Pool trivia: the largest pool in the world?

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Another one of our office question: which is the largest indoor pool in the world?

Turns out, two of us had a actually visit this pool without know it was the largest indoor pool in the world.

In 2012, on our honeymoon, we visited the NASA Space center in Houston, Texas. We booked a tour that took us through the actual space center and one of the stops was the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. This is a giant pool which holds a full size model the International Space Station and the space shuttle (or at least it used to). It turns out that this gigantic pool is the largest pool in the world.

Unfortunately you will have to be an astronaut in training to get to use the pool. Also, instead of bikinis and boxer shorts the dress code is scuba gear and space suits. NASA uses this pool for astronauts to practice working in zero gravity by having them float – at neutral buoyancy – in the pool.

Now if that isn’t a good story to get your kids excited about your pool.

And then lastly, if you every find yourself in Houston, we highly recommend the tour we took at NASA. Here’s more info on it: Level 9 Tour

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Pool trivia: the oldest pool in the world?

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How old is the oldest pool in the world?

This question came up in the office last week. After some researching the answer came out to be: around 4,500 years!

Most sources agree that a pool in the settlement of Mohenjo-daro is the oldest swimming pool in the world. Mohenjo-Daro is an ancient Indus civilization settlement located in modern day Pakistan. The settlement was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1980 and archeologist are pretty certain that they have found a 12 x 7 meter swimming pool in part of the complex. The structure has some of the features of a Roman Bath.

Want some more pool records:

Largest pool: San Alfonso del Mar in Algarrobo, Chile at over 1 km in length

Highest pool: Yangbajain in Tibet, China. The pool is located at 4,200 meters above sea level.

Dropped your phone in the pool? Here is how to save it.

Water-Damage-Smartphone

Almost half of all phone accidents involve water. 29 % of broken phones are the result of spilling liquids over a phone and 20 % result from phones being dropped into water. The leader among ‘dropped into water’, by the way, are not swimming pools but toilets. Go figure…

But let’s get to business. A phone has been dropped into the pool. What should you do?

Here is short summary from a great WikiHow article.

670px-Save-a-Wet-Cell-Phone-Step-3-Version-3

Step 1 is rather obvious, get the phone out of the water.

Step 2: take it apart as much as possible. Take off the case and cover, take out the SIM card and memory card and if possible take out the battery. If your battery is built in, at least turn off the phone.

Step 3: dry everything as well as you can with towel, paper towel or anything else really.

Step 4: if the phone has been under water for more than a few seconds, consider hold a vacuum cleaner over all the openings (speaker, microphone, earphone plug, keyboard) for up to 20 minutes to suck out as much moisture from inside the phone. But be careful to keep a bit of distance to the phone so you don’t damage the speaker and other things.

Step 5: let it dry. Be patient, put your phone somewhere it can dry. In the sun on a towel for example.

Step 6: wait, be patient, then wait some more.

Step 7: after you have waited for a good long while, 4 to 24 hours they suggest, put your phone back together and give it a try.

Step 8: if it does not work, try turning it on without the battery, using the charger. If that works, get a new battery. If not…

Step 9: time for the service center, your insurance or a new phone.

Oh and lastly, check back next month. We will have a ‘water proof phone promotion’ coming up.

Swimming Pool Heating – doubling your season

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In Bulgaria and most of Southern Europe the outdoor swimming pool season last from the end of May till the middle of September. That’s around four months.

With a heating system the outdoor pool season can be double to eight months, from the end of March until early November.

But is it worth it? The answer to this question has two parts. First you need to look at what the addition of a heating system will cost compared to the overall cost of the swimming pool. Typically a good heating system add 10 to 20 % to the overall cost of a swimming pool. For this additional investment you get to use the pool for nearly twice a long. Effectively this means that on a ‘per month of use’ basis you actually spend less on your pool.

The second part of the ‘is it worth it’ question, is the cost of heating the pool rather than the heating system. Technically you could heat your pool with an electric heater or a gas heater. But while these heating systems are cheap, the amount of money you would spend on electricity or gas make this a very bad choice. The much more cost effective alternative is to use solar heating for your pool. With a correctly dimensioned solar heating system, you can begin enjoying your warm outdoor pool just after the last snow has melted. Here’s a diagram of what a solar heating system for a pool looks like technically:

solar-pool-heater-diagram

And here is what a very simple system looks like in practice. This is a solar heating system and the pool it goes with that we photographed in Kenya last week.

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And then finally, no matter whether you decide to opt for a heating system or not, we recommend getting a cover for your pool. Why? Because a swimming pool loses most of its heat through evaporation from the surface (and not through conduction to through the walls to the soil). That means adding a cover can keep your pool warmer for longer, even if it’s not heated.