Hospital freebie dump, EPA vs. Arnold, sustainable Abu-Dhabi

Hospital freebie dump, EPA vs. Arnold, sustainable Abu-Dhabi

Sale on America: Foreign Investors Buy in Big

With much talk about the economy shock, our international neighbors are seizing an opportunity to cash in. The New York Times reports: “For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount…

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Sale on America: Foreign Investors Buy in Big

With much talk about the economy shock, our international neighbors are seizing an opportunity to cash in. The New York Times reports: “For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount prices. With credit tight, unemployment growing and worries mounting about a potential recession, American business and government leaders are courting foreign money to keep the economy growing. Foreign investors are buying aggressively, taking advantage of American duress and a weak dollar to snap up what many see as bargains, while making inroads to the world’s largest market.”

Hospital Sets Example by Purging 20 Shopping Carts Full of Prescription Drug Payoffs

As a way of saying no to Pharmaceutical perks, Duluth’s SDMC took out the trash. MSNBC reports: “When a Duluth-based operator of hospitals and clinics purged the pens, notepads, coffee mugs and other promotional trinkets drug companies had given its doctors over the years, it took 20 shopping carts to haul the loot away. SDMC’s effort was motivated by a desire to show patients that its 450 doctors were serious about keeping prescription drug costs down and making unbiased medical decisions, Irons said. The backlash against the cozy relationships between doctors and drug makers gained steam from article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006. It said research had shown that even cheap gifts, such as pens, can affect doctors’ prescribing decisions.”

EPA’s Experts Affraid of The Terminator, Deny California Access to Environmental Documents

The EPA denied the State of California access to documents containing research and data on the state’s emissions because they were afraid of what people may think. Isn’t that what we pay them for? CBS News reports: “Invoking executive privilege, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday refused to provide lawmakers with a full explanation of why it rejected California’s greenhouse gas regulations. The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications … “EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California’s waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting,” EPA’s associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley wrote.”

Sustainable Energy in the Least Likely of Places.

Abu-Dhabi is thinking green. This time, it’s about the environment. For a country whose economy depends on an expendable energy source, it’s promising news to be able to use the words “sustainable” and “Gulf” in the same sentence. BBC News reports: “The government of Abu Dhabi has announced a $15bn (£7.5bn) initiative to develop clean energy technologies. The Gulf state describes the five-year initiative as “the most ambitious sustainability project ever launched by a government”. Components will include the world’s largest hydrogen power plant. The government has also announced plans for a “sustainable city”, housing about 50,000 people, that will produce no greenhouse gases and contain no cars. The $15bn fund, which the state hopes will lead to international joint ventures involving much more money, is being channelled through the Masdar Initiative, a company established to develop and commercialise clean energy technologies.”

The Futuro House … From the Futuro! 1971 BP Gas Stations Were Pretty Hip.

Check out this charming piece of nostalgia. Treehugger reports: “There is really nothing new about many of the modern prefabs that everyone is going gaga over; back in the 70’s Finnish architect Matti Suuronen designed the Venturo, a bit less extreme than his wonderful Futuro House. It appears to have been used primarily as gas stations for BP. According to Lars Ramberg, an artist who found a Venturo: “The house had been lying in a warehouse for decades, the ageing carcass of failed modernism. The Venturo was originally thought as a beach house or bungalow that could be transported and installed anywhere, thus fulfilling the modernist aim of being universal, not needing to respond to a particular context. Unlike other Suuronnen’s designs (e.g. the famous 1968 “Futuro” house), the Venturo was a commercial flop and went quickly out of production.”

Super Bowl Sunday – Phoenix Gets Ready for The Big Game.

On February 3rd, all eyes will be on Phoenix. CNN provides a travelling guide for this year’s host of The Super Bowl.
“Bob Sullivan, president of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, knows the pressure is on to not only put on the “world’s largest neighborhood party,” but entice the NFL to come back a lot sooner than 12 years. “We have the potential to get another game in the future. We’re not going to get another game if we’re not putting our best foot forward this time,” Sullivan said.”

Hi Brooklyn, meet Brooklyn…

According to The Social Security Administration and, “Brooklyn” was the 43rd most popular name for 2007-born babies. The Brooklyn Paper credits the name craze to Posh Spice. Could it be that David Beckham and Posh Spice — who named their son Brooklyn in 1999 — are so influential? Or has Borough President Markowitz’s 24/7 cheerleading finally reached the heartland of America? “It is true that when celebrities use a unique name, other people tend to follow,” said Nissa Anklesaria of “But parents are also always looking for something unique, but not so unique that it’s difficult to pronounce or understand.”

And now for something completely different…

Scientologists, Tom Cruise promise to “clean up this place.” Environmentalists thrilled.

After noticing the amount of trash and melted Goobers on the floor, actor Tom Cruise took the podium at this super-secret Scientology meeting and emotionally expressed his feelings for environmental conservation. At first, Cruise interrogated the audience as to who was responsible, asking the crowd “Were you there? What did you do?” Seeing that nobody was willing to come forward, Cruise delivered the acting goods that the public hasn’t seen since Cocktails. “I care so very very very much,” said Cruise, who then rallied Scientologists together and asked, “so, are we gonna clean up this place or what?” Scientology faith members were gathered in a rented Beverly Hills theatre to award Cruise a medal for being a “celebrity.”

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