Justin Bieber Gets (Fisker) Karma For 18th Birthday

Justin Bieber gets Fisker Karma!

I am going to assume most readers of my blog are not fans of Justin Bieber.  This might be due to many reasons, but chief among them the fact you were forced to buy his album for your little sister for her birthday.  Well now you have another reason to dislike the teen pop sensation.  He got a Fisker Karma, a $116,000 electric car, as a gift for his 18th birthday on the Ellen Degeneres Show a few weeks ago.

His manager Scotter Braun and Usher gave him the gift, because they know he likes cars but also wants to be environmentally friendly you know.  “Don't get anything flashy!' You know, we're not about that.” said Scotter on the show.  Who doesn't want to be flashy when you are making mad money like Justin Bieber?

Bieber will probably have a hard time looking humble with the Fisker Karma, as this is one badass looking car.  Bieber won't be the only celebrity sporting keys to a Fisker Karma though.  Leonardo DiCaprio got the very first model in July 2011.  (Another reason to dislike him too!)  Politicians who got “Karma's” are former Vice President Al Gore and and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Imagine a drag race between these four!  The Fisker has also appeared on the ninth season of the CBS show Two and a Half Men as the vehicle of choice for Walden Schmidt, played by Aston Kutcher.  (Who replaced Charlie Sheen!)

Even though I don't like the Bieber, it's hard to hate him when you watch the video and see he goes to hospitals to visit fans that have cancer. Argh!  I wonder what Bieber's girlfriend Selena Gomez will think of the new car?  Even if you still don't like Justin Bieber, he's got a good Karma!

Asbestos in Cars

Written by Brian Turner, an Adam's Auto Advice blog contributor 
Most people know that automobiles can be dangerous at high speeds, or when they are improperly operated. However, many people do not realize that automobiles can be dangerous, even deadly, when they are parked completely motionless. Many chemicals go into the making of an automobile, and exposure to many of these substances can have dire consequences. The following is a guide to some of the more hazardous chemical substances used in the construction of automobiles.

That new car smell that everyone is so fond of is actually a nasty chemical cocktail used in the construction of many of the plastics that compose an automobile interior. Three of the worst offenders are chlorine, bromine, and even lead!

Chlorine is used to make a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride, usually referred to as PVC. The chlorine in PVC is responsible for releasing chemicals called phthalates into the environment. These phthalates have been associated with a whole host of medical conditions, including infertility and premature deliveries of babies. Phthalates have also been known to cause problems with the testes, kidneys, blood, liver, ovaries and thyroid gland. The use of PVC plastic in a car is irresponsible by the auto industry.

Automobile manufacturers use bromine to make substances called brominated flame-retardants, usually referred to as BFRs. These BFRs are used as a way to increase the fire safety of the plastics in an automobile. Unfortunately, these BFRs have been associated with many medical problems. They have been shown to lead to problems with the thyroid gland and reproductive health. There is also evidence that they can contribute to learning disabilities and memory loss.

Lead has been known to cause health problems for decades, yet it is still used as an additive in automobile plastics today. It can cause damage to the brain, nervous system and kidneys. It has also been shown to impact reproductive health and lead to learning disabilities.

One of the most disturbing chemicals used in auto part components is asbestos. Although regulated by the government in the 1980s, asbestos is still found in many cars on the road today. It was used in brake pads, hoodliners, clutch linings, gaskets and valves. Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma, which is an extremely deadly form of lung cancer.

All of these chemicals found in automobiles are scary. Manufacturers need to stop using them, and consumers need to educate themselves on how to protect against unnecessary exposure.

Brian Turner is also a staff contributor to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog where he posts about the cancer risks that toxins such as asbestos pose.  

R&H Car Show raises $2,100 for Children’s Guild

The 1st Annual R&H Car Show that took place on July 16th, 2011 to benefit The Children's Guild was a great success.  The staff and coordinators raised $2,100 for the worthy organization.

Over 100 vehicles of all types came out to R&H Toyota's brand new service center in support of the Children's Guild.  Including motorcycles, hot-rods, muscle cars, and imports.  There were 87 participants in the judging portion.  I am sure was quite difficult to judge since they were some amazing vehicles there.  Such as Trevor Boone's '01 Honda Accord with a polk audio system, lambo doors, and playstation.  A beautiful purple Kawasaki ZX1400 owned by Markus with every imaginable upgrade possible.  Some of my personal favorites at the show were a beautiful red Jaguar E-Type, Ford GT, and even a Ferrari.  A certain writer would love to own these!

There were also some great activities at the show.  Both Mobil1 and Shell had racing simulators setup for attendees to try out.  Trying out the simulators was quite fun and more difficult than I thought… just like real racing!  When I exited the Mobil1 simulator the guy exclaimed “Harder then it looks, huh?”  Sure was.  Shell and Mobil1 also had their race cars on display at the show along with the simulators.  It was great to see the vehicles up close.

“This was entirely a employee concept and they worked very hard to put this together.” said David Russell, General Manager for R&H Toyota.  “Everyone knew different people to bring to the show.  Vendors really stepped up to support this as well.”

The Children's guild is definitely an organization that needs people to step up to support it.  It serves the needs of children with trauma disorders, autism, or disabilities in the Maryland and Washington DC area.  Currently they are working on opening up several new schools in the area.  Any added support is much appreciated.

For more information about The Children's Guild please visit:  http://www.childrensguild.org/

Next year should be even better with more cars, meaning a higher fund raising goal.  Mark your calendars!

*Special Thanks to Jan Braverman, coordinator for the R&H Car Show