Book Review: Climate Cover-Up

Climate Cover-Up:The Crusade to Deny Global Warming
by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore,
Greystone Books, $15

It is no accident that about 41 percent of our fellow Americans believe that the seriousness of global warming is being exaggerated. It’s hard to believe that there’s any doubt anymore—it’s like believing that smoking doesn’t cause health problems.
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Book Review: Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries
by David Byrne 
Viking, $25.95

In the early ’80s, David Byrne rediscovered the bicycle. It quickly became the Talking Heads frontman’s primary means of transportation around New York City. Soon after, he began taking a fold-up bicycle with him on tour for downtime explorations. A practice born of convenience, cycling through unknown terrain fostered a profound connection between the artist and his bicycle.

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Handmade Holiday: Food in Jars

Learn to have a can-do attitude

Featured Artisan: Marisa McClellan

Knowing where your food comes from makes it taste better, and being part of the process is even more rewarding. That's where home canning comes in. It not only preserves garden fresh foods through the winter months but also gives you complete control—and might even save you a few bucks.

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Handmade Holiday: Glass Blowing

This year, create your own ornament

Featured Studio: Hudson Beach Glass 26 South Strawberry St.

A combination of science and art, glass blowing may seem like an unattainable and exotic skill. The technique, which involves inflating molten glass into a bubble using a blowpipe or tube, can be a bit intimidating. But, at Hudson Beach Glass, the magic of playing with hot glass is within reach. Opened last October by Sean Gilvey, a third generation glass blower, and his wife Emily, the shop not only produces beautiful glass products but hosts demonstrations and instruction.

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Handmade Holiday: Pottery

Play in the mud, make unforgettable gifts

Featured Studio: The Clay Studio 137-139 North 2nd St.

The Clay Studio's ground floor houses a vibrant gallery of pots, mugs, jewelry and decorative items produced by expert artisans, but the building also hosts three floors of studio space, with artists hard at work. Open since 1990, the studio offers a variety of classes and workshops at all levels, taught by both visiting and resident artists.

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Handmade Holiday: Knitting and Sewing

You are 90 minutes away from knitting your first scarf

Featured Stores: Loop 1914 South St. / Spool 1912 South St. 

Craig Rosenfeld worked in property management before opening Loop in 2005. “I had been knitting for a few years and was looking to make a career change,” explains Rosenfeld. The colorful storefront on South Street is a full service shop that carries yarn for hand knitting and crochet, needles, hooks and finishing services—everything a potential knitter could possibly need.

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Handmade Holiday: Brewing Beer

Amaze your friends and brew your own

Featured Store: Home Sweet Homebrew 2008 Sansom St.

Philadelphia's first brewery was erected in 1683, and by 1793, Philadelphia was producing more beer than all the other seaports in the country. That tradition lives on today in our award-winning local breweries and a growing number of enterprising homebrewers doing it for themselves.

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Profile: Folk Fight

Philadelphia’s Joshua Marcus—and his banjo—campaign for environmental justice
by Lee Stabert

They say use what you got. For Philadelphia’s Joshua Marcus, that happens to be a banjo and a connection to the socially-conscious folk music of another era. Armed with those tools, he has completed This Land, a collection of seven songs and oral histories recounting the specific stories of local environmental justice movements.

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Profile: A Man for All Seasons

Marvin Dixon takes lessons learned on a farm to the luxury hotel business
by Char Vandermeer

If the typical luxury hotel is a gaping hole of conspicuous consumption, then Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel is anything but. With its hugely successful composting program, a commitment to reusing cooking oil, an aggressive commingled recycling program and a brand-new cogeneration system, it sticks out like a green thumb.

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Jobs: A Matter of Degrees

The old Frankford Arsenal is now home to solar panel installation training
by Tim McCullough

A warehouse sits along the banks of Old Frankford Creek, in the Bridesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia. For a century and a half it was part of the Frankford Arsenal, manufacturing ammunition and weapons parts for the military. Opened in 1816, the Arsenal was a linchpin of Philadelphia’s economy for generations, providing muskets during the Battle of Gettysburg and ammunition for both world wars. But, by the late ’70s, the Arsenal wasn’t producing much anymore.

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Recycling Challenge: Your Holiday

What to do with your trees, lights and wrapping paper

When I was young, my family had a semi-official competition for the prize-winning bow each year at Christmas. The contenders would tirelessly toil away on their masterpieces, and the winner would be appropriately admired, photographed and stored away until the next year, when it would be resurrected to adorn a less important package than the one it graced the year it claimed victory.
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Energy: Season of Lights

Boathouse Row’s signature style goes green…red and gold
by Lee Stabert

The lights of boathouse row are iconic Philadelphia—they get top postcard billing alongside the Liberty Bell and the Art Museum steps. So, you can imagine the fuss a few years ago when they decided to change them, replacing every bulb with an energy-efficient, long-lasting LED.

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New Business: Honest Tom's Taco Shop

A young restaurateur provides a moveable feast

The latest trend in Philadelphia’s food scene doesn’t involve fancy menus, ambience or flashy table service. It’s all about inventive, concise options, convenience and parking—though not for the customers. Food trucks are taking the city by storm, and we’re not talking about your average hot dog cart.

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News: Harvest Time

With help from a USDA grant, PHS Launches the Community Grower’s Alliance
by Lee Stabert

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Over the three-year lifespan of the grant, PHS will use the money to expand City Harvest, its expansive urban food growing program, through the creation of the Community Grower’s Alliance. 

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From the Editor: A Hands-On Holiday

When I was a kid, the holiday season was all about the gifts. I remember them well: baseball gloves, bikes, electronic games. As the publisher of Grid, I wish I could tell you that all of that stuff didn’t make me happy—but that would be a big fat lie. Each year, my favorite gift and I were inseparable; it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. And the sweet anticipation the night before! My siblings and I were caught in a negative loop, so eager for the next day to arrive that we couldn’t sleep, thus prolonging our waking agony.
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