The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

Industrial-Strength Milestones

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’ve been around watershapes a long time – for more than three-quarters of my professional life.  I started out with scientific and technical magazines in 1980, but once I started splashing around at Pool & Spa News in 1987, I never really looked back.

As it turns out, I found my way into the world of aquatics

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The Way-Back Machine

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

A couple weeks ago in this space, I raised a few questions about public swimming pools and their current tendency toward becoming utterly grand, infinitely varied, impressively expensive mega-facilities.  I also hearkened back to watershaping on the level of the places in which I’d learned to swim – pools where I gained the strength and skill required to

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My Digital Confession

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

It all started at the Orlando pool expo last November, when Noah Nehlich stopped by the WaterShapes booth toward the end of the show and asked how we might work together.  

He’s the founder of Structure Studios (which produces the Pool Studio software system), and I have to admit that I’d never been terribly receptive to the concept of digital design.  At that point, in fact, I was still so

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Odds -- and Endings

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

There’s no doubt that watershaping took it on the chin in the Great Recession.  Some businesses vanished, and those that have persisted are, in many if not most cases, leaner than they were back in 2008 and just different in many respects from what they once were.

It’s also fair to report, because the economy and

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Priced Out

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Something has been nagging at the edges of my consciousness for a while now, and I think it’s high time to write about it.

One of my duties for the past several years has been to roam the Internet to find stories related to pools and all sorts of other watershapes and decide whether a given item merits your attention.  From the start, I noticed but did not share a whole class of items related to

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Righting a Hurtful Wrong

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I came across this news item a couple weeks back and have wanted to share it with you ever since.

Written by Suzanne Perez Tobias for the May 24 edition of the Wichita Eagle, it’s about one person’s response to the Kansas legislature’s decision to prevent the state’s needy citizens from using any public assistance money to go to public

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A Prime-Time Network

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

You’ve all been peppered by my emails in recent weeks, and I’m sorry for that.  But I think that letting you know about the WaterShapes Professional Network is important enough to burden you with a few special messages – including this one.

So far, the most frequently asked questions have had to do with

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Idea Factories

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I can’t begin to count the number of times our watershaping writers have explored the topic of travel, either as the source of clearer thinking or for the inspirational value of seeing how others have addressed specific design, engineering or construction challenges – or how Mother Nature

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Printed Legacy

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

The process of selling off back issues of WaterShapes has been a sentimental journey for me, and I know it’s going to become even more so when the recycling truck shows up on June 1 to clear away all of the unclaimed copies:  I love those printed relics with all my heart, and I hope I’ll be packing lots of them up in the next few days and

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Shaken Loose

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Every time there’s an earthquake in any populated place on the planet, my heart and thoughts go out to those who made it through the experience and to the families and friends of those who didn’t.  The recent deadly quake in Nepal is another in a long line of seismic events that trigger memories of my own experiences when the ground has started

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Media Mastery

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Many years ago, a gentleman by the name of Jack McNairy said something during a meeting of the National Spa & Pool Institute’s Board of Directors that has always stuck with me.

It was in the late 1980s or very early ’90s, when Jack was running his distribution business in Texas and also publishing a

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The Swimming Imperative

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I spend a lot of time wandering around the web looking for information to share with followers of WaterShapes.com’s “Around the Internet” and “Aquatic Health, Fitness & Safety” sections and of the “The WaterShapes Web Café” feature that appear in each edition of the WaterShapes newsletter.

This browsing can be fun and entertaining, but there’s also

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Water Dynamics

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Given what I do for a living, it’s fortunate that I have a deep and abiding love of water.  I enjoy being in, on and near it.  I even like water in the forms of mist and fog.

I must declare, however, that living in the Pacific Northwest for more than three years in the early 1980s put me off a similar love of rain and, more specifically, led me to loathe

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