A visit to Baotou Lake where rare earth minerals, used in "green" products and electronics, are processed. [more inside]
"What began as a defensive movement by local fishermen has evolved into a complex amalgamation of banditry, organized crime, freebooting, and insurgency targeting all types of vessels from fishing trawlers to oil tankers." Somali pirates holding an American captain hostage were killed during a rescue yesterday. The lack of effective governance in Somalia allows massive vessels from Europe and Asia to decimate the local fish population, which may have forced Somali fisherman into piracy. Other ships use the Somali coast as a toxic waste dump. [previously]
Pork's Dirty Secret is a Rolling Stone expose on Smithfield Foods, the world's top pork processor. via
There's Gold in Them Thar PCs. If you're worried about the growing problem of e-waste, if you don't want to ship your toxins overseas, you now have another option. You can recover heavy metals (precious and otherwise) in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Just make sure you leave a window open so you have some fresh air.
Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise. What have you been up to for the past week? How about the next 6 months? If you're Christopher Swain, the answer is "swimming - and lots of it". Swain plans swim the 1,243 miles of the Columbia River from headwaters to the Pacific over about 180 days. The further downriver he goes, the riskier it gets - aside from the rapids and ocean freighters that await him, he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins - which is the point of the swim, to raise awareness and support for river protection. "I learned that tasting every mile of a river is a great way to build the credibility to speak on its behalf"