Snow From Sewage, Extreme Antibiotics, and Houses That Make Us Sick

In this week's round-up of landscape reads, we've got sacred grounds, coffee grounds, and camping grounds.

Skiing on Sewage

The Arizona Snowbowl is a ski resort outside of Flagstaff that has, despite its name, been having trouble getting snow. For the past several years, they've been making artificial snow from the city's reclaimed sewage water, which doesn't so sit well with the Hopi who consider the peaks to be sacred ground. Naturally, a lawsuit is now snaking its way through court. [High Country News]

Cleaning Up Streams With Mushrooms?

A group in Oregon has a fun(gi) idea: use mushrooms to filter out toxins and bacteria from stormwater. Last week, a bag with yellow oyster mushroom spawn was placed in a drainage chute to kick off the project. This being Oregon, the bag was a burlap one that used to hold coffee beans, and the mushroom spawn itself is growing in coffee grounds. [Corvallis Gazette-Times]

The Extreme Quest for New Antibiotics

The first antibiotic was discovered by accident in a petri dish, but the next one could be discovered deep in an ocean trench, in Antarctica, or in the highest-altitude desert in the world. As resistance grows to more and more known antibiotics, scientists are going to the ends of the earth in search of new drug compounds. [New Scientist]

What Happens When Your Own House Makes You Sick?

When journalist Jill Neimark developed a sensitivity to chemicals that rendered her incapable of living anywhere indoors, she turned to camping. We should all try living outdoors, she writes, rendering a lovely essay from what may seem like a clichéd exhortation. [Aeon]

Image: As it's been observed, Sochi is one of the least snowy places in Russia. With the Olympic Games due to start next month, the city has been hoarding, buying, making, and asking shamans for snow. This photo taken in Sochi in April shows insulated blankets that were used for storing snow over-summer for the winter Olympics. (AP Photo/ Nataliya Vasilyeva)