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December 21, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
  [click here to access the WaterShapes Bookstore!]

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late — including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. NASA has announced it will rent out, on a part-time basis, its Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, an enormous astronaut-training pool, to Petrofac Training Services. The global oil services company will use the facility to train oil and gas workers in offshore survival techniques. How much money does NASA expect to earn from the deal?

a. $1 million per year c. $1 million over the next 10 years
b. $1 million over the next five years d. $1 per year (a token fee)

2. Federal officials are investigating whether a foreign-based cyber attack took place against an Illinois water utility in November. Early indications are that the alleged attack may have been launched from a computer in which country?

a. China b. Vietnam c. Russia d. France

3. The magazine Christian Century reported in mid-November that a growing number of Southern Baptists are making a pilgrimage to, and swimming in, the lake on whose shores John Calvin presided over his religious flock. The lake is:

a. Lake Como (Italy) c. Lake Champlain (U.S. and Canada)
b. Lake Geneva (Switzerland) d. Loch Ness (Scotland)

4. The Czech government and the European Union are providing large subsidies for constructing ponds on private land in the Czech Republic. Why?

a. To reduce the damage caused by floods in the country.
b. To give habitats to birds migrating from Europe to Africa and back.
c. To convince Czech voters to support joining the EU.
d. To create more jobs for the country’s manual laborers.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

December 7, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
Natalie Wood: Tragic Accidental Drowning Or Something More Sinister?  [more]

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. Andrew Pansini, founder of Jandy Industries, died recently at the age of 93. He started Jandy in 1958; the year before, he invented an important device for swimming pools. What was it?

a. Automatic pool cover c. Automatic pool cleaner
b. Automatic pool pump d. Automatic pool filter

2. Due to a devastating drought, one Texas city is imposing water usage restrictions beginning Dec. 12 — with even more-stringent restrictions possibly to go into effect by this coming summer. Which city is it?

a. Dallas b. San Antonio c. Houston d. El Paso

3. Five-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Ian Thorpe — who is attempting to make a comeback after a five-year hiatus — gave a disappointing performance in the 100-meter butterfly at the recent World Cup meet in Tokyo. Still, he hopes to qualify for next year’s Olympics in London. What country is Thorpe from?

a. New Zealand b. Australia c. Canada d. USA

4. There is considerable evidence that competitive swimmers are having much longer careers than they once did. Now, swimmers who were in their teens and early twenties when they competed in their first Olympic Games are returning to participate in multiple subsequent Olympics. What is the most plausible explanation?

a. Just a coincidence related to specific individuals
b. Better injury prevention and treatment
c. A dearth of young, talented swimmers
d. Use of improved performance-enhancing drugs

To find out how many you got right, click here.

November 23, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
InStyle Magazine: Cavalcade of 50 Hot Celebrities in 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie' Bikinis  [more]

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. At the Pan American Games, held in October, many competitors in the swimming events had a difficult time adjusting to the host city’s 5,000-foot altitude. Where were the Pan American Games held?

a. Guadalajara, Mexico c. Lima, Peru
b. Montevideo, Uruguay d. Lagos, Nigeria

2. In Aix-les-Bains, France, a community pool was criticized for temporarily closing to the general public so students from a religious school could use it — with boys and girls swimming separately, and none of them visible to others. What kind of school was it?

a. Moslem b. Orthodox Jewish c. Roman Catholic d. Buddhist

3. Approximately 7,000 people recently stood in line, starting at 3 a.m., to become members of a large, newly renovated municipal swimming pool complex. Where did this take place?

a. Tokyo, Japan c. Jakarta, Indonesia
b. Beijing, China d. Mumbai, India

4. October 23 marked the one-year anniversary of the drowning death of a champion American long-distance swimmer, who lost his life at the age of 26 during a 10-kilometer open-water World Cup race in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. The tragic mishap likely occurred because of the warm water temperature on the day of the competition. Who was the swimmer?

a. Todd McManus c. Fran Crippen
b. Jimmy Maddox d. Steven Salvino

To find out how many you got right, click here.

November 9, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks, including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. During the recent 2011 Healthy Pools campaign sponsored by the Water Quality and Health Council, 1,500 U.S. pools were tested for proper pH and chlorine levels. What percentage failed to have the optimum levels to protect against waterborne germs and to create the most comfort for swimmers?

a. 25% b. 35% c. 50% d. 65%

2. A major Internet company has announced plans to build a swimming pool and gym at its European headquarters, as additional perks for its employees. Which company is it and where are the headquarters located?

a. Google, in Dublin c. Facebook, in London
b. Yahoo, in Paris d. Myspace, in Amsterdam

3. In its Oct. 26 online edition, Time magazine reported on the devastating flood in Thailand. According to the article, how many children (up to age 17) are estimated to lose their lives every year in the floods that ravage Southeast Asian countries — most of them because they never learned how to swim?

a. 78,000 b. 123,000 c. 192,000 d. 240,000

4. Several male residents of one small town recently bared all for a fundraising nude calendar — sales of which will pay for needed repairs to the community’s swimming pool. In what city did the men don their birthday suits for a swimming good cause?

a. Benson (Arizona), USA c. Tuatapere, New Zealand
b. Bonnie Rock, Australia d. Al Jawf, Saudi Arabia

Click here to learn the correct answers and see how many you got right.

October 26, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. Earlier this month, a jury in Massachusetts awarded $20.6 million to a widower whose wife died as a result of injuries suffered on a swimming pool slide. Which U.S. retailer was the defendant in the case?

a. Target b. Home Depot
c. Wal-Mart d. Toys “R” Us

2. The health department of one major Asian city recently reported that 20% of the city’s public pools contain extremely high levels of urea. Which city was it?

a. Beijing, China b. Shanghai, China
c. Seoul, South Korea d. Bangkok, Thailand

3. Long-distance open-water swimmer Fran Crippen died one year ago during a 10-kilometer competition in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, there has been an ongoing debate about what should be the maximum allowable water temperature for such events. What does FINA, the sport’s governing body, recommend?

a. 31 degrees Celsius (87.8 Fahrenheit)
b. 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 Fahrenheit)
c. 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 Fahrenheit)
d. 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit)

4. British royal Prince Harry — in the U.S. for specialized military training — became a hero to a young lady at a San Diego swimming pool, causing her to gush, “He is probably the most charming man I’ll ever meet.” What did Harry do to become her Prince Charming?

a. When the top of her bikini came off, Harry swam over to retrieve it and covered his eyes when he gave it to her.
b. When she suffered a cramp in one of her legs, Harry carried her out of the pool and gently lowered her onto a lounge chair.
c. After someone threw her into the pool fully clothed, Harry wrapped his own towel around her to keep her warm.
d. When a drunken man at the pool made an unwanted, lewd advance toward her, Harry used judo to throw him to the ground.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

October 12, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
George Clooney:  The Brouhaha Over Bodacious Skinny-Dipping at His Italian Villa  [more]

Why May Aussie Olympic Swimmer
Be Banned from London Games?

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

1. Swimming Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee may ban Olympic swimmer Kenrick Monk from participating in the 2012 London Games. Why?

a. He tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
b. He lied about being injured by a hit-and-run driver.
c. He punched one of his teammates in the face.
d. The legality of his Australian citizenship is in dispute.

2. Which Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star recently revealed that he has added swimming to his rigorous prefight training regimen?

a. Kenny Florian b. Josh Grispi
c. Jose Aldo d. Mark Horminick

3. In one city ravaged by an earthquake earlier this year, a woman dressed only in a skimpy bikini showed up at a city council meeting to plead for the speedy reconstruction of a local swimming pool. What city was it?

a. Fukushima, Japan b. Lorca, Spain
c. Port-au-Prince, Haiti d. Christchurch, New Zealand

4. After the original redevelopment plan was widely criticized, the city where the International Swimming Hall of Fame is located has proposed a new plan for redeveloping the facility. Where is the International Swimming Hall of Fame?

a. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. b. La Jolla, Calif.
c. Miami Beach, Fla. d. Virginia Beach, Va.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

September 28, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
Humans Behaving Badly:
Man with Plastic Fetish Arrested
For Lewd Conduct with Pool Toy  [more]

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

Do you know the answers?

1. Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas — which can accommodate 6,400 passengers — is currently the world’s largest cruise ship. How many swimming pools does the Allure of the Seas have?

a. 13
b. 19
c. 21
d. 32

The city of Karachi, Pakistan, has closed all swimming pools at least through November. The spread of what pathogen is the closure designed to prevent?

a. The virus that causes dengue fever
b. The mycobacteria that cause tuberculosis
c. The virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever
d. The amoeba parasite (Naegleria flowleri) that eats human brain tissue

Swimmers in a public pool were unaware that a baby saltwater crocodile had also gone for a dip to escape the heat — until eventually a lifeguard pulled out the creature (which was adorable, by reptilian standards). Where was the pool located?

a. Mumbai, India
b. Darwin, Australia
c. Phuket, Thailand
d. Pnom Penh, Cambodia

And speaking of scary critters in swimming pools…there was also the four-meter-long (more than 13 feet!) python that had to be fished out (snaked out?) of a private club’s swimming pool. In which city?

a. Lagos, Nigeria
b. Nairobi, Kenya
c. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
d. Panama City, Panama

To find out how many you got right, click here.

September 14, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM

Many water-related stories have been in the news in the past several weeks — including reports connected to the four questions below.

Do you know the answers?

1. Hisashi Koze, a 39-year-old Japanese man, was forced to swim 30 kilometers (more than 18 miles) across the South China Sea to return to dry land. Why?

a. The small airplane he was piloting lost engine power, and he had to ditch in the ocean.
b. He was working on a freighter and fell overboard.
c. He was left out in the middle of the ocean because of a diving mishap.
d. His sailboat sprung a leak and sank.

2. With thousands and thousands of foreclosed homes — many of them with swimming pools — sitting vacant in Florida, what public nuisance has arisen due to the lack of pool maintenance?

3. A 52-year-old man nearly lost what part(s) of his body after swimming in improperly chlorinated pool water for five months?

a. His hair
b. His teeth
c. His eardrums
d. His fingernails and toenails.

4. Why did surfers in the Virginia Beach, Virginia, area have reason to celebrate toward the beginning of this month?

To find out how many you got right, click here.

August 24, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM
Movie Legend Marilyn Monroe:
Nude Swimming Outtakes from the Ill-Fated 'Something's Got to Give' 

In the first part of his 'Watershapers Must Grow or Go!’ opinion piece, Mark Holden basically ripped the watershaping industry a new one, as the saying goes. In this issue, he prescribes ways to chart a new course. What do you think? Click on the article’s ‘Join the Dialogue’ box and express yourself. Also, help Jim McCloskey answer the question he poses in the WaterShapes World Blog: ‘Brighter Future or Wishful Thinking?’ Read the articles above and leave your comments at the end.
Do you know the answers?

1. Earlier this month, 61-year-old Diana Nyad was in the news for her unsuccessful attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. What this the athlete's first, second or third try at crossing the Florida Strait?

2. Why was a veteran New York lifeguard fired from his job in 2007? (His case recently made headlines again when an appeals court reinstated his discrimination lawsuit.) Here's a hint: The reason he was fired had to do with swimwear.

3. Why are health experts now advising people not to jump or dive into natural bodies of water such as rivers and lakes or if they do, to use a nose clip or pinch their nostrils shut with their thumb and forefinger?

4. 'Octomom' Nadya Suleman was back in the news recently this time because of her backyard aboveground pool. What was the problem?

August 10, 2011 WATERSHAPES.COM

'Several people have called me in recent weeks with best wishes and, above all, questions about what the future holds for our magazine, WaterShapes,’ writes publisher . ‘That’s a reasonable inquiry, and the honest answer is that I don’t know just yet.’ He concludes: ‘We’ll be back. The question is one huge When? — and all I can suggest is that you watch this space for news. We promise to keep you posted.'  [more]


How much do you know about springboards?

1. What material are modern springboards made from?
2. What materias are used on the top of the boards to create a slip-resistant
3. At what heights are modern springboards positioned?
4. The spring constant of a springboard is usually adjusted by way of a
fulcrum that is located approximately how far along the board?


Can you answer these questions about Mark Spitz, who is now 61?

  1. What was the first international athletic event in which Spitz competed?

  2. Why did Spitz wear a mustache when he competed, as opposed to all the other swimmers who shaved their facial and body hair?
  3. What word did Spitz use to characterize Michael Phelps’ winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics?

  4. In 1998, Spitz appeared in a TV commercial for Playstation, along with another well-known figure. Who was it?

To learn the correct answers and watch a video of Spitz reminiscing about his athletic career, click here.

Head of International Monetary Fund: Synchronized Swimming Champion And Whip-Wielding Dominatrix?  [more]

Which is the world’s “tallest” fountain (that is, which sends water skyward the farthest)?

  1. The Port Fountain in Karachi, Pakistan
  2. The King Fahd Fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  3. The Fountain Park fountain in Fountain Hills, Arizona
  4. The Dubai Fountain in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

To learn the correct answer and watch a dazzling video of one of the fountains, click