Breathalyzer for Cancer

Some researchers have produced a prototype breathalyzer that can help detect lung cancer; hopefully this will lead to earlier detection (and thus better treatment). Here’s a short article on it.

They believe the technology could lead to cheap, portable breath-test devices with the potential to save large numbers of lives by spotting cancer early.
The lung cancer biomarkers were found by comparing breath samples from 40 diagnosed patients and 56 healthy individuals.
From the results, the researchers identified 42 “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) present in the breath of 83% of cancer patients but fewer than 83% of healthy volunteers.

Vinegar – The Unstoppable Cleaning Agent

Vinegar has been mentioned on here before, but it’s always good to remind ourselves about the natural powers of vinegar. Today I bring you 30 uses for vinegar around the house.

In the garden/around the house

Kill grass and weeds: Pour or spray full-strength vinegar on grass or weeds poking through your driveway or rearing their heads in other unsavory places.

In the car

Frost-free windows: If you know a chilly night is on the way, you can ensure that your windows will be frost-free when you wake up in the morning. Simply mix three parts vinegar to one part water, and coat your windows with the mixture the night before.a

Good Underwear

Change the world by changing your underwear!

PACT blends social and environmental values throughout its materials, supply chain, packaging and more. The company offers a range of men’s and women’s underwear styles in three designs. Each design is aligned with a nonprofit organization, with 10 percent of each design’s sales — yes, sales, not profits — going toward its associated organization. The underwear ranges in price from $22 for a thong to $28 for boxers.

Behar made the initial three designs for the underwear, creating images to sync up with the first three nonprofits with whom PACT is working: 826 National, ForestEthics and Oceana. PACT plans to add more nonprofits with new designs from other artists and designers, topping off at about eight, Kibbey said.

The underwear is made of 95 percent organic cotton, and 5 percent elastane (a.k.a spandex). They could have gone with 100 percent cotton, which would have made it easy to settle on an end-of-life solution, Kibbey said at a roundtable discussion at Fuseproject’s San Francisco offices today. But they added the elastane in order to give the underwear some stretch, keep it from getting baggy too quickly, and to extend each pair’s life.

In Natural Disasters Regular People Behave Well

This good news is mixed. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans it was announced over the media that people were raping, looting, and causing chaos – this behaviour was grossly exaggerated. Today people tend to assume that New Orleans became a chaotic post-apocalyptic wasteland, those people are wrong – people were in reality very nice to one another.

Except for the police and other people of privilege. That’s the mixed part of today’s good news: people in positions of authority began roaming the city like gangs while other people – average people – helped each other through the disaster.

Read about here.

The story that few can wrap their minds around is that ordinary people mostly behaved well – there were six bodies in the Superdome, including four natural deaths and a suicide, not the hundreds that the federal government expected when it sent massive refrigerator trucks to collect the corpses. On the other hand, people in power behaved appallingly, panicking, spreading rumours, and themselves showing an eagerness to kill and a pathological lack of empathy.

Most people behave beautifully in disasters (and most Americans, incidentally, believe Obama was born in this country). The majority in Katrina took care of each other, went to great lengths to rescue each other – including the “cajun navy” of white guys with boats who entered the flooded city the day after the levees broke – and were generally humane and resourceful. A minority that included the most powerful believed they were preventing barbarism while they embodied it.

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