The best type of water there is – the fountain

Recently it seems I’ve been soapboxing in this blog quite a bit.  I guess this is what comes of following ‘current events’ – you get annoyed.  The world (especially as portrayed by the media, who’s trying to get your goat) can be an annoying place to be.  But there are rewards for existing in it.

One of my favorite rewards has to do with water in its best form – fountaining.  And I’m not talking about splashing around in your swim trunks or au naturel.  I’m talking about dancing around mid-fountain in whatever clothes you happen to have on, splashing, climbing, possibly drinking, and generally getting down and acting like a frog.  It could even entail photographically documenting your excursions.  This is really the one aspect of modern sculpture that I can understand – something tactile, that really invites you to come forward and explore it.  Of course, there are issues of liability if someone should fall, which is why most fountain owners don’t allow play.  But if you’re going to expend the energy to pump all that water up and around, why not interact with it?

Of course, my own (typically clandestine) interactions have been limited by my environment.  Not only is the weather typically too cold for these types of excursions in Boston, but also most of the locations with fountains I have thus far discovered are entirely too public.  Not that I mind publicity –  no, it’s more of an internal debate about being arrested.  There’s always the Frog Pond at Boston Common, which welcomes waders and includes a fountain.  Unfortunately I would be embarrassed to wade without a toddler at my side, and they frown highly on actually touching the fountain portion.  Also, I think it’s closed for the season.  Open year-round is the Christian Science Plaza and its reflecting pool and fountain.  And while the Mapparium and surrounding buildings are pretty cool (go I.M. Pei!), I still fret about being monitored by Eddy and her cohorts.  It’s just not the place for me to really relax and feel full of life.  Also, it’s one of the few places I’ve publicly cried in Boston.

While I have been to a few little parks around the city, I definitely need to explore more.  Sure, places near m within walking distance, like Gore Place, don’t really have fountains.  But why should I let that stop me?  I should be able to find something new – just the other day we discovered a little park-like reservation just down the street from my bus stop.  I need to get going, and brave the winter chill a bit to find someplace new.   Dipping into the Charles River isn’t really an option.

Even More Bad Things about Water

So, though previous posts didn’t have as much to do with current and breaking news, it both amused and frightened me this morning to read this article of recent studies into the trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water.  Evidently the badness of water is on the rise, amusing me with the image of water-as-villain.  Also amusing me was the name of one of the men interviewed for the article: Benjamin Grumbles.

There are issues of legitimacy associated with the report, of course.  All the compilation of data was done by the Associated Press, with an angle to prove…something.  At least with the idea of supporting a story.  And what headline would break: Trace Amounts of Prescriptions in Water Found Harmless to Humans?  Still, I think the idea merits further review.  Could trace amounts of a wide variety of prescriptions be damaging to our long-term health?  Could these same trace amounts have a negative impact on wildlife, or come back to haunt us once they’ve completely penetrated our aquifers and surface water?  How long do these medicines remain in our system, and could they build up in higher organisms (i.e., do animals eating many plants with trace amounts build up a higher dose in their bodies, and what effect might this have?)  Also, if trace amounts are getting through our water purification system, are there ways to modify the system to eliminate these trace amounts?

Ultimately these are questions that need to be answered by a mostly impartial group of researchers.  Which brings us to other questions.  Who will research it?  What should be done?  And most important, who’s going to bankroll the whole thing?  Obviously not the pharmaceutical companies, and not the water treatment organizations (many of which refused to be tested for the article).  The government?  I would guess that ultimately, you and I will be paying, one way or another.

Bad things about water

One of the nifty little features of WordPress is that it tracks a bunch of stuff about your blog. You can see how many people have been to your blog each day, and which individual entry has been viewed, and how often.  It also tracks which links inside your blog are clicked, and where viewers might have originated from – either via tags or an online search.  So far, one person has viewed my blog by finding it on an internet search.  They found it by entering ‘Bad things about water’.  Hmm.  I didn’t know I had been talking about water much…  Which just proves the unreliability of search engines.  I guess they do the best they can though, the poor little chuggers.  Anyway, all this talk about water reminds me that bottled spring water in the US is completely unregulated.  I could bottle my tap water and sell it under the name ‘Spring of Belmont’ and that would be perfectly legal.  Just remember that the next time you think about picking up some Nestle or Coca-Cola water.