Compiled and written by Lenny Giteck
‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie’ Dead,
‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie’ Alive?
Given the symbiotic relationship between the world of watershaping and the world of swimwear, Ripples considers it a sacred journalistic duty to keep readers abreast of the latest developments on the bikini front. For example, you may recall the item we ran about the $1,500 solar-powered bikini that enables the wearer to recharge her (presumably) electronic devices at the beach.
This week, Ripples learned of the recent passing of Lee Pockriss, one of the two collaborators who joined forces to compose the midcentury “bubblegum” pop classic “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” Pockriss died on Nov. 14 at the age of 87.
In a report about Pockriss’ demise and the famous ditty, NYTimes.com noted that the “novelty number was about a young woman ‘afraid to come out of the water’ and be seen in the revealing swimsuit she was wearing. Her reluctance was understandable, because the navel-revealing bikini was still considered relatively shocking outside Hollywood and the French Riviera. In fact, the song has been credited with helping [bikinis] gain acceptance.”
Ironically, Pockriss’ writing partner for the song, a gentleman by the name of Paul Vance, was declared dead about five years ago by the media. Shortly thereafter, the inconvenient fact that Vance was still very much alive was revealed. (He’s still kicking to this day.)
As it turned out, a fellow named Paul Van Valkenburgh had falsely told his family for decades that he’d written “Itsy Bitsy” under the pseudonym Paul Vance — and his relatives, seeing no reason to disbelieve the claim, included it in his obituary.
When the real Paul Vance learned of his supposed death, he was understandably dismayed. The Web site NYTimes.com quoted him as saying, “My kids went nuts. My closest friends are still calling.” The article continued: “Mr. Vance said that two racehorses he owned were scratched from races yesterday because organizers believed he had died.”
Obviously, one is reminded of the famous Mark Twain quote, “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” In any event, there is no doubt that the still-breathing Paul Vance indeed was the true cowriter of the song, because he has been collecting royalties on it for decades. “Believe me,” observed Vance, “if they think you’re dead, they ain’t going to send the money.”
Singer Brian Hyland — who also is still alive — is the performer most identified with “Itsy Bitsy,” having had a #1 hit with the song in 1960 at the ripe old age of 16. To hear his rendition, click here
The ‘50 Best Celebrity Bikinis’
According to InStyle Magazine
To honor and thank Adam Pockriss, Paul Vance and Brian Hyland for their musical contribution to swimming pools and beaches everywhere — not to mention to American culture and human civilization — we are pleased to present a photo gallery entitled “50 Best Celebrity Bikinis” from the magazine InStyle. Although there are no yellow polka-dotted examples, some of the bikinis are itsy, some are bitsy and a few are both teenie and weenie. The scantily clad celebs include Halle Berry, Courtney Cox, Denise Richards, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank and Kim Kardashian, to name just a few. Enjoy!
To see “50 Best Celebrity Bikinis,” click here
Using Ice Maker, Not Corpses,
To Heat Aquatic Center Pools
In the Feb. 23, 2011 edition of Ripples, we ran an item about a plan in the U.K. to warm a community swimming pool with heat generated by a crematorium located in a funeral parlor next door. The Ripples headline was “Public Pool in England to Be Heated by Dead People.”
Although Ripples thought it was a brilliant example of killing two birds with one stone (so to speak), click-through statistics showed that not many people wanted to read about the ingenious, if somewhat disconcerting, innovation.
Now comes another alternative heating idea that might be more palatable to readers who are a bit squeamish about the “d” word. According to a report on montrealgazette.com, the town of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada, “is investing in a thermal plant that will redirect energy produced from the ice-making compressors at its arena to heat the water at its adjacent aquatic center.”
Pointe-Claire mayor Bill McMurchie is quoted as saying, “What it is, effectively, is machinery which will make use of the heat generated by the compressors when they're freezing and making ice, and using that to heat the water in our swimming pools. It's like your fridge. When you check the air coming out below or behind the fridge, it's hot air. Hot air is produced by the compressors when the condensers are operating.”
The entire project will cost an estimated $3.4 million — $1 million to build the thermal plant, with the rest going for repairs on the existing compressors and for connections to the aquatic center. According to Mayor McMurchie, the payback period will be 10 years, “but the life expectancy of the equipment goes on far beyond that."
To see one of the aquatic center pools and learn more about the project, click here
Firefighters Rescue Adorable Pony
Ripples has reported on any number of animals that have fallen into swimming pools, rivers, lakes and so forth, and needed to be rescued. Just off the top of Ripples’ head, these have included a horse, buffalo, moose, elk, dog, crocodile, alligator, snake… yadda, yadda, yadda. But none of the critters were nearly as adorable as the pony that firefighters recently rescued from a pool in Bushey Heath, England.
: To see a clear photo of one very cute, very wet, pony, click here
To watch a rather murky video of the rescue, click here
Stunning Views from Barcelona Pool
Finally, some swimming pools are amazing because of their design and the surrounding poolscape, while others are amazing because of the beautiful views you can enjoy from them. The public Piscina Municipal Pool de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain, falls into the second category. Truly spectacular!
To watch Spanish professional diver José Marillo “work” in what he describes as his “office” and to learn more about this installation, click here
Until next time, happy watershaping to you!