Mysterious Fruits of Water: Dragonfruit

Now that much of the public has deduced that bottled-up tap water might not be their best buy, marketers have responded with value-added flavorings that ostensibly de-commoditize their products. But of course, it’s still brutally competitive in the death-battle for shelf space and market share, so a ho-hum strawberry flavor is just not going to cut it.

So now we see many esoteric fruits of the world lending exclusivity to various bottled waters.

Here’s Organic Water Plus Vitamins with Dragonfruit and Kiwi. (There’s a got-it-all product for you!) I know what Kiwi is, but Dragonfruit? With the aid of we learn:

The pitaya or dragon fruit is a fairly easy to grow tropical to subtropical fruit in the cactus family (HOW IRONIC IS THAT?!) , native to South and Central America. Although It is not of large commercial importance (MAYBE THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE!) , it is fairly common throughout the world’s tropics. It is well adapted to wet climates (MORE IRONY!) as long as its soil (AND WESTERN WALLETS!) has good drainage.

UPDATED: As it turns out, the Dragon Fruit has a very long cultural tradition rooted in marketing! According to the Legend of the Dragon Fruit, from,

The sensation surrounding this fabulous fruit can be attributed to a legend created by ingenious Asian marketers. According to the legend the fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire breathing dragons. During a battle when the dragon would breathe fire the last thing to come out would be the fruit. After the dragon is slain the fruit is collected and presented to the Emperor as a coveted treasure and indication of victory.

Bat Girl Arrested After Scaling Water Tower

Holy Bat-Stunt, this was a great day for the power-quad of water towers, middle-aged women, outlet shopping and Canada! From Rick Vanderline for in central Ontario, Canada, 

A woman dressed as Bat Girl climbed to the top of the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall jut before noon Saturday and unfurled a banner in the name of Fathers for Justice.

Firefighters from Bradford West Gwillimbury used an aerial ladder truck to climb to an upper platform of the tower to bring the unidentified woman down. Before the ladder was raised a lone firefighter climbed up the tower’s metal and spoke with the woman for about 10 minutes.

A large banner the woman hung from the side of the tower, which overlooks Highway 400, proclaimed the cause of Fathers for Justice, a group that has criticized Ontario’s Family Court system as being unfair to divorced fathers. The banner read: Parental Alienation Awareness; Love is For Everyone. The 49-year-old Alliston woman  is now facing charges of mischief as a result of the stunt.

Over at, they’ve got some some exciting first-person perspective on the story:

Paulette MacDonald scaled the tower, outside of the Cookstown Outlet Mall, before 5 a.m. Saturday, but went unnoticed until 11:30 a.m. The 49-year-old Alliston woman said she had to call to mall patrons below to get the attention of mall security.

 “When he looked up at me perched up in the tower his chin hit the ground,” MacDonald said, adding that police and firefighters arrived shortly afterwards. “It was the first time that I’d done something like that. I was very scared, but I was more scared for what would happen to the future of our children.”

The Parental Alienation Canada Blog helps us get a sense of scale with some photos of the scene of the “crime” along with a remarkably prompt same-day press release.

Water Crisis Leaves an Indelible Impression

It’s one thing to say you’re touched and moved by the world water crisis, but it’s a whole different level to be moved enough to put it in ink. On your arm. Permanently. JesseFulton on Flickr explains why he got this incredible indelible tat:

The short story behind the tattoo: a few years ago, I went through a period of being very unhappy and feeling sorry for myself. During this time, I came across a photograph of a woman in Africa drinking water from what was essentially a puddle of mud because she had no access to clean, drinkable water. As I stared at that image, I realized just how lucky I was and how good my life actually is.

That photograph has stuck in my head ever since and the tattoo is a reminder to be grateful for everything I have and to not take anything for granted.

(I later found out that the photo is actually the cover for the book “Design for the Other 90%” and the woman is using a product called the Life Straw.

You know, tattoos are for life. And the sad thing is, even if Jesse is young today I’ll bet that many years from now…even long after we’re all gone… there will still be a need for “The Life Straw” and this tattoo will still be appropriate…which makes this both a depressing and beautiful statement.

Steve Who? And Why is the Quality Dropping?

Who is this “Steve” of Steve Enterprise in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, producing water “by the technology of the United States of America?”

RobbieGates on Flickr photographed this interesting bottled water, “supplied by our hotel and had the curious name “Steve”. We ended up using steve as a generic term for free water supplied by a hotel for the rest of the trip.”

And best of all, “I only noticed when I got home the slogan “The Quality Drops” – perhaps not quite the connotation they were looking for.”

The Codepod Army, Defending your Water

You might be disgusted by this story. But I’m here to defend the recently-maligned codepods and rotifers. They don’t deserve this! They’re not disgusting, they’re misunderstood! You don’t believe me? Just bear with me for a minute.

A story that caused quite a stir this week; from the April 23, 2009 Hartford Courant (Connecticut):

MDC Finds Copepods And Rotifers In Water

After the discovery of microscopic organisms called copepods and rotifers in a Bloomfield home earlier this week, the MDC advised many of its customers to boil their water for one minute before consuming it.

Bloomfield resident Jim Pines found what looked like “tiny polliwogs” about half the size of the tip of a pen on Monday. Hundreds of them appeared to be swimming in a sample an MDC worker took from Pines’ filter Tuesday.

“The guy’s hair stood up on his arms and he said, ‘Stop drinking the water,'” Pines said. “It was completely disgusting. We were drinking them, washing out clothes in them, and it was just completely nasty.”.

Here’s why I ask that you don’t rush to judgement! These codepods come from a family of do-gooder tiny crustaceans that stand ready to GIVE THEIR LIVES for YOUR common good! Are you aware that they’re soliders in the war on terrorism? That they stand (well, swim, really) prepared to defend an attack on your water supply?!

I visited a municipal water quality lab a couple years ago, and one of the things I vividly remember is the surprising sight of tankfuls of CODEPODS. Well, they were water fleas, actually–daphnia to be specific. These little creatures are kept on hand for possible use as bioindicators–species used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem. (Somewhat like canaries, which were once carried into mines to detect poison gasses and warn miners to get out.)

In the wake of heightened security concerns after 9-11, an at-the-ready supply of these tiny animals is one of many security procedures that have been put into place. The lab has a ripe, ready-to-die batch available to go at all times in the event of an emergency, as well as other batches “on deck” in various stages of development. Funny, this lab was about as advanced and sophisticated as it gets, but these little guys are still one of the fastest ways to detect toxins and poisons in a water supply.

Not that I’m recommending that the folks in Connecticut drink the codepod-filled water, but the fact that they’re swimming around in there should be considered a positive sign!

h2o mp3: A Water Song: Extradition

Fair warning, this is a weird one, but I’m posting it today because I’m imagining it’s just the sort of entertainment that likely took place at Earth Day celebrations in the early seventies! From the music blog swanfungus, where I got the track,

“Extradition were an obscure early seventies Australian psych-folk group…What sets them apart is how they shade their haunting and graceful compositions with an adventurous use of natural elements as instruments including leaves, branches, water, sticks and stones along with more exotic instrumentation of Chinese and Turkish gongs, harmonium, harpsichord, tablas and a Lebanese bell tree.”

Father of water speaks
in the whistling spring
drink deeply of the song.
He touched my head with the crown of white
peacefully, peacefully
I was here when the first rains fell
water sings a song

Play the track


Download A Water Song – Extradition
This is a full-quality 7MB mp3 file (because I can’t find anywhere for you to buy it!)

Clean Renewable Rubber Ducky Power

Some outside-the-tub thinking: I found this HUGE fella who’s cute, yellow, and chubby! The artist Florentijn Hofman, well known in his native Holland and throughout Europe, created an actual 100-foot long rubber ducky for ‘Loire Estuary 2007,’ an outdoor contemporary art exhibition in France

OK, so here’s my million-dollar idea©: WHY can’t we put this guy in touch with a group working on tidal energy generation? How cool would it be to have have hundreds of these bobbing in the sea, generating clean renewable power while delighting the populace? How ’bout that, Earth Day celebrants?

Sustainable awesomeness. Just another reason why science and art should knock heads now and then!

But I digress. Here’s a charming description of the work from the artist’s website

A yellow spot on the horizon slowly approaches the coast. People have gatherd and watch in amazement as a giant yellow Rubber Duck approaches. The spectators are greeted by the duck, which slowly nods its head. The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!


Can Water Cut It? See For Yourself!

Will it Blend, Will it Flush, Will the foolishness ever end? Hope not!

We’re written previously about the “Will it Flush?” video, a toilet version of the hugely-popular “Will it Blend” promotional stunt.

Now comes from “Can Water Cut It?” a series in which “Flowman” (described as “the man behind the safety glasses” on the website) demonstrates the raw power of an ultra-high-pressure Flow waterjet to cut an assortment of unlikely objects.

But we’re setting Flowman apart from the other will-it-imitate videos, as he has the interesting idea to cut… a blender! And what a fine, clean cut it is!

The website states “Waterjets can cut almost ANYTHING! Give us your ideas! What do YOU want to see water cut?”

Well, let’s see… the federal deficit? My weight? Red tape? How about “the crap” or “a rug?” What, you have some better ideas?


Top 10 Water Idioms

So, you’re talkin’ water and suspect you’re sounding a bit cliche, using the same old water idioms over and over. Your puns and clever twists seem tired and worn out. At least that’s how we feel sometimes here in suburbia, writing about water day after day.

Time for some “research!” What are the most frequently-used water idioms? The all-knowing Google can tell us! From now on, we’ll avoid these over-used phrases unless we get ourselves in hot water at a disreputable watering hole!

Attention engineers, planners and politicians: One amazing factoid from our research: WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE (#15) is thirteen times more popular than WATER OVER THE DAM (#28). And SPEND MONEY LIKE WATER is the least popular idiom in our study (#31).

Methodology: On April 13, 2009, using the idiom list for the word WATER from The Free Dictionary (, each identified phrase was entered into Google search and ranked numerically.