IN THE WAKE of the discovery of a dangerous carcinogen in Perrier, the carbonated French spring water, congressional probers have zeroed in on the bottled-water business. What they have found, among other things, is a small company near Atlanta operating out of a house trailer that turns out "Designer Love Water," complete with instructions for use.
The owner now says he doesn't even claim his product will quench thirst, but Capitol Hill investigators led by Michigan Rep. John Dingell say the owner is claiming much more. They recently released a copy of a flyer allegedly distributed with the spring water (which sells for $10.95 for a 24-ounce bottle) that claims it "is beneficial for the digestion, imparting energy, improving the muscular and nervous system and aiding in myriad clinical conditions, including mental disorders and those related to the genito-urinary tract."
If you really like it, the firm sells 9 1/2 -liter bottles of the same stuff under the name of "Lithia Springs Mineral Water" for $30. Gurgling out of a spring discovered just after the Civil War, this liquid has the same alleged properties, too, containing "that rarest of salts, bicarbonate of lithium."
Some people will swallow anything.
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A WEARY traveler rates the best signs at any airport terminal as the ones spotted at BWI's automatic doors that don't work on many a beautiful sunny day. They say, "Closed due to inclement weather."
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FROM IRELAND, which has its own town of Baltimore, comes this intelligence on the origins of the name of our fair city. We quote:
"BALTIMORE is from Baile an Ti Moir, the site of the big house, deriving its name from a castle of the O Driscolls which was built on an ancient fortress called Dun na Sead, 'the fort of the jewels,' though nowadays Dun na Sead is given as the Irish name of the place called Baltimore."
There are plenty of O'Driscolls still around Baltimore, Ireland, but nary a one in the C&P Telephone book for Baltimore, U.S.A.
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LARRY S. Gibson, Mayor Schmoke's campaign manager, loves to talk politics. On strategy he is often more tight-lipped.
But when we spotted him tending the lawn of his Guilford mansion on a recent sunny day, the University of Maryland law professor talked about seeding the way politicians talk about campaigning.
"I've got a problem lawn here," he said, "so I just mix all kinds of seeds together and throw about three times the recommended amounts. You never know what hits."