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Greening the games and eco-hip hop


Despite the astounding opening to the Beijing Olympics - both criticized for waste and awed for its imaginative spectacle - game fatigue may be setting in for TV viewers, between beach volleyball and gymnastics and diving and track and field. Swimming star Michael Phelps scooped up eight gold medals, but he made time to stop by the USA basketball locker room with well wishes for the LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James. The team may have trounced China on the court, but China’s flag bearer from Houston's team who’s playing for his homeland, Yao Ming, is a winner, having been named the UN's first-ever Environmental Champion.

Ming hopes to raise awareness, encouraging public transport, waste management, and green energy, saying: "I sincerely believe small actions done by many over a long period of time can really bring about positive change. By doing a little now, we can avoid a lot later." We'll see who wins at the hoops during the semi-finals on the 22nd and the finals on the 24th.

The UN's Environmental Program has made an impressive effort to "Green the Games" with an extensive attack on energy, transportation, water, waste, and materials. For instance, there is natural lighting at venues such as the aquatics center, "Water Cube," where a translucent membrane changes thickness to reduce energy consumption. Also, beam pipes guide sunlight into underground facilities. See the eBook for more details. And even George W. Bush grabbed a photo op on a bicycle during the Games. 

While rapper Ludacris cavorts with Tommy Lee on Planet Green's Battleground Earth, Def Jams' hip hopper, Redman, was seen driving a Smart car in his video for "Run My Block." Whose idea was that? Word has it Tommy Lee went vegetarian to be with ex Pamela Anderson, known for her PETA passions, and bought her an island in Dubai, so she's building an eco-friendly highrise in Abu Dhabi for her on-again-off-again heartthrob. Maybe Lee's diet will last longer than Oprah's 21-day foray into being vegan.
 
Mike Judge, creator of the notorious Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill, now brings us The Goode Family, an animated send-up of every cliché about tree huggers from Whole Foods to hybrids. Check out a preview of the do-gooders before the series heads to ABC-TV.