The Olympic flame completed its tour through the UK this week as the 2012 Summer Games officially kicked off on Friday, and all eyes have been on London ever since. All week long we've been focusing on the Olympics, beginning with an overview of London's new Olympic Park, which is headlined by the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre, and Anish Kapoor's controversial ArcelorMittal Orbit observation tower. For a deeper look at the venues that will be on display at the Olympics over the next two weeks, check out our roundup of the top six green buildings at the Olympics. In addition to the sports stadiums, Olympics visitors will also be treated to the sights and sounds of Coca-Cola's multi-sensory Beatbox Pavilion, an interactive sound and light display that responds to touch. But the art installation that we're most excited about is the one by artist David Cerny, who retrofitted a 6-ton London double-decker bus with a gigantic pair of human arms. Best of all, the arms are motorized, enabling the bus to do push-ups.
In other news, green vehicles broke new boundaries by land, sea and air. A team of University of Washington students successfully tested the world's first 3D-printed boat, while halfway around the world, the Solar Impulse sun-powered airplane completed a record-breaking 6,700-mile trip. Rail news also rallied the East Coast as Amtrak proposed plans for a high-speed train that could take riders from New York to Philly in 37 minutes and New York City unveiled the first images of the final installment of its High Line park.
This week also saw exciting energy developments all over the world. Scientists at UCLA developed a new transparent solar cell that can essentially transform windows into photovoltaic panels. The South Pacific nation of Tokelau announced the ambitious goal of transforming itself into the world's first solar-powered country. Meanwhile, Brazil is set to build the world's first algae-based biofuel plant, which will convert seaweed into fuel. And in another exciting development, Maine is set to launch the first commercial tide power project in the US.
For the past few months, we've been gearing up for the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs, and this week we produced a video explaining how to make the transition to LEDs. As for other exciting green products, this week we shined the spotlight on Olafur Eliasson's Little Sun, a solar-powered lamp that provides five hours of continuous light. We also learned about Exotic Solar's "PowerCloth," an innovative new cloth that turns clothes into energy generators, and a vibrating glove that teaches piano and helps people with spinal cord injuries to improve motor skills. And lastly, we're excited to learn that JPMorgan Chase and Good360 are teaming up to refurbish and distribute computers to charities across the country.