Water is a life-giving natural resource that is cripplingly precious in many areas of the world. As such, it is the duty of First World nations to dump it out like that bottle of Steel Reserve you found a mouse foot in to make delightful moving artwork for the upper middle class to enjoy.

The Osaka Station City Picture Fountain

Arch20.com, Vimeo


You'd have trouble throwing pennies into the fountain at Osaka Station City in Japan, unless you're the type of person who likes throwing rocks through windows, in which case you would have absolutely no trouble throwing pennies into the fountain at Osaka Station City in Japan. You see, the fountain is a vertical wall, a sort of programmed waterfall run by software that releases controlled droplets in formations that create pictures, words and a time display -- virtually any two-dimensional image. The end result looks like the cascading tears of a giant wish troll:

VideoFunStation, Youtube
It's just a matter of time before someone programs this thing to play Mario.

Every image in the fountain seems lifted from the victory screen of a Japanese video game, complete with phrases written puzzlingly in English.

Wave Writing

National Maritime Research Institute via Technabob

Scientists working with Osaka University in Japan have developed a way to write on water, evidently because there is literally nothing else to do in Osaka (see above) and Japan is an island. By surrounding a water tank with 50 programmable wave generators, they can manipulate the surface of any standing pool of liquid into undulating shapes and letters. The whole affair sort of looks like the face-penis tube aliens from The Abyss carving prison tattoos into the T-1000.

Some amusement parks and Las Vegas hotels such as the Bellagio are reportedly interested in the water Etch A Sketch technology, which excites us for no other reason than the possibility of Ocean's 14 ending with the principal cast floating face down in a fountain as it spells out the names of every person who suffered through Ocean's 13.

National Maritime Research Institute via Gizmodo
It'll be spelling out names 'til the sun burns out.

Rain Room

Oli Scarff / Getty

Rain Room at Barbican's Curve Gallery in London is a piece of installation art that is pretty much exactly what it sounds like -- a room wherein it is perpetually raining, sort of like an endless Alicia Keys video. Big deal, anyone with $20 and a stripper can make it rain, you might say. Well believe it or not, you can actually walk through Rain Room and never get wet.

Oli Scarff / Getty
Well, they can. You can't, because you're adopted.

There are cameras all over the room that create 3-D maps of every person shuffling drunkenly around inside. The cameras relay this information back to a grid that controls the falling water, essentially turning off any droplets that would soak the gallery's guests. It is fast and efficient enough that you can walk through Rain Room in a perfect rain-free cylinder, propelling the water away with a wave of your arm. Pretending you are Magneto is presumably not only expected, but also part of the gallery's dress code.

Oli Scarff / Getty
You can borrow a cape from the coat room if you forgot to bring one from home.

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