Waterfront: November 2006 - Lego My Light Saber; Pig Promotes Pristine Pools

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Lego My Light Saber

Game shows Star Wars characters in a hot tub.

In the September issue former AQUA editor Scott Webb wrote a feature detailing the birth of the modern American hot tub. The precise date is difficult to pinpoint, but 1956, the year the Jacuzzi brothers started putting jets in tubs, is a good round number so we went with it. Happy 50th, hot tubs.

Recently, though, evidence of much earlier hot tub use came to light. If the new video game "Lego Star Wars" can be trusted for historical accuracy, it seems hot tubs were in use not only a long time ago, but in a galaxy far, far away, to boot. The game, available for Playstation, Xbox, Gamecube, etc., features a scene in which Lego Stormtroopers, doubtless achy from a long day of fighting rebel forces, unwind in a hot tub, also made of Legos.

None of the AQUA editors has played the game, so we can't be certain, but according to a report on MTV News, the hot tub's use is restricted to the Dark Side; Jedi knights, droids and other do-gooders are strictly prohibited. The Force is totally overrated. 

Pig Promotes Pristine Pools

Peeing in the pool is not cool.

Forest fire prevention has Smoky the Bear, McGruff the crime dog took a bite out of crime, and now spreading the word about pool cleanliness to children in Hong Kong is McDull, a popular Chinese anime pig akin to our Sponge Bob Square Pants, and created by artist Alice Mak. The ads starring McDull began airing in July to drive home the keep-pools-clean message.

The Hong Kong government's Leisure & Cultural Services Department reported in July that since the swimming season began in April, there were 16 cases involving the discovery of vomit and 21 cases involving feces in public pools.

"We want to foster a good pool culture and a civil-minded attitude among our next generation through education," says the department's senior leisure manager for aquatic venues, Yolanda Tong. "Since McDull is a popular cartoon character in Hong Kong, we believe the piglet will be most suited to arouse children's awareness and help get the message across."

Since April, the department has issued a charter on pool cleanliness, along with posters, educational signage and key holders. Tong said public response to the promotional drive was encouraging, with about 200 elementary schools involved and expected participation of more than 100,000 students who promised to use the facilities instead of the pool. She hoped the new TV announcement and booklet would give extra impetus to the campaign.

"We hope the audience will understand that our swimming pools are wonderful places for us and we should work together to keep them clean," says Mak. In the commercial, McDull sings lyrics set to French dance music, letting the kids rock out and learn at the same time — so they will "oui," instead of "wee."

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