Adrian Grenier discusses green living at 2012 Go Further with Ford event

Most Bullz-Eye readers will recognize Adrian Grenier as Vincent Chase from HBO’s “Entourage.” But there’s much more to him than that. Grenier has always been passionate about the environment and living a sustainable lifestyle, and eventually that passion led him to co-found a company dedicated to this purpose.

I recently attended Ford’s 2012 Go Further event will several hundred other bloggers, and Grenier was featured on a panel with his SHFT.com co-founder Peter Glatzer to discuss green lifestyle issues along with other experts and activists. Frankly I came away very impressed. So many activists in this area can become very preachy about the subject, and that’s particularly true with celebrities. But Grenier is much more interested in inspiring people to make their lives more sustainable, and that’s the mission of SHFT.com according to their website:

SHFT is a multi-media platform founded by film producer Peter Glatzer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier. Our mission is to convey a more sustainable approach to the way we live through video, design, art and culture.

The website covers a wide variety of topics, including architecture, art, business, conservation, design, energy, fashion, food and home & garden. They’re aiming for an audience looking for innovative ways to change the way they live their lives in order to better take care of our planet.

One effort is called “The Big SHFT” which involves a partnership with Ford Motor Company.

The night before, we heard from Bill Ford who recounted his own commitment to these issues and he candidly discussed how the powers that be at Ford looked at him like he was an alien when he brought up these issues years ago. But he wouldn’t give up, and now Ford has become a leader in this area.

Among the presentations at the Go Further event involved some of the innovations coming out of Ford’s research labs that are changing the materials that go into their cars. One example is Ford’s use of soybean-based foam in seat cushions, backs and head restraints that saves about 5 million pounds of petroleum annually. The next step according to the researchers is making these foams biodegradable.

Ford is also focusing on recycled materials like plastic bottles, denim and old tires. They also working on other initiatives, like retired US currency of all things. With its strong, tensile characteristics, they are looking into shredding these old greenbacks for use in the manufacture of plastic parts like trays and bins. Currently retired currency is simply burned.

The possibilities are endless, as long as we put our minds to it. Ford is one of the many companies pushing for these solutions, and SHFT.com wants to inspire more companies and individuals to look for more innovations. You don’t have to be a multi-national corporation to make a difference.

Check out the SHFT.com website for more cool content in this area. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. For some the green issue has become very political and polarizing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All of us can learn more about simple changes we can make for a more sustainable lifestyle, and this bottom-up approach can have a huge impact.

  

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Champion’s Double-Dry T-shirts and Shorts

With summer here it’s a great time to stock on on new athletic gear, and the new Double-Dry T-shirts and Shorts from Champion offer a great option. They’re incredibly comfortable and they look great. The moisture-wicking, built-in systems keeps you cool and dry and the soft, ultra-light fabric feels as good as it looks with a silky smooth interior and a mesh textured exterior.

The Men’s Champion’s Double-Dry T-shirt features sleek ergonomic seams provide a more streamlined fit. They’re triple-stitched for strength and flat-locked for non-chafe softness. We were impressed with this feature in particular as the shirts are much more comfortable than previous Double-Dry versions. They’re just as comfortable as a premium cotton shirt. The tag-free fabric-taped neck also keeps its shape, wash after wash, and the easy raglan sleeves allow flexible range of motion.

The shorts feature mesh side panels provide ventilation for added cooling power and the sleek ergonomic seams and Four-needle elastic waist ensure maximum ease of movement. You can follow Champion of Facebook for more information on their products.

This line is engineered to make you comfortable while working out, but you’ll also look great as well. With Father’s Day coming up these would also make a great gift for the dad who still likes to get out there and play some hoops or work out, or for the dad who needs a subtle hint!

  

Saturday Night Live…and in Color?

This week Saturday Night Live is celebrating the end of its’ 37th season on air (yes, you read that right) by pulling out the usual bags of tricks. That includes rock god Mick Jagger taking on hosting duties, while Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters provide the marquee music interludes (plus there will be comedy sketches…at least I think they still do those).

But while the cast and crew will mostly be sticking to the traditional SNL formula for success, they are throwing one new variable into the mix for this monumental occasion. That comes in the form of a partnership with the Facebook app Color.

Some of you may remember Color as the app that allowed you to share your photos and short (about 30 seconds) live video clips with a network of your closest friends. More likely though, you remember the story of how the program managed to raise $41 million dollars for its launch, only to fade into obscurity sometimes after that. It’s not that the program didn’t work; it just didn’t manage to catch on in the ever growing app market.

But now, thanks to a new partnership with Verizon, Color is looking to make a big comeback. Not only will Verizon start making the app standard on all new Android phones, but Color has also beefed up its’ own services, particularly in the video area which now has a better broadcast quality, sound with your live feed (for Verizon customers), and the ability to notify your friends immediately for live broadcast.

To celebrate (and most importantly, to promote), Color will be teaming with SNL to have the actors, crew, and guests take backstage footage of the evening, and fill in the breaks and commercials with exclusive footage that will be broadcast to anyone who friends Verizon on Facebook.

Color certainly seems more focused this time around. It’s no wonder either considering the recent $1 billion Instagram acquisition by Facebook, and how Facebook itself is preparing for the richest public offering anyone has ever seen. But if you’re looking for the new Color’s greatest motivation…that may actually be Twitter. It’s a smart move to try to set up a service that could be similar to Twitter, but uses video instead since that would seem to be the logical progression of the medium.

If you’re interested in the footage,you just have to like Verizon on Facebook, and download the Color for Facebook app on your mobile device. While Verizon customers are the only ones that get sound with the feed, anyone can sign up for it.

It’s easy to see that the team behind Color believes in their product, and their dedication to getting their name out there shows that. If the SNL show is a success, it’s easy to imagine the public imagination taking hold of this app and making something unique out of it.

And , maybe Mick will even sing “Start Me Up” for them.

Hey, it worked for Windows.

 

  

Nissan announces Project 370Z

Fans have been modifying Nissan’s Z car in garages around the world for going on 40 years. Now, Nissan is making it possible to modify a 370Z over the internet with their new Facebook campaign, and you don’t even need to own the car to participate.

Project 370Z works like this. Log on to facebook.com/nissanperformance, where you can then vote for a variety of performance parts as they become available. Turbos, Superchargers, bigger brakes or wings — the choice is all yours. The votes will then be tallied and the winning parts will be added to the car.

The final car will then be debuted at the annual Z Dayz event in North Carolina. You get all the rewards of customizing your own Z and you don’t even get your hands dirty. Maybe the event will even give you enough inspiration to modify your own Z car.

  

Is the Facebook Phone a Microsoft-grade error?

Facebook logo.

With all the buzz about Carrier IQ, most of the tech world’s attention has already turned away from “Buffy,” the rumored-and-all-but-confirmed Facebook phone. The shift is appropriate. Frankly, the Facebook phone is a mistake, and if Facebook really has been working on the project for two years, a colossal mistake. A Windows Phone grade mistake.

Don’t try to tell me Windows Phone was a success, either. Despite the recent upturn in market share, WP7 is still in dire straits. Some estimates put WP7 market share lower than Symbian. Yeah, that’s Nokia’s old OS. With the new deal between the two companies that will obviously shift, but Nokia hardware doesn’t have a shot in hell of saving Windows Phone. The operating system is already on some really nice hardware and it still won’t sell.

Here’s the rub, at least for Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 is a great OS. I mean that. It’s solid. It’s pretty. It’s fresh, certainly when compared to the increasingly homogeneous Android and iOS platforms. It still isn’t doing well. Microsoft may have spent as much as 500 million dollars marketing Windows Phone 7, to say nothing of the massive development overhead. It still isn’t doing well. Why is Facebook so ready to make the same mistake?

The easy answer: Apple and Google. Those two companies have a stranglehold on mobile computing. Facebook is on both platforms, but my guess is that Facebook is worried about one of those companies making a play that could push Facebook out. The Galaxy Nexus is shaping up to be a beautiful phone, a phone that Google is planning for serious Google+ integration. But Google+ is dead. A nursing home at best. Is Facebook really worried about that?

It also seems reasonable to wonder if Facebook branding will really sell a phone, and to whom? Unless Facebook can pull an Apple-style keynote that warrants the existence of the phone, I don’t see the appeal. Apple has sexy mobile locked down. Android has the nerd factor. Both of those brands carry weight across demographics. Where does Facebook play? The tween market? Yuck.

As long as Facebook remains easily accessible on every Android and iOS handset, a phone with deep Facebook integration won’t really have a market. Not anything significant, anyway. Not enough to offset the cash Facebook has dumped into big names and a severely protracted development cycle. Not by a long shot.

  

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