Can your iPad do all THIS? I don’t think so!

Note the importance of "this side facing up" lest you accidentally energize the table!

For all the innovative “pads” already devised, be they iPads, bachelor pads, mouse pads, maxipads, whatever…they all pale in comparison to this, the “Drinking Water Energizer Pad.” In the words of its enthusiastic marketer, Dr. K. Kannan (WOW, a Doctor!) on international marketplace www.alibaba.com

After years of Research we have created this sensational Energizer Pad, which we are sure will be the ultimate penacea for many human sufferings.

How, you ask, does this miraculous item work? It’s all based on sciencey-sounding principles:

Universal Energizer Pad is created, based on Indian Vedic Principles and is totally Non Invasive and harmless. It is charged with more than 1 million Angstrom units (Bovis Units) of Positive Energy permanently using the treasure of Vedic Principles.

You want a guarantee? Well, how’s THIS for a guarantee?

THE LIFE OF THIS ENERGIZER PAD IS LIFETIME.

WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! I know you’re already excited, but consider it’s usable not only for water, but for just about anything that can be placed on top of it, rendering a plethora of items (even your mobile phone!) supercharged in a matter of minutes!

WHEN THE ITEM TO BE ENERGIZED IS KEPT OVER UNIVERSAL ENERGIZER PAD: IT

  • Positively Energizes drinking water many times, within 30 minutes.
  • Energized water whwn consumed helps to remove Toxins from body and helps to increase immunity.
  • Energized water when taken, activates all 7 Chakras of the body within minutes!
  • Energized water facilitates a sound sleep in the night.
  • Retains freshness of fruits, vegetables, milk, curd etc., and increases their energy levels.
  • Eliminates toxins considerably from Toxic eatables and drinks.
  • Positively charges any eatable items, including Medicines.
  • Highly energizes food we eat , with the plate on the Pad.
  • Harmonizes Mobile Phone Radiation for 24 hours when kept over night on the Pad.
  • Highly vitalizes Hair oils, Soaps, Shampoos, Body creams etc.,
  • Works as a good pain reliever when kept over or under the paining areas.

And best of all…this product will literally get you off your a** and moving. “Relieves stress considerably when used as a seat under the Chair cushion and helps to increase productivity considerably. Does enormous good to IT Professionals who are highly stressed lot.”

So don’t you feel silly now with your hopelessly old-fashioned Red Bull and ergonomic chair?

I CAN C MICROBEZ IN DA WATR!

Maybe you’d better GIMIE TEH WATR DAT COMEZ IN BOTTLE PLZ! If you did a mashup of LOL cats, Mystery Science Theater and your 10th grade Biology class, it would look exactly like this makeshift science experiment in which a green laser was shined through a drop of scummy water. (See the clever home-hacked setup here.) And, revisit the 1933 version as documented in our post last year, When Protozoa Came to the Big Screen.

Grossed out? DOAN WORRY DIS ISNT TAP WATR THAZ MEANT 4 DRINKIN.

Rainy Days and Mondays

They always get me down! OK, not ALWAYS, but here’s a tool you’ll like if ambient nature sounds and “white noise” helps you focus and relax. The one-trick-pony website RainyMood.com does nothing but play a quality sound loop of a gentle rain, with the occasional thunder roll and bird chirps in the background. I’m feeling better already!

While you’re contemplating your virtual downpour, you might also load up this beautiful rain-themed desktop wallpaper complete with February calendar. This will help you focus on the coming weekend!

(Click the image for a 1680×1050 wallpaper, or go here and scroll down for other sizes.)

Absorbing a Freaky Frog Fact Via a Boulder Fountain

I spotted this terrific water fountain in downtown Boulder, Colorado on Pearl Street. It was donated by the Communication Arts department of University of Colorado. While it offers some great food for thought, I’ve delved deeper into the hydration of frogs. According to wiki.answers.com,

A characteristic of all amphibians is permeable skin. They do have the ability to absorb water through their skin. It is called cutaneous absorption. It is very uncommon to observe frogs drinking water orally. Their primary means of hydrating is by absorbing water, rather than drinking it.

No Blame in the Catchment Detox Game

If you imagine you could do a better job managing waterways than the powers that be, now you can put your theories to the test, with no one to blame for bad decisions but yourself!

Catchment Detox is an easy-to-play but tough-to-master online simulation game from Australia. You’re in charge of successfully managing a river catchment while creating a sustainable, healthy economy. In 100 turns, you decide how and where to plant crops, when and where to log forests, where and when to build factories or set up national parks. Not so easy, because to do well you’ve got to make money, provide adequate water, skirt environmental problems and still provide food and economic support for the citizenry!

Keep your eye on the impact stats to compare the economic and environmental pros and cons of your decisions.

Some activities bring in more money, but use a lot of water. Others environmental benefits, but not much income. You can add or remove as many activities as you like (until you run out of money and/or turns!)

Good thing I’m not making any such decisions…here’s a screen capture of my game on Turn 20…water status “terrible” and almost broke! And logging those forests would be quick money in the bank….hmmmmm.

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.

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.

He Swallowed the Sea

In the current installment of Emily Green’s excellent regular feature “The Week that Was” at ChanceofRain.com, I read…

“It would be very interesting if we could drain the ocean and look at what’s down there.” – Holly Bamford, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, “‘Ghost’ traps, long lost, keep catching lobsters,”  AP / Denver Post, November 26, 2009

Before I reached the closing quote I was overwhelmed with a long-buried visual memory, as vivid today as it was more than forty years ago.

I MUST FIND IT. I purchased it for my children 20 years ago and it is here, somewhere in my house. So many books…so many neglected boxes, dusty shelves, stacks in the basement, the attic, unused closets. It took 2 days to find it, and what a joy it was to hold in my hands again and turn the pages.

Once upon a time there were five Chinese Brothers and they all looked exactly alike. They lived with their mother in a little house not far from the sea.

The first Chinese brother could swallow the sea.

He could swallow the sea! As a child, these pages captured my imagination many times over. How wonderful would it be if I could roam that seabed, seeing, touching and marveling at the sight of all the mysteries of the deep laid bare! Even today it is a powerful fantasy to ponder.

(In the book, this scene is a spread that looks like this:

If you are familiar with the book, you are likely smiling and fondly remembering the story. If this is new to you, l’ll avoid any spoilers and just say, “YOU MUST FIND IT.” (Try your local library or Amazon.com, $5.99)

The book was originally published in 1938 but since the 1970s has been removed from schools and classrooms due to criticism of alleged ethnic stereotyping. There are also plenty of defenders–including me and many others who understand the magic in a child’s (or adult’s) imagination, to “drain the ocean and look at what’s down there.”

Who Says Turkeys Can’t Swim?

As you’re pondering what to do with all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey, ponder this from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In the Letters section of the October 2008 Conservationist:

One morning my daughter and her friend were canoeing across Little Tupper Lake in the Whitney Wilderness Area when they saw a large bird land in the water and start swimming. They paddled up to take a closer look and were surprised to see that it was a turkey. Fortunately they had a camera with them and were able to snap a couple of quick shots. I’ve never heard of a turkey swimming. Is this usual behavior? Or was the turkey forced into the water to escape some danger? Donald Hughes, Albany, Albany County

What a remarkable photo. Your daughter and friend were very lucky to witness some behavior that is rarely seen. While wild turkeys can swim for short distances, it is not a preferred mode of travel. These large birds are “built” for walking and running on land. When in danger, running, rather than flying, is their preferred mode of escape. However, turkeys have powerful wings and are capable of rapid, short flights that range from several hundred yards to one mile in length.

The fact that your daughter saw the turkey land in the water confirms to me that this was likely a last resort move on the turkey’s part. Most likely the bird was unexpectedly flushed from its location near the shore by a predator or person, took flight to escape, “ran out of gas” half way across the lake and had no choice but to swim for it. -Michael Schiavone, DEC Wildlife Biologist

Who knew? And here’s another sighting from my neck of the woods: from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks:

James Trogdon filmed this oddity at Eldorado Reservoir on May 19, 2007. The turkey flew into a cove and landed in the water, swam 300 yards to shore, and walked out.