"¢Â Ah yes, that cool, glistening refreshment that makes up roughly 70% of the human body 70-75% of the Earth. Unfortunately, only 1% of Earth's water is suitable for drinking. Luckily (?), the inventor of the Segway is now focusing his efforts on developing a water purifier made out of cow dung.

"¢Â Don't be afraid of your tap water - in fact, many places are trying to make it popular again. And though they may have air pollution problems, there's nothing wrong with what comes out of the spigot - LA has once again won the award for tastiest tap water.

"¢Â Speaking of, you may be interested to know that Aquafina and Dasani are both tap waters (and they constitute 24% of bottled water sales). Additionally, there are no health benefits to oxygenated water. There may not be anything great about carbonated water either, but it does occur naturally (The word seltzer comes from the name of a German town, Nieder Selters, a district where mineral springs are located).

"¢Â So then ... why does water have an expiration date?

"¢Â As mentioned, water is not always of the utmost quality: Because of the poor quality of water in the 17th century, the Mayflower travelers drank beer. And indeed, they landed in Plymouth because ... they ran out.

"¢ And for when times get tough .... NASA has discovered a way to turn astronaut's urine into drinking water. Though there are other options, of course (The Apollo crew used fuel cells to create water).

"¢Â Salt water conversion is one big challenge to overcome, although evolution has figured out for some. For example, to get rid of excess salt from the water and food they ingest, Albatrosses have salt glands just behind their eye sockets. The glands excrete a highly concentrated salt solution that drains out through the tip of the beak.

"¢Â Lizards have also mastered water, though in a different way - they can walk on it.

"¢Â Water can be controlled in interesting ways, from making ice spikes to making it flow uphill.

"¢ I hope you Flossers are getting your daily drink requirements. Do any of you have well water as your main source of aqua? And for those who are not aware, the title this week (that old familiar saying) is from "Rime of the Ancient Mariner."

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.