On My Birthday, This Glass was Half Full

Just what I wanted! This is a water glass I got for my birthday that will work for anyone, regardless of their political bent or outlook on life!

Details: each one reminds me of at least one person I know!

Where did they get it? I asked…it’s right here on despair.com though it looks here to be marketed for other beverages besides water. (Despair.com? Not a site I would have thought this sunny-day person would have been browsing!)

Water and Drought Jokes: How Dry is It?

Drought Turning Texas Dry as Toast: Yesterday I saw this headline on MSNBC (via WaterSISWeb) so that’s my cue to dig up my collection of “It’s so dry…” jokes.

So dry the birds are building their nests out of barbed wire.
So dry the Baptists are sprinkling and Methodists are spitting
It’s so dry that the Catholics are giving rain checks.
So dry the catfish are carrying canteens.
So dry the trees are bribing the dogs. (variation: It’s so dry that the trees are whistlin’ for the dogs.)
Its so dry here that the fire hydrants are chasing the dogs around.
So dry my duck don’t know how to swim.
It’s been dry so long we only got a quarter inch of rain during Noah’s Flood.
So dry I’m spitting cotton.
Dry as a powder house.
Dry as the heart of a haystack.
Dryer than a popcorn fart.
It’s so dry that the cows are giving evaporated milk. (variation: So dry the cows are giving powdered milk.)
It’s so dry the fish are knocking on the door, askin’ for a drink of water.
It’s so dry here the all the fish have ticks.
It’s so dry the Red Cross has launched a wet blanket appeal.
It’s so dry you’re only permitted to eat watermelon between 8pm and 8am.
It’s so dry the government has announced a water pistol buy back scheme.
It’s so dry, crooks are siphoning off radiators instead of gas tanks.
It’s so dry, they’re encouraging people to pee in the pool.
It’s so dry, all the Baptists are converting to Catholic.
It’s so dry, the the dogs are marking their territory with chalk lines.
It’s so dry they’ve had to close two lanes at the swimming pool.
It’s so dry the river only runs twice a week.

All new, original! A few more I thought of while writing this post:

So dry we’re fishin’ on lawn chairs with slingshots.
It’s so dry we went rafting on hand trucks.
So dry the water tower was held up at gunpoint.

Sources: collected from all over, including here, here, here, herehere and here!

The Visual Water Dictionary: Mixed Liquor

We’re workin’ hard to educate the general public on nuances in the world of water language! The Visual Water Dictionary attempts to cut confusion on water words and terminology with easy visual references. (Thanks to Kristy Henry for suggesting today’s entry!)

Today’s term: Mixed Liquor

1. In wastewater treatment, a mixture of activated sludge and water containing organic matter for activated sludge treatment in an aeration tank.
Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: B (points deducted for general grossness.)
This Mixed Liquor looks like this:

Wastewater treatment Mixed Liquor (City of Auburn, IN)

Mixed Liquor in a wastewater treatment plant

2. Alcoholic beverages which contain alcoholic liquids that are distilled, not fermented, and one or more other ingredients. Note: may or may not contain water.
Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: A (dependent on individual use/misuse).
This Mixed Liquor looks like this:

Preparing Mixed Liquor Beverages

The Visual Water Dictionary: Oasis

In our ongoing mission to educate and inform the general public on nuances in the world of water language, a new feature: the visual water dictionary, which will attempt to cut confusion on selected water words with easy visual references.

Today’s word: Oasis

1. a fertile tract in a desert where the water table approaches the surface.
Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: A
This oasis looks like this:

Huacachina (Peru)

Huacachina (Peru)

2. A British rock band that occupies a big chunk of space on my iPod. No relevance to water.
Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: A-
This Oasis looks like this:

UK band Oasis

UK band Oasis

3. A Middle Eastern bottled water brand featuring a cute palm tree “i” in its logo.
Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: C- (Points gained for tap water scarcity in arid desert locations.)
This Oasis looks like this:

Oasis brand bottled water

Photos: huacachina from thecontaminated.com, oasis bottled water from johnallan199on Flickr.

Dam That Nuisance Hudson River!

The Bronx is up and the Battery’s… um, where? From the March 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix, a billion-dollar proposal (in 1934 dollars!) that should have even modern-day developers and speculators indulging in insane profiteering daydreams.

If this plan seems a bit over the top, the article notes, “Engineers uniformly agree that there are very few problems which can successfully defy the determination of civilization to conquer.” Dam right! (At the www.blog.modernmechanix.com, you can read the original 5-page article here.)

PLUG up the Hudson river at both ends of Manhattan . . . divert that body of water into the Harlem river so that it might flow out into the East river and down to the Atlantic ocean . . . pump out the water from the area of the Hudson which has been dammed off … fill in that space . . . ultimately connecting the Island of Manhattan with the mainland of New Jersey . . . and you have the world’s eighth wonder ”the reconstruction of Manhattan!

That is the essence of the plan proposed by Norman Sper, noted publicist and engineering scholar. It is calculated to solve New York City’s traffic and housing problems, which are threatening to devour the city’s civilization like a Frankenstein monster.

Assume the Lunch Position

Filed under “we know what they meant,” here’s a tortured translation from a Costa Rican water slide attraction. Safety first, as the “bad use of the water slide can produce injuries.” (Hard to read, I know…click for full size.)

Photo of precious travel memories shared by Erica Severson on Picasaweb.

Four Corny Water Jokes

Since THE INTERNET overtook our lives, we miss those old-timey, hokey jokes. You remember… the kind  that came straight from someone’s mouth, face-to-face. The not-really-funny jokes that were made hysterical with huge dramatic overkill. No hyperlinks or email chains, it was first-person skilled delivery, timing, and frequently, alcohol.

If I could, I’d tell you these four water jokes over a beer or two or three!

The King of a primitive but strategically-important third world nation visits the U.S. for the first time. As the King was being wined and dined by US officials in a four-star restaurant, his thirst was huge but he was distrustful of the water he was being served by the over-gratuitous staff. He quietly instructed his servant  to go and fetch him a glass of water. Time and again, the King motioned his servant to fetch more water, and he would scamper off and return with yet another glass.

On the fifth trip, though, the servant returned empty-handed. “You wretched man, why have you returned without what I ask?” demanded the King. “I beg your forgiveness, O Illustrious One, stammered the servant. “When I returned to the well, the white man was sitting upon it!”

A BLONDE WHO’S PREPARED: A guy notices that his new blond girlfriend brings two glasses to bed each night, one empty and the other filled with water. “Why do you do that?” he asked. She answered, “Well, if I wake up i the middle of the night, I don’t know if I’m going to be thirsty or not.”

THE CURE: A man goes to his doctor because he’s been feeling very ill for days. The doctor examines him, leaves the room and comes back with a large assortment of pills. He says, “Take the green pill with two big glasses of water when you get up. An hour later, take the white pill with another glass of water. Take the blue pill with a big glass of water after lunch. Mid afternoon, take the orange pill with plenty of water, and repeat that at dinner. Then, just before going to bed, take the red pill with several big glasses of water.”
The man is alarmed at huge volume of medicine he has been given to take, and nervously asks, “What’s the diagnosis? What’s wrong with me?” The doctor says, “You’re dehydrated.”

BEDTIME NEGOTIATOR: A father sends his kid to bed. Five minutes later, the boy screams downstairs, “Dad! Can you get me a glass of water?” The dad says, “No. You had your chance.” After a minute the boy screams again, “Dad! Can you get me a glass of water?” The dad says, “No. I told you, you had your chance. If you ask one more time, I’ll come up there and spank you.” After a short silence, the father hears, “Dad! When you come up to spank me, can you bring me a glass or water?”

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

I Hope They’ve Been Chlorinating

It’s Memorial Day weekend! That means Americans are heading en masse to the pool. Hopefully, many of that masse will take this article from cnn.com to heart, and resist the temptation to keep the party rolling non-stop by peeing in the pool.

Although urine in the water probably will not cause swimmers to go to the emergency room, it causes “more of a respiratory, ocular irritation: the red puffy eyes or a cough, an itchy throat,” said Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist in the division of parasitic diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” A big health message is not to urinate or pee in the water.”

And it happens far more frequently than water-lovers would like to think. In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted in April and May, 17 percent admitted relieving themselves in a swimming pool. Even the Olympics’ most decorated swimmer, Michael Phelps, confessed to urinating in the water to TV host Jimmy Kimmel in a 2008 interview.

And if that’s not enough to put a damper on this weekend’s pool party fun, the survey

found that 11 percent of the surveyed adults said they have swum with a runny nose, 7 percent with an exposed rash or cut and 1 percent when ill with diarrhea. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Suddenly, a 3.1% margin of error seems HUGE! But never mind, I’m being a party pooper, aren’t I? (pun score!) Dive in anyway, and here’s a soundtrack for some summer fun: “I Peed in the Pool,” a bad-taste parody of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.” (You can buy the mp3 here if you’re so inspired!)

Lyrics include: I peed in the pool and I liked it, It saved me a trip to the toilet
I peed in the pool ‘stead of waiting, I hope they’ve been chlorinating