Start Spreadin’ the News: Codepods

Who can blame New York Citians if they prefer their shrimp on salads and skewers instead of in their drinking water? This is why a loud and collective “Ewwww!” is rising over some recently posted photos of “tiny shrimp” codepods in New York City’s much-praised drinking water. (The issue of codepods has come up before in this blog in the 2009 post “The Codepod Army, Defending your Water). The teeny crustaceans are 1-2 mm in length and feed on mosquito larvae.

The Consumerist helpfully explains that “New York’s water is of such high quality that it isn’t required by the EPA to mechanically filter its H2O, which means you get to gulp down these cute little guys with every glassful.”

Codepods are completely harmless so keep repeating that to yourself as you feast on the fascinating photos. One possible glitch, pointed out by Gizmodo, is that this means NYC’s water might not be kosher. Oy vey!

Having a Ball in Tipton, Missouri

I spotted this peculiar water tower on a road trip last weekend as we passed through tiny Tipton, Missouri (population 3,261 in 2000). The 8-ball design was painted in 1968 by Tipton’s own Fischer Manufacturing Co., a pool table company. The big ball disappeared when the company pulled up its Tipton stakes but the distinctive design has returned in recent years…so with or without the company, Tipton shows its playful side! (You can see more photos and tower trivia at Also, view more water tower ball designs in this October 2009 post.)

trompe loiel swimming pool

World’s Best Swimming Pool for Dry Climates

Now this is a sweet swimming pool for a parched landscape because it uses absolutely no water at all! In fact, it’s a dreamy, creative illusion!

Virginia-based master gardener and talented painter Patty Butters created this trompe l’oeil panorama on top of an existing concrete pad that had seen better days. Nice touch, too, with the inflatable chaises, where guests can relax and float away on a fantasy. I’m sorry that my photos don’t do justice to the “pool’s” realism…during my visit to her wonderful garden, I did not realize the pool was an illusion until I was about 8 feet from its “edge.”  How cool..conceptually-speaking!

trompe loeil painted swimming pool

trompe loiel swimming pool

Trompe loeil painted swimming pool

trompe loeil painted swimming pool

water tower crushes house

We’re Crushed. Really, We Are.

If you think your work day was a little wonky, just be grateful you weren’t in any way involved in this water tower meets residence fiasco! (Despite some quick and not-very professional research, I’ve been unable to determine the location this video was taken.) Thanks to former Thirsty in Suburbia intern Virginia L. for spotting this!

My Favorite (Unofficial) Water Conservation PSAs

Water conservation messages are usually 60% boring and 40% preachy; here are two from Australia created by The Chardonnay Club that are just 100% funny. As you might guess, they are not officially sanctioned and, as one video notes in the endframe, “Never ever will be authorized by the Queensland Government Brisbane.” Maybe that’s why I love them!

The first is a parody of government psa spots that urge citizens to report friends & neighbors for water violations. Just call 1-800-DOBBER (For the non-Australians, a dobber is what we’d call a snitch or tattletale.)

“Warren’s Water Warehouse”  is a hysterical take-off on those low-brow, low-fi clearance sale spots we’re all so fond of…

D’ja Ever Wonder How Much PR Flacks Make?

Several news outlets this week alterted us to the premiere of a new video from the International Bottled Water Association, “The Inner Workings of a Bottled Water Plant. Featuring the de rigueur fresh-faced teen narrator (who begins the clip with the grabby intro, “D’ja ever wonder…”) the video takes the unnaturally-curious teen through the plant with a throbbing club music background beat.

I can’t tell you much more about the video because at ELEVEN MINUTES in length, this was about 9 minutes longer than I personally could bear. ( toughed it out and has a snarky writeup, found here.) Well, can’t blame a flack for trying, right? But sorry, FAIL.

This fellow is the “credible source” offered by IBWA.

A little poking around among IBWA’s other videos unearths some crazier items, like “The Real Story of Bottled Water.” Believe it our not, the video describes the clay-faced spokesbottle shown below as a “credible, informed & charming source.” But I really bolted straight in my chair when I looked at the hands. Why, YES it is! The VERY SAME HANDS of the bird-shooting swag noted earlier on this blog. They are of the same species! I smell a conspiracy.

I looks like this cute little water drop swag is making a rude gesture!

Our Mad Future Foretold in 1971

It’s giddy fun to look at vintage ephemera that predicts the future, usually because the predictions turn out to be so charmingly wrong. This 1971 item from Mad Magazine, though, turns out to be alarmingly right…except for the ultra-convenient home delivery! Four decades ago, a “Scene We’d Hate to See.” Today, a Scene We Wait to See. Mad, for sure!

1971 MAD MAGAZINE Spoof Advertisement Back Page Clean Air Water Milk

From the awesome Flickr photostream of Christian Montone

Party with the Petunias

I’m on vacation right now so I’m coasting instead of posting…but enjoy this entertaining psa from Denver Water from a couple summers ago!

Drunk Flowers: Denver Water by Ad Agency: Sukle Advertising & Design, Denver, USA, July 2008

Itty-Bitty Baths Inspire Daft Designs

While urban dwellers enjoy ready access to city amenities, a trade-off is the distinctly urban micro-bath. Why, I could fit most of these city loos inside my obnoxious suburban garden tub…which I never use, as it requires an obnoxious amount of water!

If you’re dealing with cramped quarters in your citified bath, the solution, as always, is abundant dollars and over-the-top design ideas. Read more