Thanks, Spammers!

This blog recently surpassed 10,000 spam comments since January 1st. While that can be irritating, not all spammers just dump links for drugs or porn. Some, in fact, have some very nice and flattering things to say about my modest project (although surprisingly little to say about water!) Following, a sampling of spam that has me puffing out my chest, grinning with pride and discovering new opportunities!

Thanks, Katty! Every feedreader software subscriber I get brings me closer to the top!

Da best to you, too! I don’t need a credit card, but can you help me get my HELOC back?

I don’t know about very good movies, but about your web…very confusing, and what’s with all those popups? I couldn’t find where to enter my bank account numbers to get my easy loan!

Sure Gary, I’ll post a bunch more, because I like the way you like me!

You put a blindingly white smile on my face, and that’s a fact, Jack!

You Brits make me blush! (People don’t usually call me beautiful, but do say I have a great personality!) When I need a lease purchase agreement, YOU are my first call!

When you come back again, please bring detailed instructions on how I can get rich from my smart posts!

Not sure I understand your request, but as your treasured patron I’ll do my cute and lovely best!

UPDATE! On the very morning this post was published, I received a spam trackback from a spammer on my spam post! If only everyone were this responsive!

Catering To Your Deep Love of Seafood

Why just dine on fresh seafood when you can dine with fresh seafood? Go ahead, enjoy a “reverse aquarium” dining experience and don’t give it a thought that the act is possibly being witnessed by your meal’s relatives.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s Ithaa undersea restaurant is 16 feet below sea level with stunning views of reef and marine life. Don’t expect to just impulsively paddle into this unique venue without advance reservations, as it seats just 12 guests. Prepare yourself for a depth charge, as meals run between US$120 to US$250. But hey, we’re talking once-in-a-lifetime here, right?

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Ithaa

Your other option for dining underwater is the Eilat, Israel Red Sea Star Underwater Restaurant, Bar and Observatory, with an ocean fantasy decor that will have you scanning the crowd for Sponge Bob Squarepants. This place seats 105 diners with easier-to-swallow price points ($US10 to $20).

Before the restaurant was built in 1998, the site was devoid of sea life, the victim of pollution, sewage and over-development. Over several years, clean up included restoration of the active and colorful coral reef that originally thrived there decades ago. As the habitat was recreated, the fish soon followed.

Red Sea Star Underwater Restaurant, Bar and Observatory

(Read more at trifter.com; more photos of the Red Sea Star are here.)

h2o mp3: Water – Brad Paisley

Here’s the perfect track for the heat apex of summer from country giant Brad Paisley. It makes me wish I could “Drive until the map turns blue” right now! From 2009’s American Saturday Night, the honky-tonky sing-along song Water conjures up every good memory a good ol’ boy might have of good times and water.

Lyrics:
Inflatable pool full of dad’s hot air
I was three years old
Splashin’ everywhere
And so began my love affair
With water

On a river bank with all my friends
A big old rope tied to a limb
And you’re a big old wuss
if you don’t jump in
The water

Yeah when that summer sun starts to beatin’ down
and you don’t know what to do
Grab your swimming trunks
ice up that old igloo
Drive until the map turns blue

Play the track

[audio:http://thirstyinsuburbia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/brad-paisley-water.mp3]

Download Water – Brad Paisley
Low-fi 64 kbps mp3 file for sampling.
Like it? Support the people who make music. Buy this track at iTunes or Amazon.com.

Bonus video: here, Paisley talks about his inspirations for the song. (Regarding the pond that’s on his property: “I work on that pond like most people work on their yards.”)

Chihuly Loves Water, We Love Chihuly

There’s something about Dale Chihuly’s celebrated work that leaves a lasting impression on many people, even those who don’t normally feel a connection with contemporary “art.”  Could it be something in the water? Chihuly states,

“I love to be around water. There is no doubt in my mind that water is conducive to thought. Water allows me to be incredibly creative. The connections between glass and water are so unbelievable and so visual.”

Thirsty in Suburbia intern Virginia Leonard took these photos on a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis this summer. For part of 2006, Chihuly’s “Glass in the Garden” installation here featured stunning  sculptures placed throughout the garden. Following that, several pieces (including Walla Walla and Sunset Herons, shown here) were purchased to remain at the gardens permanently where they continued to leave an lasting impression on visitors.

For more inspiration, see the the phenomenal water gallery at chihuly.com.

Missouri Botanical Garden: The Reflecting Pools and The Climatron (1960) the world's first geodesic dome greenhouse.

"Walla Walla" installation

"Walla Walla", closer: fantastic interplay of shape, light and color.

"Sunset Herons" are displayed inside the Climatron.

"Sunset Herons" are displayed inside the Climatron.

Another Dirty Deed Blamed on Bottled Water

Newsflash! A celeb stoops low and points the finger at everyone’s favorite whipping boy, bottled water! Celebrity gawkers are in a tizzy about photos and video apparently showing an intoxicated Jaime Pressly (a 32-year-old actress on My Name is Earl) urinating in public outside of a Los Angeles bar.

She has issued a denial on her Twitter page, blaming it on the bottle–the water bottle, that is. Her story: as part of a bridal shower dare, she was actually emptying a bottle of water onto the sidewalk.

“Notice my hand in the back? It’s pouring a bottle of water! C’mon guys! Do you think I would really pee in the entry way to the Abbey in broad daylight!”

After videos were posted to YouTube, however, the gossipers aren’t buying it. I don’t see any bottles either! And even if the tale were true, she certainly didn’t recycle that bottle, now did she?

No Dignity in Death for this Water Tower

2008: New construction towers over the old.

2008: The old tower is dwarfed by its still-unfinished replacement.

Cut down like a tree! For those of us who dysfunctionally enjoy watching big things fall, here’s the last misty moments of the 75,000-gallon Huntertown, Indiana water tower. A Michigan contractor charged the city a bargain price of $7,500 for the hour-long job. (My new driveway cost more than that!)

A spiffy new half-million gallon tank had already taken its place, leaving her abandoned and unneeded without even a colorful mascot or civic-booster catchphrase for us to remember her by, shuffled away to the anonymous heap of un-stimulused aging infrastructure.

Video Source: wane.com

Photo source: indiananewscenter.com

Let’s Make Water! Our Naive Hope for the Future

Water Factory by Giuseppe Marcesa

Who places the greatest faith in the ultimate power of science? All the non-scientists, of course! This is why many people don’t worry too much about climate change, water scarcity, fossil fuels, or whatever. Because deep down, we’re SURE that SCIENCE will eventually crack the code with a huge discovery that will fix everything. (Just a matter of money and desperation, correct?)

The right brainers of the world might understand this, but the science-ignorant populace (myself included) have a nagging stupid question: Why can’t we just manufacture some water, cooking up a new mashup of hydrogen and oxygen that will spill forth plentiful bounty from the advanced process water factory?

For the answer, we turn to Why can’t we manufacture water? at howstuffworks.com.

Water is made of two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom. This seems like pretty basic chemistry, so why don’t we just smash them together and solve the world­’s water ills? Theoretically, this is possible, but it would be an extrem­ely dangerous process, too.

To create water, oxygen and hydrogen atoms must be present. Mixing them together doesn’t help; you’re still left with just separate hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The orbits of each atom’s electrons must become linked, and to do that we must have a sudden burst of energy to get these shy things to hook up.

­Since hydrogen is extremely flammable and oxygen supports combustion, it wouldn’t take much to create this force. Pretty much all we need is a spark — not even a flame — and boom! We’ve got water. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms’ electrons’ orbits have been conjoined.

But we also have an explosion and — if our experiment was big enough, a deadly one. The ill-fated blimp, the Hindenburg, was filled with hydrogen to keep it afloat. As it approached New Jersey on May 6, 1937, to land after a trans-Atlantic voyage, static electricity (or an act of sabotage, according to some) caused the hydrogen to spark. When mixed with the ambient oxygen in the air, the hydrogen exploded, enveloping the Hindenburg in a ball of fire that completely destroyed the ship within half a minute.

There was, however, also a lot of water created by this explosion.

STOP RIGHT HERE A MOMENT. Naive question: precision-minded scientists, haven’t you assured us that there is the same amount of water on earth today as there was when the earth was formed? Did the Hindenburg crash, in fact, “create” water? Annnyyywaaayyy….

To create enough drinking water to sustain the global population, a very dangerous and incredibly large-scale process would be required. Still, over a century ago the thought ­of an internal combustion engine — with its controlled repeated explosions — seemed dangerously mad. And as water becomes scarcer, the process of joining hydrogen atoms to oxygen atoms may become more attractive than it is currently. Necessity, after all, is the mother of invention.

Deep Meaning in Japanese Game Show

Let’s play the guess the game show game! I’ve watched this hyperactive clip several times, and have no idea what’s going in this Japanese game show, except that it involves a crazy aquarium toilet, voting by a “local secrets” panel, and an MC with one of the biggest rubber stamps I’ve seen anywhere. And, I think the female contestant “won.” (Whatever it was she was trying to win!) Watch and guess… I’ve storyboarded it below to give you a head start!

To start: The unusual toilet is revealed; contestant (in upper left) is wide-mouth AMAZED!

Wow! Audience and contestants gasp as 3000 is revealed!

Ok, now to the panel, who are all busy punching to vote/rate the toilet.

Calculating...and the panel comes up with a collective "score" which shows on the screen.

This contestant is happy! The light-up big fish must mean something great!

The host dramatically brings down the big stamp!

And then the stamp's mark magically shows up on the screen.

After than, a giant goldfish/koi emerges from smoke and fire behind the host!

h2o mp3: The Drought Song – Carlos Guitarlos

Hard living has taken its toll on Carlos Guitarlos. In the 80s he was lead guitarist and songwriter for the cult-fave Los Angeles group Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs (immortalized by the Van Halen song) and also recorded with Tom Waits and the Breeders. He spent most of the 1990’s just gettin’ by as a San Francisco street musician.

The 2003 album Straight from the Heart marked his personal and career comeback, and he’s reportedly now at work on a new acoustic collection. The bluesy-jazzy Drought Song reveals a raspy, ravaged voice and tepid backup, but it’s honest, sincere and enjoyable just the same.


Lyrics

This is a drought year now
Or so they say
You’ve got to use less water, everyday
Commissioner says he’s trying
You and I know he’s lying
Now it’s near

They say they can seed the clouds, and more in time
If you ask mother-nature, that’s a crime
And if we delay an hour, yes we will feel the power
Don’t you care?

Look at my garden, see how lush she grow
What’s my secret… wouldn’t you like to know?
Well, I’ve just been crying for hours
So we won’t lose the flowers
Don’t you cry

Play the track

[audio:http://thirstyinsuburbia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/12-the-drought-song.mp3]

Download The Drought Song – Carlos Guitarlos
Low-fi 64 kbps mp3 file for sampling.
Like it? Support the people who make music. Buy this track at iTunes or Amazon.com