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July 2009

Toyota's Solar Flowers

This one's a bit dated, but I still wanted to blog about it because I think it's great.  

Automaker Toyota is "planting" giant, solar-powered flowers in various cities across the country (including Boston, but I missed it due to the Colorado trip; thanks, Ed, for bringing it to my attention!).

The flowers generate electricity for up to 10 people at a time to sit and recharge their mobile devices, and provide free WiFi for other passers-by.

It's all part of a marketing blitz for the upcoming launch of Toyota's 3rd generation Prius hybrid vehicle, and the flowers are meant to depict the Prius theme of "Harmony between Man, Nature, and Machine." I'm anxious to see the new model; we got to drive a 1st generation Prius while on vacation, and while it didn't break any zero-to-sixty records, its gas mileage was superb, averaging 45 miles/gallon.

Here's a photo of one of the flowers in front of Boston's Prudential Center; they have since moved on to the next leg of their road trip, which includes New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles (not surprisingly, some of the cities with the highest market potential for green vehicles).

Prius harmony 

See more photos in the Prius Harmony Flickr set and catch upcoming tour dates on the Prius Facebook page. It looks like Xtension Marketing is the agency behind this; kudos to a job well done.

Back from Boulder

Well, we're back from Boulder, and had a fantastic trip! I can see why people love it there so much - we had perfect, 85-degree, sunny weather every day, and cool 65ish (great for sleeping) nights.

Some of the highlights:

  • Stopping for elk and buffalo jerky on our way up to the mountains (yum!): Jerky
  • Spending 5 days at a gigantic cabin in beautiful Estes Park, gateway to the Rocky Mountains.Estes
  • Doing all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, climbing (yes, me), and zip-lining (no, not me) Climbing
  • Seeing all sorts of wildlife, like badgers, marmots and elk (oh my!) and hearing the crazy coyote calls at night Marmot
  • Attending my first Rodeo - complete with Wranglers, Coors, Dodge pickups, and these showgirls:

  • Not to mention this bucking bronco:

  • Returning to Boulder for breakfast at Chautauqua - a park & recreation area originally created in 1898 to bring culture to rural areas - and photos of the Flatirons


  • A visit to the Dushanbe Tea House, a gift to Boulder from its sister city of Dushanbe, the captial of Tajikistan. The house was hand crafted and built by over 40 artisans in Tajikistan and then taken apart and shipped to Boulder where it now stands. My pictures don't do it justice, but it's really quite beautiful, with hand carved and painted ceiling, walls, columns, and ceramic panels representative of the Persian Empire. Teahouse

...and much more!

Here's the full photo set:

Sail Boston 2009

The beautiful Tall Ships have returned to Boston Harbor as part of Sail Boston 2009, the city's celebration of its maritime history and designation as official Port of the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge 2009.

About 40 ships from around the world participate in this trans-Atlantic regatta which takes participants from Vigo, Spain, to the Canary Islands, Bermuda, Charleston SC, Boston, then on to Halifax and Belfast.

Here are pictures of the first group of arrivals in the Seaport District today: