Austin, Beware of the Blob

Austin Water Utility demonstrates that slimy, greasy, fatty subject matter can really get the creative juices flowing!  “Stop the Grease Blob” sounds like a band playing at Austin’s SXSW, but is actually a video from the city’s campaign to alert customers to the horrifying consequences of putting greases and fats down the drain. We love the screaming females and melodramatic music. Made me laugh (and snagged them an award.)

And if, like me, you imagine sewer blobs as more brownish and stinky-chunky, there’s also a campaign poster with a more surreal, scary-cute sewer savage. Repulsive, yet adorable!

San Antonio’s Mutant Ninja Sewer Turtle

SAWS sewer turtle videoFrom this angle, I can’t quite tell if this is Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, or Donatello! A few mutant Ninja skills might have helped this fully grown, totally stuck turtle found trapped inside a Texas sewer pipe. The San Antonio Water System’s snaking sewer camera caught the oddball obstruction during a routine sewer line check.

It took hours of dirty digging and dismantling to free the native “red-eared slider” who was then safely relocated to a nearby pond.

Here is a screenshot from the camera video (I guess they don’t have spell-check on those rigs!) which can be seen in total on the San Antonio Water System’s Facebook page. Also, see for the complete video of this story as seen on the local news broadcast.

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle

Sewer Pipe Suite Life

A concrete sewer pipe as hotel room? That’s repurposing for a practical purpose! DasPark Hotel is the sort of wild idea you’d expect to be just another conceptual prototype, but this creation of Austrian art grad Andreas Strauss is real and operational.

Located in Linz, Austria, the unique hotel adds a back wall, large front door and small window to standard concrete sewer pipes to create an affordable stay for students and other adventurous travelers.


The external simplicity surrounds an unexpectedly comfortable interior – full headroom, double bed, storage, light, power, woolly blanket and light cotton sleeping bag. All other hotelery devices (Toilets, showers, minibar, cafe, etc) are supplied by the surrounding public space.

Just how affordable, you ask? The cost is the biggest surprise of all.

Because we obtain sanitation, breakfast and other hotel facilities from existing public infrastructure, it is possible for us to work with the very simple, user-friendly “pay as you wish” system. A night in dasparkhotel costs just as much as you can afford or want to pay.

(Tipped by a post on, thanks!)