Sir Richard Branson has always been ahead of his time: he published a magazine called Student at the tender age of 15, and opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, by 21. Now 57, he’s a driving force in the green movement — or make that a flying force.
Last week, the billionaire announced that in February, one of his Virgin Atlantic jumbo jets — powered by a combination of jet fuel (80%) and biologically-produced fuel (20%) — will fly from London to Amsterdam. The exact type of bio-fuel hasn’t been named — a spokesperson for the company just said it was “truly sustainable” and “would not compete with food or freshwater resources” — but a number of things from soybeans to algae were tested.
I bet fellow billionaire club member Donald Trump is so jealous… all he’s given us is Celebrity Apprentice with Gene Simmons, Stephen Baldwin and horror of all horrors Omarosa. Sigh.
If you act fast — and have upwards of $10,000 to invest in a used car with 139,412 miles — you may be able to buy Darryl Hannah’s “Bad Ass Biodiesel El Camino,” which is up for bid right now on eBay. The description says the actress’s car “hasn’t seen a lick of petroleum” and comes with an “oh so easy home fueling station — if you have room 4 a trash can, you have room 4 your own gas station.” Personally, I was never an El Camino gal (or much of a Daryl fan… save for Splash), so I think I’d save the 10g and buy myself a new Toyota Prius.
George Clooney was already tops in my book, but over the weekend he went through the roof. The Oscar nominee has been made a United Nations messenger of peace to promote the organization’s peacekeeping activities around the world — specifically in Darfur, a cause he’s been speaking out about for some time.
“I am deeply honored to receive this appointment,” the actor said in a statement. And I’m deeply grateful to the United Nations for giving me more stories about Georgie to read about.
The stars headed north to support Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance — an environmental organization that protects water sources in Canada and the United States — at the Banff Springs Sports Invitational in Alberta, Canada. According to a local paper, PETA poster girl Alicia Silverstone was seen chatting to green guru Ed Begley Jr., Beverly Hills 90210 alum Jason Priestley showed off his daughter, Ava, and Alec Baldwin was noshing on sushi. My favorite picture from the event? Alec on a toboggan. It was so funny it should be included in an upcoming episode of 30 Rock… if the damn writers’ strike ever ends.
Lastly, we’ve talked about Hayden Panettiere trying to save the whales. Whelp, she’s not giving up. The Heroes actress launched a Website called PanettiereCloset.com, where regular ole Janes like us can buy items from her wardrobe with proceeds going to the Saves the Whales Again campaign. Again, way impressed by this teenager. As Us Weekly notes in the cover story of their new issue, there seems to be a surge of young stars who are focused on charity and clean living instead of, say, drugs, drinking and clubbing. After everything going on the last year, it’s a welcome relief.