No. 544



If you love to cook, here is a thought I believe you will find very comforting. The next time you drink a glass of water, or use water in your cooking, you might get a kick out of remembering that it's used water and as old as the planet itself.
The other day I was poking around in my files and ran across an old radio transcript of The Earl Nightingale Program about water, and after reading it I'm calling it the "ageless" miracle worker. When you think about it, few things have been around as long as water, and it is also one of the few things in nature that can be used over and over again.
We live in a day and time when many things are recycled over and over again, but none can hold a candle to water. Water covers three-fourths of the earth's surface, with most of it too salty to drink. The oceans provide the gigantic reservoirs from which water constantly evaporates to fall back upon the earth. Here is something from the late Earl Nightingale that I certainly did not know. Evaporation from the oceans has been estimated at 80,000 cubic miles of water a year. If you can get a mental picture of a cubic mile of water and multiply it by 80,000, you can get an idea of how much water comes to us each year from the oceans of the world.
As stated earlier, water is one of the few things that can be used over and over again. Just think for a minute Ñ we are drinking and using the same water now that existed when the earth was born. And what's more, this water is just as good now as it was back then, however long the earth has existed, even though it's been used over again in every conceivable way since then. Again, here is one of those comforting thoughts. This is true even though it may have been polluted thousands of times by wastes or made undrinkable by ocean salt, water becomes clean and fresh again as soon as it evaporates into the atmosphere.
Here is something else I have learned that will shoot down my theory of snow ice cream being safe to eat, before the days of rocket probes, satellites and space exploration. There is no such thing as pure water in nature. Rainwater picks up traces of ammonium salts and gases from the air, and sulfuric acid given off by burning fuel in countless factories all across the world. Since I have never heard of anyone dying from eating snow ice cream, I guess it's one of those cases of what you don't know, won't hurt you. Hope you know that I'm just kidding
While we are on the subject of factories, you might be interested in knowing that water is the largest raw material used by American factories. Of course, this would also hold true for factories in other parts of the world. It takes 65,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of highly finished steel Ñ 70,000 gallons to wash away impurities and assist the refining process of one ton of high-grade paper. Our bones are 22 percent water, our muscles are 75 percent water, and our blood serum is 92 percent water. Even the enamel on our teeth is 2 percent water.
The rainiest place on earth is Kauai Island, Hawaii. The average is 489 inches of rain per year. The driest spot is Iquique, in Northern Chile Ñ it averages four hundredths of an inch a year, except for those years when none falls at all.
While water is the ageless miracle worker and we can't live without it, my prayer would be that we, as needy people throughout the world, could get the right amount of rainfall when we need it. As I write this, we have mudslides in California and lives, homes and property being lost in Texas, Oklahoma, my home state of Arkansas, along with other parts of the nation where it's been terribly dry. As we have all learned, the one thing we can't control is Mother Nature. All we can do is pray, adapt, conserve, make use of technology and use some common sense.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book "Learning, Earning & Giving Back.")