated publishing 400 articles on Mother Nature by publishing my fifth artistic interpretation, but this time, on the famous Hello musician, Adele.

11.7.2016 – Exactly one year ago to this day, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away on the 11th July 2015 following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the same day the news of his death was announced.

13.7.2016 – It is painfully distressing when we all hear the news about a certain event or events that are always talked about around the world. Just recently, and even now, the news of the shootings in Minnesota, Dallas & Louisiana have caused a mass fruition which has sparked protests in America, as well as in other places around the world. This article I did was based on whether everyone’s lives really mattered regardless of who we are.

15.7.2016 – Given the most recent and devastating events that occurred in Nice in France, in which over 80+ victims lost their lives as a result of the deadly massacre, with 100+ that were also injured, I announced that I wouldn’t publish any articles until the following Monday, as I would pay tribute to all those that were killed during the Bastille Day Celebrations.

20.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on looking at life through a lens, and what would make each photo tell a story.

23.7.2016 – It’s hard to think it was exactly five years ago on this day that we lost the iconic music legend, Amy Winehouse. The time has flown but it doesn’t really feel like it has when you consider the news of Amy’s death was announced on this day five years ago, it just feels unreal. I was actually heartbroken when I found out she died because it’s like the musician we all came to know and love over the years had gone within a flash. I paid tribute to Amy Winehouse by publishing a tribute article which would reflect on her music career, as well as the iconic songs that I felt really got to the bottom of what life can be like from anyone’s perspective as well as her own.

28.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on life after Mother Nature, and it was based on whether I would be able to live without the use of a computer, to which I gave certain reasons as to what life would be like for me without a computer.

29.7.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on Mother Nature and why I started up this website, and how it gave me the chance to come up with all-new ideas, all-inclusive and exquisite ideas that would help me to develop and even improve on certain things that I wasn’t so good at before.

Also on this day, I published an article regarding how political correctness affected modern society, as I wanted to talk about how it’s affected us, including certain words that we could say before that we can no longer say now.

August 2016

1.8.2016 – After July came and went like the wind, I welcomed you all to August on Mother Nature. I mentioned that I would announce more details about Book #4 very soon, with further mention of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which I mentioned I would be considering on covering as the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games were ready to start on Friday 5th August.

Also, on this day, I announced that Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective” would be out soon, considering that Book #4 was almost completed.

I also published another article on this day based on whether Writing Prompts help to exercise the brain, including mentioning how we can all have the occasional writers’ block that makes us somehow lose track through an idea that could be perfect and useful for a particular subject or conversation.

3.8.2016 – On this day, I asked you all whether you had ever been in a fly-on-the-wall situation, to which I mentioned to all of you that I have been in that kind of situation, because I have been in that position where I have seen something that has got absolutely nothing to do with me.

4.8.2016 – On this day, I published a short photography guide, in which I would give you a genuine idea of how I create my photos, and how you could create your photos to a similar standard like mine.

Also on this day, I talked about insecurities and how they define us as people, including how they can also make us the people that we are.

I also published another article on this day, in which I celebrated the return of Crash Bandicoot, given that on the 13th June 2016, after years of speculation, the classic Crash Bandicoot series which consisted of the three PlayStation 1 Games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped would be remastered and ready for release in 2017.

5.8.2016 – 6.8.2016 – 22.8.2016 – From the 5th & 6th August to the 22nd August 2016, I would cover the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games as they happened, as well as announcing which countries won Bronze, Silver & Gold, all the way up to the Closing Ceremony.

During the course of the 16 days of the Olympic Games, I made some gradual changes to Mother Nature, as I changed the ‘About’ pages, including changing the font from PT Sans to Karla, to accommodate for better reading and viewing. I also made changes to the Purpose page, which needed updating after a long while, but these small changes would make a big difference and would also make Mother Nature modern.

24.8.2016 – As it was 11 years since the iconic handheld Sonic Rush game was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

29.8.2016 Gene Wilder, the man who was best known for portraying as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, sadly passed away at the age of 83 on the 28th August 2016, following complications with Alzheimer’s Disease. For me, his death was actually quite a shock as I remembered watching Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory as a child, but as I heard the news of his death a few hours before, I was shocked and surprised. My thoughts go out to Gene Wilder, his family and everyone he knows at such a sad time. Gene Wilder’s legacy will live on forever, he is gone, but never forgotten and will live on in mine and everyone’s hearts forever.

September 2016

1.9.2016 – As it was set to be quite an interesting month, I welcomed you all to September on Mother Nature considering that I was to progress on to the final year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course. I also mentioned that anything that’s not college-related would take a backseat as I am ultimately keen on wanting to succeed in the GCSE English & Maths subjects.

9.9.2016 – After three years, Lady Gaga, best known for her albums, The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way and ARTPOP, is back! Perfect Illusion, which was released on the 9th September 2016, went straight to Number 1 on iTunes and before Perfect Illusion was even released, it was already topping the charts, which was obviously a good sign because it was Lady Gaga’s return to the music scene three years after ARTPOP.

18.9.2016 – With it being 18 years since Spyro the Dragon landed on PlayStation, I thought it would be nice to do a review of the game considering I have owned and completed the game. As the game contains 36 breathtaking levels split over 6 worlds in the game, with 12 eggs to collect, 15,000 gems to collect and 80 dragons to save, Spyro the Dragon’s journey to defeat Gnasty Gnorc would be the biggest challenge yet for the Purple Dragon.

20.9.2016 – Early Monday morning and sometime during the afternoon when I was on my hour-long lunch break (Monday 19th September 2016), I ceased the opportunity to snap a small set of photographs in and around Croydon as I arrived over an hour early before my 9:30 AM lesson time. I must admit, I used the Camera+ app again after a while, and I must say I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my photography skills, but at the same time, I’ve also noticed I can take better photographs than before. This photo set that I published would then go on to be a part of my coursework for the last year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course.

October 2016

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

November 2016

1.11.2016 – As this month was set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, I welcomed you all to November on Mother Nature. Also, this month would be a month for remembrance considering that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) was just around the corner.

24.11.2016 – All around the world, everyone uses social media; it’s become the norm of the digital world, but on this day, I wrote an article on whether social media had a long-lasting impact on Mental Health. I gave my reasons for why I felt social media would have a long-lasting impact on Mental Health, given that in October, I had worked with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, and I mentioned that now was the time to stand up and fight to end the stigma against mental health, but that we should also raise awareness for mental health. I also mentioned that now was our time to really make the positive change and the best difference in this world and to take a stand for all of those suffering from Mental Health and to end the stigma against mental health.

26.11.2016 – As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, I wrote a review on the 1993 classic, Sonic CD, which went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classic, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets. I mentioned how it was such a good game to play, given that it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released.

27.11.2016 – As I visited the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016 to see the Firework Display, I knew I was going to be in for a great evening, as the recreation ground was packed and had a turnout of nearly 3,000 visitors. I published a huge photo collection from bonfire night including a video, but before the firework display kicked off, the organisers of the firework display paid tribute to David Bowie, who sadly passed away on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer, and as the 5th November marked Guy Fawkes Night, celebrations came in light of the failed Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes committed treason, which saw him being hung, drawn and quartered. Also, as the firework display came to a remarkable close, the organisers asked for donations for the bandstand as it was named in David Bowie’s memory, given that he used to perform down in Beckenham.

28.11.2016 – Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present. I also described how there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college. As you can imagine, I was cross and frustrated at the fact that fireworks were set off, and I vented my frustrations by giving an example of how someone would think if they set a firework off, with them potentially almost causing someone else untold harm.

29.11.2016 – With a futuristic and technological approach, Tron: Legacy created a concept that involved Sam Flynn going on a journey into the alternative world, where instead of the world being normal with some partial technology, the alternative world would be completely digital, as Sam would encounter a clone of his father, the clone of which would be the evil force that could have potentially sealed Sam’s fate. I wrote this review given that I had seen Tron: Legacy most recently as it was on BBC One just weeks before, and I genuinely thought it was such a good film and I would recommend it to anyone.

December 2016

1.12.2016 – As December is the last month of the year, I welcomed all of you to Mother Nature. I mentioned that it was hard to believe that it was the last month of the year, given that the time has gone so fast, which made it unbelievable considering just how quick the time flies nowadays.

3.12.2016 – A short while ago, I wrote an article that followed my excitement of the first three Crash Bandicoot games being remastered after years of rumours and speculation, and on this day, Activision, while they were at the PlayStation Experience event, unveiled the first ever look of Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy. I saw the comeback trailer and it’s so good! It reminisces the nostalgic fever of the original levels from the PS1 Classic Crash Bandicoot and Sony & Activision couldn’t have picked a better time to show off the new Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy.

6.12.2016 – As it was a few weeks since I had published my photo collection of the recently opened BOXPARK, I used the opportunity after I finished college to photograph a photo collection of BOXPARK inside, in which I would feature the Meat Liquor Store that is a part of BOXPARK Croydon.

16.12.2016 – As I will be starting a self-directed photography project in 2017, I decided to share with all of you a small photographic collection that I took of Croydon before I fell sick the day before to a sore throat and a cold. I kept this in mind considering that my coursework from the past few projects were all submitted on Monday 12th December 2016.

23.12.2016 – As Sonic Generations marked the 20th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, it was clear that this game had everything to offer, because for the first time, and with Stereoscopic 3D, you would get to see Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic in an entirely nostalgic form that would shift between the past and the present. I will not deny this, but I have played the game myself and I absolutely love it, because it delivers and creates not just a nostalgic feeling that makes you think of the good old days of Classic Sonic, but it gives you the approach that Sonic is back and Retro is back too.

I wrote this review because as I have a copy of the game, I wanted to be nice and write an honest review on SEGA’s 2011 game, Sonic Generations, also given the fact that it’s such a good game to play.

25.12.2016 – I wanted to wish you all a Happy Christmas by publishing a small article, in which I said: “May your Christmas be full of joy, happiness, care, compassion and love.”

29.12.2016 – As I decided to treat myself to the new PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console after a tough year, it’s safe to say I was not disappointed, as I was able to get in on a deal with PC World as they were selling three games bundled with the PlayStation 4 Slim; those games were DRIVECLUB, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End & The Last of Us Remastered. Thankfully, I was able to get in on the deal when I did because Sony never disappoints where consoles and gaming are involved, as the console itself is much quieter than the original PS4, given that I know a friend of mine who has the original PS4 whose PS4 actually makes a noise even if the console is standing upright or horizontally when gameplay is in progress or when a film is being played on the PlayStation 4.

I wrote this review considering that I purchased the PlayStation 4 Slim a few weeks before, given that the PlayStation 4 Slim, just like the original PlayStation 4, features the Share button on the DualShock 4 controller, which makes sharing gameplay to YouTube and other websites, such as DailyMotion, Facebook and even Twitch possible, also because Share Play allows you to invite your friends to a game they may not have or may already own, including the ability to play games that you may not own or may have never played before.

30.12.2016 – With it being just 4 years since Unorthodox Jukebox, which spanned the smash hit songs, Locked Out of Heaven & Treasure, Bruno Mars is Back! As 24K Magic marked Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, two years after the smash hit record, Uptown Funk, which he released alongside Mark Ronson just weeks after Fleur East (The X Factor 2014 Runner-Up, 2nd Place to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, the winner of the X Factor 2014) performed the record on the X Factor, it was safe to say that it was like Bruno Mars had never been away from the music scene.

I wrote this music review considering I have listened to and own a copy of the album, which is so good, which is why I recommend you buy Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic.

Also on this day, I published a massive photo collection and footage of So Solid Crew, who performed at BOXPARK CROYDON on Thursday 8th December 2016 and honestly, they smashed it when I went to see them perform. I was also lucky to get some photos with Double Dee from So Solid Crew and again, he is such a down-to-earth and genuine guy and it was an absolute honour to meet him and also an absolute honour to see So Solid Crew at BOXPARK Croydon. Seeing So Solid Crew perform at BOXPARK Croydon on Thursday 8th December 2016 marked that night as the best night of my life.

31.12.2016 – As the legendary 1970s music group, MADNESS, recently released their album, Can’t Touch Us Now, it was safe to say a tour wasn’t far behind, as they would perform live at the O2 in London. I went to see them perform live at the O2 with my family on Saturday 10th December 2016 and I loved every second of the tour. I published a large photo collection and also included the footage I recorded whilst I was there in the article and it was also one of the best nights of my life.

Also, after almost 6 months, Life From My Own Perspective was officially released! This came after such a long while, considering the third book, My Journey Through a Lens, was released on the 4th July 2015 (Independence Day). I was initially supposed to start working on this book at the beginning of 2016, but because of coursework and personal problems in mind, that’s why I stopped working on the book until after I finished the first year of my two-year film and photography course.

It’s officially time to close the doors on 2016 for Mother Nature. Thanks so much to every single one of you for sticking by me this year. Despite this year being one of the most eventful years of my life, I am pleased to say it’s finally come to an end and I am absolutely thankful for all of your support and I absolutely appreciate and respect all of you for sticking by and giving me all of the support I needed after going through some difficult times. I couldn’t have got through this year without all of you by my side. To all of you, to my family and friends that have stuck by me and given me all of the support I need, thank you so much for everything, I really appreciate and value all of the support and I love you all.

To all of those who passed away this year, you are greatly missed and loved by me and all of us. Me, including everyone else will never forget you. We will always remember you in our hearts forever. We will and shall continue to stay strong and fight on and achieve the best in life for you and I will make sure to stay strong and fight on and also achieve the best in life for you.

Until then, have a Happy New Year for 2017! May 2017 be a year full of happiness, joy, courage, care, compassion and love for all of you.

Goodbye 2016 and thanks for everything and I will see you all in 2017.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: August 2016

August sure has flown like the wind. Too fast for my liking, but even so, there have been some happy and sad moments down the road considering the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came to an end, but still, life still has to go on and we should keep fighting the good fight. As promised, I will be taking a look back over this month, including certain moments that unfolded down the line.

1.8.2016 – After July came and went like the wind, I welcomed you all to August on Mother Nature. I mentioned that I would announce more details about Book #4 very soon, with further mention of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which I mentioned I would be considering on covering as the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games were ready to start on Friday 5th August.

Also, on this day, I announced that Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective” would be out soon, considering that Book #4 was almost completed.

I also published another article on this day based on whether Writing Prompts help to exercise the brain, including mentioning how we can all have the occasional writers’ block that makes us somehow lose track through an idea that could be perfect and useful for a particular subject or conversation.

3.8.2016 – On this day, I asked you all whether you had ever been in a fly-on-the-wall situation, to which I mentioned to all of you that I have been in that kind of situation, because I have been in that position where I have seen something that has got absolutely nothing to do with me.

4.8.2016 – On this day, I published a short photography guide, in which I would give you a genuine idea of how I create my photos, and how you could create your photos to a similar standard like mine.

Also on this day, I talked about insecurities and how they define us as people, including how they can also make us the people that we are.

I also published another article on this day, in which I celebrated the return of Crash Bandicoot, given that on the 13th June 2016, after years of speculation, the classic Crash Bandicoot series which consisted of the three PlayStation 1 Games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped would be remastered and ready for release in 2017.

5.8.2016 – 6.8.2016 – 22.8.2016 – From the 5th & 6th August to the 22nd August 2016, I would cover the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games as they happened, as well as announcing which countries won Bronze, Silver & Gold, all the way up to the Closing Ceremony.

During the course of the 16 days of the Olympic Games, I made some gradual changes to Mother Nature, as I changed the ‘About’ pages, including changing the font from PT Sans to Karla, to accommodate for better reading and viewing. I also made changes to the Purpose page, which needed updating after a long while, but these small changes would make a big difference and would also make Mother Nature modern.

24.8.2016 – As it was 11 years since the iconic handheld Sonic Rush game was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

29.8.2016 Gene Wilder, the man who was best known for portraying as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, sadly passed away at the age of 83 on the 28th August 2016, following complications with Alzheimer’s Disease. For me, his death was actually quite a shock as I remembered watching Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory as a child, but as I heard the news of his death a few hours before, I was shocked and surprised. My thoughts go out to Gene Wilder, his family and everyone he knows at such a sad time. Gene Wilder’s legacy will live on forever, he is gone, but never forgotten and will live on in mine and everyone’s hearts forever.

Thanks to every single one of you for sticking by me for the entirety of August. This month has been great considering the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came and went so fast like the wind, but it is sad to see the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games come to an end. Although we have to wait another four years for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, I can honestly say that this year’s Summer Olympic Games were much better than the last.

But again, thanks so much everyone for sticking by me, I don’t know what I would do without you, and I will see you all in September.

Alex Smithson

Gene Wilder (1933 – 2016)

Gene Wilder, the man best known for portraying as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, has sadly passed away at the age of 83.

The news of his death came earlier this evening after it was revealed that he passed away yesterday following complications with Alzheimer’s Disease.

It’s actually quite a shock for me because I remember watching Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory as a child, but to hear the news a few hours ago that he’s died, I was shocked and surprised.

Gene Wilder was also known for being in other films, such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, and he was also known for being in some of Mel Brooks‘ films.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was a film from my childhood, as I remembered certain parts of the film. For example, the Oompa Loompa’s, including when Violet Beauregard turned blue and inflated into a giant blueberry as a result of a defective blueberry pie stage during the development of Willy Wonka’s own chewing gum, which consists of an entire three-course dinner, an entire three-course dinner of which contains the following; tomato soup, roast beef with a baked potato and a blueberry pie with ice cream. The most memorable parts I also remember was when Veruca Salt fell down the garbage chute after saying: “I Want it Now!“, to which she measured as ‘BAD‘, ultimately causing her to fall down the garbage chute, including the part when Gene Wilder sung ‘Pure Imagination‘ as Willy Wonka in the film, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.

Below is the video of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka singing Pure Imagination.

My thoughts go out to Gene Wilder, his family and everyone he knows at such a sad time. Gene Wilder’s legacy will live on forever, he is gone, but never forgotten and will live on in mine and everyone’s hearts forever.

Alex Smithson

Sonic Rush: SEGA’s Iconic Handheld Classic

As it has been 11 years since this iconic handheld classic was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

Breaking away from its old tradition of just being 7 Chaos Emeralds, the introduction of Blaze the Cat brought about the Sol Emeralds. As all the levels for both Sonic and Blaze were indefinitely the same, there was a twist to this game, as the music for every level was almost the same, but did change as you played either character. For instance, playing as Sonic the Hedgehog meant the music for the game would remain as is, but for Blaze the Cat, the music sounded more in your face, but was able to fit accordingly and also very well to the overall concept of the game.

For each level, there were obstacles that were almost impossible to get through, given that some levels were a lot more complicated than they first appeared to be, which proved just how much of a smash hit game Sonic Rush was when it was released.

I got this game the year after it was released when I went through hospital treatment from March to May 2006 after fracturing my wrist/arm and I was in pain, but this game kept me going through the pain and I’m pleased to say that for a game like this, it is absolutely worth every penny and also worth everything that comes with it.

I love games, but the type of games that peak my interest, and Sonic Rush and the Sonic series is the type of series of games I would always play.

In the game, you have not one, but two Eggman characters. Eggman and Eggman Nega.

For Sonic the Hedgehog to collect the seven Chaos Emeralds, you would need to find a spinning wheel of different colours in the level, and if your speed gauge is full enough, Sonic will be able to hang on to it and then speed around full circle on the spinning wheel, to which he will be thrown up but into a portal taking you to the secret part of the level where the Chaos Emeralds can be collected.

All seven Chaos Emeralds are separated accordingly over the entire game but throughout all the levels. All you need to do is collect them. In order to gain each Chaos Emerald as you progress through the game, you will be given a ring count target to reach and if you reach it the first time, you will then be given another ring count target to reach, and if you do reach the second ring target then you will earn the Chaos Emerald. If you don’t reach the required ring count target, you won’t receive the Chaos Emeralds, which in effect sets the difficulty to all-new heights.

As you continue to progress through the game, each boss gets harder to complete but the final boss that involves Sonic transforming into Super Sonic and Blaze transforming into Burning Blaze is one of the hardest final bosses you’ll complete, because just like the final boss in Sonic Heroes, you will be expected to keep collecting rings in order to save both Sonic and Blaze from losing their lives as they defeat Eggman and Eggman Nega. If the ring count hits zero for both Sonic & Blaze, both will die as a result so the final boss is the battle for survival.

Sonic Rush and all the other Sonic the Hedgehog games always send a message, reading out: “Survival of the Fittest“, which keeps the spirits of Sonic Rush and the other Sonic games alive.

With 2D & 3D graphics balancing the game’s concept, Sonic Rush couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite some thinking it didn’t live up to the hype of the previous Sonic titles, I can say that it’s an iconic title that does in fact live up to the hype and keeps the energy and spirit of a true Sonic the Hedgehog fan alive.

Also, the nostalgia of some of the levels remind me of some of the previous games, such as Sonic Advance, Sonic Advance 2 & Sonic Advance 3, as it feels like some of the ideas from those games were recycled and reused in this game, making Sonic Rush feel nostalgic, which I love, because it’s like the ideas from past games have been recycled and reused into something new, but something that is just as better as the past, present and future Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Overall, I love Sonic Rush because of the fact it doesn’t just live up to the hype of the previous Sonic games, but because it also has that nostalgic feeling that takes you back, especially if you’re someone like me who used to and even now, would still play the Sonic Advance series, especially where Sonic Rush is concerned. Sonic Rush is the best follow-up to the Sonic Advance Game Boy Advance titles in my opinion and is the type of game I would play any day.

Do you own a copy of Sonic Rush? Please let me know what you think of the game by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Sonic Rush Nintendo DS Game Rating: 10/10

Rio 2016: The Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games has officially got underway.

Fireworks have just lit the Olympic Stadium up and with the roaring crowds comes a vibrant display of visuals and bold colours, including vibrant and energetic music that lights up the entire Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, including the iconic Rio logo formation.

The Olympic Rings have been formed in a multi-coloured energetic scene, with the stadium then going completely blue before the spotlight focuses on one of the musicians performing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

This year’s Olympic Games by far has to be the best Olympic Games since the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and the best since the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games.

The Olympic Rings flag has been raised, including Brazil’s flag with the name: “Ordem e Progresso” etched on to the flag. Ordem e Progresso stands for “Order & Progress“.

The athletes are officially making their way into the Olympic Stadium. Not a single sign of team separation this end and they have even come in together with a symbol of unity. The flag bearers have come in first and are streaming across the entirely length of this football pitch with Samba music added to lift the spirits for everyone involved with this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

The flags (Team GB‘s Kate Richardson-Walsh is in there) are walking the length of the field and then they turn to line the perimeter. When they are in position, the athletes will start to trickle in. A flag or a phone is highly likely to be in the hands of most, though Stephan Shemilt said he seemed to remember that Carl Lewis was once told off just for being on his mobile, but it was just the size of a house brick.

Hazel Irvine (BBC Sport Presenter): “We thought it could not get any better for Great Britain but it has. It is the first time a nation has boosted their medal tally in the next Games after one they hosted. With 27 golds, it was an extraordinary performance from Great Britain to finish above China. There were British medals in 19 different sports out of the 28.

Stephan Shemilt: “I can report that the improving weather has meant the ponchos have been eschewed. Or, at least they have been for most nations, I haven’t spotted any GB stars yet. The athletes are filing in to some white plastic seats, like we’re at the world’s biggest wedding. Here come France, currently the most enthusiastic.

Andrew Cotter (BBC Athletics Commentator): “This is like the awkward moment of the school dance when no one is mingling, but give it a bit of time.

Stephan Shemilt: “The French now seem to be doing some sort of street dancing. The Portuguese have scarves. Here come Great Britain, decked out in white tracksuits. The French dancing has caused a backlog. They are holding everyone up. The first sight of GB gives us a look at those flashing trainers, which light up red, white and blue. They’re ace, the sort you had when you were about nine.

Hazel Irvine: “Check out the flashing shoes on the British Olympians, the shoes flash red, white and blue. You won’t miss them.

Stephan Shemilt: “I’ll be honest, Team GB aren’t mixing it with the dance moves. France are wiping the floor with us in the movement stakes. However, Great Britain have the best shoes. Hands down.

Jason Mohammad (BBC Presenter in Rio de Janeiro): “GB women hockey. I’m a dad of a daughter who plays hockey and this victory will inspire her and millions of other boys and girls. Incredible achievement. Funny moment – Egypt beating Sweden in the Handball! Easily my best line of the Games. On TV “A Great Night For Egyptian Handball!” Boom!

Stephan Shemilt: “It’s smashing it down in Rio now. I hope the parading athletes have got ponchos in their pockets. While they continue their march, some ladies in green have begun to dance energetically. Each is holding an umbrella. It’s like an interpretive dance version of the weather forecast. I think we’re all a little intrigued as to what the fluffy yellow and green outfits could be part of. My guess is some sort of Sesame Street sketch.

Beth Tweddle (BBC Sport Gymnastics Expert & London 2012 Bronze Medallist): “It would definitely be Max Whitlock winning his two golds and for the pure fact it is the first time ever. Obviously also the overall results of the gymnasts and winning seven medals. I do also have to put in a mention for Mo Farah winning the double double and Adam Peaty winning gold.

Hazel Irvine: “We have learned so much about this fantastic part of the world and that is always a part of the experience of the Olympic Games. The venues have been superb and allowed the athletes to produce the performances that we will always remember. This is a proud sporting nation.

Stephan Shemilt: “I kid you not, the Canadians are wearing mittens. Red and white gloves with maple leaves. Is it that cold? Or is it just a nod to their Winter Olympic prowess? Now, Eilish McColgan did tweet earlier on to say how cold she is. Now she’s bailed out completely. That’s not the spirit, is it? It’s raining heavily enough for the ponchos to be required. Let’s be honest, no one looks cool in one of those plastic ponchos, do they? Just going back to Eilish McColgan, I wonder if she actually walked into the stadium. If she did, how did she get out? She would have to walk against the tide. There’s GB rower Helen Glover, getting very excited when she sees herself on the big screen.

Hazel Irvine: “This section of the parade was scheduled to last about 20 minutes.

Stephan Shemilt: “Stand by for something incredible…

Rebecca Adlington (Double Olympic Gold Medallist in Swimming): “My moment would be Michael Phelps in the 200 IM and just his week in general to be honest. What he’s done for the sport is huge but to make a comeback and achieve what he has is just something else. It’s incredible that I’ve seen an athlete like him in my lifetime and it was so nice to see the human side of him. Every performance is incredible but it was the joy and passion and his attitude after the races also. You could tell it just meant so much to him and that’s exactly the reason why he wanted to make a comeback. He can retire a very content happy man now.

Hazel Irvine: “There is plenty more to get through and there has been a bit of a hold-up while we get all these athletes in.

Stephan Shemilt: “It looks like all the athletes have made it in. Funnily enough, Ryan Lochte isn’t there. In the rain, we’re now getting down with some dance music. The stadium has gone dark, someone is carrying a miner’s lamp. This is The Art of the People. It looks a bit like something out of Indiana Jones.

Leon Taylor (Olympic Diving Silver Medallist): “Jack Laugher and Chris Mears winning GB’s first ever Olympic Gold in diving. I knew they were capable of a medal but when they won gold beating China into third it was an unexpected delight. As Chris summed it up when I asked him how are you feeling he said ‘confused!’ Awesome performance.

Stephan Shemilt: “We’re rattling through now, with big cheers coming as men and women decked in red dance in an amber glow. It’s still chucking it down. This section is called Bringing Clay To Life and pays tribute to the exportation of modelling clay. Clay must be one of those things that Rio and Stoke-on-Trent have in common. That and the scenery. Now we’re getting slightly strange, Hundreds of clay figures are dancing with one another. It reminds me a little of the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the Gene Wilder one. You know what, the clay dancers have received the biggest cheer of the night. Now the closing ceremony is reflecting on the best moments of the Games. I think they got the idea from us.

Clare Balding (BBC TV Presenter): “The women’s hockey team winning gold was one of the best ever moments in team sport, male or female. They were so committed and concentrated and I was hugely impressed with their calmness under pressure. Maddie Hinch was phenomenal in goal and with her skill and the bravery of all the outfield players I hope it’ll show the highly paid footballers in our Premier League what true sporting behaviour looks like. It was a first ever gold for women’s hockey and the perfect send-off for Captain Fantastic, Kate Richardson-Walsh after 13 years in charge.

Stephan Shemilt: “As is tradition, we’re going to have the medal ceremony for the men’s marathon, which was won today by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge. Feyisa Lilesa came second to take the silver, with American Galen Rupp collecting bronze. All three are walking like men who ran 26.2 miles earlier on. They’re getting a good deal, an audience of 80,000. Mo Farah had about 1,000 when he got his second gold last night. With a final medal ceremony, we get a last look at those ornaments that have been handed to the winners. I’ve seen them described as coloured jock straps, which I think is pretty accurate. Still belting it down. We’re being introduced to the new members elected to serve on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva is among them…We’re getting into the meat of the pomp and circumstance here. The Greek flag is being raised and the national anthem played. Then the Olympic flag is lowered and handed over to Tokyo. Earlier on I said that the clay dancers had a look of Oompa Loompas. Have a look and decide for yourself…The governor of Tokyo gets her hands on the Olympic flag and give it a good wave. Not as much gusto as Boris Johnson in 2008. We’re now going to get a sneak peak of Japan’s offering in four years.”

Tokyo are showcasing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony what they have to offer for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and Pac-Man, the iconic maze pac-dot muncher has just made an appearance, so has the man with the iconic red M hat. “It’s-a-me. Mario!” and the Prime Minister of Japan wearing the iconic Mario hat has appeared in style by popping up through the iconic Green Pipe.

It’s not even 2020 and already I know that Tokyo have tons upon tons of energy and a lot of fun to offer come the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Another set of fireworks were set off and the celebratory Mario music used when a Mario level is completed also went in conjunction with the fireworks going off.

Stephan Shemilt: “I’m just thinking about how gutting it must be for Rio to hand over the Olympic flag. All that work over so many years, and now it’s over. In contrast, the excitement is just beginning for Tokyo. We’re getting some shots of the city and what we can expect. Bullet trains, glass buildings and Manga cartoons. It looks belting. This is outstanding. The Prime Minister of Japan has appeared out of Super Mario-style water pipe, wearing a Mario hat. We’re then treated to a hologram and light show. It’s already got me pumped for how good Tokyo will be. “See you in Tokyo” is the message, followed by bright fireworks shooting into the night sky. That’s may favourite part of the night so far. Speeches time. President of the organising committee Carlos Nuzman and IOC president Thomas Bach. There’s not many people watching fellas, so don’t be nervous.

Victoria Pendleton (Olympic Cycling Gold Medallist): “Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro winning individual dressage gold. It was a perfect performance and very emotional as it will probably be the last time they ride in a competition together. Charlotte knew the performance was good and welled up as soon as they finished. It made me well up too. I now understand the connection between horse and rider.

Carlos Arthur Nuzman, the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee: “We have organised the most important event in the world. This is a magic place. It was a great challenge, but a challenge with great success. I’m proud of the city, my country and my people. All Brazilians are Olympic heroes. We celebrate together. You are the gold medal of the people on all the planet. Twenty-seven world records and 91 Olympic records. We have organised a marvelous Olympics in a marvelous city. When we won the Games I said Rio was ready to make history. Rio has delivered history. Good luck for Tokyo 2020.

Stephan Shemilt: “Hmmmm, it has been a bit soggy at the Maracana. So much so that some of the athletes called it a day before the end. There will be some wet Olympians at wrap parties all over Rio.

International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach: “Congratulations Brazil. Brazil, we love you. Thank you for your warm hospitality. For the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world. You have many reasons to be proud. These Olympic Games show diversity is an enrichment for everyone. These Olympic Games were a celebration of diversity. Together we can go even further. Together, we can aim higher. United in our diversity, we are even stronger. Thank you refugee athletes. You have inspired us with your talent and human spirit, you are a symbol of hope for millions of refugees in the world. We will continue to be at your side after these Olympics. These were a marvellous Olympic Games in THE marvellous city. These Games are leaving a legacy for generations to come. History will talk about the Rio before the Olympic Games and a much better Rio after the Olympic Games. We arrived in Brazil as guests, today we depart as your friends. You will have a place in our hearts forever. I declare the games of the 31st Olympiad closed. I call upon the youth of the world to assemble in Tokyo, Japan to celebrate the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. Bye, bye Rio.

Stephan Shemilt: “Stick with it, there’s only about 25 minutes to go. Remember the fluffy green and yellow outfits we saw earlier? They are out there now, joined by red and a hint of purple. This is a tribute to Rio and the musicality of its people. Basically, we’re having a carnival. I’ll be honest, it looked a little like dancing broccoli. Now, in front of the rotating sculpture that starred in the opening ceremony Mariene de Castro sings under a cascade of fake rain. I’m not sure that was needed this evening.

The Maracana beacon, which was lit by a flame at the start of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games has officially been put out, officially marking the end of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Hazel Irvine: “The men’s football final topped the lot. In 2014, Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the semi-final of their home World Cup. So, to win against Germany in the Maracana stadium was deeply and doubly meaningful for this nation. Add to that the fact that Neymar’s penalty secured for Brazil their sixth gold medal, which makes these the most ‘Golden” in the country’s history – and in their first home Games – and you have a heady cocktail of emotion, catharsis and unconfined joy, the likes of which I have seldom experienced. It was utterly glorious! It is the reason why I love the Olympics.

Stephan Shemilt: “The Olympics are officially closed, the flame has gone out, but Rio is still having a party. Samba, dancing, colours. Everything you would expect from a Brazilian knees-up. This will go long into the night, probably anywhere they are serving alcohol.

Dan Walker (BBC TV Presenter): “I go for Maria (hen party gatecrashers) because the Olympics is about sport but the event is about people. Brazil is a very different country now to the one it was when it was awarded the games. We were determined to use our spot on Copacabana beach to have some fun but also meet as many residents of Rio as possible and find out what the Brazilians thought about it all. Maria wandered by, we took a chance that she would be a good guest and she was brilliant. There have been some wonderful sporting moments during these games but I will never forget Maria De Cezar and I wish her and her husband-to-be every happiness.

Stephan Shemilt: “Where else would you see a famous bin man dancing with a super model? That’s what we’ve got here. Renato Sorriso, a superstar in Brazil, is moving his fast feet with Izabel Goulart. I’d be stunned if a snap of that isn’t in the papers tomorrow. This is top notch. Music, dancing, colour, a proper carnival. Floats are arriving the stadium, with confetti falling from the roof. It’s the party we wanted and a great send-off, what a closing ceremony should be.

Mark Chapman (BBC Sport Presenter): “I’ve got two moments. Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro hugging at the net after their epic final. A brutal game that had everything and at the end of their duel they demonstrated such respect and empathy for each other. And Usain Bolt and Andre de Grasse crossing the line and smiling at each other. Sport first and foremost should be fun. No other image captures the fun and enjoyment like this one.

Stephan Shemilt: “The athletes that have braved the rain are reaping the rewards, dancing to the samba beat. You’d struggle not to have a good time in this atmosphere. Here we go, more fireworks, white lights sweeping around the roof of the stadium, with a red heart then fired into the night. It’s an incredible display, the whole of Rio being illuminated with the reds, blues, whites and greens. Still the fireworks shoot, still we dance to the samba beat. It’s an incredible display and a helluva finale.

James Cracknell (Double Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist): “The best performance came from Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in the triathlon. They put themselves in the lead group in the swimming and when they realised Mola (the fast running Spaniard) wasn’t in the first group they drove the cycle group they were in – physically and verbally so they could distance Mola thus making his running speed irrelevant. Expending that much energy that early in the race could have gone wrong but they backed themselves, each other and their training.

Stephan Shemilt: “And that is that. The fireworks are over, but the music and dancing continues. The fans and the athletes will file out of the Maracana, slipping away into the Rio night. Those last 20 minutes were spectacular. I wonder how long the party will carry on in Rio tonight? The celebrations are perhaps only just getting started, but the flame has gone out. The Olympics are now Tokyo’s show. The BBC TV coverage has just closed with an outstanding montage to a quite brilliant cover of Feeling Good. Find it if you can. It gave me a little lump in the throat. And we’re nearly done. After 16 days, 11,303 athletes competing under 207 different flags for 306 gold medals, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are over. That was the Rio Olympic Games. Now, they are done. See you in Tokyo.

We have officially reached the end of the road. What a perfect Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro has had, but most of all, what a perfect Summer Olympic Games that Great Britain has had, especially for Team GB. Thank you to Team GB for such a perfect Olympic Games, you’ve done myself and the whole of the United Kingdom proud.

But most of all, thank you so much everyone for staying up until after 3:00 AM or 4:00 AM, or even after 5:00 AM depending on your location and time zone for the live coverage of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Mother Nature, but now is the final time to say goodbye to the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

I just wanted to say to all of you for the final time, thank you so much for a perfect Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and have a perfect night. See you in 2020 at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games!

Alex Smithson

Rio 2016: Day #16

As today is the final day of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, I am really shocked to see how fast the time has flown, it does not feel real.

To think that the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro started on the 5th August 2016 is an understatement in my opinion, but it just proves that the time sure does fly when you’re having fun.

Over the course of this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, we have gone from having no medals to 67 medals today, and the 67th and final medal was just won by Team GB‘s Joe Joyce in the men’s super-heavyweight boxing final, with Joe Joyce claiming Silver, with that being our 67th and final medal, finishing Team GB off on a perfectly positive note by coming second on the medal table.

As the Closing Ceremony marks the end of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games from 12:00 AM onwards, it’s safe to say I will miss this year’s Olympic Games, but the good thing I can relive is the memory of going to the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games whilst the Closing Ceremony is on. Rio de Janeiro’s Closing Ceremony will mark the end of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and will be handed over to Tokyo for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

On the bright side, this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have been a lot better and also a much better follow-up from the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

You can expect a Closing Ceremony review later as I will be publishing my review of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games as they happen, marking such a perfect end to this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Anthony Joshua (Olympic Boxing Champion): “It is like you have to knock them out in the heavyweight division. I was praying he caught Yoka with one shot. The power Joe possesses he penetrates the gloves and the body. He is a phenomenal  fighter. To come and collect three medals I am really proud of the guys. It shows the funding is doing well and the more support we get and more medals we produce. They have all done everyone proud.

Sir Matthew Pinsent (Four Time Olympic Rowing Champion): “We expected a party city, that the whole atmosphere would sweep us along. I don’t think that has quite happened in the way we thought it might. The ticket sales have been a huge issue that they haven’t been able to solve.

Victoria Pendleton (Olympic Cycling Gold Medallist): “It took a little while to get going. In the early days we wondered where everyone was. We were lucky in London. Everyone is questioning how this happened but it took ten years to work out how to spend the money until Beijing. There we got a blueprint and brought in experts, incredible people from all over the world to deliver the highest level of expertise.

Anna Thompson (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “It’s the last action of the Rio Games with the men’s gold medal basketball match between USA and Serbia. It all feels very American in Carioca hall 1 with the announcer very much with a USA accent. The US are 33-22 up in the second quarter. The entertainment is certainly cranking up with a disco dance display by the official 2016 mascot and flag cam – lots of USA flags in the crowd but a few others as well including Brazil and Israel. It was a close first quarter but USA are beginning to run away with it here with two three-pointers and a slam dunk from NBA star Kevin Durrant in quick succession.

Sir Steve Redgrave (Five Time Olympic Rowing Champion): “It was fantastic to get more female rowing medallists. They seem to go from strength to strength. We would never repeat 2012 but to come pretty close with three golds and two silvers is pretty incredible. They were very special moments and to be part of it was a privilege. To be able to interview them and speaking to the rowers afterwards. It is certainly a joy.

Team GB’s flag-bearer, Kate Richardson-Walsh: “If it was a movie script I don’t think anyone would believe it, it is a true fairytale. It will be an honour to walk out with the flag, the most amazing finish. They told me this morning and I thought I was in trouble. I thought ‘what had I or the hockey girls done?’ It is an amazing honour to represent all of the wonderful athletes. We have surpassed expectations. This is a wonderful legacy off the back of London. I really hope we have inspired the next generation to take up sports.

Sir Steve Redgrave: “It is so difficult to pick a moment. What is special about the Olympics is the 28 sports coming together. The Brownlees were outstanding but my moment was Maddie Hinch saving the penalty in the first half of the hockey.

Anna Thompson (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Safe to say the USA are bossing this final, 79-43 up after the third quarter. The crowd are happy and participating in every “cam” going. We’ve had flag cam, kiss cam, bongo cam and muscle cam. Basketball fans sure know how to have a good time at Games!

The United States have won their 306th and final Gold Medal of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games in the Men’s Basketball Final after wiping the floor with Serbia, winning the final with the final finishing score of 96-66. The United States have finished with 45 overall golds in total.

Anna Thompson: “So the USA wrap up men’s basketball  gold – the 15th time they’ve won it out of 19 Olympic finals. That’s the end of the action and what a fantastic Games it has been for the hosts Brazil – recording their most successful Olympics – and Team GB too, who became the fist post host to win more medals than their home Olympics with 67. It’s time for the BBC interactive crew in Rio to sign off after 17 days of action and 306 medal events. It’s been a blast. Obrigada!

Here is the final summary of Day #16 of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the final day of this year’s Olympic Games as they unfolded:

  • Team GB’s Joe Joyce won Silver after being beaten by France’s Tony Victor James Yoka for Gold.
  • Team GB have finished with a final overall amount of 67 medals ahead of China in second place on the medal table.
  • The United States have beaten Serbia in the Men’s Basketball Final to win the 306th and final Gold of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
  • Brazil’s men have beaten Italy to win Gold in Volleyball, making this Brazil’s seventh Gold of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
  • Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won the Marathon Gold, with Team GB’s Callum Hawkins coming ninth.
  • The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games Closing Ceremony starts at 12:00 AM, with Rio de Janeiro handing the Olympic Games over to Tokyo for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Here are the last ever medal table listings for Day #16 of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games:

Country
1

United States
46 37 38 121
2

Great Britain
27 23 17 67
3

China
26 18 26 70
4

Russia
19 18 19 56
5

Germany
17 10 15 42
6

Japan
12 8 21 41
7

France
10 18 14 42
8

South Korea
9 3 9 21
9

Italy
8 12 8 28
10

Australia
8 11 10 29
11

Netherlands
8 7 4 19
12

Hungary
8 3 4 15
13

Brazil
7 6 6 19
14

Spain
7 4 6 17
15

Kenya
6 6 1 13
16

Jamaica
6 3 2 11
17

Croatia
5 3 2 10
18

Cuba
5 2 4 11
19

New Zealand
4 9 5 18
20

Canada
4 3 15 22
21

Uzbekistan
4 2 7 13
22

Kazakhstan
3 5 9 17
23

Colombia
3 2 3 8
24

Switzerland
3 2 2 7
25

Iran
3 1 4 8
26

Greece
3 1 2 6
27

Argentina
3 1 0 4
28

Denmark
2 6 7 15
29

Sweden
2 6 3 11
30

South Africa
2 6 2 10
31

Ukraine
2 5 4 11
32

Serbia
2 4 2 8
33

Poland
2 3 6 11
34

North Korea
2 3 2 7
35

Belgium
2 2 2 6
35

Thailand
2 2 2 6
37

Slovakia
2 2 0 4
38

Georgia
2 1 4 7
39

Azerbaijan
1 7 10 18
40

Belarus
1 4 4 9
41

Turkey
1 3 4 8
42

Armenia
1 3 0 4
43

Czech Republic
1 2 7 10
44

Ethiopia
1 2 5 8
45

Slovenia
1 2 1 4
46

Indonesia
1 2 0 3
47

Romania
1 1 3 5
48

Bahrain
1 1 0 2
48

Vietnam
1 1 0 2
50

Chinese Taipei
1 0 2 3
51

Bahamas
1 0 1 2
51

Côte d’Ivoire
1 0 1 2
51

Independent Olympic Athletes
1 0 1 2
54

Fiji
1 0 0 1
54

Jordan
1 0 0 1
54

Kosovo
1 0 0 1
54

Puerto Rico
1 0 0 1
54

Singapore
1 0 0 1
54

Tajikistan
1 0 0 1
60

Malaysia
0 4 1 5
61

Mexico
0 3 2 5
62

Algeria
0 2 0 2
62

Ireland
0 2 0 2
64

Lithuania
0 1 3 4
65

Bulgaria
0 1 2 3
65

Venezuela
0 1 2 3
67

India
0 1 1 2
67

Mongolia
0 1 1 2
69

Burundi
0 1 0 1
69

Grenada
0 1 0 1
69

Niger
0 1 0 1
69

Philippines
0 1 0 1
69

Qatar
0 1 0 1
74

Norway
0 0 4 4
75

Egypt
0 0 3 3
75

Tunisia
0 0 3 3
77

Israel
0 0 2 2
78

Austria
0 0 1 1
78

Dominican Republic
0 0 1 1
78

Estonia
0 0 1 1
78

Finland
0 0 1 1
78

Morocco
0 0 1 1
78

Moldova
0 0 1 1
78

Nigeria
0 0 1 1
78

Portugal
0 0 1 1
78

Trinidad & Tobago
0 0 1 1
78

United Arab Emirates
0 0 1 1

Afghanistan
0 0 0 0

Albania
0 0 0 0

American Samoa
0 0 0 0

Andorra
0 0 0 0

Angola
0 0 0 0

Antigua & Barbuda
0 0 0 0

Aruba
0 0 0 0

Bangladesh
0 0 0 0

Barbados
0 0 0 0

Belize
0 0 0 0

Benin
0 0 0 0

Bermuda
0 0 0 0

Bhutan
0 0 0 0

Bolivia
0 0 0 0

Bosnia & Herzegovina
0 0 0 0

Botswana
0 0 0 0

British Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

Brunei
0 0 0 0

Burkina Faso
0 0 0 0

Cambodia
0 0 0 0

Cameroon
0 0 0 0

Cape Verde
0 0 0 0

Cayman Islands
0 0 0 0

Central African Republic
0 0 0 0

Chad
0 0 0 0

Chile
0 0 0 0

Comoros
0 0 0 0

Congo
0 0 0 0

Cook Islands
0 0 0 0

Costa Rica
0 0 0 0

Cyprus
0 0 0 0

Djibouti
0 0 0 0

Dominica
0 0 0 0

DR Congo
0 0 0 0

Ecuador
0 0 0 0

El Salvador
0 0 0 0

Equatorial Guinea
0 0 0 0

Eritrea
0 0 0 0

FYR Macedonia
0 0 0 0

Gabon
0 0 0 0

Gambia
0 0 0 0

Ghana
0 0 0 0

Guam
0 0 0 0

Guatemala
0 0 0 0

Guinea
0 0 0 0

Guinea-Bissau
0 0 0 0

Guyana
0 0 0 0

Haiti
0 0 0 0

Honduras
0 0 0 0

Hong Kong, China
0 0 0 0

Iceland
0 0 0 0

Iraq
0 0 0 0

Kiribati
0 0 0 0

Kyrgyzstan
0 0 0 0

Laos
0 0 0 0

Latvia
0 0 0 0

Lebanon
0 0 0 0

Lesotho
0 0 0 0

Liberia
0 0 0 0

Libya
0 0 0 0

Liechtenstein
0 0 0 0

Luxembourg
0 0 0 0

Madagascar
0 0 0 0

Malawi
0 0 0 0

Maldives
0 0 0 0

Mali
0 0 0 0

Malta
0 0 0 0

Marshall Islands
0 0 0 0

Mauritania
0 0 0 0

Mauritius
0 0 0 0

Micronesia
0 0 0 0

Monaco
0 0 0 0

Montenegro
0 0 0 0

Mozambique
0 0 0 0

Myanmar
0 0 0 0

Namibia
0 0 0 0

Nauru
0 0 0 0

Nepal
0 0 0 0

Nicaragua
0 0 0 0

Oman
0 0 0 0

Pakistan
0 0 0 0

Palau
0 0 0 0

Palestine
0 0 0 0

Panama
0 0 0 0

Papua New Guinea
0 0 0 0

Paraguay
0 0 0 0

Peru
0 0 0 0

Refugee Olympic Athletes
0 0 0 0

Rwanda
0 0 0 0

Saint Kitts & Nevis
0 0 0 0

Saint Lucia
0 0 0 0

Samoa
0 0 0 0

San Marino
0 0 0 0

Sao Tome & Principe
0 0 0 0

Saudi Arabia
0 0 0 0

Senegal
0 0 0 0

Seychelles
0 0 0 0

Sierra Leone
0 0 0 0

Solomon Islands
0 0 0 0

Somalia
0 0 0 0

South Sudan
0 0 0 0

Sri Lanka
0 0 0 0

St Vincent & the Grenadines
0 0 0 0

Sudan
0 0 0 0

Suriname
0 0 0 0

Swaziland
0 0 0 0

Syria
0 0 0 0

Tanzania
0 0 0 0

Timor-Leste
0 0 0 0

Togo
0 0 0 0

Tonga
0 0 0 0

Turkmenistan
0 0 0 0

Tuvalu
0 0 0 0

Uganda
0 0 0 0

Uruguay
0 0 0 0

US Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

Vanuatu
0 0 0 0

Yemen
0 0 0 0

Zambia
0 0 0 0

Zimbabwe
0 0 0 0

Day #16, the final day of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games has officially come to a perfect close. Check back soon for the Closing Ceremony Review. What a perfect Olympic Games this year’s Summer Olympic Games has been in Rio de Janeiro. We’ve done so much more and excelled much better and I am proud of Team GB. I love you Team GB! Thanks to every single one of you for sticking with me during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but I’ll be back very soon. Stay tuned for the Closing Ceremony Review, you don’t want to miss it!

Alex Smithson