HOOT! Phawker’s Climate Change and Phrequency’s Music Reviews

Phawker: Expressing Climate Complexitytheevilsnowman_1

In a recent post on Phawker.com, the site’s loose format allowed for a compilation of blogs and articles that shed light on the issue of climate change, revealing one tangle in the impossibly complicated web of disaster creeping through the atmosphere.

Unusually cold temperatures in various locales this winter have led many to question the dire climate predictions that have been gaining traction in recent years.  These intuitive arguments have been especially forceful from right-wing pundits, readily offering weekly forecasts as counterweights to computer models and general scientific consensus.

In a post titled “Climate: The Winter of Our Discontent,” Phawker offers three sections highlighting the frigid weather from around North America: one post from a blogger showing a caribou frozen in Alaska at -80 degress Fahrenheit, an article from CNN about carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty heaters in Mexico, and a dispatch from the Chicago Tribune regarding freezing deaths in Wisconsin.  These articles are followed by a blurb from the Philadelphia Inquirer noting cold local temperatures as well as a graphic with today’s Philadelphia forecast.

After the weather observations, the post changes course and provides an excerpt from the BBC about a recent U.S. Dept. of Energy report that warns of irreversible damage due to climate change.  The post goes on to highlight the apocalyptic views of renowned atmospheric scientist James Lovelock, who predicts that climate change will reduce human populations to a fraction of their current numbers by the end of the century.  This negative note is tempered in the post’s final link, which leads to a New Scientist article detailing the potential for human beings to avert climate catastrophe by controlling the carbon cycle through the practice of turning agricultural waste into charcoal.  This blurb and link came complete with a snappy diagram of the Carbon Cycle.

While a bit disjointed, this post highlights the potential for Internet news sources to compile relevant material and allow the reader to come to their own conclusions.  The inclusion of a Philly weather report adds unexpected local color and practicality.  The very general facts about climate change are now beyond dispute: the release of fossil fuels through human activities is a dangerous wrinkle in the climate system and unwelcome changes are on the way.  But the severity of the problem and the timeline on which it will play out are far less certain.  Very bad things indeed, but will it be submerged-Atlantic- City-bad or Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome-bad.  The mosaic of material offered by Phawker.com does justice to the problem’s complexity and is a service to concerned Philadelphians.

Phrequency.com

It’s safe to presume that the lifestyle of a musician is not an easy one, especially the beginning stages. Phrequency.com was started to help promote the more local musicians in Philadelphia, striving to get some sort of spotlight.

Under the punk genre, Phrequency writes a review about a gig at the Barbary in Philadelphia. I love the descriptions used by the writer. I would have been able to imagine the artist even with out the pictures to the right, but they do help. The quotes put in were good also. They were casual, but captured a simple love and anticipation for music from the artist. When reading throughout the article, you can discern that the writer, Steve, is pretty familiar with the type of music he was listening to that night.

The writer also is not some who “butters up” the artist, and calls out his flaws when seen. You can count on him to be objective, and give you all views in a short number of words. After reading this article, the reader can get a good idea of who the two acts were, and how the show went. That’s all you really need in a music review, and it was done well.

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