Road Rules: Help with Highway Hydration

No wonder folks are confused! Following, some snapshots from my recent road trip from Kansas City to Chicago. Certainly, more information is better than less but I REALLY want to know…WHO, for example, would fill their water bottles from an oil and gas-splattered spigot at a fuel pump?

We spotted this at a gas station in Don’t-Know-Where, Missouri. In this town I concede that if you are parched, it is OK to bend the rules a little and head inside the C-Store for some bottled water.

Similarly, travelers are advised not to quench their thirst from a crumbling island in a remote Iowa rest stop. (I think the top sign must mean that RV’s should sink their lines and extract some fresh ground water instead. Oops, I meant groundwater.)

At another Iowa rest stop, though, this helpful signage points thirsty people to the bathrooms. (I might add that there were NO helpful signs on the toilets, like these, to dissuade people who might confuse the loos with the promised fountains.)

And at the Chicago IKEA (Bolingbrook, IL), helpful instructions in this bathroom floor display. This sent my imagination flying – there must be experiential reasons for this sign to exist, and I’ll bet some IKEA employees have some troubling stories to tell on why the sign is critical. (The stiffer acetate sheet used here has given me an idea on how to implement a 2010 technical improvement on the April Fools Day Toilet trick!)

You Know You’ve “Made It” If You’re Glacier Bathing

And you’re 100% right, I do! (Should I be worried that I’m gaining a reputation for ridiculous water ideas?)

The tinyurl points to

Forget about drinking bottled water—now you can bathe in it! Based on the 10 Thousand BC brand of fine imported water, Glacier Bath hails from the Coastal Glacier Range in British Columbia, Canada. It can be shipped in bulk to “health-conscious and environmentally-aware high-end urbane sophisticates.”

And if bathing in ancient glaciers is aimed at “high-end urbane sophisticates” there’s bound to be an insane press release somewhere, right? And here it is! You can suffer the entire release below, but following are my favorite pee-are highlights!

…Luxury Water Utilities, LLC, a California-based sustainable water resources service company…
When life hands you climate change, make glacier-ade!

…Glacier Bath™ system — an environmentally friendly hydration service…
I think they mean “friendly” in the Facebook sense.

…premium glacier water. Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years…
Hello, do you have Sir Glacier in a can? Well let him out!!!

Glacier water is superior to common water sources, because it is not filtered through the ground where a variety of dissolved solids and organic particles such as rocks, sand, metals, chemicals and underground pollutants can attach to each water molecule.
I’m trying to imagine a rock attached to a molecule.

…fine waters from rare water sources from around the world that are guaranteed 100% natural in composition
That is, guaranteed to be two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.

Fine Water Imports Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada,
I should have guessed! It’s the global center of water sustainability!

Following, the entire tortured text:

Glacier Bath– The Perfect Balance Between Luxury and Health!
MARINA DEL RAY, CA–(Marketwire – June 4, 2008) – Luxury Water Utilities, LLC, a California-based sustainable water resources service company, in association with Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd. and Fine Water Imports, Inc., announces the global launch of the exclusive Glacier Bath™ system — an environmentally friendly hydration service designed to integrate high-end luxury homes, residences and suites with premium glacier water. Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years, the sub-Arctic ranges in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, and carefully retrieved from the rapid descending flow of melted glacier ice, this pure protected under-melt is the most natural ancient source of water in the world.

Glacier Bath™ offers luxury connoisseurs the opportunity to control and choose their own water source for their primary hydration needs. We offer a rear water source that is free of contaminants, naturally oxygenated and rich in natural ionic content. Glacier water is superior to common water sources, because it is not filtered through the ground where a variety of dissolved solids and organic particles such as rocks, sand, metals, chemicals and underground pollutants can attach to each water molecule. It is essentially an exclusive worry-free water source — clear of heavy chemicals, drug residues, jet fuel, toxins, dust particulates, etc. — unlocked from glaciers that are over 10,000 years old. Not only will our clients be able to drink and bathe in this premium untainted water, they can also breathe indoor air that is hydrated or humidified with pollution-free water. The water is naturally soft at 1.08 grains of hardness — no water softer needed — and there is no sodium in the water, unlike desalinization which has high sodium contents.

This exclusive water service is for the sophisticated consumer that desires the constant benefits of natural spa living while balancing the demands of corporate and business engagements within metropolitan environments. “It is a privilege to be able to offer our luxury clients around the world, the ability to create an oasis of relaxation and calm in a stressful, toxic world within their very estates,” says Andrea Bates, Vice President of Source Glacier Beverage Company.

Glacier Water, based upon the exclusive 10 Thousand BC™ brand and exclusively marketed by Fine Water Imports, Inc., embodies the essence of a new generation of luxury and elegance. The light, smooth and crisp taste of this premium glacier water can be enjoyed everywhere in your home, penthouse or apartment without a bottle!

Glacier Bath™ represents the nexus between luxury, comfort and peace of mind. Introducing this luxury service as a high-end real-estate amenity offers a personal and private retreat — a 21st Century solution for the health and environmentally conscious. Glacier Bath™ will transport and deliver the purest all-natural water, harnessed from pristine sub-Arctic environments, and supply suites and residences on a subscription basis, at a competitively matchless cost.

Lincoln Wentworth Lawson, Chairman of Luxury Water Utilities, LLC., stated: “We are very pleased to be partnered with Fine Water Imports, Inc. and Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd for the past few months. Our team is dedicated and focused on satisfying the needs of our high-end clients interested in a healthy lifestyle, without compromising comfort.”

Mr. Steve Stucker, President of Fine Water Imports Inc., stated: “We firmly believe this is a world first offering of its kind and we see only long-term value for our stakeholders as the world-wide exclusive company to market this rare water resource by both Luxury Water Utilities and Source Glacier Beverage Company.”

Fine Water Imports Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the world’s largest importers of premium fine waters. Importing only naturally pure, healthy, fine waters from rare water sources from around the world that are guaranteed 100% natural in composition and sourced from locations far away from man-made chemicals and pollutants. These fine waters once discovered are carefully tested, harvested, bottled, and packaged in environmentally friendly, fully recyclable glass and plastic, directly from earth and meet or surpass all federal water safety guidelines. Fine Water Imports Inc. ( is the exclusive marketing agent for 10 Thousand BC™, bulk water sales, a product of Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd., of Canada.

Water Nonsense into Water Good Sense

Can an offensive, stupid ad campaign spark positive action and good deeds? Yes indeed, it’s all in a day’s work here in water blog-land. I recently posted this entry on WAT-AAH!, a bottled water brand aimed at brainless parents and their spoiled-senseless kids. Aquadoc at WaterWired picked up on the entry but with an important addition that I missed:

Sure, it’s better than caffeine-spiked, sugar-laden soda, but then again, 5W-30 motor oil is probably better, too. How about good ol’ tap water? … [snip] … give the money you save to a worthwhile cause like Peter Boddie’s The Kasiki Project.

WAT-AAH good idea! I’ve made a donation today, because it’s a wonderful cause AND it makes me feel like there’s at least one blessed reason for the despised WAT-TAH!!! to exist. Wouldn’t that make you feel good, too? Yes? So, go do it!

WAT-AAH Crock! Parents Completely Abandon Parenting

We’re not into the rant-and-complain blog style around here, but this has got to be among the most annoying, grating campaigns and product positionings I’ve ever seen.

The ridiculously-named company Let Water Be Water, LLC is responsible for,

WAT-AAH!, the first sugar-free, functional water brand made specifically for kids by kids and their mothers.

Which is a contender for the single most preposterous statement in the history of PR flackery. (Thanks, fathers, for not participating in this.)

And if that’s not low enough, they shamelessly announce in this press release their “New WAT-AAH! Challenge…”

…to defy the expectation that kids will pick soda or juice over water. During the month of March, mothers who participate in the challenge will receive WAT-AAH! samples with instructions to put the bottled water in their fridge, alongside sodas and other sugary drinks. Mothers will be asked to write, photograph and videotape their kids’ responses and reactions to WAT-AAH!. “Challenge” participants and ongoing results are available at
“We want to challenge the preconceived notions people have about kids and drinks,” says WAT-AAH!’s founder, Rose Cameron. “Our goal is to test the assumption that kids are addicted to sugar and think water is boring. We are confident that children will pick WAT-AAH! over the big guys with multi-million dollar beverage budgets and logos that believe they are ‘cool,’ and we invite moms everywhere to participate in this challenge.”

So, set up the fridge like this, parents! The little ones will pick the water every time, you’ll see! (The only thing this promotion proves is the lengths some people will go to get some free bottled water.)

Had enough? No? If you’re masochistic or in extreme-procrastination mode, you can visit their screechingly-bad website, filled with fingernails-on-the-blackboard declarations like “Be Supaah! Jump Highaah! Be Smart-aah!”

If all this fails, modern parents, try my method (with your kids’ permission, of course.) It’s been successfully road-tested on my three children and millions of others: “Soda? NO WAY-AHH. Here’s your tap WAT-AHH.”

h2o mp3: When the Water Rise Up: Max “Bunny” Sparber

From his eclectic blog 50000000 Sparber Fans Can’t Be Wrong, the artist posts this song, noting “a re-recording of my song “When The Water Rise Up,” done as a sort of jug band gospel tune. With the Red River flooding, it seemed somehow appropriate.”

Thanks for that Mr. Sparber. Everything’s better with music, even a flood.

When the levee bow, When the water rise up
When the water rise up, When the water rise up
Got no place to go, When the water rise up,
When the water rise up, When the water rise up

Play the track


Download When the Water Rise Up – Max “Bunny” Sparber
128 kbps Mp3 file is also available as a free download at 50000000 Sparber Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

(If you like the track, say thanks on his blog or on twitter:

Smoke on the Water

High praise for this creative packaging! I regret that I am unable to translate the Chinese label for you, as you’re likely as curious as I am about the production details for this bottled water, including any possible additives! From the Flickr photostream of The Study Abroad Experience… and what a colorful cultural collage of an education it must have been!

The Information Age Fulfills its Promise

I am awed by the realm in which we live. Why? Because in our time, in this place, there exists the wonder of an April Fools Day Database, a “catalog of April Fool’s Day hoaxes, pranks, and related events throughout history, categorized by year and theme.” This international cultural treasure is maintained at the also-venerated modern marvel

I would recommend that every netsurfer worth their salt kill an entire workday browsing this incredible resource. But for now, on this special day, I have gathered those listings relevant to our beloved dihydrogen oxide.

Super Pii Pii Brothers (2008)
ThinkGeek wrote about an unusual new Nintendo Wii game: Super Pii Pii Brothers. It was described as an “Amazing Virtual Pee Experience from Japan.” Prepare yourself by strapping on the included belt harness and jacking in your Wiimote. A series of toilets are presented on screen and the challenge is to tilt your body to control a never-ending stream of pee. Get as much pee in the toilets as you can while spilling as little on the floor as possible.

Toilet Internet Service Provider
Google announced a new technology called TiSP that would allow it to provide free in-home wireless broadband service. TiSP stood for “Toilet Internet Service Provider.” Users would connect to the internet via their bathroom’s plumbing system. Installation involved dropping a weighted fiber-optic cable down the toilet and then activating the “patented GFlush™ system” which would send the cable “surfing through the plumbing system to one of the thousands of TiSP Access Nodes.”

Google promised that it would provide a higher-performance version of the service for businesses which would include “24-hour, on-site technical support in the event of backup problems, brownouts and data wipes.”

Overweight Canal-living Ducks (2004)
British Waterways released a study claiming that a study conducted by Dr. Olaf Priol had found that ducks who lived on canals weighed, on average, a pound more than ducks who lived on rivers. The slow-moving canal water apparently provided the ducks with less opportunity for exercise, and so they gained weight. The study had an embargo date of April 1st (meaning that the media was not supposed to make it public until then), but the BBC, believing the study to be real, broke the embargo and discussed it earlier.

Catfish Licking (2000-2005)
This article discussed how Gulf Coast teenagers had been licking catfish in the hope that it would make them high. A follow-up article revealed the source of this strange behavior–an April Fool’s Day joke published in Sport Fishing magazine five years prior.

OK, listen up catfish lickers. You’ve been punked. There’s no hallucinogen in the slime.
A Florida magazine editor said he made the story up five years ago for an annual April Fool’s special – and somehow it just kept on going…

He [Doug Olander, editor-in-chief of Sport Fishing magazine] claimed the catfish goop was popular among college kids, who called themselves “slimers” and paid as much as $200 for a fresh catch. The slime was supposed to produce a “whisker-lickin’ good” trip that would give users the sensation of being under water. He attributed the information to University of Florida scientist Dr. Benjamin Joon.
As in “Benny & Joon,” the romantic comedy with Johnny Depp.

Solar Complexus Americanus (1995)
The Glasgow Herald described the recent arrival in Britain of a new energy-saving miracle: heat-generating plants. These plants, known by the scientific name Solar Complexus Americanus, were imports from Venezuela. One plant alone, fed by nothing more than three pints of water a day, generated as much heat as a 2kw electric fire. A few of these horticultural wonders placed around a house could entirely eliminate the need for a central-heating system, and when submerged in water, the plants created a constant supply of hot water. The Scandinavian botanist responsible for discovering these hot-air producers was Professor Olaf Lipro.

Submarines Secretly Patrol Thames (1989)
The Daily Mail reported that government submarines had been secretly patrolling the Thames every night for the past six months. Apparently the Royal Navy had replaced the Thames Water staff with its own personnel in order to maintain the secrecy of the patrols. A picture of a submarine photographed in Henley accompanied the article.

Hong Kong Powdered Water (1982)
The South China Morning Post announced that a solution to Hong Kong’s water shortage was at hand. Scientists, it said, had found a way to drain the clouds surrounding the island’s peak of their water by electrifying them via antennae erected on the peak. The paper warned that this might have a negative impact on surrounding property values, but the government had approved the project nevetheless. Furthermore, more clouds could be attracted to the region by means of a weather satellite positioned over India. And finally, as a back-up, packets of powdered water imported from China would be distributed to all the residents of Hong Kong. A single pint of water added to this powdered water would magically transform into ten pints of drinkable water. Hong Kong’s radio shows were flooded with calls all day from people eager to discuss these solutions to the water shortage. Many of the calls were very supportive of the plans, but one woman pointed out that the pumps needed to supply powdered water would be too complicated and expensive.

The Michigan Shark Experiment (1981)
The Herald-News in Roscommon, Michigan reported that 3 lakes in northern Michigan had been selected to host “an in-depth study into the breeding and habits of several species of fresh-water sharks.“ Two thousand sharks were to be released into the lakes including blue sharks, hammerheads, and a few great whites. The experiment was designed to determine whether the sharks could survive in the cold climate of Michigan, and apparently the federal government was spending $1.3 million to determine this. A representative from the National Biological Foundation was quoted as saying that there would probably be a noticeable decline in the populations of other fish in the lake because “the sharks will eat about 20 pounds of fish each per day, more as they get older.“ County officials were said to have protested the experiment, afraid of the hazard it would pose to fishermen and swimmers, but their complaints had been ignored by the federal government. Furthermore, fishermen had been forbidden from catching the sharks. The report concluded by again quoting the National Biological Foundation representative, who said that “We can’t be responsible for people if they are attacked. Besides, anyone foolish enough to believe all this deserves to be eaten.“

The Sydney Iceberg (1978)
A barge appeared in Sydney Harbor towing a giant iceberg. Sydneysiders were expecting it. Dick Smith, a local adventurer and millionaire businessman (owner of Dick Smith’s Foods), had been loudly promoting his scheme to tow an iceberg from Antarctica for quite some time. Now he had apparently succeeded. He said that he was going to carve the berg into small ice cubes, which he would sell to the public for ten cents each. These well-traveled cubes, fresh from the pure waters of Antarctica, were promised to improve the flavor of any drink they cooled. Slowly the iceberg made its way into the harbor. Local radio stations provided excited blow-by-blow coverage of the scene. Only when the berg was well into the harbor was its secret revealed. It started to rain, and the firefighting foam and shaving cream that the berg was really made of washed away, uncovering the white plastic sheets beneath. (Photo #1 from

Water to be shut off (1965)
Printed leaflets were distributed throughout Stockholm informing people that the water company was soon going to cut off the water. Housewives were urged to fill the bathtub and whatever containers they had with water while “certain adjustments” were made to the water system. The water company, after receiving hundreds of calls, eventually issued an official denial, blaming the leaflets on an unknown prankster. [Appleton Post-Crescent, Apr 1, 1965.]

Runaway Missile (1959)
The Light of San Antonio, Texas published a story about a huge army missile that had accidentally escaped from Kelly Air Force Base during testing, “screamed over San Antonio,” and crashed into a water tank near Trinity University. An accompanying picture showed the missile embedded in the ground as water from the tank poured over it. An Airforce Colonel was quoted as saying, “We’re spending a great deal of money and much of this nation’s international diplomacy is based on the armed strength this and other units like it achieve. So I hope you’ll understand why I have no more time for this damned April Fool gag.”

Philadelphia Sea Monster (1936)
The Philadelphia Record ran a picture titled, “Deep Sea Monster Visits Philadelphia.” Although modern viewers have little difficulty in spotting the picture as a fake, it fooled many of the Record’s readers.

Thomas Edison Turns Water into Wine (1878)
After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, Americans firmly believed that there were no limits to his genius. Therefore, when the New York Graphic announced in 1878 that Edison had invented a machine that could transform soil directly into cereal and water directly into wine, thereby ending the problem of world hunger, it found no shortage of willing believers.
Newspapers throughout America copied the article, heaping lavish praise on Edison. The conservative Buffalo Commercial Advertiser was particularly effusive in its praise, waxing eloquent about Edison’s brilliance in a long editorial. The Graphic took the liberty of reprinting the Advertiser‘s editorial in full, placing above it a simple, two-word headline: “They Bite!”