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World water day mad libs game

The Mad Libs and the Madness that is World Water Day

water mad libs characterHooray, it’s water’s very own special day! Last year I spent it ranting and whining, but this year we’re sporting a whole new attitude! While some busy themselves playing the bureaucratic global water game, here in suburbia we’re going all-in for party games. Happy World Water Day, please enjoy not one but TWO tasteless Mad Libs that you and your friends can enjoy… whether you’re pinky-pointing at an intimate WWD pre-gala gathering, grinding through another mind-numbing nine-to-fiver, or taking a breather during your daily 5-hour water fetching duty. Read more

World Water Day Hangover

Content warning: Depressing, unfunny & negative diatribe. Regular programming resumes tomorrow.

world water day hangoverBleauh. I don’t feel so good! It’s that nasty #WWD hangover again!

So another World Water Day has come and gone. Each year I dread this day. I feel guilty because I SHOULD write somthing moving, thought-provoking and memorable. Raise some awareness! But I don’t. Why?

Because “awareness” is good, but meaningful action on a global scale is much more difficult. Because year to year, it seems the situation remains frustratingly the same…or even worse. Because it seems at times the problems are nearly insurmountable. Because rather than a slew of #water #wwd #whatever hash tags on one day, I’d rather see some perceptible results for the other 364.

So all of you who continue to work hard for #DAWWD (that’s “Days after World Water Day”), I am in awe of you, I salute you, I thank you. You are the people who someday may make World Water Day an event where progress is celebrated… and the day when I look forward to writing a hysterical, “remember when” post in this space.

Photo by Phil Gyford via Creative Commons on Flickr

Picturing World Water Day: Seeing is Believing

World Water Day? Overwhelming! I think it best that we spread all this buzz and information out over the other 364 so that we have a chance to process it all! If you’re feeling your head might burst with the explosion of water talk from every corner of medialand, kick back this evening and take in some photos instead. (The crisis will still be here tomorrow.)

But before you do, 2 quick and easy to-do’s: if you’re on Twitter hop over to water.org’s oneweekforwater.org and help spread the word by donating your status for the week (and get a waterrific blue cast over your profile photo, like yours truly.)

Also, you might be reluctant to be a “fan” of ITT of Facebook, but if you do ITT Watermark will give $1 to partners Mercy Corps, Water For People and China Women’s Development Foundation. So, I can be bought, how about you?

From boston.com’s Big Picture, this is just one of 43 breathtaking shots in their World Water Day gallery:

Four galleries are ready to browse at www.unwater.org, and two are galleries of photos submitted by the public.

A Moving Tribute from Brazil

Here’s an advert from March 2009 spotlighting World Water Day that likely to make you feel seasick! From Tribuna de Minas, a newspaper in Juiz de Fora, Brazil by ad agency Trópico Propaganda. (Click to view it full size for maximum headaches or tipsiness!)

Novelty aside, there’s actually something to be learned from these types of visual illusions. This article from the May 2008 Scientific American, The Neuroscience of Illusion, discusses the scientific value of visual illusions and shows how tricking the eye can reveal the inner workings of the brain.

Heads in the Cloud: Transboundary Waters Visualized in Total

Duh, why didn’t I think of that? While creating the “word clouds” (original post here) for the World Water Day Synchro-blog on Transboundary Waters, it never occured to me to do one big “mega” cloud. It did though, occur to John Fleck as in a request for ” a single word map of the sum of all the posts.”

Great idea! Following, all nine blog posts in one big cloud. The cloud represents the 100 most prevalent words used in all posts collectively, with their frequency represented by size. FYI, the #1 word “water” appeared 152 times. (If you’d like a closer look, you can download a zoomable pdf here.)

This word cloud includes posts from John Fleck, Kwandongbrian, Chris Brooks, Noah Hall, Ole Nielson, Michael Campana, Daniel Collins, Kim Hannula and Abigail Brown and was created on wordle.net

Visualizing Transboundary Waterblogging

When Daniel Collins over at Cr!key Creek suggested that water bloggers get in sync for World Water Day to write on the theme of transboundary waters, I was in an uncomfortable spot – I usually leave the tough topics to the smarter folks in my midst.

In the spirit of diversity in expression, though, I thought I might instead contribute a visual take on the issue. Following are “word clouds” for each of the World Water Day blog posts on transboundary waters. (This is for those of us who have to have a picture drawn for us!) The graphics represent the 100 most prevalent words used in the post, with their frequency represented by size.

I’ll continue to update as more posts become available. Happy World Water Day!

John Fleck (Inkstain) New Mexico, USA

Kwandongbrian from Korea discussing rivers crossing the Korean Peninsula’s DMZ.

Back in AZ, USA, Chris Brooks (Watering the Desert) focuses on the Colorado River, shared by seven US states and Mexico.

Noah Hall of Great Lakes Law lays down the law on management of the North American Great Lakes, from his home in MI, USA.

Ole Nielson from Denmark takes us to the Levant, via his blog Olelog, with a discussion of the Jordan River.

At WaterWried, Michael Campana (OR, US) stressed the importance of groundwater in transboundary water resources.

Daniel Collins at Cr!key Creek (New Zealand) looks for a big picture with the Tragedy of the Commons.

Kim Hannula writes about some realities of living upstream in Colorado, USA, with its world-famous body of water law.

UPDATE, March 23, 2008:

Abigail Brown of Water for the Ages (OR, USA) reviews an online film about the transboundary trials and tribulations of the Nile basin and its 10 riparian nations.

To Those Who’ve Received: Time To Give Back

It’s World Water Day this weekend and like most special days, a gift or thoughtful gesture would certainly be appropriate! For those of us with the incredible good fortune to enjoy plenty of clean, safe water, here are two good “give back” ideas recently brought to my attention.

1. No excuses about the recession or being broke, because this won’t cost you a dime. All you have to do is click! The ONE DROP awareness campaign will be raising awareness for the global water crisis and World Water Day across blogs, Digg, Twitter, Facebook and many other networks in an comprehensive social media effort called Ripple. Get all the details here: http://www.onedrop.org/ripple

Right now, DO THIS TODAY! Friday March 20th is ONE DROP’s rally event on Digg: DIGG FOR WATER. The idea is for as many supporters as possible to “digg” the cause and get some world-wide-web attention for urgent global water issues. (ONE DROP is an NGO launched by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté that aims to provide improved access to clean water in many poverty-stricken parts of the world.)

2. The Fill The Glass campaign at GlobalGiving benefits international water-related projects and this campaign hopes to raise funds for 10 grass-roots water projects that you can view on their website http://www.globalgiving.com/water/

You get to pick the specific project/s you wish to support. But don’t expect any easy decisions, as the choices include:
Supplying critical water for a Hatian Hospital
Health care and water for 7,000 Gambians
Improved water access for rural Ethiopians
Clean water for Sudanese war refugees

Projects that raise over $10,000 between March 9 and March 30 will receive additional funding from GlobalGiving. Easy! Just divert some of those bucks you’ve saved by sticking with tap water!