Category Archives: Cool Locations

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Just a short walk from the Harvard Square T in Cambridge, MA is the Harvard Museum of Natural History with extremely interesting permanent exhibits. This museum is worth visiting for both adults and their children. I focused my visit this month on three exhibits.


The glass flowers, made by Rudolf and Leopold Blaschka, are intricate glass botanical structures. This was early 3-D modeling for science cataloging! Click on these images to take a closer look: these are all glass, even the needles, leaves and flowers on the stems. There are so many specimen that it was a little overwhelming, but if you are a botanist or glass enthusiast this will blow your mind.

IMG_0841The second exhibit of the day was Earth and Planetary Science – essentially a large room full of minerals — from the common to the extremely rare — including intact zircon crystals from 4.3 million years ago. Most are under glass, but there are several that you can touch.

IMG_0843The last exhibit I visited was the comparative zoology collection, including sea creatures in glass and a broad range of preserved actual creatures. Here are jars of preserved octopus and squid.

A few more pictures:IMG_0835  IMG_0838IMG_0845

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Filed under botany, Cool Locations, geode, glass flowers, minerals, Museum, octopus, sea creature, squid, Travel and Visits, Travels, zircon crystal

George Howell Coffee, Acton, MA

P and I made an impromptu visit to the George Howell roasting facility in Acton, MA recently. We are considering buying from their coffee club to keep us stocked with fresh and delicious coffee beans.


We were blown away with the technical precision of their roasting lab. Jerry gave us a thorough tour of the bean testing area, the bank of espresso and drip machines, the bags and bags of beans ready to be roasted, and especially the two large roasting machines — with technicians on their laptops right alongside.

Everyone who worked there was in the best of moods and it seemed like a great work environment. I’m sure that leads to better tasting coffee. There was another visitor while we were there, a blogger from the New York Times, Oliver Strand, which made the visit a little more exciting, plus we got to meet Mr. George Howell himself. Oliver Strand posted this photo, and P took this photo of barista art in a demi-tasse cup.


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Filed under Cool Locations, Travel and Visits