Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

Eco goats in action Image copyright Other

A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

They are known as the Eco Goats - and they are very much in demand. A herd of about 70 goats has been gobbling up unwanted vegetation and invasive species growing on America's East Coast. Andy, a tall goat with long, floppy ears, was, like the rest of the herd, originally bought to be butchered. But he had a lucky escape when owner Brian Knox discovered the goats' hidden skills. "We got to know the goats well and thought, we can't sell them for meat," he says. "So we started using them around this property on some invasive species. It worked really well, and things grew organically from there." One of the reasons goats are so effective is that plant seeds rarely survive the grinding motion of their mouths and their multi-chambered stomachs - this is not always the case with other mechanical or chemical techniques, which leave seeds in the soil to spring back. "I'd love to say I invented it, but it's been around since time began," adds Knox.

The goats fighting America's plant invasion

Weight and see

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From feast to famine - scientists say we should forget about the latest weight-loss fad - our genes, hormones and psychology may already have worked out what diet is best for us. The latest weight-loss theory is that instead of reaching for a one-size-fits-all diet, people should follow one that is tailored to their individual needs. For the first time, leading obesity experts and BBC Science have put this theory to the test nationally. Over three months, 75 dieters were put through a series of tests and monitored at home. The study looked at three types of overeaters - feasters, cravers and emotional eaters. The article includes an online test to find which approach would be right for you. Dave Turner on Twitter wrote: "I reached a low point last night. I lied about my height to a BBC diet app. It still told me I was overweight."

In search of a personalised diet

Home shortage

Image copyright PA

In 2007, the Labour government set a target for 240,000 homes to be built a year by 2016. The UK is nowhere near that. As the country faces up to a house building crisis, the Magazine looks at why it has become so hard to build new homes. The planning system and local opposition to building were two of the main reasons cited. The Home Builders Federation says that while things have improved recently, the planning system is "still far too slow, bureaucratic and expensive". A shortage of available land and the lack of state-built council houses have also been blamed as part of the cause. Duncan Shrubsole, tweeted: "Why can't the UK build 240,000 houses a year? Indeed - great analysis via BBC news. Need state to take a lead."

Why can't the UK build 240,000 houses a year?

Rubber glove rebellion

Image copyright AP

A group of middle-aged cleaners has become heroes to Greeks hit hard by austerity, for refusing to go quietly when their jobs were cut. Their emblem - a red rubber glove making a fist or victory sign - has become a sign of defiance, springing from decades of low-paid work and hard lives as mothers, wives, widows or divorcees. The women, nearly 600 in total, cleaned the finance ministry's offices around the country but were laid off 16 months ago in public sector cuts. They have camped outside the ministry in central Athens since May and their dogged persistence has caught the imagination - and given the government more than a mild headache.

The women giving vim to Greece's anti-austerity movement

The bad book

Image copyright Getty Images

Dr James Murphy translated the first unabridged version of Hitler's Mein Kampf into English. He was a journalist who had lived in Berlin and written a book about Hitler when he was asked by the Nazis to start work on the Fuehrer's book. What followed was an intriguing story - told here by his grandson John Murphy - of copyright worries, sneaking back into Nazi Germany to rescue manuscripts and a Soviet spy. Liew Zhe Rong tweeted: "Relevant to world situation today: to translate or not translate."

Why did my grandfather translate Mein Kampf?

And if all of that wasn't enough, here are some smaller bites for you to enjoy...

How two climbers scaled the smooth rock face of Yosemite's El Capitan, the secret history of Special Brew and what on earth is thundersnow?

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

Roberto Saviano: My life under armed guard - The Guardian

A Wild Goose Chase - www.Eater.com

CrossFit's Annie Thorisdottir: is this the fittest woman in the world? - The Telegraph

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