h2o mp3: Dope in the Water – Steve Anderson

We’re tickled to present you with a world premiere of sorts! The parody song “Dope In the Water” (sung to the tune of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple) was written and performed by Steve Anderson, Water Resources Analyst at Clean Water Services, Portland, Oregon. This is of course a timely issue since the release of the 2008 Associated Press study that claims at least 41 million Americans may be getting a bonus of drugs and pharmaceuticals in their water supply.

Steve Anderson

The song (which is awesomely hysterical, in my opinion!) came to the fore as part of a forum discussion about the use of humor in public communications. The bottom line: no clear consensus. Some communications professionals believe in the power of humor to communicate, some are mildly uncomfortable with the risk and others believe it is often misleading to a misinformed public.

I think everyone knows where I stand! As I wrote on the discussion thread,

I think the point of the song is to change behavior and to promote the safe disposal of pharmaceuticals, which in turn, reduces the treatment burdens. This is the part that the public can control, and thus, an effective message to send.

So thanks, Steve, and we hope lots of people are humming this when they refrain from bad habits that add “Dope in the Water!”

Play the track

Dope in the Water – Steve Anderson

Download Dope in the Water by Steve Anderson (mp3)

Lyrics

We flush them down our toilets
We wash ‘em down the drain
We take ‘em when we feel bad
We take ‘em for the pain
They come to us in the sewers
We’d treat ‘em all but we can’t
When they show up at the headworks
They pass right through the treatment plant

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

And what about them birth control pills?
At the outfall where the effluent swirls
Makin’ changes in the wildlife
Little boy fish look a lot like girls
And then we have our Prozac
Discharged by the very best
Don’t know how the fish like that
At least I guess they’re not depressed

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

My coffee in the morning
Can keep a fish awake at night
Painkillers might make ‘em feel good
But you know it just ain’t right
Cosmetics and perfumes, well
Just add to this witch’s brew
It’s high time to figure it out
Just what the hell this stuff can do

Dope in the water
Hormones in the creek
Dope in the water

Best of 2009: Water Quality Research For and By Dummies

We’re taking it easy the last week of 2009 with reposts of some of our 2009 faves! in case you missed it: Our March 2009 post, Water Quality Research For (and By) Dummies, In which we scooped the New York Times by months with our own exclusive research into tap water quality!

—REPOSTED, Original Link Here
Taste: recent research conducted both in the U.S. and Europe has repeatedly shown that taste (along with safety and convenience) is a leading motivator for the use of tap water alternatives. But tastes like what, exactly? To find out, we’ve done some exclusive research of our own.

Because Thirsty in Suburbia has zero qualifications or credentials to conduct sound, serious research, this “study” is absolutely non-scientific. Plus, since our stimulus check bounced we’re unfunded too!

Never mind, we will press on. Presenting the Google-based Virtual Water Taste Focus Group.

Methodology: In February, 2009 the exact phrase “our water tastes like” was entered into Google Search. 35 total results were returned and 6 were disqualified for syntax, leaving 29 “participants.” (♪ ♫ Don’t know much about science books ♫, but do know our way around Illustrator–so we’ve made a snazzy chart for you!)

1. our water tastes like chlorine
2. Our water tastes like pure and delicious water
3. our water tastes like dirt.
4. Our water tastes like water
5. Our water tastes like the premier bottled drinking water it is
6. our water tastes like shiat
7. our water tastes like dirt
8. our water tastes like tap water
9. our water tastes like dirt
10. Our water tastes like sulphur
11. our water tastes like lake water
12. our water tastes like crap
13. our water tastes like nectar from the tap
14. Our water tastes like the chlorine from a swimming pool.
15. our water tastes like bleach
16. our water tastes like algae
17. our water tastes like chlorine
18. our water tastes like horse s**t
19. our water tastes like it was strained through an ashtray
20. our water tastes like chemicals from new pipes
21. OUR WATER TASTES LIKE SHIT
22. our water tastes like someone dissolved a nickel in it
23. Our water tastes like butt
24. Our water tastes like disinfectant
25. our water tastes like carrots
26. our water tastes like a swimming pool
27. our water tastes like something George Washington himself might take a sip of and die from
28. our water tastes like liquid gold
29. our water tastes like golden nectar

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!

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

Showing Our Butts for Swain

Hello, people of the ADD age? HELLO! What does it take to get everyone to sit up and pay attention to the plight of our oceans and waterways? How about a guy swimming 1000 miles in the less-than-pristine Atlantic, yes ONE THOUSAND MILES- from Massachusetts to Washington DC, through all the rubbish, waste, sewage and toxic godknowswhat that’s now there?

Hello? Are you listening?!? If you haven’t yet heard of Christopher Swain, here are three things you should know.

1. Christopher Swain has begun a 1000+ mile swim from Marblehead, Massachusetts to Washington, DC to raise awareness of the challenges facing the ocean while helping students in over 2,000 classrooms launch projects designed to improve the health of our waterways and our world.

2. Dirty for Swain is an awareness campaign for Swain’s awareness campaign (an initiative supported by Timberland Earthkeepers). It includes a funny video (embedded below) with some lowbrow potty humor demonstrating how some are supporting the cause by “Getting Dirty for Swain”. The website throws down the challenge, “What will YOU do for Swain?”

3. At Thirsty in Suburbia, we’re ALL IN in for lowbrow potty humor, clean oceans and challenges, so we’re “showing our butts” for Swain. That is, we’re taking on this challenge by wearing jewelry made of cigarette butts in recognition of the millions of them that are discarded and leeching chemicals on our beaches and in our oceans and waterways. (We imagine Swain will encounter many thousands of butts during his journey!)

Below, Thirsty In Suburbia interns Virginia Leonard and Martha Leonard are SHOWING THEIR BUTTS FOR SWAIN. (They both report that this smelly exercise did indeed get their attention–Good job, Giant Ant Media–you are decisively speaking the language of our youth!)

Mysterious Fruits of Water: Yumberry

Installment #3! The world’s most esoteric fruits are helping marketers de-commoditize bottled water with mysterious, value-added flavorings.

Here’s Vital Lifestyle Water, a product that jacks up your IQ and memory with a gentle hint of Yumberry! Yumberry is one of the up-and-comers of the “Superfruits.” “Superfruit” is a term coined by marketers (naturally!) that refers to high-antioxident, nutritionally-rich fruits that have an appealing taste.

Yumberry is actually commercial slang for the fruit of Myrica rubra, also called yangmei, yamamono and various types of bayberry and wax myrtle. It is native to eastern Asia, mainly China, where it has been grown for at least 2000 years. There are more than 100 varieties of yumberry including white, pink, red, and purple. (Usually the purple variety is considered the yummiest!)

And, modern-day marketers are pretty late to the party when extolling Yumberry’s health benefits. From www.yumberryjuice.com,

Adapting Yangmei to medication was firstly seen in Shi Liao Ben Cao, a herbal medicine book written by Meng Xian in Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD). According to the Compendium of Materia Medica, a herbal pharmacological masterpiece written by Li Shi Zhen, the greatest herbal pharmacologist in 16th century, Yangmei is able to “eliminate sputum, stop vomiting, helpful to digestion and alcoholic drinking, quench thirst, conciliate the five internal organs, cleanse stomach and intestines, remove the muddleheaded, and be efficacious to cure diarrhea”.

The Eafieft Ways to Raife Water

Today we shew a glimpse into the brainstorms of 18th century water engineers as they struggle with the same-old age-old dilemma of raifing water, courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. This 1701 book is “A Work both Ufeful, Profitable and Delightful for all forts of People.” (Put aside any pressing work you really should do, and instead peruse all the new and rare inventions from this text; Neptune, horses and birds, yea!)

Solar Powered!

Plate IX. To raise a standing water, by means of the sun.

A fuftainable folution!

Plate V. To make a dyal with the course of a natural fountain, the which shall move very true, without being subjec to …

Made the chisel obsolete.

Plate XII. An engine of great service to bore elms or other trees to make pipes to conveigh water, and for other uses.

Note: We are opposed to solving problems by violence.

Plate XXVI. Force-pump, which is one of the best inventions. They can force the water with great violence to 50 or 60 feet…

You Know You’ve “Made It” If You’re Glacier Bathing

And you’re 100% right, I do! (Should I be worried that I’m gaining a reputation for ridiculous water ideas?)

The tinyurl points to Trendhunter.com:

Forget about drinking bottled water—now you can bathe in it! Based on the 10 Thousand BC brand of fine imported water, Glacier Bath hails from the Coastal Glacier Range in British Columbia, Canada. It can be shipped in bulk to “health-conscious and environmentally-aware high-end urbane sophisticates.”

And if bathing in ancient glaciers is aimed at “high-end urbane sophisticates” there’s bound to be an insane press release somewhere, right? And here it is! You can suffer the entire release below, but following are my favorite pee-are highlights!

…Luxury Water Utilities, LLC, a California-based sustainable water resources service company…
When life hands you climate change, make glacier-ade!

…Glacier Bath™ system — an environmentally friendly hydration service…
I think they mean “friendly” in the Facebook sense.

…premium glacier water. Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years…
Hello, do you have Sir Glacier in a can? Well let him out!!!

Glacier water is superior to common water sources, because it is not filtered through the ground where a variety of dissolved solids and organic particles such as rocks, sand, metals, chemicals and underground pollutants can attach to each water molecule.
I’m trying to imagine a rock attached to a molecule.

…fine waters from rare water sources from around the world that are guaranteed 100% natural in composition
That is, guaranteed to be two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.

Fine Water Imports Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada,
I should have guessed! It’s the global center of water sustainability!

Following, the entire tortured text:

Glacier Bath– The Perfect Balance Between Luxury and Health!
MARINA DEL RAY, CA–(Marketwire – June 4, 2008) – Luxury Water Utilities, LLC, a California-based sustainable water resources service company, in association with Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd. and Fine Water Imports, Inc., announces the global launch of the exclusive Glacier Bath™ system — an environmentally friendly hydration service designed to integrate high-end luxury homes, residences and suites with premium glacier water. Locked in an icy vault for over 10,000 years, the sub-Arctic ranges in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, and carefully retrieved from the rapid descending flow of melted glacier ice, this pure protected under-melt is the most natural ancient source of water in the world.

Glacier Bath™ offers luxury connoisseurs the opportunity to control and choose their own water source for their primary hydration needs. We offer a rear water source that is free of contaminants, naturally oxygenated and rich in natural ionic content. Glacier water is superior to common water sources, because it is not filtered through the ground where a variety of dissolved solids and organic particles such as rocks, sand, metals, chemicals and underground pollutants can attach to each water molecule. It is essentially an exclusive worry-free water source — clear of heavy chemicals, drug residues, jet fuel, toxins, dust particulates, etc. — unlocked from glaciers that are over 10,000 years old. Not only will our clients be able to drink and bathe in this premium untainted water, they can also breathe indoor air that is hydrated or humidified with pollution-free water. The water is naturally soft at 1.08 grains of hardness — no water softer needed — and there is no sodium in the water, unlike desalinization which has high sodium contents.

This exclusive water service is for the sophisticated consumer that desires the constant benefits of natural spa living while balancing the demands of corporate and business engagements within metropolitan environments. “It is a privilege to be able to offer our luxury clients around the world, the ability to create an oasis of relaxation and calm in a stressful, toxic world within their very estates,” says Andrea Bates, Vice President of Source Glacier Beverage Company.

Glacier Water, based upon the exclusive 10 Thousand BC™ brand and exclusively marketed by Fine Water Imports, Inc., embodies the essence of a new generation of luxury and elegance. The light, smooth and crisp taste of this premium glacier water can be enjoyed everywhere in your home, penthouse or apartment without a bottle!

Glacier Bath™ represents the nexus between luxury, comfort and peace of mind. Introducing this luxury service as a high-end real-estate amenity offers a personal and private retreat — a 21st Century solution for the health and environmentally conscious. Glacier Bath™ will transport and deliver the purest all-natural water, harnessed from pristine sub-Arctic environments, and supply suites and residences on a subscription basis, at a competitively matchless cost.

Lincoln Wentworth Lawson, Chairman of Luxury Water Utilities, LLC., stated: “We are very pleased to be partnered with Fine Water Imports, Inc. and Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd for the past few months. Our team is dedicated and focused on satisfying the needs of our high-end clients interested in a healthy lifestyle, without compromising comfort.”

Mr. Steve Stucker, President of Fine Water Imports Inc., stated: “We firmly believe this is a world first offering of its kind and we see only long-term value for our stakeholders as the world-wide exclusive company to market this rare water resource by both Luxury Water Utilities and Source Glacier Beverage Company.”

Fine Water Imports Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the world’s largest importers of premium fine waters. Importing only naturally pure, healthy, fine waters from rare water sources from around the world that are guaranteed 100% natural in composition and sourced from locations far away from man-made chemicals and pollutants. These fine waters once discovered are carefully tested, harvested, bottled, and packaged in environmentally friendly, fully recyclable glass and plastic, directly from earth and meet or surpass all federal water safety guidelines. Fine Water Imports Inc. (www.finewaterimports.com) is the exclusive marketing agent for 10 Thousand BC™, bulk water sales, a product of Source Glacier Beverage Company, Ltd., of Canada.

Water Quality Research for (and by) Dummies

Taste: recent research conducted both in the U.S. and Europe has repeatedly shown that taste (along with safety and convenience) is a leading motivator for the use of tap water alternatives. But tastes like what, exactly? To find out, we’ve done some exclusive research of our own.

Because Thirsty in Suburbia has zero qualifications or credentials to conduct sound, serious research, this “study” is absolutely non-scientific. Plus, since our stimulus check bounced we’re unfunded too!

Never mind, we will press on. Presenting the Google-based Virtual Water Taste Focus Group.

Methodology: In February, 2009 the exact phrase “our water tastes like” was entered into Google Search. 35 total results were returned and 6 were disqualified for syntax, leaving 29 “participants.” (♪ ♫ Don’t know much about science books ♫, but do know our way around Illustrator–so we’ve made a snazzy chart for you!)

1. our water tastes like chlorine
2. Our water tastes like pure and delicious water
3. our water tastes like dirt.
4. Our water tastes like water
5. Our water tastes like the premier bottled drinking water it is
6. our water tastes like shiat
7. our water tastes like dirt
8. our water tastes like tap water
9. our water tastes like dirt
10. Our water tastes like sulphur
11. our water tastes like lake water
12. our water tastes like crap
13. our water tastes like nectar from the tap
14. Our water tastes like the chlorine from a swimming pool.
15. our water tastes like bleach
16. our water tastes like algae
17. our water tastes like chlorine
18. our water tastes like horse s**t
19. our water tastes like it was strained through an ashtray
20. our water tastes like chemicals from new pipes
21. OUR WATER TASTES LIKE SHIT
22. our water tastes like someone dissolved a nickel in it
23. Our water tastes like butt
24. Our water tastes like disinfectant
25. our water tastes like carrots
26. our water tastes like a swimming pool
27. our water tastes like something George Washington himself might take a sip of and die from
28. our water tastes like liquid gold
29. our water tastes like golden nectar