Me want cookie, me drink cookie?

Om nom nom nom! Don’t we wish we lived in Washington State, where researchers have found traces of spices and food flavorings in the waters of Puget Sound.

Via, National Geographic News has reported this delicious water gossip in a November 12th segment of a new series exploring the global water crisis.

University of Washington associate professor Richard Keil said the spices and flavorings vary depending on the time of the year. For example, around Thanksgiving, researchers have detected a spike in thyme and sage; around the Fourth of July, waffle-cone and caramel-corn byproducts surge.

Keil and his research team have been tracking the “pulses” of food ingredients that enter the Puget Sound. They found that of all the food ingredients detected, artificial vanilla is most prevalent in the sound. The team found an average of about 6 milligrams of artificial vanilla per liter (mg/L) of water sampled; the region’s wastewater effluent contains more than 14 mg/L. According to the story, “This would be like spiking an Olympic-size swimming pool with approximately ten 4-ounce (113.4-gram) bottles of artificial vanilla.”

Puts a whole new perspective on the branding of “Dunkin’ Donuts!”

The Visual Water Dictionary: Plume

The Visual Water Dictionary attempts to cut confusion on ambiguous water terminology with easy visual references.

Today’s Term: Plume

Plume is an underground pattern of contaminant concentrations created by the movement of groundwater beneath a contaminant source, with the contaminants spreading in the direction of groundwater movement.  The source site has the highest concentration, and the concentration decreases and dissipates away from the source.

Diagram of a polluted groundwater plume (via

Diagram of a polluted groundwater plume (via

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: F
(Major points deducted for threat to water quality, sneakiness and long-winded disputes over “who’s going to clean up this mess?” )

Often confused with…

A chapeau with Plume by Givenchy (via

A Plume is a feathery accessory attached to a hat or other headgear. This plume floats merrily along with the direction of the wearer, and tends to disrupt the concentration and sight lines of other persons near the Plume’s source.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: B
(Minor points deducted for the laughing and finger-pointing that modern Plume wearers must endure.)

Previous entries in the Visual Water Dictionary:

Mixed Liquor

The Golden Poo Awards. Really.

Toilet humor (humour) has moved out of the school yard and into the studios of some of the UK’s most creative animators. I thought I was good at the potty puns and chuckles, but the threshold has been raised to astounding heights with the winners of the short film “Golden Poo Awards” announced October 15th. In fact, it’s so over the top, I spent a few minutes pondering if it could be some sort of prank!

PooP Creative (really!) and The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) jointly promoted the competition to tackle the serious issues of sanitation and hygiene in an edgy, irreverent and humorous way.

And “the issues” aren’t limited to the poorer, less developed regions of the world. According to the site,

How Dirty Are YOU? More than 1 in four people have faecal matter on their hands! Britain’s 12M cases of norovirus, gastroenteritis, MRSA, E-Coli and now Swine Flu infections are mainly down to dirty hands. (Dirty Hands Study via London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

I think they succeeded splendidly…the films are creative, funny, engaging, expressive and memorable. Following the top 2 entries, see more here at the Golden Poo Awards site.

First Place: Dancing In The Loo by Delphine Mandin

Second Place: A Film About Poo by Emily Howells & Anne Wilkins

Is There Tap Water in a Time Warp?

Travelers must get desperately thirsty zipping through the space-time continuum, and one shouldn’t trust the quality of the tap water in a time warp, I’d think. (The “Doctor” character in the famous British TV series Dr. Who has the power to regenerate his body when near death… I guess that means both he AND his licensed single-use container are recyclable!)

Photo: Approved by Dr. Who water by St. A on Flickr