H20h My Goodness…

by Curt Kovener

Many of my detractors (and even some of my family) sometimes accuse me of being all wet. And since the human body is 75% water, that may well be the case…for all of us.
So let’s explore that necessary hydrating agent for life: water.
•Water is everywhere-there are 332,500,000 cubic miles of it on the earth’s surface. But less than 1 percent of it is fresh and accessible, even when you include bottled water. And “fresh” can be a relative term. Before 2009, federal regulators did not require water bottlers to remove E. coli.
And since all water is recycled in some manner, maybe you would like to know that the new Water Recovery System on the International Space Station recycles 93% of astronauts’ perspiration and urine, turning it back into drinking water. And you know that the Crothersville wastewater treatment plant turns our flushes into drinking water for someone downstream. Of course, we are downstream from some other community’s wastewater plants.
•Since there has been plenty of it this winter, you should know that ice is a lattice of tetra_hedrally bonded molecules that contain a lot of empty space. That’s why it floats. Even after ice melts, some of those tetrahedrons almost always remain, like tiny ice cubes 100 molecules wide. So that means every glass of water, no matter what its temperature, comes on the rocks.
•You can make your own water by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in a container and adding a spark. Unfortunately, that is the formula that destroyed the Hindenburg.
• Gardeners know not to water plants during the day. Droplets clinging to the leaves can act as little magnifying glasses, focusing sunlight and causing the plants to burn.
•Hair on your skin can hold water droplets too. A hairy leg may get sunburned more quickly than a shaved one.
•Vicious cycle: Water in the stratosphere contributes to the current warming of the earth’s atmosphere. That in turn may increase the severity of tropical cyclones, which throw more water into the stratosphere. That’s the theory, anyway.
•Although many doctors tell patients to drink eight glasses of water a day, there is no scientific evidence to support this advice. The misinformation might have come from a 1945 report recommending that Americans consume about “1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food,” which amounts to 8 or 10 cups a day. But the report added that much of that water comes from food-a nuance many people apparently missed.
•Scientists at Oregon State University have identified vast reservoirs of water beneath the ocean floor. In fact, there may be more water under the oceans than in them.