In the fragile Amazon River basin, for example, there are hundreds of artisanal mines where workers pour mercury, cyanide, and other chemicals onto gold-rich areas to extract the metal. Once the mine is exhausted, they abandon it and move on, leaving behind a toxic soup of contaminants.
"Basically a plant will take up anything that's in the soil," he says. Corn and canola have a natural ability to take up huge amounts of metal.
Of course, the crops aren't eaten because they're full of toxic metals. Instead, Anderson harvests them for their minerals as they begin to die. He estimates he can recover 14 ounces an acre and about half as much mercury through this process. Then the gold is used to pay for the cleanup and to educate locals about sustainable agriculture.
During the metal-harvesting, his team trains local people in farming techniques, so once the land is clean, they can reclaim it and use it for subsistence farming.
- Barry and Alexis finally nagged me into opening up access to our mail server to the outside world so that they can check their mail from home. I installed a POP3-over-SSL server, and it worked great with Mozilla and OSX Mail, but it took a week to figure out how to make it work with Eudora. (Someone please euthanize Eudora, thanks.)
- Before opening up that port to the outside world, I installed a more recent OS on mail server, to avoid the last two years' worth of kernel bugs. I did the install on a new drive in a spare machine. That took 2+ full days.
- When I swapped the new drive into the old box, its power supply chose that moment to up and die.
- While we were distracted by that, the disk in the (completely unrelated) kiosk server up and died.
- Fortunately, I had a backup. Unfortunately, the CD holding that backup had become unreadable some time in the last two years.
- After reinstalling the kiosk server (3+ days), we still can't figure out how to re-build a working kernel for the particular kiosk that drives the video switcher. Consequently, the webcasts have been on one static shot for quite some time.
- Concurrent with all this, we're trying (with little success) to figure out how to get a replacement or my money back for the robo-camera that I bought last month. Yeah, the honeymoon is over. Turns out, this camera loses track of its preset positions every couple of days. When you tell it "position 5", meaning, "point at the stage", instead it points at the back wall, until you re-enter all the positions manually.
Aiming itself at saved positions is like, the one and only function of a camera like this, right?
Returning it is apparently greatly complicated by the fact that two weeks after I (thought I had) gotten it working, I threw away the box.
If I could send a message back in time to myself, to before we opened this place, that message would be, "do not allow any computer in your club more complicated than a non-electric cash register. In fact, consider not having telephones."
But I wouldn't have listened, because I'm a dumbass.