Nick Rosen |
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elephant girl
Diaz and friend

Actress Cameron Diaz jolted awake an 8 a.m. Stanford University civil engineering class recently. She appeared with architect William McDonough to talk about building designs that protect the environment.

Diaz is yet another champion of Prius power, except on the occasions when she has been photographed riding with her boyfriend Justin Timberlake in his 4 litre Jeep Wrangler. That has a slightly higher appetite for petrol -21.7mpg (combined cycle) to be precise.
But its stars like Diaz and Daryll Hannah who are waking people up to things the politicians would rather they forget.

Diaz’s show for MTV – Trippin – was a brilliant way to cover the environment through watching her and some friends go off-grid in the forest.

Her appearance at Stanford U last month came as part of taping for a new mtvU programme called Stand-In, in which celebrities teach a class. Fear and Loathing in Las VegasDVD Movie starring Cameron – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Diaz served as a sidekick for friend and renowned environmental architect William McDonough, a consulting professor at Stanford.

The 35 students who turned up for Civil and Environmental Engineering Prof Martin Fischer’s Maintaining Sustainable Building Projects class knew something was up when they were greeted by television cameras and a film crew when they turned up for the lecture.

But it was obvious nobody was expecting the leggy star. Students gasped when Diaz greeted the class with ‘Hi, I’m Cameron,’ before taking on the dual role of moderator and motivator. She led discussions among students and discussed the sustainable building movement and other civil engineering ideas aimed at protecting the environment.

After the class, Diaz hung around to snap pictures with students on their cellphones.

Students told The Standford Daily that they were very impressed with the actress’ knowledge of environmental issues.

‘I was impressed more so by how she actually came to campus to talk about sustainability,’ said sophomore Fareez Giga.

‘She provided a lot of good information, especially because I was not as familiar with some of the concepts, and so I definitely learned a lot.’

Diaz’s ‘teaching’ stint follows pop superstar Madonna, who lectured film students at New York’s Hunter College last Tuesday as part of the same mtvU series.

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

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