h2o mp3: We Have No Water Here: Hearts of Palm

“We have no water here and everybody knows it.” This lyrical snippet dances through my head at least a couple times a week as I read more and more on water scarcity panic attacks.

Hearts of Palm is a band from Denver, and a very good one, too–they were voted the No. 1 band in Colorado, according to the 2008 Denver Post Underground Music Poll. (Read more about them in this Denver Post story. or visit their myspace page.)

This house is empty and this cause has been abandoned
You’ve walked away from everything you’ve had your hand in
The bridge is burning and all you can do it watch it
We have no water here and everybody knows it
You’re hanging by a thread and everyone can see it’s wearing thin

Play the track


Download We Have No Water Here – Hearts of Palm
WOW! This band generously offers a free download of the entire EP which contains this song. Get “The Bridge” EP at the band’s website, www. heartsofpalm.com.

Please, Give It A Second Thought

This double-taker was spotted at my local drugstore. Propel declares their product is now delivered with 33% less plastic. The proud declaration is displayed on a big, colorful hunk of…. plastic. (And, it’s the kind of plastic apparatus that’s been known to choke and maim animals.) Please, Propel, give this a second thought.

*Flippant footnote: Propel is NOT water. It is a vitamin enhanced water beverage. So there.

Remember what happened with Tang

If you were living in America during the sixties, you know what I’m talking about. Tang. That nasty-tasting, gritty-grainy pseudo-orange powdered breakfast beverage from Kraft that was a commercial flop until it swept the country after it’s endorsement by NASA. It rocketed to success with the Gemini flights in 1965, followed by many years of “spacey” advertising tie-ins, like this magazine ad (via askville.amazon.com).

This 1984 TV commercial chirps,  ♪♫”Wake up your day the astronaut’s way”♪ …


Fast forward to last month, and observe the astronauts on the International Space Station toasting the successful testing of the wastewater recycling system with a drink of recycled urine water.

Hey, toilet-to-tap proponents, uh, I mean, “Groundwater Replenishment” supporters, couldn’t this work again? I mean, if astronauts could help Kraft sell that orange gag-in-a-glass, why not recycled water? Lightning could strike twice! If it’s good enough for the astronauts, it’s good enough for your family! ♫ ♪”Hydrate your day the astronaut’s way…” ♪

This photo (and story) from myfoxdc.com

International Poo News: These Stories are Moving Fast

For the First Time Ever, Donuts Actually
Hamper the Movement of Poo

You know what a couple of greasy donuts can do to your digestive track. Just imagine what a whole plant-full could do to a sewer system.

May 29, 2009: Fairfax County (Virginia) is suing Krispy Kreme doughnuts for alleged damage to its poo pipes…clogs that resulted in raw sewage leaks that shut down the southern Fairfax sewer system. The suit was filed after Krispy Kreme refused to pay a $1.9 million bill for repairs to the system. The lawsuit says the damage was caused by “excessive quantities of highly corrosive wastes, doughnut grease and other pollutants.“

PUNCH LINE: The county says its workers once ran a closed-circuit camera inside a pipe to show the grease deposits, but the camera got stuck in the goop.
SILVER LINING: The Krispy Kreme goop could be used to prevent sewage from entering streams or waterways.

Read all about it here. Photo: New York Magazine

Poo in the Bayou, “We already used to it.”

May 29, 2009: At the Wilkerson’s Memorial Day Cookout in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, some uninvited guests have floated by from the nearby ditch water. Over the weekend, rain pushed more than 30,000 gallons of raw sewage into the streets.

Mobile County Resident Belinda Wilkerson says, “You don’t know what the hell’s in them sewages.” She’s not shocked, either. “Yeah, I know what they talking about cause you can see it any time it rains. All that nothing but human waste laying out.”

In fact, people in these parts aren’t even fazed by stormwater back-ups nor are they anxious about long-promised upgrades to the old and inadequate sewage treatment facility.

PUNCH LINE: Local resident Alisha Harbison says.”We already got used to it. What’s the difference. I mean, we already used to it.”
SILVER LINING: The local wastewater utility has no difficulty hiring workers who will dig in and do the dirty work.

Read all about it here. Photo: NBC15online.com

International Public Housing Update:
Amenities Included, Infrastructure Optional.

May 26, 2009: In Kuatan, Malaysia, Abdullah Salleh and his wife were thrilled to be moving into a new house provided under the Hardcore Poor Development Programme (PPRT).

Upon moving in their new quarters, though, they discovered they needed to employ old methods to answer the call of nature, i.e., digging holes in his backyard.

The house DOES have a toilet. But the house DOES NOT have pipes to bring in water and to remove waste water.

They were forced to dig a well by the side of his house and use a pump to fill pails and containers with water for bathing, cooking and washing clothes. Seems the contractor built the washroom and toilet but failed to equip them with a sewage system and piped water. Abdullah understandably is “worried that human waste might contaminate our water supply and make us sick.”

PUNCH LINE: Inderapura assemblyman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif points out that, “Abdullah actually lives with his in-laws at their home nearby.”
SILVER LINING: Abdullah has a unique opportunity to become closer to his in-laws.

Read all about it here. Photo: The New Straits Times

Aerial Penguin Poo a Scientific Triumph

June 2, 2009 via AP – In remote Antarctica, researchers have been unable to figure out just where colonies of emperor penguins live and if their population is in peril. But Eureka! Scientists have discovered they can  track the penguins by following their excrement from space.

Because the large penguins stay on the same ice for months, their excrement stains make them stand out from space. Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey found by accident a reddish-brown streak on the colorless ice when they were looking at satellite images of their bases.

The stain was penguin excrement (particularly smelly stuff) and it gave researchers an idea to search for brown stains to find and track penguins. They found the same telltale trails all over the continent. Using satellite data, the scientists found 10 new colonies of penguins and overall, 38 colonies were spotted from above.

PUNCH LINE: One noted researcher said that salty penguin poo, over time, will corrode one’s boots, adding that he has lost nearly a dozen pairs to it in 35 years of penguin research.
SILVER LINING: Using satellite technology, researchers can wear more stylish boots.

Read all about it here. Photo: geocities.com

Bottled Water, Same Old Story

Back we go, more than a century, to this nostalgic photo of the Italian Festa, Mott Street, New York City, May 16th, 1908.

It’s fun to zoom in and study the details. And what’s that there to the right? Why, it’s our turn-of-the-century bottled water vendor, probably ready to serve up better-than-tap refreshment to festival-goers. Just like today! (Though we’d never criticize the 1908 populace for partaking… no one’s nostalgic for the tap water back then!) Note the handy bottle supply, hygienically stored on the open-air wagon top!

The orginal photo is a 5×7 glass negative from the George Grantham Bain Collection, via Shorpy. (Here, you can view this image in high-resolution and take in many more of the Roosevelt-era details.)

I was unable to resist the urge to annotate in some way, soooo..