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Ripples #17

Compiled and Written by Lenny Giteck

Ripples artYankees’ A-Rod Strikes Out
With Tenants Irate Over Pool

Florida housing officials have ordered New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez — more commonly known as A-Rod — to better maintain the swimming pool at the Normandy Park apartment complex outside Tampa. The complex is owned by a property company that A-Rod owns.

According to a report on NewYorkPost.com, residents of the complex have described substandard living conditions — including problems with trash collection and rusty pipes. One of the main problems, they contend, is that the swimming pool has not been maintained properly, making it unusable for two years.
A separate report about the dispute, on TMZ.com, revealed that in response to an official complaint filed by the tenants, Tampa-area code enforcement officials ordered that the pool be drained and cleaned within a week.

Ripples notes that Rodriguez reportedly earns $32 million a year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball and someone undoubtedly able to afford the services of a pool-cleaning company.

When a Three-Legged Dog and
Two Baby Elephants Get Wet

You think losing one of his four legs to osteosarcoma can keep three-legged German shepherd Jerry from enjoying life to the fullest? Obviously, you don’t know Jerry.

Video: To watch a heartwarming video of this furry cancer survivor swimming in Colorado’s Lake San Cristobal, go to http://tinyurl.com/3gdbvsc.

A couple of WaterShapes EXTRA! issues ago, outspoken watershaper Mark Holden compared many of the rock formations built on the edges of backyard pools to large pachyderm posteriors—and you can bet he didn’t mean it as a compliment.

However, what could be more adorable than a couple of baby elephants—with their little baby elephant tushes (all things being relative)—cavorting in an inflatable kiddie pool?

Video: Ripples is confident that if you watch this video, your answer to the question will be “Nothing!” Click on http://tinyurl.com/4ednw5h, then click on the thumbnail screen to the right.

Arizona Man Turns Pool
Into "Survivalist Refuge"

An Arizona man has converted his backyard swimming pool into a “survivalist refuge” in preparation for the end of the world on December 12, 2012.

According to a report on NewYorkTimes.com, Mesa resident Dennis McClung “has installed a subterranean garden in his pool along with a fish pond and chicken coop. The chicken droppings feed the tilapia, which swim in water that is pumped up through the blackberry, cherry tomato, bell pepper and chili plants. The ecosystem is designed to feed his family with minimal trips to the supermarket.

“Mr. McClung’s desire to become self-sufficient does not end there,” the article goes on to reveal. “One room of his modest one-story home has been transformed into a storage facility, in case something dire happens in the world outside. He has radiation suits, batteries, bleach to disinfect water, medical supplies, gas masks and a Geiger counter, as well as freeze-dried food.”
McClung and his wife are also turning their “the end is near” mindset into a business: They sell survivalist gear on their Web site 2012Supplies.com. Clearly, the McClungs are McClinging to capitalism despite the imminent apocalypse.

Ripples recalls that at the time of the turn of the millennium, he worked for a company that had a branch office in Phoenix. One of the employees there sat on her porch on New Year’s Eve 2000 holding a shotgun — to fend off the rampaging hordes that never materialized.

Although Ripples was born and raised in Tucson, he nevertheless must ask: Could it be something in the Arizona water?

Record Falls as New Luxury
Hotel Pool Reaches for the Sky

In this fast-changing world, records of any sort don’t last long — which is why Ripples wasn’t surprised to learn that the claim to having the world’s highest swimming pool, made less than a year ago by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore and profiled in this column, already has taken a dive.

The new record belongs to the recently opened Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong, whose pool is located at the very top of the hotel on the 118th floor. The new hotel’s pool is an indoor installation right next to a bank of large windows, affording a spectacular view of Hong Kong down below.

The pool in Singapore, on the other hand, is an outdoor, vanishing-edge affair perched hard against the rim of the hotel’s roof — which looks like an enormous, curved surfboard floating in air — providing a truly vertigo-inducing experience. Happily, if a swimmer happened to accidentally butterfly-stroke him- or herself over the edge, the plunge to Singapore’s terra firma would be a mere 55 stories.

It may no longer be the highest pool in the world, but in terms of taking swimmers’ breath away (or being excruciatingly nerve-wracking, depending on one’s emotional constitution), the pool at the Marina Bay Sands still holds the Ripples record for “World’s Greatest Hotel Thrill Swim.”

Acrophobics might be wise to avoid both.

To see the spectacular pool at the Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore pool, click http://tinyurl.com/2vk2xgd. Be sure to scroll down to see all the images

To see the pool at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong (much less spectacular), click on http://tinyurl.com/4456koj.

Then There’s the Luxury Hotel
Pool Down in the Basement…

While we’re on the topic of luxury hotels and their magnificent swimming pools, here’s one at the opposite end of the spectrum: the completely renovated and recently reopened St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, which may be able to boast having the world’s lowest beautiful swimming pool. Acrophobics have nothing to worry about here!

Ensconced in the historic building’s basement (where the kitchen once stood), the pool doesn’t afford a spectacular view of anything, nor does it provide an opportunity to get a tan (not that such opportunity exists anywhere in London). It does, however, offer some wonderful lighting effects.

To see images of the completely renovated St. Pancras Renaissance, go to http://tinyurl.com/3loh2xf. You’ll have to wade through a slew of slideshow photos of the establishment before you get to the subterranean pool—but the hotel is gorgeous and the images are well worth the time to peruse.

Until next time, happy watershaping to you!


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