A group of scientists from the university of Graz, Austria has found a promising active substance against skin cancer. Black skin cancer is one of the most malignant types of cancer. Nonetheless if it is cut out soon enough it can be cured well. The Lot-root plant as known from Traditional Chinese Medicine now promises a way to cure the disease even when the skin cancer is cut out too late. Experiments with mice have already been successful.
Organically farmed foodstuffs contribute to water, environmental, climate protection and species conservation. Mineral fertilizers as used with conventional farming methods end up easily in the ground water as they are well soluble in water. Industrial farming causes erosion of the soil. Creation of humus by organic farming improves the quality of the soil, it stores considerable amounts carbon, reduces CO2 in the air and better protects from floods and high water. Organic farming can do largely without poisonous pesticides due to crop rotation, undersown crops and the avoidance of large monocolutures. The article from the Guardian does harshly criticise the high subsidies for meat production relying on huge amounts of imported soy crops which are predominantly genetically manipulated and which cause the clearance of large areas of primeval forests. One pound of meat requires ten times more land than vegetable products. The consumer does not pay the true costs of the large amounts of industrially farmed meat. The huge amounts of manure from industrial livestock farming end up in the ground water of Europe.
Marianne Grimmenstein has given us a few interesting sources about the Amazon, the Fires and the Mercosur trade deal. Most of the content can be auto-translated into English. The third article (Don Quixote on the Amazon) comments quite tellingly that the actions intiated by most NGOs are not prone to cause a sufficient change to the better. If the Mercosur trade deal is rejected that may prevent a future deterioration but it yet does not change the status quo. Austria has already rejected Mercosur in the European Council. Some investors have already started to withdraw from their engagements in Brazil. Finally if you speak German you may read quite an entertaining adventure of someone who has visited the Amazon (zeit.de).
confinedrv is now part of the diskutils package. It newly contains programs for backing up and restoring sparse files, for binary diff and patch, for generating sha256sum lists and experimental scripts for shredding (safe delete) a disk installation. confinedrv itself has been extended for functionality to back up and use a whole partition table including intermediate spaces and for verifying, restoring and blanking the boot sector of a disk against boot viruses and malware.