The Queens Courier recently published an article reporting that more NY residents are turning to pedaling their bicycles around town then getting behind the wheel.
“As New Yorkers spin their wheels thinking of ways to save money with the nation in the midst of a recession and gas approaching $4 per gallon, a record number of residents are spinning a different set of wheels… The New York City Department of Transportation announced recently that biking has doubled over the last four years, and almost 10 percent more New Yorkers are taking to their bikes compared to last year,” (QueensCourier.com).
An average of 18,846 cyclists were observed each day throughout locations across the five boroughs – Staten Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Queensboro Bridge and the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street. This is more than double the number of riders recorded four years ago (QueensCourier.com).
With the growing number of bikers, the city is forced to increase the number of bike lanes across the city streets. “Over the past four years, more than 250 miles of bike lanes have been added in the five boroughs,” (QueensCourier.com).
A recent Quinnipiac University Poll found: 53% of Queens Residents were in favor of expanded bike lanes, finding cycling to be a greener and healthier alternative in transportation. Additionally, residents were also overwhelmingly support a city program that will allow New Yorkers to rent bikes – what a great idea! “Over two-thirds of borough residents approved of New York City Bike Share, which is planned to launch next summer. More than 50 percent of residents favor having a bike rental lot in their neighborhood,” (QueensCourier.com).
Thanks to munimeters, the city is converting individual parking meters into bike racks throughout NY. The Department of Transportation has installed “175 of the parking meter bike racks throughout the city, including along 37th Avenue between 73rd Street and 77thStreet,” (Queens Courier.com).
Do Green Eggs & Ham, Thing 1 & Thing 2, and how about the Grinch, mean something to you? On March 2ndin 1904, Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, and the author of some of the most memorable and popular children’s books, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Geisel graduated from Dartmouth University and then went on to study also at Oxford University, where he met his first wife, Helen Palmer.
It was HelenPalmer who encouraged Geisel to become a professional Illustrator.
The first book Geisel wrote and illustrated, “And to Think I saw It on Mulberry Street,” was rejected by more than two dozen publishers before making it into press and becoming his first best seller.
Geisel went on to write 48 books and sold over 200 million copies, which have been translated into multiple languages, across the world. Some of his most popular books were “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” “Fox In Socks,” and “The Cat In The Hat.”
He lived and worked in an old observatory in La Jolla, California known as “The Tower,” and died September 24, 1991, at age 87.
Which Dr. Seuss book is your favorite? Tell us on the Plaza College
With Apple’s sleek designs, high quality and service, the company is now worth a little over 500 Billion dollars- making it now one of the five most-valuable companies at any point history (CNN.com)!
Apple’s valuation is now higher than the domestic rate of Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan (CNN.com). Only one month ago, Apple’s market valuation rose to $400 billion for the first time, passing ExxonMobil as the top runner in the stock market (CNN.com).
Apple has a more than a predictable chance of superseding Microsoft, which has reached the highest company value at $600 billion dollars, becoming one of the fastest growing technology companies world-wide (CNN.com).
Despite Apple’s technological prestige, shares come at an impressively reasonable price. The company’s gains in stock have not kept pace with its earnings (CNN.com)
At the tender age of 35, Apple’s earnings have gone up from $10 to half a trillion dollars in ten years (CNN.com)
To learn more about the Apple uprising, check out the article published on CNN.com, linked HERE.
At the 2012 Academy Awards, Octavia Spencer received an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” in the highly acclaimed film The Help.
Spencer has been picking up awards left and right for her turn in The Help, so this award came as no surprise. Still, the actress – only the fifth African American in history to win a supporting actress Oscar, seemed genuinely taken back.
On February 29th, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award. The Oscar, for Best Supporting Actress, was for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone With The Wind. On the night she won, McDaniel and her escort were seated ata segregated table for two, away from her fellow Gone With The Wind cast members. Two months prior to the Oscar’s, McDaniel wasn’t allowed to attend the premier of Gone With The Windin Atlanta, GA due to Georgia’s segregationist laws. Winning an Oscar at that time was an extraordinary achievement.
Whoopi Goldberg was the second African-American to win a Best Supporting Oscar, 38 years after McDaniel in 1990.
In 2001, Halle Berry became the first African-American female to win the Best Actress Oscar. She won for her role as Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball. The 2001 Oscar’s was also the first time two African-Americans took home both Best Acting honors, with Denzel Washington taking home Best Actor for his role in Training Day.
With Black History Month coming to an end, celebrating the achievements of so many African-American actors and actresses and the strides they’ve taken in the entertainment industry seems fitting, especially with an Oscar award!
The Academy Awards, one of the most prestigious entertainment award shows, is right around the corner, airing this Sunday, February 26th at 7pm. Many of Hollywood’s most admired actors and actresses, directors, writers and other moguls will unite to help celebrate this past year. This year, the award show is taking huge strides towards going green! From dresses to gift bags to preparing for next year, the Oscars is sure to be “a green hit.”
Below are the top 5 ways this year’s ceremony’s contributes to the environment, provided by ECorazzi.com.
Missi Pyle to Wear Sustainable Dress
The red carpet is always full of fabulous dresses. One to keep an eye on this year isMissi Pyle’ssustainable gown designed by Valentina Delfino, winner of theRed Carpet Green Dress design contest. Founded byJames Cameron’swife,Suzy Amis Cameron, the contest gives aspiring designers the chance to craft a sustainable dress for the Oscar red carpet. Delfino is this year’s lucky winner and now “The Artist” star will strut her stuff in the gown made from silk peace chiffon, recycled polyester and natural mineral dye. “It is an incredible honor for me to walk the most glamorous red carpet in the world in such a stunning and meaningful dress,” Pyle said.
Celebs Dine with Fresh California Cuisine
After hours of sitting in the audience, Academy Award attendees get famished, so thankfully they haveWolfgang Puckpreparing delicious food. The famous chef will be cooking over 50 dishes for 1,500 guests at the Governors Ball in the Hollywood & Highland’s Grand Ballroom. For the past 18 years, Puck has showcased his talent and this year his buffet and lounge style food will feature fresh California produce and sustainable seafood. The menu includes beet salad with pistachio butter, burrata and citrus balsamic, lobster tacos and traditional favorites like macaroni and cheese. However, for dessert he is serving gold-dusted chocolate Oscars,which may cause some controversylike this year’s Golden Globes.
Actors and Actresses Celebrate with Green Parties
It wouldn’t be the Academy Awards without a magnificent party, especially before the show even begins! With several pre-parties to choose from, two sound worthwhile. First,Global Green USAhosted its ninth annual event with favorite green celebs in attendance like Adrian Grenier,Kyra Sedgwick,Ed Begley Jr.andSophia Bush. Bush even showed up in a Chevy Volt electric car. In addition to promoting eco-awareness, an electric Xenon “lightcycle” fromEvolve will was auctioned off. Can you say sweet?! The event also raised money for Global Green’s National Green Schools initiative and the launch of its Rio Earth Summit.
The second party that was an eco-hit was theOxfam America Dinnerhosted by Vanity Fair, Zenga clothing andColin and Livia Firth. Colin may be an Oscar-winner for his role in “The King’s Speech,” but his wife deserves an award for her eco-fashion efforts. This particular dinner benefits not only Oxfam’s international relief efforts, but also Livia’s Green Carpet Challenge that has tried to get top designers to jump on the sustainable design bandwagon. If you remember, Livia made a fashion statement at the Golden Globes with hereco-friendly Armani dress. Livia also took time totweet about her sustainable evening wear, “Wearing gorgeous dress #BeulahLondon #GCC2012 perfect as example of relieve women out of poverty @Oxfam India.” Hopefully, we’ll see more of this on Sunday.
Green Gift Bags
If being nominated for an Oscar isn’t enough, nominees also receive plentiful gift bags filled with goodies. This year, organic, eco-friendly and non-toxic gifts will be given away. For the nominees in major categories who don’t win, they will receive non-toxic, food safe kitchen products fromEssential Safe Productsin their “Everybody Wins at the Oscars®” nominee gift baskets. Valued at over $250, the baskets include reusable items like produce bags, stainless steel snack containers and bamboo utensil sets. A $200 ESP gift certificate will also be inside.
Academy Award nominees and presenters will luckily take home an “Academy Awards Celebrity Gift Box” fromGreen PolkaDot Box, a company that provides organic and natural goods.The recycled boxes will be stuffedwith a one-year GPDB savings membership, $75 in reward points and 48 organic products, such as Eden’s Pumpkin Seeds, Vermont Soap’s Oatmeal Lavender bars and St. Dalfour’s Black Raspberry Conserves. Well, at least the noms (who don’t win) won’t go empty-handed, but of course I’d rather go home with an Oscar.
Oscars Prepare Greeness for Next Year
The Oscars aren’t even here yet, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is already planning for next year. They’ve partnered with Everyone Counts Inc.to develop an electronic voting system, rather than a paper one. This new electronic ballot will not change the traditional tabulation of Academy members’ votes. It will also remain tightly secured. Sounds like the 85th awards show is off to a good start!
It’s nice to see how the Academy Awards contribute to the environment, even in the smallest of ways. Also, be sure to check out our other gallery of “The Ten Most Charitable Oscar Nominees” and see how the most talented actors and actresses are giving back to others.
February is African-American History Month. There are many African-Americans who have made a difference for the lives of African-Americans and the history, and future, of American History. Here are a few notable people to mention during African-American History Month.
Dr. George Washington Carver was a scientist, botanist, educator and inventor. His research gained him much worldwide acclaim. Additionally, his humanitarian efforts were well documented and he received much recognition for his selfless acts to help others. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are among many others who were fans of Dr. Carver.
Barack Obama, the current President of the United States, is the first African American to be elected President. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.
Octavia Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.
Mae Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit abroad the Space Shuttle Endeavor on September 12, 1992.
Dr. Cater G. Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. HE was one of the first scholars to value and study Black History. He recognized and acted upon the importance of people having an awareness and knowledge of their contributions to humanity, and left behind an impressive legacy. Dr. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History.
Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator and was the first female pilot of African American descent. She was also the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license.
Maya Angelou is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer.” She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cook Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die.
On February 13, 1866, Jesse James held up his first bank. Although Jesse was unable to actively participate in the robbery because of a near fatal chest wound he received shortly after the close of the Civil War, he planned the robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri for weeks. Jesse’s “gang” of thirteen or so men rode their horses to the front of the bank where Frank James and Cole Younger dismounted their horses and entered the bank. The encounter went down like this:
Cashier Greenup Bird went to help Frank James at the counter. Frank gave Bird a large bill and asked it to be changed. Suddenly, Frank yanked out his pistol and shoved it in Bird’s face. Cole Younger then pulled his pistol and jumped over the counter. Cold grabbed Bird’s son, William Bird, who was the only other person in the bank at the time. The Birds were handed a large grain sack and ordered to put all the money in the bank into the sack. The two Birds quickly put money into the sack, including a tin box of government bonds. The gang got away with $60,000. When all the money was stolen, Frank and Cole forced the Birds into the vault and slammed the door. The two bandits then ran outside. What they didn’t realize was that the vault wasn’t locked, so the two Birds just pushed it open after Frank and Cole left. The Birds ran to a window and began yelling “robbery!”
Two young men, George Wymore and S. H. Holmes, were walking down the street when this happened. When they stopped to see the robbers, who were now all outside and mounted, the robbers all drew their pistols and began firing into the air to scare Wymore and Holmes away. The method of firing into the air was an old guerrilla tactic which the gang would use again and again. Compulsive killer and gang member Arch Clements fired one shot at Holmes, but the bullet went through his coat. After the two began running away, Arch shot Wymore dead for no reason. The original plan was to have no one killed. It was foolish to bring Arch along since he was well known for killing “just for fun.” The thirteen bandits then rode out of town.
After the robbery, around two dozen men were listed as suspects. A few days after the robbery, the family of George Wymore received a letterfrom Jesse James, or someone claiming to be him, apologizing for the murder of Wymore. The letter went on to state that it was not the robbers’ intention to kill anyone. Since Jesse was not famous as a robber at this point in time (after all, this was the first bank robbery in America during peacetime), it is doubtful that anyone would impersonate him by signing this letter with his name. Therefore, the letter is probably authentic, and since it would have been nearly impossible for Jesse to actually participate in the robbery, the letter seems to prove that Jesse did help plan the robbery.
February is Black History Month. Every year there’s a different theme for February’s celebration of Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. The 2012 theme for African American History Month is “Black Women in America: Culture and History.”
This national observance originated in 1926, by historian Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week.” Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans; Abraham Lincoln, former President and abolitionist; and Frederick Douglass, a former slave.
National, social, scientific and political contributions by black Americans are recognized during Black History Month. Historic accounts related to the civil war era, the civil rights movement of 1955-1968, abolitionist movements, slavery in America, etc.
In honor of the celebration, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum has created interesting, interactive programs, starting on February 18ththrough February 25th. Click HERE for the full list of activities available to celebrate Black History Month.
Check out this “Origins of Black History Month” video, provided by History.com.
On February 8, 1587, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was beheaded at Fotheringhay, England, after 19 years as a prisoner of Queen Elizabeth I. She became entangled in the complex political events surrounding the Protestant Reformation in England and was charged with complicity in a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.
Mary, Queen of Scots, was queen regnant of Scotland from December 14, 1542 through July 24, 1567, and queen consort of France from July 10, 1559 through December 5, 1560. She was only nine months old when crowned Queens of Scots. Even though she was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle, in Northamptonshire, the tomb of Mary can be found at Westminster Abbey.
Later in time on February 8, 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded by William Boyce in Washington, D.C., modeled after the British Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the US, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions. Since 1910, more than 110 million Americans have been members of the BSA.
Although the New York Giant’s are bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the overall winning color of the 2012 Super Bowl was not blue, but GREEN!
Sure, between air travel, overbooked hotels, packed bars, all-night parties, exhibits, fan activities and busloads of media crews, Super Bowl XLVI generated more solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions than there were yards rushed during the course of the game.
However, the folks at the NFL Environmental Program were committed to doing their part to help offset all of that. This year, the 18th year of the program, they seem determined to outdo anything else they’ve ever done. The slate of green programs for Super Bowl XLVI was pretty impressive.
This year’sNFL Environmental Programincluded a waste management effort designed to salvage recyclable and reusable trash, collection and donation of leftover food, and recovery of leftover decorations, office supplies and other materials that could be auctioned off, reused, donated or re-purposed.
The program also featured a book and sports equipment-donation center coordinated with local school districts, and a tree-planting program that will put thousands of new trees in local neighborhoods.
The program even covered team travel through the purchase of carbon offsets for air and ground transportation.
As for renewable energy initiatives, the NFL is looking not just to meet, but beat, its previous use of renewable energy.
The highlight is a renewable energy certificate purchase through the companyGreen Mountain Energy, which for the first time will cover all of the major venues, a total of six, instead of only covering the football stadium.
According to Green Mountain’s press materials, that means 15,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which will power “everything from the computers in the Motorola Super Bowl XLVI Media Center to the lights that shine down on the teams as they compete during Super Bowl.”
The NFL is also supporting the local “Rebuilding Together” program as its officially sanctioned charity, and as part of the Super Bowl festivitiesGreen Mountain donated a rooftop solar array for a home involved in the program.
It would be a little much to ask Lucas Oil to install solar panels at Lucas Oil Stadium, but that’s the direction other NFL teams are going in. The Philadelphia Eagles have a comprehensive program that includes onsite wind, solar and biofuel topower their Lincoln Field exclusively with renewables.
The Washington Redskins are not too far behind; that franchise has partnered with the company NRG to install a two-megawatt solar array at FedEx Field. The array is part of a public awareness boost for renewable energy that also includes a solar power educational display prominently located outside the stadium.
Check out the 1st and Green, a web-based program developed to encourage individuals, households and groups to make a difference in our environment by offsetting carbon emissions and saving water. The program was aimed to educate and change people’s habits to be more sustainable using the Super Bowl as a common ground. 1st and Green was part of the NFL Environmental Program to create an environmentally responsible event.