Par-tay! Croc Inna House!

If you really want to  get the party started, how about throwing on a skimpy bikini and cage dancing on a crocodile trap, like these blon…uh, spirited young Australian ladies? Despite ongoing and frequent warnings in the media and from wildlife officials, it seems the lure of croc-infested waters is too strong for for exuberant partiers and sportsmen to resist.

From a November 19 story at www.netnews.com.au,

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ANOTHER photo has emerged of more “idiots” risking life and limb by larking about atop a crocodile trap in the Territory.

These bikini-clad ladies were spotted singing in the rain, using champagne bottles as microphones, while standing on a croc trap in a crocodile-infested river in Maningrida.

Their mates were in a fishing boat several metres away taking photos.

The image, taken at the weekend, surfaced yesterday – a day after the Northern Territory News published a picture on the front page of two male tourists tempting fate by doing a similar thing at Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu National Park.

The hooligans were laughing and joking as they posed as cowboys riding atop the trap.

Park ranger and crocodile expert Garry Lindner said the behaviour of the men was absurd.

“Crocs are attracted to the bait in the traps, so it is extremely dangerous to fool around like this,” he said.

Read the rest of the story here, where they have thoughtfully included these witty obervations from readers:

One reader suggested the photo caption should have read: “Dinner is served! Tonight’s menu features two courses of stupid.”

And another browser said: “I don’t know about a croc trap but it certainly works as a moron trap.”

Also worth perusing is the “Croc Bait” photo gallery at ntnews.com.au where you’ll find this hysterical photo series with captions: (All photos by Doron Aviguy)

Fisherman Novon Mashiah thinks he's safe from this croc on a Territory river.

Fisherman Novon Mashiah thinks he is safe from this croc on a Territory river.

But the croc thinks he might not be so safe.

But the croc thinks he might not be so safe.

This monster croc came within a metre of making a meal of fisherman Novon Mashiah on a Territory river.

This monster croc came within a metre of making a meal of fisherman Novon Mashiah on a Territory river.

Designer Water is SO Last Year

In 2008 and 2009, Evian partnered with influential international fashion designers Christian Lacroix (2008) and Jean Paul Gaultier (2009) to create limited edition “Prêt-à-Porter” water bottles. (For you non-fashionista types, “Prêt-à-Porter” refers to the mass market version, not the highest-qualtiy, rich-person couture stuff.) Both the Gaultier Version and the Lacroix Bottle are available right now at shopevian.com for $13.95 each.

But fashion is a fickle business, no? That’s why smart shoppers like myself have recently spotted the la-dee-dah bottles at Big Lots and Homegoods (both of which are closeout/discount retailers.)

I’ll be honest: with the talents of two of the world’s most acclaimed designers behind them, these bottles are certainly beautiful. (Gaultier’s frosted ice design is particularly awesome.) I’m going to delight in my 89% discount on designer goods and refill and reuse the sturdy glass bottles over the holidays, paired with some festive bottle stoppers.

But…how shall I maintain my all-tap, all-the-time boycott against bottled water? I’ll be serving these bottles’ original contents to Dixie, the family Labrador. Chacun ses goûts!

For No Debris, Choose DMZ

Entrepreneurship springs eternal when it comes to bottled water, so we’re only slightly surprised that it is now springing from the Korean Demilitarized Zone. That’s right, DMZ water, extracted from that narrow strip that is one of the most heavily guarded plots of land in the world. From the Guardian UK,

South Korea's newest water is bottled near the Demilitarised Zone buffer that has divided the Korean peninsula since 1953. Photograph: LEE JAE-WON/REUTERS via The Guardian UK

South Korea's newest water is bottled near the Demilitarised Zone buffer that has divided the Korean peninsula since 1953. Photograph: LEE JAE-WON/REUTERS

For more than half a century the Demilitarised Zone, the buffer between North and South Korea, has only yielded crops of razor-wire fences, landmines, watchtowers, and squadrons of heavily armed soldiers – until three months ago when the Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co began selling DMZ 2km water, from a spring that flows under the strip. The bottling plant is safely just within South Korean territory but the origin of the water is clear: along with the outline of a bird, the label boasts the legend DMZ. Lee Sang-hyo, a spokesman for the company, explained: “We decided on water from the DMZ because it’s different and the environment there is untouched, so many people think it’s clean.” “Getting the water is not dangerous at all. We worked it all out with the military,” Lee said.

The news tempts us to brainstorm some possible marketing slogans for the DMZ brand (before Watercrunch beats us to the punch!)

  • Water we can agree on.
  • Always True to the Truce
  • Strategically Balanced.
  • Certified Safe, Step by Step
  • Walk the line.
  • All Clear.
  • Continuously Checked and Buffered.
  • Break out of your Borders!
  • Guarded production, safety assured.
  • Exclusive Barb-guard Processing
  • The Conflicted Agree: Choose DMZ

Your Boughs are Green in Plastic Glow

Of all the trees most lovely is this whimsical 2008 installation at the Tanglin Mall in Singapore decorated with artfully-crafted recycled plastic bottles. (I much prefer seeing them on a Christmas tree rather than a grocery shelf!)

Christmas Tree, Tanglin Mall, Singapore, 2008

Christmas Tree, Tanglin Mall, Singapore, 2008

Detail: Christmas Tree, Tanglin Mall, Singapore

Detail: Christmas Tree, Tanglin Mall, Singapore

Detail, Tree Topper

Detail, Tree Topper

Photos by chooyutshing on Flickr, thanks!

2009 Wet and Wild Water Gift Guide, Part 2

The NoPoPo (No Pollution Power) Battery (japantrendshop.com, US $55) charges with almost any liquid out there, from water to beer to cola to….human urine! Charging the NoPoPo is simple: just suck your liquid of choice up with the syringe, then squeeze it into the battery. Besides being incredibly handy, the NoPoPo batteries are also good for the earth, with 100% non-toxic materials and a ten-year shelf life.

Winter is coming up, and it’s time to break out the humidifiers for the cold and dry season. CCP Japan has released the Mini PET Bottle Humidifier (japantrendshop.com, US $117) which lets you recycle your plastic water bottles while keeping the air healthy. Using anti-bacterial cartridges, the humidifier is safe as well, and gives out powerful amounts of moisture in three levels.

Waterproof Headphone System from H2O Audio ($99) The team that developed this item collaborated with gold medal swimmers Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin to develop this swim specific music solution. Features a variety of earplugs sizes and styles, a secure swim goggle attachment system and an ergonomic design.

From the NewYorkerStore.com, small Framed Cartoon Print (14 x 18) – $195.00 (Dutch boy standing by the broken dike filling bottles that say ‘Natural Dike Water.’) Published in The New Yorker 5/20/1991 by Bernard Schoenbaum.

Recycle Water Cuff Links ($18.25) from Bella Moda Artists on Etsy. Each cuff link is carefully handmade using resin, recycled paper and silver plate. Measures 1/2″ and includes gift box. (If you have your own idea and want to personalize your cuff links, just inquire!)

From Aqua Gems at watereducation.org, this Beaded Silver Fish bracelet ($45) has tiny bubbles chased by little silver fish along a length of Bali silver and white turquoise round and heishi-type beads. It measures approximately 7.5″ long and is finished with a simple sterling silver toggle. Handmade in California and from the Pacifica Collection.

From Isotope on Etsy, the Water Cycle T-shirt ($18) features an oversize graphic illustration of our Earth’s Hydrological Cycle. High-quality print in multiple colors with super-soft water-based ink on Unisex 100% cotton Ring-Spun Fitted T-shirt.

Water-themed mugs from Zazzle.com, $13.95 – $17.95 each; Instant Water, I Drank the Water and Conserve Water, Dilute it.

River carpet from Kateha ($509 VAT excluded) Swedish artist Erika Lagerbielke has designed the hand woven River carpet that gives you an illusion of floating water and waves. Available in white/red or white/grey. Made in 100% wool. Hand woven. Size: 170×240 cm.

Liquid Series Lighted Umbrella from amazon.com ($38) Inside its patented chrome housing, this umbrella stores and releases a retractable 6-volt krypton bulb. The light can be turned on or off, simply, using the water resistant push-button switch located in the handle.

2009 Wet and Wild Water Gift Guide, Part 1

The Frog-O-Sphere™ from Brookstone ($39.95) includes 2 aquatic mini frogs, Living Gravel™ and a bamboo plant. Your new little buddies, the frogs, won’t outgrow the tank. Living Gravel™ acts as a biological filter, converting excess food and waste into a soluble form that can be used by the bamboo plant. Just like trees in our environment, the bamboo absorbs liquid and gaseous elements and releases oxygen, which helps the frogs thrive.

The LED Showerhead from Maplin (£29.99) We all like colour in our life and now you can have a kaleidoscope of colours in your own shower! It phases through vibrant green, red and blue to make showering that bit more fun for kids, both big and small! You don”t even need batteries as it is powered by an internal waterwheel – so it”s multi-coloured and green at the same time. Simply connects to your existing shower hose via a universal screw fixing.

Water Pitcher from Design Within Reach ($85) Using Iouseki stones and Binchotan charcoal, the Charcoal Water Pitcher creates filtered, mineral-rich water. The stones come from the mountains in Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. The charcoal is specially prepared for potable water use, and also works as a deodorizer to create odor-free water. In place of filters that need monthly replacement and add to landfill, Iouseki stones and Binchotan charcoal last up to six months (depending on use). In addition to being an eco-friendly solution, this elegant Water Pitcher can go from fridge to table, rather than having to pour the water into a suitable serving vessel. The Water Pitcher comes with one set of Purifying Sticks and Stones; additional sets can be purchased separately. ($25)

Kishu Binchotan (68 euros excluding VAT) from sortofcoal.com soaks up chlorine from tap water while releasing natural minerals into it. Kishu Binchotan softens the water and improves the overall taste. Bottle is mouth blown and is designed by Fragile, Denmark. Sort of Coal is products feature natural handmade active charcoal, so-called White Charcoal that emphasizes both the function and the aesthetic. It looks black, but is called White Charcoal because of its purifying ability and white shine and has been used in Japan for several centuries.

Speaking of Japan, The Japanese company Toto makes a toilet that senses when you enter the room and automatically lifts the pre-warmed lid. Additional sensors next to the toilet activate an MP3 player with 16 preloaded tunes and a media slot for SD cards so you can load in your own music library.

After you’re finished, the toilet automatically flushes and closes the lid. (I don’t know how much or how you’d acquire one this outside of Japan… get to work, there’s a few weeks left!)

The Walking Water Ball from Zorbasia on ecvv.com comes in two sizes, 2.0 or 2.5 meters. It’s made of TPU or PVC. A customized design is allowed, woo hoo!  (size, material, color, logo). Made in Guangdong in China, FOB Price: 200-280 USD. Payment Terms: Bank Transfer, Western Union, PayPal. Delivery Time: 3 days.

Showertime is a simple, battery operated, five minute timer with a blue and red lighting sequence. The lights change from blue to red while showering and flash red during the last 30 seconds. It helps encourage water users to change wasteful behavior in the shower by gently reminding users when it’s time to turn the shower off. It installs quickly and easily with no tools required.

Spirit of Water Barbie doll $68.49 from Amazon.com wears a beautiful turquoise suede dress with a long cream colored fabric belt with fringe. A traditional full-length wrap in turquoise suede with white fur trim accompanies the ensemble. Her long suede boots are the same fabric as the dress accented with white fringe. She wears a choker and a single strand beaded necklace with medallion and feather to complement her outfit. Long brown hair is in two braids, each accented with a beaded hair ring.

She comes with an authentic looking rain stick hat has real sounds. A feathered hair ornament completes her striking Native American look.

These chic tap water bottles from tapwater-bottle.com are made of glass and are 100% recyclable…a moot point, since your recipient will want to reuse them forever.

The bottles are available in two different sizes – 250 mL ($10) and 500 mL ($12). While they’d be easy to carry around with you, glass is of course breakable although these are extra thick and tough.

From uncommongoods.com ($45) This glass and metal faucet sculpture features flowing glass “water” and is handmade by artist Gary Guydosh in Pennsylvania, where glass has a distinctively rich history. The piece is created using classic glassblowing techniques and craftsmanship.

Terra Cotta Water Whistle, $6 from tenthousandvillages.com

Amazing terra cotta whistle imitates the song of birds. For a warble sound fill the whistle with water and blow on it, and have fun experimenting with different levels of water and holding the bird at different angles. Terra cotta bird will also whistle if blown without water. Terra cotta, 4″L x 2″W x3″H, and made in Cameroon.

I Feel Good, I Knew That I Would, Now

Via the post, “Don’t Make That Indian Cry” at wheresmyjetpack.blogspot.com,

Do I recycle? Yes, almost obsessively. But if I were completely honest, I would admit that the activity is more ceremonial than practical. Somewhat like wearing a (non-organic) t-shirt that proclaims, “SAVE THE PLANET!” or tooling down the highway in a hybrid at 70 mph with a “FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE!” bumper sticker.

It’s not a new argument that the costs, energy and yes, water, used to prepare, collect, transport and process recyclables often exceed the resources used to produce new goods. So rather than congratulate yourselves on your recycling prowess, perhaps ask yourself if you really needed to use it in the first place.

So, gotta go now, it is getting dark and I need to plug in the spotlight that illuminates our “WE RECYCLE!’ yard sign.

h2o mp3: Drop of Water – School of Fish

This Boston-based college-rock band School of Fish made a splash with their first 1991 effort but were less successful with their second 1993 album Human Cannonball, from which Drop of Water comes. The band disbanded in 1994. Even sadder–frontman Josh Clayton-Felt then released a solo album in 1996 before succumbing to testicular cancer in 2000 at the age of 32.

Lyrics:

It’s too quiet in my head
I’m not dead, I’m alright
And nothing makes much sense
It was immense to sleep tonight

There’s a rope hanging from the sky
I don’t know why I hold on
The place I used to know
It’s all gone

Hold my breath til I don’t need it
It’s only true if I believe it
To disappear at any minute
In a drop of water
In a drop of water
In a drop of water
In a drop of water

Play the track

[audio:http://thirstyinsuburbia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/09-drop-of-water.mp3]

Download Drop of Water – School of Fish
Like it? Support the people who make music – buy this album or track at amazon.com

Se vedete le immagini saranno hai capito?

If you see the images will you understand?

Choose Italian or English for this terrific water conservation infographic video by Matteo Bonera (website). Or, do as I did and play a little game with yourself if you don’t speak Italian: watch the first video, then watch the second English version to check how close your understanding was using just the visuals, numbers and context clues.

This little exercise will give you a taste of the challenges in successful visual information design…and the skill and talent needed to create it.