Tuesday 26 June 2007

Planet Water

The surface of our planet is 75% water. So what's with Planet 'Earth'?

Some time ago I read a great book about the intriguing molecule H2O by Philip Ball - who has a completely enviable blog. A great way to get a small appetizer for the subject is to listen to the BBC 3-part radio science series about water.

Water is full of contradictions; such as it should in fact be a gas, it should get heavier instead of lighter when it freezes, and it has a disproportionately high boiling point. It is utterly essential to life: to the extent the space exploration is always seeking water as a likely sign of life. Yet arguably it is an alien substance to this planet.

There has been a huge amount of rain lately in Berlin - some spectacular storms and downpours. Yet less than one percent of the water on Earth's surface is available to us as drinking water.

Water is life. And as an Irishman knows, 'whiskey' comes from the Irish 'uisce beatha' which means 'water of life'.

At home, we have a peculiar wooden plate on which we keep a jug of drinking water. Inside this plate is a magnetised spiral containing spring water. The theory behind this item is that the spiral and water within somehow teaches the water in the jug to be like spring water. When my wife bought this plate, I thought she was crazy. Yet time and again in blind tests among ourselves and with visitors, water from the jug always comes out as tasting better than water either from the tap or a bottle. What's going on?

Masaru Emoto's book 'The Hidden messages in Water', which I learned about through the documentary 'what the bleep do we know' proposes that water has a personality and will react to good and evil thoughts as it will react to good and bad circumstances. This he linked, naturally, to the fact that we are two thirds water - so we are also open to such good or bad influences. His methods have been criticised, but the idea appeals to the dreamer in me.

The sky has just darkened and I think another downpour is on its way. The skies may also be darkening for the world in terms of water; a precious resource that may yet lead to war....

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