Stars, green vehicles, and new eco films


The Grammy Awards celebrated its 50th anniversary last Sunday with a number of recycled performances from current stars paired with old timers, like Tina Turner and Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Frank Sinatra (via video). Mary J. Blige appeared in an ad from sponsor GM for its Flex-Fuel Malibu after the spot was yanked from the Superbowl which ran a hybrid Yukon ad instead.

Speaking of vehicle news – and recycling, Knight Rider (the 1980s show featuring KITT the talking car and David Hasselhoff) has been resurrected. This coming Sunday (2/17), NBC premieres the remake, starring a new solar/hybrid Ford Mustang, replacing the former series’ Pontiac Trans Am with its liquid hydrogen turbo engine.

A quick U-turn happened when the vehicle’s voice-overs by Will Arnett (Arrested Development) collided with a conflict of interest: seems he already hooked up with GMC Trucks, so vocals are now by Val Kilmer, who knows about hot rods from his stint in the Batmobile.

Sympathetic to the environment, Kilmer is planning an eco-village development on 6,000 acres he owns 30 miles north of Sante Fe, New Mexico. The homes are to be built with adobe, indigenous wood and local stone, as well as solar panels and windmill energy. Each house (designed by Tom Ford) will have an organic garden with communal foods made available through a co-op.

Leonardo DiCaprio got a Vectrix Electric Scooter while he’s apparently contemplating acquiring a Tesla. Vectrix also sent the 62 mph bike to Global Green to tool around the post-Katrina New Orleans’ green housing project with Brad Pitt…Generous Ellen DeGeneres, a former native of the Crescent City, has rustled up over $10 million to restore the 9th Ward, including 800K to Pitt’s venture.

Will Ferrell joined Ed Norton’s Solar Neighbors program, which matches celebrity solar purchases with installations in low-income homes. So the comedian’s solar panels have helped BP outfit the restored historic St. George Hotel in South Central Los Angeles, a center for the homeless population. Norton and L.A.’s mayor cut the green ribbon on February 11th.

On Feb 13th, Jean-Michel Cousteau unveils a new IMAX 3D Theatre film, Dolphins and Whales 3D at the New England Aquarium. Narrated by green “actorvist” Daryl Hannah, it looks at humpback whales, belugas, dolphins, and manatees interacting, playing, and communicating, while also packing a wallop about ocean conservation and animal protection.

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