A wishing well is a term from European folklore to describe wells where it was thought that any spoken wish would be granted. The idea that a wish would be granted came from the idea that water housed deities or had been placed there as a gift from the gods, since water was a source of life and often a scarce commodity.
The Germanic and Celtic peoples considered springs and wells sacred places. Sometimes the places were marked with wooden statues possibly of the god associated with the pool. Germanic peoples were known to throw the armour and weapons of defeated enemies into bogs and other pools of water as offerings to their gods. Water was seen to have healing powers and therefore wells became popular with many people drinking, bathing or just simply wishing over it. Some people believe that the guardians or dwellers of the well would grant them their wish if they paid a price. After uttering the wish, one would generally drop coins in the well. That wish would then be granted by the guardian or dweller, based upon how the coin would land at the bottom of the well. It was thus potentially lucky to throw coins in the well, but it depended on how they landed.
A small ornamental garden wishing well, with coins to wish for
The tradition of dropping pennies in ponds and fountains stems from this. Coins would be placed there as gifts for the deity to show appreciation.
In November 2006 the “Fountain Money Mountain” reported that tourists throw just under 3 million pounds sterling per year into wishing wells.
This may be a left over from ancient mythology such as Mímir’s Well from Nordic myths, also known as the ¨Well of Wisdom¨, a Well that could grant you infinite wisdom provided you sacrificed something you held dear. Odin was asked to sacrifice his right eye which he threw into the well to receive not only the wisdom of seeing the future but the understanding of why things must be. Mímir is the Nordic god of wisdom, and his well sits at the roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree which draws its water from the well.
Your toilet’s clogged again, and this time it’s all your fault. (Who knew flushable kitty litter wasn’t flushable?) To help you avoid any future clogs, floods or breakdowns, keep reading…
1. You reach for the Drano.
Forget using chemicals to open or clear drains—they rarely get the job all the way done. Plus, not only are the chemicals very harsh and dangerous for you to handle, they can also ruin drain pipes and the equipment used to clear the stoppage. Hint: To prevent blockages in the first place, keep notorious cloggers like grease and hair out of drains.
2. You treat the toilet like a garbage can.
Even if they’re labeled “flushable,” don’t toss feminine hygiene products, personal cleaning wipes, toilet scrubbers, make-up remover pads or cat litter into the toilet. The fact is, they don’t disintegrate quickly enough and can ultimately block the drain pipe.
3. You try to tackle the plumbing problems yourself
Don’t try to diagnose and fix a plumbing problem yourself, or hire a handyman to do plumbing work. Plumbers can find and correct a problem faster than an amateur can, which will save you money in the long run.
4. You have no idea where the main water valve is.
Don’t be in the dark when it comes to knowing the location of the main water valve and every emergency shut off valve in your house.. And while you’re at it, learn how to turn off these valves. It’s easy but if you’d prefer to have pro show you how, many plumbers will check emergency shut-off valves at no charge.
5. You use drop in toilet fresheners.
Ditch the drop-in tank toilet fresheners. You may love the blue water it makes in your toilet bowl, but these tablets often contain chemicals that wear out working parts inside the tank. Plus, as these tablets disintegrate, they can get stuck in the flush valve and prevent the toilet from flushing.
6. You forget to replace the hoses.
Water hoses don’t give any warning before they burst, so avoid a potential flood by changing out rubber hoses on washing machines and dishwashers every five years. When you do replace them, use stainless steel on all water lines, if possible.
7. You don’t have a leak protection system.
Don’t skimp on water leak protection. It only costs a few hundred dollars to get a water leak protection system that offers both an alarm and a main water shut-off should a leak occur in your water heater, dishwasher, sinks and more.
8. Your hot water heater is outdated.
Don’t think your tank water heater will last forever—the average lifespan is 8-12 years. Just like toast tends to fall butter-side down on the floor, your 20-year-old tank will inevitably fail and flood while you are on vacation.
9. You overload the garbage disposal.
Be kind to your garbage disposal: Don’t pour grease into it (the goopy stuff will eventually solidify and clog the drain), and don’t put in fibrous food like celery and artichokes. Also avoid pushing through large amounts of garbage at once. Instead, feed garbage slowly into the disposal with cold running water.
10. You fiddle with the water heater’s pressure valve.
Don’t try to drain your water heater or test the temperature and pressure valve yourself. These need to be done professionally. If the valve is not properly removed, the pressure from the tank can disperse scalding hot water that could cause serious burns as well as property damage.
If you t hink back to your eighth-grade science class, you may remember that a fluid is anything that can’t hold a shape. Your car may be fast, but it’s still a solid, not a fluid. But liquids like the petrol in your tank and the coffee in your cup take the shape of whatever they’re poured into. They are fluids. Gases like the air you’re breathing and the CO2 pouring out of your exhaust pipe also take the shape of their containers; they are fluids, too.
The most important characteristic of a fluid is its ability to flow . The atoms in a solid — like an iron beam — are locked rigidly into place like Lego blocks in a Lego castle you (or your kids) built. But the atoms in a fluid can roll and tumble and cascade around each other (like those same Legos in the plastic bin when your kids have torn the castle apart).
It’s that flowing freedom that gives fluid motion its hypnotic quality. Allow yourself to become mesmerized by the flow of a fast-moving river around a bridge trestle and you’ll know what I mean. There is poetry in the massive cascade of waves as the river water pushes past an obstacle. And there is dance in the roiling turbulence that emerges downstream.
But, most importantly, the choreography of matter and motion you’re watching right before your eyes doesn’t care about place and time. What you see before your eyes today is being repeated all across the cosmos.
If you don’t believe me, go flush your toilet.
As soon as you push that handle down on that most personal of household appliances, the universal laws of fluid dynamics kick in. The swirling pattern of water down the toilet drain is an example of what physicists call vortical motion . A vortex occurs whenever a fluid is forced to flow in circles. The polar vortex that made everyone’s life a wintry hell last month originates with the atmosphere (a fluid) driven into circular motion by the Earth’s rotation. But look at the graceful arcs of a spiral galaxy across 10 million light-years of space and you will see the same principles at work on scales so vast it will make your imagination cry uncle! (It takes the water in your toilet about a half-second to complete one rotation; the gas in a spiral galaxy makes the same trip in 200 million years).
From the first moments after the Big Bang, to clouds rolling across the sky, to you staring down into your toilet — it’s all the same. So if you really want to find your inner child and know the secrets of the cosmos at the same time, it’s simple.
All you have to do is flush.