Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pure Michigan

I like this one a lot and really like seeing the Faygo factory.

The newest Michigan business ads now featuring the Pure Michigan theme. I like them but think the feel of these ads have a much better fit for tourist marketing. And why do so many business type commercials, especially those trumpeting universities, have a shot with a glass "whiteboard" with someone writing a bunch of chemistry crap on it while eager eyed dorks look on from a conference table? That's not inspiring at all. I've never even seen one of those glass whiteboards (and I studied engineering with those dorks at the conference table!).

And because you just can't get enough.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inspiring Calendar

I have a travel agency calendar on my desk at work and each month usually offers me 4-5 nice travel pictures related to a certain theme. Cultural safaris, ocean cruises, beach adventures. The usual trips you might have in mind when thinking about what a travel agency can offer. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I flipped the calendar to May, a Spring month I normally associate with upbeat feelings of better days ahead, and found that the pictures I'd be greeted with every morning for the next 31 days were themed around "medical travel" and had a particularly depressing shot in the upper left corner.

May can't end soon enough.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

A Stroll Through Uhuru Park

Nairobi's downtown park, Uhuru Park, sits just outside the central business district and as I found it last week, is a pretty pleasant place to kill some time. It was packed with families and had some sort of carnival type feel to it with photographers, balloon artists, and face painters all doing quick business with the largely under 12 year old crowd.

But the park hasn't always had such a festive existence. It's open space and key location has made the park the central gathering place for many protests during its history. And maybe because of the parks propensity to attract protesters and the government's desire to rid themselves of this annoyingly convenient gathering point, in late 1989 there was a plan to construct a 60 story building in Uhuru Park. In fact, ground had been broken on the project but foreign investment pulled out after the protests of Wangari Maathai, the founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. By defending the park and seeking to block the construction of the building, she was labeled "a crazy woman" by Kenya's then-president, arap Moi, while suggesting that she be a proper woman in the African tradition.

The park today, free of 60 story buildings, continues to be a central gathering place for Kenyan civic life. As recently as this past June, during a rally against a constitutional referendum, a bomb exploded in the park and killed 6 people while injuring hundreds of others.

My visit, thankfully, didn't offer any protests or any danger, but if you were brave enough to ride the human powered ferris wheel, all bets were off.