Water Contamination

Ralph Gainey sesame at MCN.ORG
Thu Jul 10 20:24:52 EST 1997

I volunteer to take all of these calls ... how many have we had? In the
absence of a FAQ dealing with these tough ones, I'll step in and no one else
need be bothered ... I'm not so busy or ancient that I cannot make a
contribution ...

Question: I recently heard ...

Typical reference for this type of inquiry, I suppose ...

Continuing on ...

[that] >when taking a bath one's body absorbs the equivalent of 2.5 glasses
of water.  Is this correct.

The use of a period instead of a question mark suggests a lack of the proper
humility which contributes much to the satisfaction one derives from being
helpful in sharing one's training and experience ... in future this problem
will perhaps be alleviated ... I'm willing to overlook it ... for now ...  

>Please e-mail me with comments to JLeen at Juno.com.

This approach deprives the entire world of the benefits of having this
information published in a convenient form for the advancement of all
mankind ... you may have personal interests here ... a thesis perhaps ...
which you prefer priority on ... although I respect this concern, this
aspect is outweighed ... as the Supreme Court recently noted in respect to
general trash on the internet ... by the interests in freedom of
informational exchange ... there was a comment about the dubious merits of
an "... an unproved theory" ... but we need not digress here on that ... so
I will answer your sincere desire for information openly ...

>I am looking at the impact of ground water on the body and the effects of

These are both honest pursuits, and other than some minor imprecision in
language [which we will address anon in the general interest], I cannot fault 
your curiosity about these subjects ... for simplicity, let's separate them,
as they seem to require a somewhat diverse approach to their investigation...

Perhaps, thought it would be best to provide some insight into the original
inquiry ... something along the lines of the H. sapiens capability to absorb
the water used in the processing of cleansing it ...

In order to deal successfully with this question, it is necessary to plan a
course of investigation which adequately into account the various variables
... it will be necessary for you to make whatever adjustments and
corrections seem required in each experiment to insure accurate results ...

The general approach called for here falls into the category of weight
change and potentially, volume change ... note here that these are
scientific terms and require the introduction of accurate measurements using
a readily communicable and widely standardized unit of weights and volume,
respectively ... you obviously are scientifically oriented, which I note
from your provision of a quantification of the liquid in question ... vis.
2.5 glasses ... a splendid first effort ...and can benefit from the
procedures which I gratuitously introduce, knowing however, that you are
possibly already acquainted with these concepts, and may perchance take some
offense at a recitation of mundane fundamentals ... I hope that you will not
take such offense, and will just skip over those parts that are already
familiar to you, with the thought that perhaps there may be someone
somewhere who has not yet proceeded to these heights of enlightenment and
elegance and may perchance derive a benefit ... mankind must in each
generation renew its acquaintance with its treasure of the scientific
method, and I am pleased to make this little contribution in that direction ...

Total immersion is somewhat fallen out of favor in recent years, other than
in some religious rites of passage in a quest of a deeper cleaning than is
generally undertaken in that regard, in favor of showering ... the general
question of absorption will have to be addressed for both potentialities,
therefore, with unfortunate consequences for the terseness of our approach
... however, the search for truth often requires persistence and a fortitude
without which any attempt to arrive at a satisfactory resolution will be
castrated at the gate, as it were ...

In a genuine effort to be of assistance, I find to my regret that some
simplifying assumptions must be made, which if careful attention to these
details is not made at your end, serious errors may occur, which will make
the interpretation of your results suspect, if not totally unreliable ...

In all honesty, I could provide you with a relatively short answer to your
question ... in two letters of the alphabet, in fact, but what would be the
benefit to you and countless others if we took the short route ... those
with inclination are doubtless long since migrated to less promising fields
of investigation ... 

First let's attempt to answer the question right there in your home or
laboratory, as it were ... wherever the experimental procedures are to be
carried out under controlled conditions ... we must from the very beginning
make some estimate of the degree of accuracy that will be satisfactory to
provide the information you seek ... will you in fact be satisfied with
accuracy in the range of +/- 2.5 glasses of water? If so, it will only be
necessary provide some weight or volume figures which can be translated into
a known universal standard ... it would be helpful if you could obtain a
measuring cup graduated along the side in either ounces or cups ... it would
be even more helpful if you would agree to an expression of the change in
weight noted during the bathing process as determined by the observation of
a suitably graduated bathroom scale ... it is to be noted however, that
persons of average size who absorb 2.5 glasses of water may not cause
sufficient deflection of the recording needle to make this approach
successful ... and thus it may indeed be necessary to devise special
equipment ... but do not be deterred ... this is frequently the case in
science, and a great part of the adventure is the design and construction of
new types of instrumentation ... and often advances from one study are many
times more useful in another application ...

Some care may need to be exercised in the choice of your experimental
animals, ... uh, I mean subjects ... if possible, I suggest that you locate
some corpses ... strike that ... people who will volunteer to be cooperative
and follow your instructions completely during the course of the experiment
...this may prove more difficult than it at first appears, and some caution
is perhaps in order ... for one thing, people end to be somewhat sensitive
about commonplace things, and it may be necessary to select subjects who are
less modest than the norm ... try to avoid subjects who seem a little too
eager to volunteer, however, as their efforts to establish rapport may
interfere with the progress of the experiment ...  

The success of the experiment ... i.e. the ability to produce accurate and
reproducible results will depend on providing an accurate tare weight ...
subjects who are tested may actually show a LOSS of weight if the water acts
as either a solvent which removes surface material present during the taring
measurement or a stimulus to surreptitious release of water during the
course of the experiment ... some preliminary counseling may be judicious in
explaining the purposes of the investigation to the test subjects, and this
is not unusual wherever H. sapiens are involved ... it may be necessary to
perform the experiments on just one subject at a time, as the proximity of
test subjects can sometimes provoke unforseen behavior, tending to delay and
potentially vitiate the investigation altogether ... even stoic detachment
will not prevent distraction of the principal investigator on occasions of
this type ... the ability to maintain an objective perspective is essential
in creditable scientific work, which many unwary graduate students have
discovered to their chagrin ... sorry, my mother is calling me to supper ...
so will send this snippet now, in hopes that it will be a helpful guide to
point you in the right direction ... and when I get back, perhaps you will
had opportunity to provide more details of your work to date , and I will
agree to be a guide for you through the further course of your interesting
investigation(s) ... we have just begun to deal with the difficulties of
this intriguing project ... ecologically oriented as it is, it is of current
interest and probably fundable ... have you thought of that? You might
really have an avenue to the big time ... don't overlook the possibilities
... be right back ...


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