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Real News: Spurring Weed growth with Water

Did you ever experience an “Onion Fear” moment? When you suspect you’ve been humiliated and hoodwinked by a “news” story that’s actually a journo-joke straight from The Onion?

Onion-fear struck by the forth paragraph as I read this item:

WEED WATER FOUNTAIN SCULPTURE UNVEILED

The water fountain sculpture unveiled Thursday on Weed’s Main Street is the latest installment in a beautification project that is changing the face of the city.

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2010 Edition: Halloween Costumes for the Water-Obsessed

For 2010, we’ve gone DIY! All these water-themed Halloween costumes are homemade. This year, use your skills, creativity and ingenuity to fashion a killer look and unforgetable water statement!

this is my dam halloween costume hoover dam sweatshirtTHIS IS MY DAM COSTUME THIS YEAR: Thirsty in Suburbia exclusive! I made this for myself on Cafepress…perfect thing for recession trick or treating around your local Hooverville. (While I was at it, I made a shop so you can get one, too! Yes, I know, it’s expensive…but who can put a price tag on this level of awesomeness? Check out the mug, too! http://www.cafepress.com/thirstyinsuburbia).

pollution mermaid halloween costumeTOUGH YEAR FOR MERMAIDS: This costume won the 2008 Etsy Costume Contest in the Green catagory. Your 2010 interpretation could be even more timely with sad-funny BP references. Find a thrift shop prom dress and get busy! Great way to recycle that old motor oil. Source Link

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Heads Will Roll but Wheelchairs Will Not

Don’t call them handicapped, call them stair-challenged! In the Du’OH! News category this week, spotted in the real-ink version of the Kansas City Star and online at mankatofreepress.com, the parched and wheelchaired crowd will need some serious new torque in Hudson, New York:

In April, officials in Hudson, N.Y., proudly unveiled their state-of-the-art water fountain for the disabled in the county courthouse, a fixture whose installation was agreed to in a 2003 settlement with federal officials enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, the fountain was installed on the courthouse’s second floor, which is accessible only by stairway. In defense, county officials said the fountain had several features for handicapped people other than those in wheelchairs.

What’s a Fountain Without Water?

That’s the subject of a personal photo project I’ve been working on this past month. In Kansas City, Missouri (the urban counterpart to my suburban Shangri-la) 47 public fountains will be turned on April 6th, the city’s annual “Fountain Day.”

kansas city mo dry muse of missouri fountain

In Kansas City, MO: The Muse of Missouri, dry.

In 2009, severe budget problems drove city officials to threaten that that the fountains would remain dry due to lack of funds. Political grandstanding, maybe, but the citizenry greeted the proposal harshly and vocally. This year there were no such attacks on the fountains, although other basic city services will see budget cuts and/or rate increases (including water).

What’s a fountain without water? It’s not like a wallet without money; it’s more like a soul without joy.

(If you can’t view the slideshow below (Internet Explorer users, probably talkin’ about YOU) visit the full set on my Flickr page.)


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

10 More Weird Water Items for Sale on Ebay

The Thirsty in Suburbia Super Water Flea returns! Following are 10 more hand-picked examples of rare, unusual and weird water-related merch just waiting for your winning bid. (The Sept. 2009 edition is here.)

1. You always knew water tended to be political so how about this one that’s “the right drink for the conservative taste”? This “Goldwater” can was made during  the 1960s Barry Goldwater U.S. presidential campaign. The seller notes, “the can has some rust on it.” Currently, one bidder with $2.00 on the board.

2. This represents “the greatest sensational mystery ever attempted in this or any other age.” Just try finding that someplace else for under twenty bucks. The Houdini In the Water-Filled Torture Cell poster is available at the Buy-It-Now price of $16.98.

3. With a little lovin’ care, this Halsey Taylor vintage water fountain could be the centerpiece of your properly sustainable mid-century modern hipster hangout. It is sold “As Is” and there are no returns! You can Buy it Now for just $44.98, but don’t overlook the $79.98 shipping charges. But who can put a price on Cool, really?

4. Get rich quick! Did you know making money with bottled water is as easy as filling in the blanks? The description for the Bottled Water Company Business Plant bundle notes “Stop struggling to write your business plan by using the professionally prewritten sample Bottled Water Company business plan included in the Bottled Water Company Business Plan Bundle…” Just $39.95 with a “30 day money-back guarantee.”

5. As crazy as things are getting out in the Wild Water West, who knows, this could be worth something someday!

This is a common stock certificate from the Southern California Water Company issued August 12, 1952 to one “Stirling, Morris and Bousman.” Even if it is worthless, the nice engraving of pipes and tanks will surely console the buyer. Maybe you? It’s a low risk at Just $8.29 and impulse shoppers, it’s “Buy It Now!”

6. While this is a classic gag, you DO need special supplies, and here they are! The New colored Tap Water Prank Gag Practical Joke is yours for 99 cents and $1.95 shipping. A cheap thrill! Just “insert one of four colored tablets into your faucet stem and watch as the water gets UGLY. Comes with 3 colored tablets and spring.” When April 1st rolls around you’re going to wish you’d jumped on this one, so plan ahead now!

7. Speaking of planning ahead, here’s your Halloween ace in the hole! Check out the HOT price ($258) on this Water Droplet costume. (Last Halloween, we priced a similar one for $1,279 and it didn’t even have awesome googly eyes like this one does! The seller notes that this giant water drop has a POLYFOAM head, which is important because,

“We use the advanced machine to manufacture POLYFOAM head, it is only one piece, it is stronger and enough hard to avoid to break when it meet strike accidentally, User head can be protected very well, but paperboard or foam head was produced by different  paperboard or foam pieces, they was usually agglutinated by the bad gluewater, this kind of head is not very firm, and very easily to turn into fragment, At the same time, the gluewater do harm to the User, It makes the User headache or feel unhappy.”

8. Get back to nature and start livin’ off the land with this old timey Rare Crank Water Pump, SBP St. Louis. The seller says it is in “very good condition, the crank turns freely & turns a chain with small tin cups to lift water up.” So if you’re dreaming of getting off the water grid, this could help you git yer groundwater on…err, up. The starting bid is $699 but the shipping is “free.”

9. Another item for those suffering an unusual obsession with vintage pumps. As if the internet’s not bad enough, this DVD covers Myers Vintage Water Pumps Catalogs from 1905 -1940. F.E. Myers Pumps was established in 1870 and the Myers’ brothers developed the first double acting hand pump. The DVD reproduces 7 vintage catalogs, featuring a huge treasury of information and illustrations for all types of water pumps, windmills, etc for home, farm and commercial use.

10. This is a new copy of a vintage Water Hazard golf sign. It measures 6″ x 12″ and it all-weather metal. Of course you don’t have to use this for something golf-related. Use your imagination, you can come up with something inventive, can’t you? It is listed with a starting bid of $4.99 with $4.95 for shipping.

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.

Fountains are Pretty in Pink

Starting tomorrow, there’s “something in the water” in communities all over the world…and it’s fabulously pink! October 1st marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and along with it, pink-tinged fountains to draw attention to this important health issue. In my town, twelve fountains will be dyed this month. What about yours?

Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA via literaturejunction.com

At the Pennsylvania Capitol, via basial on Flickr

At the Pennsylvania Capitol, via basial on Flickr

Kortrijk, Belgium via Sarah DeForche on Flickr

Kortrijk, Belgium via Sarah DeForche on Flickr

Birmingham, UK via Steve Oliver Imagery on Flickr

Birmingham, UK via Steve Oliver Imagery on Flickr

Milwaukee Art Museum via 2fs on FLickr

Milwaukee Art Museum via 2fs on FLickr

Welwyn Town Centre via welwynhatfield.co.uk

Welwyn Town Centre via welwynhatfield.co.uk

Woodruff Park in Atlanta, GA via www.atlantaga.gov

Woodruff Park in Atlanta, GA via www.atlantaga.gov

Kiener Plaza, St. Louis, MO via Judy on PicasaWeb

Kiener Plaza, St. Louis, MO via Judy on PicasaWeb

Benton Boulevard Concourse, Kansas City, MO via pinkfountains.com

Benton Boulevard Concourse, Kansas City, MO via pinkfountains.com

Houston taxpayers get soaked?

When Houston’s Water Museum and Education Center opens in the Fall of 2009, visitors will be greeted with one splashy Texas-worthy monument to mandatory public arts funding.

This $500,000 “bathtub bouquet” (conceptual drawing shown here) will be installed at the outer traffic circle of the new WaterWorks facility and is designed with a hidden water recycling system (thank God for that). Not that it has to “represent” or “mean” anything, but I wonder what the artsy “talking points” will be about the work’s message… there’s plenty of water here, fill ‘er up and splash ‘er out! Whatever, I admit it…I really like it, there’s something irresistable about it.

 As reported on www.chron.com, the Houston Chronicle’s online site, 

Its title, Tubbs, is a pun and tribute to country-music legend Ernest Tubb. Its creator, Philadelphia-based Donald Lipski, is an art-world legend, with work in more than two dozen major museums and a hefty portfolio of public art commissions.

Funded by an ordinance that sets aside 1.75 percent of city capital-improvement project budgets for art, Tubbs is one of eight public commissions set for completion in 2009, say officials with the nonprofit agency charged with managing the city’s art collection.

“We want to have the country’s next great civic art program,” said Jonathon Glus, CEO of the Houston Arts Alliance. “Houston is poised for it.”

Lipski landed the Public Works and Engineering Department commission by answering an HAA open call for artists in June 2007. A five-member panel of department representatives, art professionals and stakeholders met twice — first to review submissions and select three finalists, then to interview the finalists, review their designs and select the artist.

Although the commission was originally budgeted for $350,000, public-works officials agreed to add $150,000 after “reviewing the scale and potential of the Water Museum commission.” That enabled HAA to negotiate a $500,000 contract with Lipski in June, according to HAA’s civic art capital report for fiscal 2008.