Earth Hour and Spider-man Join Forces to Save the Planet

ASM2_INTL_EH_A4Hz_SM_PrflIn a first of its kind partnership, Spider-Man will be the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the global movement organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), with a message to inspire individuals to use their power to become Super Heroes for the planet.

Andy Ridley, CEO and Co-Founder of Earth Hour, and Jeff Blake, Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, made the announcement in conjunction with the launch of Earth Hour Blue – a radical new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet, launched to engage people around the world and participants in the famous lights out event, which this year will be held on Saturday March 29, at 8:30 p.m.

This year, Earth Hour and the hero of the highly anticipated motion picture The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – along with the film’s stars, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and director Marc Webb – are throwing their support behind Earth Hour Blue, which aims to harness the power of the crowd to raise funds for on-the-ground environmental projects from across the world.

“I’m proud Spider-Man is the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour because he shows we can all be Super Heroes when we realize the power we all have,” says Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man in the upcoming film. “Earth Hour is a movement that has created massive impact around the world, so imagine what we can do this year with Spider-Man by our side.”

The crowdfunding section of the new platform will allow participants to help deliver energy-efficient stoves to families in Madagascar, help communities in the Philippines build fiberglass boats to withstand climate impacts like Typhoon Haiyan and raise funds to expand and conserve the iconic Table Mountain National Park in South Africa, with many more projects to come.

“Earth Hour gives you the power to inspire anyone, even if you’re just one person, and Earth Hour is much more than an hour. There are great projects from the crowd, for the planet, happening all over the world,” said Emma Stone.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb is the first celebrity ambassador to announce the Earth Hour Blue project he is backing, which aims to provide better equipment for WWF Rangers protecting Indonesia’s endangered wildlife such as the Sumatran Tiger, Elephant, Rhino and Orangutan and their forest habitat.

“Earth Hour is a movement full of Super Heroes – people harnessing the power of the crowd to inspire change for the good of the planet, imagine the possibilities when we come together and do more,” said Marc Webb.

Earth Hour has grown to involve hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life across 7000 cities and towns and 154 countries and territories. Jamie Foxx who plays the villain Electro in the film said, “Earth Hour isn’t just about lights off; it’s about people across the world coming together throughout the year to join forces to improve the planet. Never underestimate your power, never underestimate what you can do.”

Individuals can also use Earth Hour’s crowdsourcing platform for Earth Hour Blue, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world; including an Instagram campaign for people to share their love of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, as part of WWF-Australia’s “Lights Out For The Reef” theme for Earth Hour 2014.

Global participants in the movement will also be able to sign the Shark Saver’s “I’m FINished With FINS” pledge, which engages celebrities and public figures throughout Asia to help end shark finning in marine waters for the consumption of shark-fin soup.

“The idea of Earth Hour has grown beyond anything we could have dreamed. This year with the help of Spider-Man by our side, we are taking the movement to the next stage. We hope that Spider-Man will empower individuals to be Super Heroes for the planet, and use their voice or their dollar to support projects or campaigns around the world. It’s about harnessing the power of the crowd. That’s what Earth Hour Blue is all about,” said Ridley.

Sony Pictures Entertainment will join by contributing to a WWF-China and Earth Hour Blue project that provides efficient cookstoves to prevent deforestation in the habitat of the Giant Panda. Through its efforts, the studio will receive Gold Standard carbon offsets that render the entire physical production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well as its publicity tour, carbon-neutral.

Expanding on many sustainability efforts over the years, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the most eco-friendly tentpole production in the history of Columbia Pictures. These environmental efforts, on set and off, were supported at every level – from producers, studio executives, and cast and crew and began as soon as the film went into pre-production.

“Spider-Man’s always been a very relatable Super Hero. Peter Parker is a hero to all people, and an inspiration, so it seems very fitting that he should join forces with Earth Hour to empower every single individual to help save the planet,” Blake added. “I’m also very proud of the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is entirely carbon-neutral. We made a commitment to be as eco-conscious as possible during production itself, when we took a special effort to think green and avoid waste; now, completing that process with Earth Hour Blue is a wonderful testament to what we can achieve when we all work together.”

Laying the Smack Down on ComicCon

by Stacey Longo

 

I am a well-educated, fairly dignified woman. I read Faulkner and Hemingway and have studied the morphological and chemical variations of the common dandelion. And, as anyone who has ever been to a convention with me can tell you, I totally geek out when it comes to meeting former wrestlers.

For me, wrestling is a fond childhood memory, dating back to the time when my father would take my sister and me to the Glastonbury High School gym to watch Bob Backlund wrestle Ray “The Crippler” Stevens. There’s a special love there, one that nobody likes to talk about, but is recognizable in other wrestling fans when they let slip that yes, they have always wondered how George “The Animal” Steele got his tongue so green. (The answer: spearmint Chiclets, which I learned after meeting him at the Southcoast Toy and Comic Show.)

At Rhode Island ComicCon, I had the pleasure of meeting Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. For those of you who don’t know who these men are, you’ve probably already given up on this article anyway, so I don’t feel I need to explain.

Wrestling superstar Jake “The Snake” Roberts stated in casual conversation that he’s feeling great, is drug free, and recently lost 40 lbs. He’s an advocate of DDP Yoga (www.ddpyoga.com) and highly recommends the workout and meal portions that the program teaches. He was animated and enthusiastic when talking, and it was wonderful to see Roberts looking and feeling well.

Hacksaw Jim Duggan handles the wrestling panel himself. Photo by Jason Harris.

The wrestling panel that was scheduled for Sunday afternoon turned in to a Q & A session with WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. (Originally, the panel was to include Roberts and wrestler Big Van Vader, but Roberts had to leave early to catch a flight, and Vader was a no-show.) Duggan has been wrestling for 33 years, and his love of the business was evident in his enthusiasm and the beaming smile he wore while talking about his career. He was friendly and articulate, occasionally breaking out into his Hacksaw persona to emphasize a point. Duggan patiently answered questions about his former employers (both the WWE, which Duggan states “is run like a corporation, which it should be, because it is one” and the WCW, which he recalled as “the inmates running the asylum.”) He spoke about former coworkers Andre the Giant (“he was a lonely man”) and Hulk Hogan (“he’s a real good guy”) with fondness. As with any employee at a company, he didn’t always get along with the people he worked with, but was a gentleman when former opponents he didn’t care for came up. “We aren’t close,” he would explain if someone asked him about a specific wrestler he didn’t get along with, and would deftly move on to the next question.

Duggan’s achievements in the ring include winning the first (then-WWF) Royal Rumble in 1988 and WCW Television Champion and United States Heavyweight Champion. He named his 2011 WWE Hall of Fame induction as one of his proudest achievements. When asked about the 1997 “Montreal Screw Job” (in which WWE Champion Bret Hart was asked to drop the belt to Shawn Michaels prior to Hart’s exit to WCW, which Hart refused to do; WWE owner Vince McMahon called for the bell early even though Hart hadn’t submitted, ending the match) Duggan surprised the audience. “I actually think Bret was wrong,” he admitted. “If the boss tells you to drop the belt, you drop the belt.” Hart hadn’t wanted to lose in Canada, his home country. “I don’t want to lose in America,” Duggan laughed. “But you do it because the boss tells you to.” Duggan and Hart have spoken about the incident and remain friends. Duggan is also close to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Hogan.

Author Stacey Longo geeking out with Hacksaw at the Rhode Island Comic Con. Photo by Jason Harris.

Duggan ended the hour-long session by allowing fans to get their picture taken with him, a big-hearted gesture considering other celebrities were getting $10 to $20 on the convention floor for photos. Meeting both Roberts and Duggan was a thrill for this particular wrestling nerd, and the highlight of my weekend.

Side note: I was able to meet Big Van Vader briefly at this event as well. We aren’t close.