new molecule that could make rocket fuel 30 percent more efficient. We also caught up with Russia's plans to construct a new high-speed rail system for the 2018 World Cup, and we saw several major auto manufacturers give their vehicles green upgrades - Ford announced it will insulate its 2010 Focus with recycled jeans, and Chevrolet launched plans to transform 100,000 pounds of used oil booms into parts for the Volt.
The past week also saw bright horizons dawn for renewable energy as the world's largest parabolic trough solar plant received a $1.5 billion DOE loan. The world of consumer tech was energized by the sun's rays as Toshiba unveiled a new solar-powered e-book reader and one designer developed a solar-powered desalination system that could keep shipwrecked survivors alive at sea. We also brought you artist Michael McKean's plan to shoot rainbows across the sky at will with his solar-powered rainbow generator.
Speaking of spreading renewable cheer, this month Japan's Enoshima Aquarium unveiled the world's first Christmas tree powered by an electric eel. The FAA also got into the holiday spirit as they approved a next-gen Santa sleigh that delivers gifts 53% faster, and if you unwrapped a new video game system this year, you may be interested to know that the Nintendo Wii was recently crowned the most energy-efficient next-gen gaming console. Finally, if the wintry weather has you feeling down, just take a peek inside this supermassive airship hangar, transformed into a year-round tropical island getaway.