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Polluters, Ye Shall Feel My Wrath

Some of our brethern (and “cistern”) have had their faith tested…not in their religious beliefs, but in the safety of their local water supply. From Yahoo News,

MOSCOW – More than 100 Russian Orthodox believers have been hospitalized after drinking holy water during Epiphany celebrations in the eastern city of Irkutsk, an official said Monday.

A total of 117 people, including 48 children, were in the hospital complaining of acute intestinal pain after drinking water from wells in and around a local church last week, said Vladimir Salovarov, a spokesman for the Irkutsk Investigative Committee.

Salovarov said 204 people required some medical treatment after consuming the water, the source of which was a stagnant lake. He said, however, that it was too early to say what caused the illness.

Many Russians consider any water obtained on Epiphany — which they celebrate on Jan. 19 — to be holy.

The water is typically bottled for consumption later. Tap water in most of Russia is undrinkable.

Indoor Pool, Water View, Needs Work

If water is life, then there’s hopefully still a little left in this sad, abandoned building. From englishrussia.com, a tour of a once-proud structure heaving downward into a pool of natural forces on the way up.

Amazing photos of water running through this abandoned house

It looks like a regular abandoned house standing in the downtown of Rostov-on-Don city, but if to inspect it closer one can see mini-waterfalls and lakes all through this house. After many years staying abandoned water sources from underground found their way up and formed this naturally formed water park. Streams are in constant movement and the water is always clean.

The orginal post also contains this fascinating memoir contributed by a commenter:

This is like 10 minutes from my home and i used to climb/play/swim there when i was little…brings lots of fun memories, there were also thick ropes hanging from the supports of roof (as there was no roof to speak of) so you could swing back and forth and drop into water.
The water
came from mineral spring so it very clean and cold.

BTW this group of buildings (there are like a whole isle of them) is in the port on the river. There are also abandoned port/factory buildings nearby (many, many of them) but these on the pictures don’t seem to be factory related.
It was a nice place to go exploring with my friends when i was a kid just to get away from the city noise. It was beyond unsafe to downright scary because of all the unstable bricks. I’m amazed it is still standing, guess no one cares.

Attention Conspiracy Theorists: NASA Water Recycling

Ordinarily, I’d post this photo of Vietnamese bottled water “purified by NASA’s award-winning technology” strictly for our amusement. (from the Picasa Web Album Hoi An, Vietnam by Mark)

But it reminds us of something we read on Engadget in the summer of 2007:

NASA drops $19m on Russian toilets
for American asstronauts [sic]

Super-good pun headline notwithstanding, our radar is up. NASA…millions of dollars…Russians…mysterious bottled water in a deprived country with scant government oversight of foodstuffs… Coincidence? Judge for yourself, but I am adjusting my tinfoil chapeau.

The July, 2007 Engadget story notes:

So apparently NASA has agreed to purchase toilet technology from the Russian company RSC Energia for the tidy sum of $19 million, to be delivered to the ISS in 2008 in preparation for a crew upsizing from three to six members. The previous system required that urine tanks be transferred to cargo ships and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the new toilets operate like a waste treatment center on Earth, collecting and reconstituting urine as drinking water — an unpleasant concept for a number of our readers, but a welcome relief for thirsty astronauts. The toilets are similar to normal models, though they employ leg restraints and thigh bars to hold the “user” in place, and high-powered fans to suck, um… waste into the commode. The system will be installed on the American side of the station, while the Russian-side will remain as is, resulting in extremely long lines to use the “good” bathroom.