Bombas Socks (It To You!)

 

about_banner

 

I am always impressed with start up companies and/or entrepreneurs.  I would like to highlight 3 over the next few days that I have come across lately and gotten to know.

The first is a company called Bombas. This is from their website:

We wanted to create something scalable. The solution? A company that donates a pair of socks for every pair sold. The more socks we sell, the more we can donate. And how do you sell a lot of socks? Design something better than anything on the market.
Bee Better
The word Bombas is derived from the Latin word for bumblebee. Bees work together to make the hive a better place. We like that. When we say Bee Better, we mean it as a mantra, a way of approaching every day. It’s stitched into the inside of every pair of Bombas for a reason. It’s a reminder to push yourself harder to be better at your athletic pursuits. A reminder that these socks are engineered and designed with thought to bee better. A reminder that you helped someone in need with your purchase. And a reminder that we’re all connected and little improvements can add up to make a big difference.
Giving Back
For every pair of Bombas you purchase, we’ll donate a pair to someone in need. Already this year, we’re committed to donating tens of thousands of pairs of socks, with lots more to come. It’s the reason we started this company and the motivation to keep designing and producing better socks.

Toys From Our Childhood

I heard this on the radio and thought it was so interesting-

Interview with David Hoffman, author of the book Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood 

So many of the classic toys never started out as toys. 

Lionel Trains began their popularity when a toy store owner used a train as a store display, in a toy shop, to show off other toys.
1433731113019321


David Hoffman
 When people walking by saw the display, they didn’t want the toy it was advertising, they wanted the train that was carting other toys around.home-bsa-see-what-we-made.png

Play Doh is one of the craziest things; it was formulated as a compound to clean wallpaper. The sister-in-law of the guy who invented it complained that the kids in her nursery school class(she was a teacher) really couldn’t play with clay because it was too firm for their fingers to manipulate. So he said, “I have something, it’s non-toxic, it’s great because if you keep it in a tightly sealed container, it stays soft and if you leave it out, it will harden just like clay does.”

Mr. Potato Head was originally supposed to be just a premium in a breakfast cereal.

Unknown

It was a bag of plastic face parts that you could stick into really any fruit or vegetable, but particularly a potato. The guy who invented it showed it to Hasbro and they said, “We want this.” It was a good move, because George Lerner, who invented the product, would have made five thousand dollars had he sold it to the breakfast cereal company, instead he became a millionaire.In addition, Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television.

Concord Museum’s Holiday House Tour

HolidayDoor21aWhat a fantastic event-despite the  heavy rains, the houses were absolutely spectacular-the bar has been raised again. Here are some of the things I thought were particularly creative(although obviously I loved everything in the tour!)

DSCN1522 DSCN1537DSCN1528DSCN1533DSCN1518DSCN1529DSCN1515DSCN1526

These pictures(above) are taken at a house that was done by Hilary Bovey of Bovey Steers Design Group Copper Penny Flowers and Comina. Some great ideas-I especially loved the “package” made of little mums. I also noticed that a lot of the houses were decorating with  roping not on the rail but instead along the stairs-very nice effect!

DSCN1541DSCN1538DSCN1539DSCN1537

The second house I just loved was done by Kathy Morris and Margaret DeJesus of Morris Interiors of Concord. They spent hours making every single floral arrangement in the house, and created several vignettes that were just incredible. Most of all though, I absolutely loved their “cookbook tree”-so clever!

 

Richmond, Virginia

DSCN1472

I had one very busy day in Richmond a few weeks ago, but I learned and saw a lot. Most interesting to me were the statues of soldiers on horses all the way down Monument Avenue. There are several statues but the one of General Robert E. Lee is the largest and was the first installed along Monument Avenue. If a statue is facing north, the soldier died in the Civil War; if the statue faces south, the soldier lived, as in the case of Robert E. Lee. No other city in the world has statues commemorating a war that it actually lost,which is an interesting fact!

Richmond was the Capital of the Confederacy, a commercial center for the slave trade, and the site of several major battles – in fact, the entire downtown was burned to the ground, days before Abraham Lincoln walked the streets. Richmond, Virginia was “ground zero” during the Civil War. This makes it a rich and powerful region to tour, and the ideal place to begin a multi-state Civil War and Emancipation immersion.

grand-staircase

The Jefferson Hotel was supposed to open on November 1, 1895, but at the last minute it was realized that November 1 was a Friday, and it was considered bad luck to start anything on a Friday. So the hotel was opened on Halloween, 1895 instead. The staircase in the center of the hotel is the one said to have been copied for the “Gone With the Wind” scene later in the movie, where Rhett Butler carries Scarlett up the grand,beautiful staircase.

DSCN1488

In his autobiography, The Moon’s A Balloon (1972), Academy Award-winning actor David Niven described a trip from New York to Florida in the late 1930s, when he decided to spend the night at the Jefferson Hotel. Niven said that, as he was signing the guest registry in the lobby, his eyes snapped open with amazement when he noticed a full-sized alligator swimming in a small pool located six feet from the reception desk.The alligators at the Jefferson became world famous. Old Pompey, the last alligator living in the marble pools of the Jefferson’s Palm Court, survived until 1948. Bronze statues of the alligators now decorate the hotel. Its restaurant, Lemaire, has a theme of alligator motifs.

The Manaus Meeting of Waters

 

We had heard about the merging of the Rio Negro,a river with dark(almost black colored ) water and the sandy-colored AmazonRiver(Rio Solimoes) just outside of Manaus but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of it from a sea plane that we took from our lodge on the Rio Negro, to Manaus.

DSCN1300

For  3.7 miles ,the river’s waters run side by side without mixing .This phenomenon is due to the differences in temperature, speed and water density of the two rivers. The Rio Negro flows at near 1.1 miles per hour at a temperature of  82.4 degrees(28°c), while the Rio Solimões flows between  2-3 miles per hour a temperature of 71.6 degrees(22 c).

DSCN1304

We also noticed that there are a lot of places where the convergence is depicted with tile work. This is at the Opera House in Manaus.

DSCN1323

 

The Amazon-some Facts or what I learned while there….

Aside from the sheer vastness of the Amazon and the Rio Negro and the incredible vegetation, there were a few things I took away with me that I learned about while there. One is the fact that a lot of the vegetation is merely buried during the rainy season-in the very least,a  lot of the trees were covered up to half of their height. The roots of tree can be extremely large-leading one to believe they are hanging on for dear life!

The trees are worse off in the rainy season, when many leaves die but relatively few new ones are produced. In the dry season they thrive; far more new leaves are produced than are shed, allowing the tree to benefit from the season’s increased sunlight. It appears that the trees anticipate the dry season, putting out leaves earlier, suggesting that they have evolved to take maximum advantage of the light.They have deep roots and are able to tap water deep in the soil.

DSCN1205DSCN1202

I also loved seeing the pink dolphins.

Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

The Amazon River dolphin averages about 6.5 feet in length. They come in all shades of pink, from a dull gray-pink, to rosy colored pink, to a bright pink like that of the flamingo. This color variation is due to the clarity of the water in which the dolphin lives; the darker the water, the pinker the dolphin will be. The sun’s rays cause the dolphins to lose their pink pigmentation. Murky water helps to protect the dolphin’s bright hue. These animals are also known to flush to a bright pink when excited. There are several anatomical differences between the Amazon River dolphin and other types of dolphins. For one, Amazon River dolphins are able to turn their necks from side to side while most species of dolphin cannot. This trait coupled with their ability to paddle forward with one flipper while paddling backward with the other helps them maneuver when the river floods. These dolphins will actually swim up over the flooded land and their flexibility helps them to navigate around trees. Additional characteristics that set these dolphins apart from other species are molar-like teeth that allow them to chew their prey and bristle-like hairs at the ends of their snouts that help them search for food on the muddy river bottoms.

 DSCN1232DSCN1217
I was also fascinated by the Brazilian rosewood.Brazilian rosewood is endemic to the coastal Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.  Of the over 8,000 plants species that grow there, Brazilian rosewood is one of the largest.  It can also be recognised by its dark branches that grow in zigzag patterns and by its feathery leaflets.

The tree is able to withstand a broad range of climatic conditions from tropical lowland forest to sub-montane forest.  Nitrogen fixing bacteria and fungi in its roots allows the species to survive in nutrient deficient soils. Throughout a short period between November and December its flowers are pollinated by insects, mainly bees and it produces fruit from January until September.

Like all rosewoods, the species has a strong sweet smell reminiscent of the fragrance of roses. The high oil content of the wood also makes it desirable for use as an essential oil for fragrance cosmetics (Chanel no.5 for example) and for use in medicines.

Its timber is heavy and strong, making it highly resistant to insect attack and decay. It is therefore much sought after in local markets as a building material for use in flooring, structural beams and wall panelling/lining. Worldwide, its timber, being highly resonant, is also used to make musical instruments such as guitars.

DSCN1266DSCN1269

DSCN1270DSCN1252DSCN1259DSCN1248

excerpts from articles on Brazilian Rosewood,the Amazon, National Geographic on Pink Dolphins

Edgartown on the Vineyard

DSCN0909DSCN0917DSCN0910DSCN0911DSCN0947DSCN0912DSCN0918DSCN0925DSCN0933DSCN0924DSCN0935DSCN0952

One of the greatest moments of summer for me is to take my rental bike on our annual anniversary trip to Martha’s Vineyard and just ride around Edgartown and look at the houses,gardens and incredible views….Obama was there on the island as well but it really did not affect the traffic or us tourists!