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‘Exploring the Whole Earth

 NASA’s ‘View of Earth’  is a spectacular slideshow presented by NASA in honour of this year’s Earth Day (link below).

There is also a link on NASA’ site for the 10 most popular earth images taken from ‘Home Through the Astronauts’ Eyes’ and here they are!!!  (You can vote for your favorite on NASA’ Twitter poll.)

Apollo 17 View Of Earth

Mouth Of The Betsiboka River, Madacascar

Mobile Bay, Alabama


The Greater Himalayas

The Sinai Peninsula And The Dead Rift

The Great Lakes

Cleveland  Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

City Lights along France Italy Border

Europe and Africa at night

Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean



 Top 10 images – You can vote for your favorite on NASA’s Twitter poll.


 – 10 most downloaded Earth videos from NASA



Earth Day – Let’s Do Our Part

Excerpts from Earth Day: Take it up – Patrick Langston, the Ottawa Citizen April 20, 2012

Earth Day’s call for collection action aims to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet

…The climate is warming, wildlife habitats are vanishing, resources – from water to oil – are being squandered…“It’s a numbers game: It’s not the contribution one person makes; it’s the collective action. “The only control we ultimately have is over our own actions. (The situation) is scary, but it’s not hopeless,”  – Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada. None of which means that industry and government are off the hook. Large-scale moves, like controlling environmental damage from resource extraction, for example, are critical.

But individual initiatives can make a huge difference and we’ve come up with 10 that you can implement easily, just in time for tomorrow’s Earth Day…earthday.ca/takeitup. While you’re there, sign up for contest prizes.

Chillin’ out

Get paid up to $400 and reduce the strain on our electricity system while chilling out this summer. ­Hydro Ottawa/Ontario Power Authority’s Heating & Cooling ­Incentive program reimburses you $250 for replacing an existing ­central air conditioning system with an Energy Star-rated one (energy efficiency rating of at least 14.5 SEER and 12 EER) and $400 for a Tier 2 system (minimum 15 SEER and 12.5 EER). There’s also $250 available for upgrading your furnace. Info: 1-877-797-9473, hydroottawa.com/residential/saveonenergy/programs-and-incentives/heating-and-cooling

Green catering

Got a wedding or family reunion? Hire a catering service with an environmental conscience. In Ottawa, The Whalesbone, for example, says it sources fish and seafood from producers using sustainable harvesting techniques (613-266-6743, thewhalesbonecatering.com). The Westin Hotel’s sustainable business meeting service includes green elements, like reusable dishes and cutlery and locally sourced food: 613-560-7000, www.thewestinottawa.com/sustainablemeetings

Go Energy Star

Switching to energy-efficient appliances can reduce energy consumption, saving householders about 30 per cent a year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Using an Energy Star clothes washer during off-peak hours (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) will save roughly $700 in electricity bills over 14 years. That washer will also use 194,000 fewer litres of valuable water during its lifetime compared to a conventional washer.

The Green, Green Grass … or Not

An inefficient gas-powered lawnmower produces as many emissions as driving a typical car 550 kilometres, says the Clean Air Foundation. Options: Go longer between cuts; for smaller areas, switch to a manual lawnmower or a solar-powered model; replace some of your lawn with native plants. As to that leaf blower, don’t even think about buying it — invest instead in an old-fashioned, muscle-building rake and push broom.

Get Off the Bottle

Just say no to bottled water. Not only is tap water in Canada generally safe, but producing and transporting bottled water consumes vast amounts of resources and energy: three to five litres of water, for instance, are needed to produce a one-litre bottle of water, according to the Council of Canadians. Here’s the clincher: a CTV report in 2006 found that a litre of bottled water costs about 3,000 times as much as the same amount of tap water.

Power Bars

Costing as little as $5.77 at Canadian Tire, a power bar can reduce energy use and your hydro bill by shutting off power to televisions, stereos and other electrical devices when they’re not in use. Devices like these typically have an “always-on” feature to power their digital clocks and instant-on capability. That feature can account for five to 10 per cent of a household’s annual electricity usage.

Being a Drip

A drip irrigation system that delivers life-giving water directly to the roots of your vegetables or flowers is about 90-per-cent efficient compared to roughly 60 per cent for an overhead sprinkler, which allows a lot of evaporation – available at Lee Valley Tools starting at less than $50. Just remember that drip systems can clog if the water’s not filtered and the lines not maintained.

Not Just for Fries

To banish food-borne pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, from your home, try vinegar instead of pricey store-bought cleansers. That’s one of multiple tips on Toronto green author and columnist Adria Vasil’s website ecoholic.ca. Vasil’s new book, Ecoholic Body, is one of the prizes in the Take It Up for Earth Day contest. It brims with eco-conscious tips on everything from shampoos to clothing.

Avoid the Drive-thru

Next time you need a Tim Horton’s coffee, park your car and walk into the restaurant instead of joining the drive-thru queue. Allowing a car to idle more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more exhaust than restarting it, according to Natural Resources Canada. Besides, walking will burn up some of the calories in that double-double.

Electronic Waste

Slipping that burnt-out cell phone into the garbage bag won’t doom Mother Earth, but multiply that action by billions of humans with billions of electronic devices and that’s a lot of valuable materials — some of them toxic – going into landfills. Electronics recycling opportunities abound from municipal e-waste drop-off events to partners in the City of Ottawa’s Take It Back program (ottawa.ca/cgi-bin/search/recycle/q.pl?q=&lang=en). Take It Back includes dozens of other products from engine oil containers to bicycle parts.

Links –




Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa bring you a water related National Geographic video – perhaps this can be the beginning of our “Armchair Travel” series – hope you enjoy (I certainly did – so much so that I watched it twice!)

The largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef spans more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) of islands and submerged reefs. A plethora of coral thrives here, along with a sweep of parrot fish, surgeonfish, barracuda, and sharks.

Established as a national park in 1975, the Great Barrier Reef was designated as a World Heritage Site six years later. Today 33 per cent of it is fully protected, and efforts are underway to deal with pollution, over-fishing, and the consequences of climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef appears to be about 20,000 years old, but geologists using deep coring techniques have found evidence of ancient corals there that are half a million years old.  With care, the future of Australia’s living treasure will be at least as enduring as its magnificent past.



 * *

GREAT BARRIER VIDEO, “Oceans: Great Barrier Reef”   

Great Barrier Reef Transcript: …  From space, the east coast of Australia appears to be in the embrace of a giant opal. The largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef is a lacy, living wall spanning more than two thousand kilometers of islands and submerged reefs, between the Queensland coast and the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Diving in, the opal seems to splinter into millions of pieces, whirlpools of small metallic-blue fish, barracuda gliding like silver submarines, and occasionally, a lone, predatory shark. The Great Barrier Reef is like an underwater city whose buildings are alive, with millions of small creatures whose lives are intimately and intricately connected. It is as diverse as a rainforest, a mosaic of more than 70 types of habitats hosting thousands of species of marine life. As many as 100 different kinds of coral may occupy a single acre of ocean. Molecule by molecule, coral animals gradually extract calcium carbonate from the surrounding water to form minute stony cups around each animal’s soft crown of tentacles. Some coral live in solitary splendor, but most are built with hundreds, sometimes thousands of individual animals, linked together to form a single coral mound, plate or cluster of branches. Some are like little pink trees and shrubs. They provide food and shelter for thousands of other forms of life. Corals get the credit for most of the reef structure, but much of the construction is done by fast-growing encrusting red algae. They act like pink glue, cementing fragments of shell, sand and coral with sheets of calcium carbonate. The reef is home to more than 4000 kinds of mollusks, from tiny sea slugs – nudibranchs — to giant clams. Green sea turtles travel thousands of miles in the open sea to reach the sandy beaches of some of the Barrier Reef’s islands, and there, to lay their eggs. Hatchings head straight for the sea. They will travel thousands of miles over the years, and eventually, return to lay their own eggs…

video credit: National Geographic

 – VIDEO: UN concern over Barrier Reef threat (bbc.co.uk)

 – Fears for health of Great Barrier Reef (1oneday.wordpress.com) 

AWARD WINNING FILM! A MUST SEE! – PDN Video Pick: Iceland’s Water “Vatn”

What a magnificent, stunning and profound result of E. Pacheco’s approach to viewing water conservationpersonify and give water a voice!!! 

Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa know you will certainly enjoy this unique video presentation!


Photographer and filmmaker Enrique Pacheco‘s most recent short film, “Vatn” (the Icelandic word for water), offers stunning views of Iceland’s oceans, rivers and waterfalls…

Shot and edited over a 6-month period, the film employs an interesting narrative structure that personifies water and makes it the film’s protagonist. “Human beings are the antagonists,” Pacheco said of the film, in an interview published on his Web site.

“We are changing the life cycle of water. This film is for water conservation. Instead of talking about water, I decided to personify water, give it voice, so we can hear it.”




Dole Nutrition Institute answered:

Fluid intake may help support heart health, by affecting factors such as the thickness of blood and plasma. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that subjects who drink five or more glasses of water per day have half the risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with those who drink less than two glasses of water each day. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables provides additional hydration help, as produce can provide roughly 20 percent of your water needs. Cucumbers, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, spinach, grapefruit and broccoli are all more than 90 percent water

Alkaline Water Health Improvements:
The lack of h2o in people’s diets stands out as the undeniable cause of plenty of common illnesses. People don’t understand that clean, healthy liquid, and the proper intake has enormous health and fitness benefits. If the water is actually alkaline, further enriching our bodies by bringing the acidic material back towards balance, then a health benefits are sustained. You may be astonished to learn that the explanation for and solution to countless common discomforts is too little of water intake. It may possibly be something you’ve been going through your entire life. Increase your water consumption to avoid heart problems.
Heart healthy
Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
Angina, also referred to as heart pain or serious heartburn, is a sign of dehydration during the heart and lung axis. Although angina is incredibly crippling, medication should be utilized. Increased water intake will remedy this challenge over time.
Heartburn is one approach the body signals that there’s a shortage of mineral water in the upper an area of the gastrointestinal tract, generally any esophagus or stomach. You will need to keep this area for the body thoroughly hydrated, because the acidic content of your stomach may be very strong and can be damaging towards the rest of your overall body, particularly the throat.
The most severe part is, many people do not realize that heartburn is signaling anyone to drink more water. As an alternative, they medicate it utilizing pills and antacids. With time, this is detrimental with your health! The continued dehydration and medication may cause inflammation of the belly, with potentials for ulcers, hernias, and in the end cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the failing liver and pancreas.
Does the temperature of the water matter at all? Believe it or not – it does matter.
Cold water is not as good for hydration as room temperature. The theory is that the cold water causes the blood vessels surrounding stomach to shrink, slowing absorption.
One theory, upon which medical researchers have varying opinions regards whether drinking cold water is as good for you as drinking tepid water, particularly when you are exercising. Some doctors suggest that room temperature or body temperature water is better than cold water, because the body has to expend energy to heat cold water to body temperature, resulting in some water loss.
The problem is that as the COLD drinks pass through our system, they solidify the fats from the foods we have just eaten or are eating at present. This makes the body find it harder to digest and disperse the unwanted fats from our body.
However, if we simply swap our cold drinks for a warm drink (warm water/ coffee/tea/herbals) the warm fluids help the fats in our foods to remain fluid and so easing the digestive system and helping the fats pass through our body (and reduce risk of clogged arteries).
Most people understand the importance of hydration, but the disconnect is how critical to health the source and structure of water is.
Water is your body’s most important nutrient, is involved in every bodily function, and makes up 70- 75% of your total body weight. Water helps you to maintain body temperature, metabolize body fat, aids in digestion, lubricates and cushions organs, transports nutrients, and flushes toxins from your body.


Heart Attacks and Drinking Warm Water

This is a very good article. Not only about the warm water after your meal, but about heart attacks. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot green tea with their meals, not cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this “sludge” reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and may lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal…  


Instead of spending a fortune on bottled water, invest in a filter for your home . It’ll make tap water taste like bottled, at a fraction of the price.





Please join us and sign the petition at this site
with many thanks from your friends at Rainsoft Ottawa


Censorship and internet have a hard time going together. Once something like this is in place where does it end….?