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2015 Editions (July-December)

2015/7.2, July 22 — Eastern Aspiration, Start-Up Options, Yellowstone’s Magic and more

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Subject: Eastern Aspiration, Start-Up Options, Yellowstone’s Magic and more
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July 22, 2015


Eastern Sensibilities

His clients wanted a home that reflected their refined tastes, writes Randy Beard. The fact that, for a change, others were focused on the challenge of working on a difficult slope freed him to get everything just right with their large spa and understated entryway fountain. [more]


Picking a Path

It’s something too few designers or builders consider as pool and spa projects come to a close. But as Kim Skinner discusses here, the way water is added to a new plaster-, quartz- or pebble-finished pool can make a huge difference in how the watershape will look later on. [more]


Nature’s Studio

A recent trip to Wyoming brought Jim McCloskey face to face with mind-bending forms of natural beauty. But as he relates here, Yellowstone National Park is significantly different from others he’s visited — and a must pilgrimage for inspiration-seeking watershape designers. [more]


Water in Sculpture

The works of sculptor David Curt Morris often combine moving water with simple yet striking shapes in glass or metal. His meticulous compositions speak to observers by juxtaposing the kinetic potential of water against static structures — perhaps something as simple as water flowing over glass surfaces — to exploit what he calls the ‘colors’ of water in motion. It’s a philosophy and a design approach that cuts to the essence of what watershaping is all about.

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in June 2005, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


Radiant History

While on the road in Spain, Paolo Benedetti took a quick side-trip and came across some Roman ruins that caught his technical eye. Here, he discusses what he learned about techniques used in heating swimming pools and large public baths in a remote Roman outpost. [more]


Righting a Hurtful Wrong

A couple months back, an article about restricting access to public pools in Kansas upset Jim McCloskey quite a bit. His frown turned into a smile, however, when a second story, much more humane, crossed his desk and even gave him a chance to get involved. [more]


Popular Culture Dept.: The BBC offers an appreciation of swimming pools’ prominence in film and literature. [more]

It’s great, but also cool that it only scratches the surface.

Concrete, Heal Thyself Dept.: Dutch scientists mix in a bacteria that lets concrete seal its own cracks. [more]

So, maybe a self-filling pothole is next on the list?


Passion and Practicality
Five years back, Bruce Zaretsky used his column to do some personal reflecting and, along the way, defined the effort it can take to balance two key drivers he identified for his business. [more]


Waterplay Releases New Splash-Pad Sprays

Waterplay Manufacturing
(Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada) has introduced Puddles, a fresh take on traditional ground sprays that brings the fun of jumping in rain puddles to splash areas. Designed with a squishy jump pad, the units are now available in three patterns and encourage users to stomp, dance or hop onto the surface to create water effects. For details, click here.

Hayward Offers 115V Variable-Speed Replacement Pump

Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has introduced the Super Pump VS 115V, a variable-speed pump designed as an easy drop-in replacement for 115V single-speed pumps. Featuring a permanent-magnet motor, the unit is sized for applications with 1-1/2-inch plumbing and can provide up to 80-percent energy savings over single-speed pumps. For details, click here.


What Do a Japanese Zoo’s Elephants
Do After Swimming in Their New Pool?

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

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

1. The Fuji Safari Park in Japan has built a 65-meter-long, transparent swimming pool
for the zoo’s resident elephants; this allows visitors to observe the huge animals’ underwater movements while they swim laps. According to zoo staff, what activity do the elephants regularly engage in after having swum only three laps a day?

a. They trumpet loudly for at least five minutes.
b. They eat much more than they would otherwise.
c. They shake their bodies vigorously, just like dogs.
d. They immediately lie down and take a nap.

2. The warden of a prison in Lima, Peru, was fired recently because inmates at his facility enjoyed which of the following benefits (in exchange for illegal fees paid to the guards)?

a. Use of a swimming pool b. Alcoholic beverages at cell-block parties
c. Use of cell phones d. All of the above
3. The Kazan Arena, a large football (soccer) stadium in Kazan, Russia, is being temporarily outfitted to host the FINA World Aquatics Championships, which will take place from July 24 to August 9, 2015. In addition to a new pair of 50-meter aboveground pools, viewing platforms are being constructed to seat how many spectators?

a. 11,000 b. 21,000 c. 31,000 d. 41,000

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

2015/7.1, July 8 — Illuminating the Classics, Digital Values, Working a Waterfall and more

July 8, 2015


Classic French

Working among the 300-year-old fountains in France’s Gardens of Versailles was a bit intimidating, recalls David L’Heureux. But as he writes here, the delicate process of adding modern LED systems to enhance their nighttime appearance was also inspiring beyond measure. [more]


A Path to Enlightenment

While readily acknowledging that digital-design technology has forever changed his working life, Greg Smith also knows that the software is just one of several tools he uses to communicate the value and extent of what he wants to achieve in his clients’ backyards. [more]


Rocky Road

Sourcing and wrangling with big rocks for large-scale waterfall projects is seldom simple, notes Eric Triplett. As he discusses in this video, however, everything ended up going his way in this case, cascading from the top of the hill all the way down the backyard’s long slope. [more]


A Window into Nature

Microsoft’s corporate campus near Seattle has been the birthplace of much of the world’s most significant consumer-electronics technology. When it came time to adorn the ultramodern facility with a watershape of it own, writes Jon Mitovich, the scope and complexity of the system was intended to reflect the scale and grandeur of the world’s most famous software company — and to fit a circumscribed space as though it had been there from time immemorial.

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2003, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


Olympic Gold

The swimming pools used for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics are reminders of the city’s role as one of the world’s great sports capitals. But after decades of use, they needed a facelift — and as Ron Bravo reports, the updated watershapes are truly worth a visit. [more]


A Prime-Time Network

So far, writes Jim McCloskey, the most common questions he’s been asked about the WaterShapes Professional Network have had to do with its origins — the whys and wherefores behind this all-new marketing concept for the watershaping community. [more]


Fair’s Fair Dept.: Dutch firm’s ‘pond dome’ gives curious fish a window onto our much broader world. [more]

Or is the attraction really just the floating food?

Forgive My Obsessions Dept.: Capybaras enjoy a good, long soak in a Japanese zoo’s steaming hot tub. [more]

Unlike my kids, they don’t fight over using the jets.


On the Beam
Back in 2005, David Tisherman focused his attention on the value of a certain kind of technical support he said he would never be without — particularly when it came to a popular sort of remodeling project. [more]


E55BX Mini-Excavator from New Holland Construction

Glass Accent Tiles from Lightstreams Glass Tile

Lightstreams Glass Tile (Santa Clara, CA) makes Jewel Glass tiles for use in marking the edges of pool steps, swim shelves and spa benches and as highlights or markers on pool floors and waterlines. Thick and substantial, the tiles feature complex internal colors and patterns encapsulated in glass. Bullnose and 90-degree trim pieces are also available. For details, click here.


Which U.S. President Swam Naked
In the Potomac River Every Day?

By Quizmaster Lenny Giteck

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

1. An early U.S. president was known to swim nude in the Potomac River every morning. During one of these swims, an amusing ‘Encounter of the First Kind’ took place with Anne Royall, America’s first female reporter. The article includes the following juicy historical tidbit:

One of the most interesting characters in American history, [Royall] had been requesting an interview with the president for months and was tired of being stonewalled. So, early one summer’s morn, she went down to the Potomac and hid in the bushes, waited for the president to strip off his clothes, then revealed herself. She then sat on his clothes, refusing to budge until the president granted her request.

Who was the commander-in-chief-in-the-buff?

a. George Washington b. Thomas Jefferson
c. James Madison d. John Quincy Adams

2. Bruiser Bear, an adorable 18-month-old cub at the nonprofit Single Vision animal sanctuary in Melrose, Fla., loves to climb the ladder to an aboveground pool at the facility, jump in, swim around and ‘surf’ on a surfboard in the pool. According to, what kind of brown bear is Bruiser?

a. American brown bear b. Chinese brown bear
c. Syrian brown bear d. Russian brown bear
3. A former member of a U.S. university’s men’s swimming team has filed a lawsuit against five of his teammates over alleged hazing. The swimmer, reports, says ‘he feared for his life because their hazing was so extreme.’ What university was he attending?

a. University of Michigan b. University of Virginia
c. University of Arizona d. University of Florida

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

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