Energy Saving Day Saves No Energy

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News worth an honorable mention, including word of an attempt to green the planet that didn't quite achieve its aim.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Welcome back to the BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR. We're always online at npr.org, don't you know? Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for some news you can't exactly use, but you like it. You talk about it at the water cooler. You think about it in the elevator. Alison, let's go for a Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

ALISON STEWART, host:

Excellent. Yesterday was Eday in the U.K. It has nothing to do with the e-mail, the electronics - well, a little bit with the electronics. People across the U.K. were asked to switch off any electrical devices that they didn't need. They were asking this for just 24 hours in an effort to save energy, and you know what happened? No energy was saved.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: In fact, consumption of electricity shows yesterday people in the U.K. used a little more energy, by 0.1 percent. Apparently, there's been a difficulty getting people onboard with the whole green movement in the U.K. They thought up this day because there was a poor attendance at that Live Earth concert, and they've been trying to get people involved in energy saving. It's all part of like a program called Planet Relief, and they're kind of having a hard time getting people onboard.

Now the excuse was apparently there was very, very cold weather yesterday.

MARTIN: Lame.

STEWART: So they needed some heat. That's why people needed their heat. The campaign has backing from Greenpeace, (unintelligible) and major U.K. energy companies. Now they just need to get the people onboard.

MARTIN: Yeah, then it'll be fine. So sleeper holds, eye-gouging, gut punches and Andy Rooney coming up on CBS.

STEWART: There will be blood for mixed martial arts fans who will be able to turn to the network in April to get their fix. Why? Because the combination of boxing, karate and wrestling has traditionally been the province of cable and pay-per-view. No longer. The success of pro wrestling has proved there's a market for the violent sport mixed martial art in primetime network lineups.

The writers strike led networks to seek non-scripted programming, and the CEO of Pro-Elite, which is producing the mixed martial arts events for CBS concedes that was, indeed, a factor in bringing the fights to the network.

MARTIN: So you know, if you like that stuff, you're going to get to turn to CBS and watch it.

STEWART: A little more sports news, the Red Sox scored a big win in their exhibition openers, winning 24 to nothing, to zero. I mean, they creamed the other team. Now, it was an exhibition team. You know who they creamed? A bunch of college students. They were playing against Boston College.

MARTIN: You guys are awesome.

STEWART: BoSox pitcher Josh Beckett said it doesn't matter if you're playing in a meaty game or a college team or facing big-league hitters. If I'm out there facing a college team, if I'm out there messing around or something, I might take that into another game.

STEWART: Is your skill that precarious? Is it that fragile? The Red Sox played to win. Josh Beckett struck out four of the six batters he faced. How many of them were even of drinking age?

MARTIN: Yeah, good job, Josh. Good job. Here come the college kids.

STEWART: Now turning to a sadder tale. Mike Smith, the lead singer and keyboardist of the Dave Clark Five - do you remember this band? He's died of pneumonia in London. He was 64. This group, the Dave Clark Five, had a bunch of hits back in the day, "Any Way You Want It," "I Like it Like That," and we've got a clip of a song called "Glad All Over."

(Soundbite of song, "Glad All Over")

STEWART: The band, originally from North London, was immortalized in a 1960 film - 1965, rather, movie "Catch Us if You Can"

MARTIN: They were hugely popular during the British invasion. I mean, they were on Ed Sullivan 10, 11, 12 times.

STEWART: And Smith, he was born in 1943. He started studying classical music at the age of five, and he was admitted to Trinity Music College of London when he was only 13 years old. And after the Dave Clark Five band broke up, apparently he made a good living writing for companies. You know, he was writing for American Airlines, British Airways, Volvo, and even McDonald's. But in 2003, Smith was left paralyzed with a spinal cord injury, very serious, and the pneumonia, which took his life this week, was related to complicated stemming from that injury.

Now another sidebar to this, Smith's band, the Dave Clark Five, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10. So he didn't make it long enough to see that, but remember him today.

And hey, that's your Ramble. These stories and more on our Web site, npr.org/bryantpark.

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