August 17, 2009

10 Years of Drought in the U.S.

This short animation shows how drought patterns have changed across the U.S. over the past ten years. Based on data from the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. The most severe drought is shown in red.

May 3, 2009

Sea Ice Knowledge & Use by Indigenous Peoples

SIKU is a Polar Year project studying the knowledge and use of sea ice by today's indigenous people. The project engages 15-20 indigenous communities across multiple countries including Russia, Canada, and the US.

SIKU has documented 80-100 different words for sea ice in most Eskimo languages. The acronym for the project comes from siku, a word for sea ice in all Eskimo languages.

A sidenote: There is a "Glacier Ice Vodka" called Siku. From the product website, "Siku is the only vodka in the world that transforms glacier ice directly to vodka without ever becoming water." Glacier ice from Greenland, processed in the Netherlands.

April 30, 2009

What is Buoyancy?

Buoyancy is the upward force that keeps an object afloat. This video shows how an object floats in fluid at a level where the weight of fluid displaced is the same as the weight of the object itself.

Floating stone fountains shoot water up under the stone at high pressure to create a stunning effect.

Here's another great explanation of buoyancy with a simple experiment you can try at home using clay and water.

April 28, 2009

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch--Plastic in the Ocean. Why Should You Care?

Ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It's a place way out in the Pacific Ocean, about as far from human contact as any place on earth, and the water there has collected so much plastic debris that it's turned into "plastic soup." It is estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

Captain Charles Moore is a sailor and researcher who noticed the patch on his return from a Hawaiian yacht race in 1997 and has since dedicated his life to studying plastic in oceans and educating people about the need to stop the pollution.

Researchers have found that the concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on the surface of small plastic particles called "nurdles" can be up to one million times the level in the ambient seawater. Nurdles--which resemble fish eggs--are regularly consumed by marine animals, posing a considerable threat of choking and intestinal blockage. Furthermore, those highly concentrated POPs are believed to move up the food chain from marine animals into the bodies of humans.

Learn more about oceanic micro-plastic pollution and plastic debris research at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation website.

The Garbage Patch was also featured in 2003 on This American Life's Episode 253: The Middle of Nowhere.

April 27, 2009

Water: In Three Parts

This experimental film, created entirely from footage of water in three states (liquid, solid, gas), makes the familiar unfamiliar. Artist: Kevin B. Chatham.

April 26, 2009

Water and Sound

Here are some interesting visualizations of sound vibrations creating patterns in water. These videos suggest that sound vibration deeply affects all living things.

Playing Synthesizer Through Water reveals complex wave patterns resembling snowflakes.

The following German video applies sound to a single water droplet to reveal how sound vibrations create form. Unfortunately, I don't understand German; but the visuals are interesting to watch. This is just 10 minutes of a 2-hour DVD available from

In the next video, sine waves are applied to water from 300Hz down to 15Hz. The transformation in the surface of the water from one end of the scale to the other is profound.

Finally, here are two videos of water vibrating in Tibetan singing bowls. In the first video, the water becomes quite lively and seems to jump like popcorn popping, while in the second it reveals a more geometric shape.

Peak Water: What Is It And Are We There Yet?

Never heard of Peak Water? Although water is a renewable resource, it is possible to use water in a non-renewable way. When water is used faster than it is replenished, that is Peak Water.

In this series of videos, Peter Gleik of The Pacific Institute, a research and policy institute in Oakland, CA, talks about the concept of Peak Water, and the human, industrial, ecological, and political dimensions of the current water crisis.

April 25, 2009

Assorted Clouds

I'm in need of some clouds today. Maybe you'd like some too?

Cloud lovers might also like to peruse the Cloud Appreciation Society website with a huge cloud gallery. It's one of my favorite places to surf when I need a little lift.

April 24, 2009


Watsu is a hydrotherapy technique that involves floating and stretching a person in warm water. Many say it is a transformative experience. Watsu is particularly effective for pain relief and for stress related conditions.

Chemical Free Microorganism Wastewater Treatment System

Here's an academic demonstration of a wastewater purification system that uses aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms instead of chemicals.

According to the inventors, there is potential for practical application of the system in rivers, wastewater treatment plants, and in homes.

Deep Sea Creatures

A slideshow of strange and beautiful sea creatures from our very own planet. (If you don't like slide shows set to music, turn your volume down first.)

April 23, 2009

Drop of Blue Salt

A pretty little film by Vida Vega, with music by Catgut.

April 22, 2009

The Aquaduct Pedal-Powered Water Filtration Vehicle

This is a concept vehicle created by 5 designers from a California design and innovation firm called IDEO. I love this idea, but can it be turned into a marketable vehicle, and is it a practical solution to the problem of access to clean water in so many parts of the world?

The All Water Blog: All Water, All Ways

Hi there from The All Water Blog, freshly birthed and eager to meet you!

You might find yourself thinking, Why is this an ALL water blog and not just a water blog? Two reasons: 1) was already taken, and 2) it's about looking at water from many different angles.

This a blog about your very first bath, your introduction to water. It's about listening to rain pound on the corrugated metal roof of a small house in a Mexican village. It's about thirst, and about how you feel when you turn on the faucet and brown water comes out (or no water comes out), and about how water is heavy and hard to carry, and about the hydrogen and oxygen atoms that hold fast together all around you as you swim laps to burn off the cookies you ate at work. It's about arctic glacier melt (of course), depleted aquifers, dams, water wars, polluted oceans and waterways, and water conservation and technology. It's about how we relate to water, how we use it and abuse it, how we appreciate and value it, how we represent water and our relationship to water in the arts.

My intention is for this blog to be more than a place for me to post random thoughts and interesting news items. I hope it will become a water salon of sorts, a place to gather and share observations and ideas about an extraordinarily beautiful chemical substance that is essential for all living things.