Stick a fork in it


A thousand years ago, the Doge Pietro Orseolo II took his triumphant naval fleet to the sea entrance at the Lido and ceremoniously threw a diamond ring into the water, thus marrying his city to the Adriatic and securing Venice’s dominion over its waters and trade routes. […]

When Goethe visited Venice for just over two weeks in 1786, he climbed the campanile twice, at high tide and then at low tide. It was from this tower that, at the age of 37 and already famous, he saw the sea for the first time in his life. […]

Now we know for sure that the ocean is rising faster than Venice will subside.

{ Aeon | Continue reading }

photo { Roman Noven and Tania Shcheglova }

The restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units


The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the world’s oceans. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands.

The trench reaches a maximum-known depth of 10.994 km or 6.831 mi at the Challenger Deep, a small slot-shaped valley in its floor, at its southern end, although some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11.03 kilometres (6.85 mi).

The trench is not the part of the seafloor closest to the center of the Earth. This is because the Earth is not a perfect sphere: its radius is about 25 kilometres (16 mi) less at the poles than at the equator. As a result, parts of the Arctic Ocean seabed are at least 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) closer to the Earth’s center than the Challenger Deep seafloor.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

related { What if you exploded a nuclear bomb at the bottom of the Marianas Trench? }

Against a sea of troubles, torn by conflicting doubts, as one sees in real life


Bas Jan Ader (1942-1975) was a conceptual artist, performance artist, photographer and filmmaker. He lived in Los Angeles for the last 10 years of his life. […]

Ader was lost at sea while attempting a single-handed west-east crossing of the Atlantic in a 13 ft pocket cruiser, a modified Guppy 13 named “Ocean Wave.” The passage was part of an art performance titled “In Search of the Miraculous.” Radio contact broke off three weeks into the voyage, and Ader was presumed lost at sea. The boat was found after 10 months, floating partially submerged 150 miles West-Southwest of the coast of Ireland. His body was never found.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading | basjanader.com }

‘We dead yo.’ –Samantha Hinds


{ Three satellites found that 97 percent of Greenland — the land mass second only to Antarctica for its volume of ice — underwent a thaw never before seen in 33 years of satellite tracking, NASA reported Tuesday. Satellite experts at first didn’t trust their readings, especially since they showed an incredible acceleration. Over four days, Greenland’s ice sheet — which covers 683,000 square miles – went from 40 percent in thaw to nearly entirely in thaw. | NBC | Continue reading | Thanks Samantha }

Correctamundo. And that’s what we’re gonna be. We’re gonna be cool.


The other influence happened when I was nine or ten. I went back East to visit relatives in New York and one of my uncles took me to a Russian Jewish bathhouse. It was exotic and interesting and although I don’t remember it from a sensual level, it was an unusual experience. I realized that bathing was an activity that people could indulge in. I remember, too, that there was food afterwards — it was great! Later, when I was in architecture school at UCLA, I visited a place that had a nice bath, and I began to take baths in the afternoon. I liked to take a bath after lunch. I know it is an odd time for it, but if you’re self-employed and are kind of a dreamer, it works. Then in Japan I started to take a bath before dinner, at six or seven o’clock. […]

Bathrooms are everywhere. Just about everyone has one. And every bathroom, no matter how crude or sophisticated, comes equipped with all the elements of primal poetry:

Water and/or steam.
Hot, cold, and in between.


The WET distribution system started really small — hand delivery to a few select shops — and grew significantly through the life of the magazine.

{ Leonard Koren/LA Review of Books | Continue reading }

‘Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing?’ –Heidegger


Human use of water contributes markedly to rising tides.

During the latter half of the twentieth century, global sea level rose by about 1.8 millimetres per year, according to data from tide gauges.

The combined contribution from heating of the oceans, which makes the water expand, along with melting of ice caps and glaciers, is estimated to be 1.1 millimetres per year, which leaves some 0.7 millimetres per year unaccounted for. This gap has been considered an important missing piece of the puzzle in estimates for past and current sea-level changes and for projections of future rises.

It now seems that the effects of human water use on land could fill that gap.

A team of researchers reports in Nature Geoscience that land-based water storage could account for 0.77 millimetres per year, or 42%, of the observed sea-level rise between 1961 and 2003. Of that amount, the extraction of groundwater for irrigation and home and industrial use, with subsequent run-off to rivers and eventually to the oceans, represents the bulk of the contribution.

{ Nature | Continue reading }

photo { Joel Barhamand }

Substance is by nature prior to its modifications


Hoekstra and Hung (2002) were the first to introduce the concept of the “water footprint” of a nation, which is the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed by the nation’s population.

Therefore, in order to calculate Dutch coffee and tea related water consumption accurately, one must not only include the amount of water used in coffee machines or kettles but also the “virtual water content”, which is the volume of water needed to produce said coffee or tea. (…)

So just how much water goes into the production of a single cup of coffee in the Netherlands? 

Well, the Dutch water footprint was much bigger for coffee than it was for tea because the Dutch consume a lot more coffee than tea and tea has a lower virtual water content than coffee (10.4 cubic metres per kg of tea vs. 20.4 cubic metres per kg of coffee).

If you take into account the 7 grams of roasted coffee that goes on average into making a single cup and that a standard cup of coffee is about 125 ml, you find out that a total of 140 Liters of water goes into making a single cup of coffee in a Dutch household.

Now, the Dutch drink an average 3 cups of coffee a day, which totals to 2.6 billion cubic meters of water being used every year to satisfy the population’s need for caffeine.

{ Salamander Hours | Continue reading }

photo { Loretta Lux }

By pain I shall signify a passive state wherein the mind passes to a lesser perfection


Emotional tears may be uniquely human and are an effective signal of distress in adults. The present study explored whether tears signal distress in younger criers and whether the effect of tears on observers is similar in magnitude across the life span. Participants rated photographs of crying infants, young children, and adults, with tears digitally removed or added. The effectiveness of tears in conveying sadness and eliciting sympathy was greatest for images of adults, intermediate for images of children, and least potent for images of infants. These findings suggest that the signal value of tears varies with the age of the crier. The results may shed light on the functional significance of crying at different stages of human development.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading | PDF }

Damn your yellow stick. Where are we going?


A Waboba is a ball that bounces on water (wa-ter bo-uncing ba-ll). That makes it kind of unusual since a simple experiment will show that many balls do not bounce on water. And that raises an interesting question–how does the Waboba work?

Today we get an answer from Michael Wright at Brigham Young University in Utah and a few buddies. These guys videoed the way three balls interact with water when bounced.

A Superball, which is solid and so has a relatively small surface area for its mass, burrows deep into the water, even when it hits at a shallow angle. So it does not bounce.

A raquet ball, on the other hand,is hollow and so has a larger surface area ratio to mass ratio. When thrown at a shallow angle, it penetrates only a small distance into the water creating a depression in the surface through which it planes back onto the surface. So it rebounds a little.

The Waboba is hollow but it is also soft. (…) Because it is soft, the ball flattens into disc-shape when it hits the surface and this allows it to aquaplane efficiently across the surface. (…)

Why might this be useful? Wright and co don’t say in their video but the fact that one of the team is with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport might offer a clue.

{ The Physics arXiv Blog | Continue reading }

artwork { Ellsworth Kelly, Yellow White, 1961 }

Strength without agility is a mere mass


Anyone who has ever been out in the rain too long or soaked for hours in a tub knows the prunelike effect it can have on your hands and feet. Conventional wisdom suggests it is nothing more than the skin absorbing water.

But a number of questions have puzzled scientists. Why do “wet wrinkles” appear only on the hands and feet? And why are the most prominent wrinkles at the ends of the digits? Surgeons already know that cutting nerves in a finger prevents the wrinkling, suggesting the process is controlled by the nervous system.

Now a paper in the journal Brain, Behavior and Evolution offers more evidence that wet wrinkles serve a purpose: better grip and traction.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

gouache and pencil on paper { Dick Blair }

Mandrake, have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?


Peter Brabeck-Letmathe chairs Nestlé, the world’s 44th-largest company, which last year earned US$10.5 billion in profits on US$121.1 billion in revenues. He is the consummate international businessman, bargaining hard, overseeing 280,000 employees, outflanking competitors and at ease with heads of state. Yet Brabeck remains incapable of negotiating one simple and irreplaceable ingredient without which his company ceases to exist: water.

He hardly seems a gloomy Malthusian, yet Brabeck foresees “limits to growth” because our global fresh water supply is both finite and being rapidly, stupidly, depleted. The world can sustainably use 4,200 cubic kilometres of water, he notes, but it consumes 4,500 even as aquifers plummet and rivers run dry.

{ China Dialogue | Continue reading }

She has been married so many times, she has rice marks on her face


People with full bladders make better decisions.

Researchers discovered the brain’s self-control mechanism provides restraint in all areas at once. They found people with a full bladder were able to better control and “hold off” making important, or expensive, decisions, leading to better judgement. (…)

Dr Mirjam Tuk, who led the study, said that the brain’s “control signals” were not task specific but result in an “unintentional increase” in control over other tasks.

“People are more able to control their impulses for short term pleasures and choose more often an option which is more beneficial in the long run,” she said. (…)

They concluded that people with full bladders were better at holding out for the larger rewards later.

{ Telegraph | Continue reading | Thanks Tim! }

He who sleeps cannot catch fish


Port Royal Jamaica is the only submerged city in the Western Hemisphere. (…)

Port Royal was a city of cultural and commercial exchange. The city was a commercial center of trade in African slaves, sugar, and other goods.

Port Royal was also a hot spot for cut throat pirates. (…) The economy was flooded by the wages of a common artisan’s honest day’s pay, and revenue from under the table deals of pirates, gamblers, and tavern keepers. Women of ill repute frequented the taverns, and sailors who made a semi-honest living at sea lavishly spent their earnings on these ladies of the evening. (…)

The heyday of mischief and ill-gotten gain came to a cataclysmic halt on the morning of June 7, 1692 when an earthquake and tidal wave submerged the infamous city.

The disaster took 2,000 lives on impact, and 3,000 more lives were lost due to injuries and disease following the earthquake. Moreover, the catastrophic event drove history down to the depths of the sea.

{ Water Wide Web | Continue reading }

Experts are now applying forensic techniques to retrieve evidence from underwater crime scenes in an effort to uphold laws that protect coral life and other marine mammals.

Underwater crimes include events such as anchors tearing through coral reefs, spills, using bleach or cyanide to stun tropical fish for the aquarium trade and more.

{ Water Wide Web | Continue reading }

Teacan a tea simmering, hamo mavrone kerry O?


How long does it take for a liter of water to go through our body?

For normal people it should take about 2 to 3 hours…

But it depends on several things.

First, the water has to be absorbed. For example, if someone has really bad diarrhea or is vomiting, the fluid won’t be absorbed.

Second, it depends on what is in the water. If it is pure water rather than water with salt in it, the pure water will be excreted faster than salt water.

Third, if someone is dehydrated, say, was playing soccer for two hours and sweated out two more litres water than he drank, the fluid would stay in his body and his rate of urine production will stay really low until he drinks more.

Fourth, it depends on the time of day. Usually, people’s rate of urine production decreases in the middle of the night and increases around the time we wakes up.

Finally, it depends on the state of health of the person. If a person has kidney disease, the urine production might not increase as much. If a person has heart disease, the fluid May build up in his tissues instead of being excreted.

The reference is a paper where students drank water in the morning and determined how long it took for the water to be excreted. In this paper, it looks like they urinated out about 400 or 500 ml of water over about 2 hours, before the rate of urine production slowed down.

{ MadSci }

The water runs down the throat, past the epiglottis (which is closed so that water doesn’t end up in the lungs) and down through the oesophagus into the stomach.

In the stomach, water is needed to assist in the processing and digestion of food. So far, the body has not absorbed any water. The only thing that has happened is that any thirst was probably quenched and the amount of saliva has increased.
The water and food are mixed into a dough and kneaded out into the intestines.

In the small intestine, the body starts to absorb fluid, as well as vitamins and other nutrients from the dough. These nutrients are absorbed by the blood and transported to all the body’s cells…

The large intestine’s task is to absorb as much liquid as possible from the thin batter, so that the body can make use of this liquid and achieve a proper balance of body fluids. This is Important, as 60% of the human body is made of water.

The liquid is absorbed by the blood vessels in the large intestine and transported by the blood to the kidneys. In the kidneys, blood is purified and water is converted into urine which flows through the ureters to the bladder. When the bladder contains about 200 - 400ml of urine, signals are usually sent to the brain to promote urination.

{ lofric }

By bronze, by gold, in oceangreen of shadow


Blue space: The importance of water for preference, affect, and restorativeness ratings of natural and built scenes

Although theorists have suggested that aquatic environments or “blue space” might have particular restorative potential, to date there is little systematic empirical research on this issue. (…)

Whereas aquatic features (rivers, lakes, coasts) are frequently present in visual stimuli representing natural environments they are rarely incorporated in stimuli portraying built environments. (…)

The current research collated a set of 120 photographs of natural and built scenes, half of which contained “aquatic” elements. Proportions of “aquatic”/“green”/“built” environments in each scene (e.g. 1/3rd, 2/3rds) were also standardised. (…)

As predicted, both natural and built scenes containing water were associated with higher preferences, greater positive affect and higher perceived restorativeness than those without water.

{ Science Direct }

photo { Harri Peccinotti, Pirelli Calendar, 1969 }

The 120 days of Sodom and other writings


Rising ocean levels brought about by climate change have created a flood of unprecedented legal questions for small island nations and their neighbors.

Among them: If a country sinks beneath the sea, is it still a country? Does it keep its seat at the United Nations? Who controls its offshore mineral rights? Its shipping lanes? Its fish?

And if entire populations are forced to relocate — as could be the case with citizens of the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati and other small island states facing extinction — what citizenship, if any, can those displaced people claim?

{ Scientific American | Continue reading }

related { Ten Amazing Uninhabited Islands }

Always tease tease tease


For the first time, scientists have converted information into pure energy, experimentally verifying a thought experiment first proposed 150 years ago.

The idea was originally formulated by physicist James Clerk Maxwell, but it gained controversy because it appeared to violate the second law of thermodynamics. Put in experimental terms, this law states that when hot and cold water are mixed, they will eventually reach an equilibrium middling temperature.

Maxwell proposed that a hypothetical being (later dubbed Maxwell’s demon) could separate the water into two compartments and reverse the process, isolating hot molecules from cold by letting only the hotter-than-average through a trap-door between the compartments.

Because mixed water is considered more disordered (i.e. of higher entropy) than separated water, the demon has converted a system from a state of disorder to a state of order, using only information (the knowledge of which molecules were hot and cold).

{ LiveScience | Continue reading }

photo { Boru O’Brien O’Connell }

Give it to her too on the same place



{ Akos Major }


{ Olivia Bee }


{ Emmet Malmstrom }

All quiet on Howth now. The distant hills seem. Where we.


Like a Middle Eastern version of Las Vegas, Dubai’s biggest challenge is water, which may be everywhere in the gulf but is undrinkable without desalination plants. These produce emissions of carbon dioxide that have helped give Dubai and the other United Arab Emirates one of the world’s largest carbon footprints. They also generate enormous amounts of heated sludge, which is pumped back into the sea.

The emirates desalinate the equivalent of four billion bottles of water a day. But their backups are thin: at any given time, the region has, on average, an estimated four-day supply of fresh water.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

photo { Nicholas Haggard }

‘I’m the type who’d be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn’t going to.’ –Andy Warhol


European scientists say they’ve figured out the recipe for water in space: Just add starlight.

They made the discovery while examining a dying star that is 500 light-years away from Earth, using an infrared observatory launched by the European Space Agency last year.

“This is a good example of how better instruments can change our picture completely,” said Leen Decin of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

{ CNN | Continue reading }

artwork { Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1963 }