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News Briefs 01-04-2011

It’s April 1. No joke…

Quote of the Day:

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.

Chinese Proverb

  1. bottled water
    The tests done on tap water follow strict standards. For example, these tests often involve running the water for a minute or so before taking a sample.This means the are repeatable, verifiable and all that. Reliable.

    It also means that the results don’t necessarily mean much for the tap water in your house. The tap water in your house sits in your pipes, and your faucets. So you get different kinds of contamination, from piping materials and bacteria.

    This contamination is of course not the fault of the water providers. It’s your house. So if you get sick from your tap water, you can sue your builder, your plumber, and yourself if you own the building.

  2. When I cannot avail myself of
    When I cannot avail myself of my own in-home filtration system then I will drink bottled water preferably from Mt. Valley in Arkansas. It is some of the purest in the world and can now be found in most well stocked grocery stores in most of the major US cities in which I sometime find myself. I refuse to drink fuoride and chlorine from tap water. I also religiously recyle my bottles. I will not change these habits because others are not so conscientious. It is up to them to clean up their act. Not included in the graphs and calculations of this article is the astounding health threat from drinking poisons placed in the average tap water system in the US.

    1. Hitting the (plastic) bottle
      Personally, I can’t stand the taste of water stored in plastic bottles. There must be some sort of contamination of the water from the chemicals in the plastic.

      While there is certainly a need for bottled water, I have to think it is overused to the point of abuse. Transportation for distribution over more than a local or regional scale also seems wasteful.

    1. I agree about plastic bottles
      I agree about plastic bottles too which is why I only drink from glass bottles which I also religiously recycle. Most of my far flung family members in various cities participare on bottle recycling programs.
      A giant source of pollution also not factored in to the above calculation – fluoride and chlorine pollution of the water cycle via the effluent from our homes, industry, etc. This is massive and toxic pollution which so many of the systems analyses blithely ignore.

      1. glass bottles
        Glass bottles are preferred mostly by those who don’t carry them.

        Aside from carrying heavy stuff when walking, biking or enjoying the benefits of available public transportation, there is an energy cost to shipping heavy glass containers back and forth.

        And indeed, public water additives like chlorine and fluoride are not figured into the argument against bottled water.

  3. Debunkifying as a profession
    Since the advent of the internet, debunkery has become something of a full-blown profession. Even the word, ‘debunk’ casts a negative light on everything it touches. All one really need do today to turn a few heads and gain a small following, is to title a blog or an article with that gawdawful word somewhere within.

    Its been a very depressing stretch of years since this began about 1997 or so… because the moment someone has a novel idea or theory, somebody else drops a hatchet debunking job on it and… *poof*.

    Michael Shermer is one good example. This guy has made a living out of assaulting and killing ideas and concepts. And it’s not that he is really that smart. He just plays it up like everyone else is dumb…

    “No matter who you are; whether a backhoe operator or a military general, waitress or astronaut, bus driver or airline pilot, parking lot attendant or police officer – if you have seen something that you absolutely knew was NOT a flock of birds or anything else that most people here in the opening years of the 21st century are used to seeing in the skies on a regular basis, you are stupid.

    Mr. Shermer and Scientific American are having this bit of fun on your dime because they are smarter than you. You’re going to take and like it, too.

    Thank you sir, may I have another?”

    So, we’ve created a new field of endeavor? The disproving of other people’s ideas?


    (PS- RPJ… I know this ain’t exactly top-dead-center of the inventor debunkifier link… but it IS the thought that came to mind when I read it. Hope that counts 🙂

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