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Holy Water Plumbing

A priest blesses a reservoir, and I sell for 50% more!
  [vote for,

Premium water for the masses! (Pun intended! :D)

All that would be required is a reservoir, and a morally ignorant priest. He would bless my reservoir, and I would pump it to houses willing to pay 50% more than the usual price of water.

My initial target market would be Vatican City, and would then expand to the Americas.

GranaryOaf, Jan 07 2014

holy booze http://www.thrillis...oes-holy-water-beer
[Voice, Jan 09 2014]


       There's a pun in there?   

       Welcome to the halfbakery.   

       In my home state water is already a scarce commodity. Good luck with your business plan.
normzone, Jan 07 2014

       Welcome to the HB, [GranaryOaf]!   

       W.r.t. [Big]'s quibble, we need to establish whether water needs to be 100% blessed, or whether some proportion of blessedness is sufficient. It may even be that blessedness, once conferred, can propagate in water like algae.   

       Some double-blind trials are needed. One set of people are given water which has been 100% blessed; other sets (matched for age, sex and socioeconomic class) will be given 90%, 80%...0% blessed water. Benefits reported by each group will be scored numerically, to identify the optimum dilution/benefit tradeoff.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       Actually, I'm wondering if I could set up a remote water-blessing website, whereat people would pay to have the water supply to their house blessed by WiFi.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       It's dangerous to put the power of holy water into the hands of so many, especially with the ease of practicing witchcraft through widely available Internet guides.
rcarty, Jan 07 2014

       But by how much are they diluted?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       Would it be possible to bless a normal quantity of water, say 1l* , and then concentrate the blessedness down to a few ml? The canny Holy/font water user could then carry concentrated Blessedness for dilution in everyday drinks or baths. As an additional benefit, the concentrated dose may be useful should one suffer a grievous injury.   

       * assuming blessedness works equally well in both metric and imperial units, perhaps there's Catholic/C of E incompatibility here?
bs0u0155, Jan 07 2014

       I agree that the first step must be to establish the therapeutic dose.
bs0u0155, Jan 07 2014

       But it's so much more fun to determine the LD50 ...
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       //concentrate the blessedness down//   

       A lot would depend on whether the blessed molecules are lighter or heavier than regular water molecules.   

       Given that normal oxygen-16 and hydrogen-1 are the lightest stable isotopes of their respective elements, we can safely assume that holy water is denser, containing some combination of deuterium, tritium, oxygen-17 and oxygen-18.   

       Either that, or it's not wholly water.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       <Smacks [MB] on wrist with ruler>   

       Holiness is more like chirality, or nuclear isomerism, shirley ? Or maybe proton spin, like in NMR.   

       If an isotopic change were involved, upon blessing, a quantity of plain water would change its mass upon being blessed. What about the dissolved solids? Is it just the water molecules involved, or is it possible to have holy Calcium Carbonate too? After all, there is such a thing as holy oil as well. Maybe it's just the hydrogen atoms that are affected.   

       Following the "Da Vinci's Last Breath" path, since very little water is actually lost from the ecosphere, all the holy water ever blessed is still here - just dispersed. The homeopathic dilution aspect then becomes interesting. Any given sample of water has a finite probability of containing one molecule of holy water.   

       Hmmmm. When we work out where we're going with this, we'll get back to you.
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       Does anyone have the protocol for making water holey? We ought to be able to figure out what's going on here.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       OK, a quick online check isn't very helpful.   

       However, some of the protocols recommend filtering the water first, so there are clearly no blessedness particles as such.   

       Another source advises against using tap water, as it may contain chlorine or fluoride ions.   

       Yet another source says that you have to add salt.   

       So, we're dealing with a water/solute system. The process is disrupted by chlorine (isn't the "chlorine" in tap water actually hypochlorite?), and also by fluoride ions; but it's clearly dependent on sodium chloride.   

       OK, we need a chemist here.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       When I was a child I figured a priest could bless the ocean, and never have to do it again. My Dad suggested the water wouldn't be all that holy by the time it returned via the sewer.
Loris, Jan 07 2014

       //a priest could bless the ocean //   

       You'd probably need something more powerful than a regular priest - better to use an Archbishop at the very least, even better would be a Pope. As the Catholic church now has a spare pope, maybe he could be assigned to the task. After all, retirement doesn't make him any less papist; just because a doctor or a pilot is retired, doesn't mean they've forgotten how to do it.   

       Also, the Pope does an annual "Urbi et Orbi" blessing, so maybe that could just be extended to cover "Aqua" as well.
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       A convenient portable unblessing mechanism would be a real boon to demons, witches, etc. if the Pope decided to bless all the water of the world at once as [8th] suggests.   

       Come to that, in the original idea we'd need to install unblessers at the meter, or a lot of houses on the same water infrastructure as the Holy reservoir would be getting free blessedness, and we can't have that, can we? Can priests curse water?
gisho, Jan 07 2014

       Rumors have been surfacing recently of a secret lab deep beneath the Vatican where researchers are developing a variant of holy water known as “holy-water-nine”, which has the property of causing any ordinary water it comes into contact with to reformulate into HW9 as well. The possibility of such a substance being released into the environment is terrifying to consider.
ytk, Jan 07 2014

       is blessing somehow dependent upon surface area? Perhaps if the water were ultrasonically blasted into a fine mist we might up the efficiency?
bs0u0155, Jan 07 2014

       // is terrifying to consider //   

       Only if you're Undead, shirely ?   

       Are you suggesting that having substances secretly introduced into the public water supply by a shadowy organisation with dubious motives and a total lack of accountability is somehow a bad thing ? What are you, some sort of leftie pinko commie fellow-traveller ? Bet you don't like the NSA either, and object to the government reading emails, tapping phones and covertly aquiring and indexing DNA profiles from so-called "innocent" citizens* purely for the noble motive of National Security …   

       *It's true, 'they' really are doing this …
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       //DNA profiles from so-called "innocent" citizens//   

       I wonder if my slipshod microbiology has led to me being recorded as a particularly well educated E.coli?
bs0u0155, Jan 07 2014

       You're blowing the whistle on them, and you think you're safe? Rest easy, it shouldn't be long for you.
rcarty, Jan 07 2014

       ..."a morally ignorant priest". Please expound.
cudgel, Jan 07 2014

       ^ He'd be paid a decent amount of money to use his beliefs in this way ;)
GranaryOaf, Jan 07 2014

       The holy water would literally be used for everything - radiators, tap water, showers, toilets etc. Hence I would argue that trials are not necessary - homeowners would be surrounded by a holy aura running through the walls of the house.   

       As regards to the efficiency of the priest, I would argue that it depends upon the proximity to water rather than amount. Therefore I would station him right next to the pipe pumping out the water, allowing him to bless all the water being pumped from a distance of 1m at most.   

       And my answers to BigSleeps questions;   

       1) I'm not so sure, that's why I'm starting in Christian territories. I would suggest that if you mix all holy waters, you get some form of philosophers stone. But that is many years off.   

       2) Yes, but I'm not pumping blood to peoples houses - I might get complaints.   

       3) 2 circles of hell per day.
GranaryOaf, Jan 07 2014

       // if you mix all holy waters, you get some form of philosophers stone.//   

       Exactly. It's a bit like mixing the wrong sorts of screenwash - it'll all just congeal and block the plumbing.   

       Few people realize that most of the deposits that form in kettles are because household water is usually from mixed sources. River water is relatively new, and will contain traces of recent religious blessings; groundwater often takes thousands of years to travel through the aquifer, and is often contaminated with the blessings of older, incompatible religions. Mix these together and you have a metastable solution which, when prodded by heating, precipitates stuff out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 07 2014

       // As regards to the efficiency of the priest, I would argue that it depends upon the proximity to water rather than amount. Therefore I would station him right next to the pipe pumping out the water, allowing him to bless all the water being pumped from a distance of 1m at most. //   

       Well, basing your calculations on inverse- square law would seem a reasonable starting point. The rest is just basic fluid mechanics.   

       // if you mix all holy waters, you get some form of philosophers stone. //   

       We understand that can be very painful, but there are pills for it now.   

       // I'm not pumping blood to peoples houses - I might get complaints //   

       As long as it's properly refrigerated, and you get the cross-matching right, there shouldn't be a problem.
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       ^ bun for [21Q]'s anno.   

       What is needed is a better empirical model for holiness.   

       Is the amount of holiness absorbed from a devout believer proportional to the distance between the emitter and the receiver ?   

       Consider the holiness to be an archetypal point source, radiating isotropically. The amount of holiness impinging on the recipient will be determined by the exposed area of the recipient, and the distance from the source; the question "Does holiness attenuate with distance ?" is therefore extremely important.   

       Anecdotally, larger amounts of holiness(=benefit) can be transferred by physical contact (direct coupling). This leads to the conclusion that immersing the holy one in the water would work best.   

       How rapidly does holiness attenuate in pure water ?   

       //imply if you hide a few priests behind some rocks you can levitate an evilly charged body above a nearby lake.//   

       Now, there's an idea with possibilities ... canals running beside strategically placed churches would allow large payloads to be transported with minimal friction, just by strapping a couple of politicians to the top. For really big loads, you'd probably need a Bond Supervillain, or Justin Bieber.
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       That seems reasonable.
8th of 7, Jan 07 2014

       Would a swimming pool filled with holy water leak?   

       Have enough trouble keeping it fill as it is. Welcome.
popbottle, Jan 08 2014

       We need a priest, a Holyness-proof barrier (with 2 slits in it) and a bunch of the as-yet-unblessed*. Then we could determine if Blessings are particles or waves AND what their wavelength is.   

       You might be able to pick up the Templeton AND Nobel prizes in the same experiment.   

bs0u0155, Jan 08 2014

       Not sure that would work: in the 13th century the Vatican, as a cost-saving measure, stopped producing actual holy water, having realized that the premise of "we're all sinners" meant that the holy water doesn't have to be actually holy, merely less defiled than the recipient.   

       Today, the original formula long lost to time, what we get is "holier than thou" water. The pope, for his personal needs, uses heavily diluted saints' urine.
FlyingToaster, Jan 08 2014

       Diluted with what?
pocmloc, Jan 08 2014

       More likely the tears of children who have been maltreated and sexually abused by adherents of the Catholic faith, such tears being in plentiful supply ...
8th of 7, Jan 08 2014

       My fear is a leak in the reservoir. Everyone becomes Holy by mistake. Even the non-believers. That would be scary. I think.
blissmiss, Jan 08 2014

       I'd like to see a holistic theory of water which explains all of its unlikely and mysterious properties in a single model. It can remember things, which is how homeopathy works, so you can dissolve something in a sample of water and this effect will be 'remembered' and indeed, magnified, no matter how much you dilute the original sample. You can bless it, but this appears to be a mechanism which is independent of that used by homeopathy because it appears you need to bless all the water which you later want to have spiritual properties. Finally, it has an attractive force (like gravity) for twigs at a distance. It is not clear whether this force follows an inverse square law like other forces or whether it's another manifestation of the other properties of water.
hippo, Jan 08 2014

       it can also determine normal old crone from witch.. although no accurate crone/witch weight/volume records have ever been discovered suggesting that this may be plain old density.
bs0u0155, Jan 08 2014

       Arthur, King of the Britons, knows the answer to that one. Something to do with ducks ...
8th of 7, Jan 08 2014

       Right, you lot continue on with this quest and I'll tackle the holy lands problem. We will meet at the beach.
AusCan531, Jan 09 2014

       I love it.
Voice, Jan 09 2014

       //We will meet at the beach. //   

       "On second thoughts, let us not go there. It is a silly place."
8th of 7, Jan 09 2014

       Experiments to test the independence of these properties of water would be interesting - e.g.:
Is holy water as good as normal water at differentiating crones and witches?
Can holy water hold homeopathic 'memories'?
Is there any difference in effectiveness of dowsing for normal water, holy water and water that has been used for sorting crones from witches?
hippo, Jan 09 2014

       Instead of derision and sarcasm, should I meet a homeopath in the future, I will instead ask plenty of questions about the compatibility of Holiness with 30c Arnica or whatever. One needs to be aware of cross reactions. Also can I find lost homeopathic medicine by dowsing? (delightfully, there are lots of dowsing smartphone apps).
bs0u0155, Jan 09 2014

       Is holy water FDA-approved ?
8th of 7, Jan 09 2014

       huh.... the FDA? they're just Big Pharma's bully boys that stop you dealing on their patch...
bs0u0155, Jan 09 2014

       // retail product //   

       You can buy holiness now ? Who knew … ?   

       Do they take charge cards ?
8th of 7, Jan 09 2014

       Yes, of course they do.
pocmloc, Jan 10 2014

       Using a charge card offers up to 10% off on the sale of indulgences.
rcarty, Jan 10 2014

       // Do they take charge cards? //   

       // Yes, of course they do. //   

       They also like Paypal, and are particularly fond of bitcoins.
Canuck, Jan 10 2014

       Are they confident of Paypal infallibility?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 10 2014

       budum tss...   

       If you could just get the glaciers themselves blessed, then the trickle down aqua sanctificus effect would be most far reaching.   

       //If you could just get the glaciers themselves blessed//   

       Yet another area of uncertainty. Can ice be holy? Does holy water cease to be so upon freezing? Does it regain holyness once thawed?   

       Does anyone want to draft a letter to the Vatican regarding the huge number of uncertainties regarding holy water? We'd better be quick, the current Pope is 2-3 speeches away from admitting that the whole Catholicism jig is up.
bs0u0155, Jan 10 2014

       And here I thought it was only the Irish Catholics that did the jig.   

       Just had a random thought: since all water molecules look the same, how can you tell which ones have been blessed? Do they wear a tiny halo when viewed under a microscope?
Canuck, Jan 11 2014

       //since all water molecules look the same// I had no idea, [Canuck], I truly am impressed by your amazing scientific research achievement in managing to check every single one. How on earth did you manage it?
pocmloc, Jan 11 2014

       //how can you tell which ones have been blessed? //   

       Perhaps there's an assay involving vampires or demons or something.
Loris, Jan 11 2014

       Is the pope's urine holy ?
8th of 7, Jan 11 2014

       Those are just bubbles.   

       Like in Gruyere ? Hence the Swiss Guards, presumably.
8th of 7, Jan 11 2014

       Sorry for the generalization [pocmloc]. I wasn't implying that I had checked. They just all look alike to me.   

       Now that raises a question. If someone who makes a comment about a person's heritage is considered a racist, does it follow that my gaffe about water molecules makes me a chemist?   

       Just wondering...
Canuck, Jan 12 2014

       A comment about writing utensils could make you a penist.
FlyingToaster, Jan 12 2014

       Water is an odd molecule though. You could consider any contiguous body of water (say, a bathful) to be a single molecule. So, I'd hypothesise that either blessing water works on all contiguously connected water, or it works to a varying amount on water depending on the distance of the water from the blesser, following an inverse square law.
hippo, Jan 13 2014

       // You could consider any contiguous body of water (say, a bathful) to be a single molecule.//   

       You could, but only under some rather extreme conditions.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2014

       // // You could consider any contiguous body of water (say, a bathful) to be a single molecule.//   

       You could, but only under some rather extreme conditions.//   

       I've viewed apartments with baths small enough for this to be true, the estate agent knew how many taps there were but not where they were going.
bs0u0155, Jan 13 2014

       // You could consider any contiguous body of water (say, a bathful) to be a single molecule.// // You could, but only under some rather extreme conditions //   

       Well … if the water is pure, and given the pKa of water is low, the degree of ionisation into H+/OH- is small, and they're ions, not molecules. So although H2O is a weak proton donor, and specific hydrogen atoms aren't tightly bound to a specific oxygen atom, saying that "it's all one big molecule", as if it's a polymer, is misleading.
8th of 7, Jan 13 2014

       anyone know where you buy a 0.2 Angstom bath plug?
bs0u0155, Jan 13 2014

       So many clever anno's & nobody has pointed out that you'd need to have 2 sets of pipes to every house to extract the 50% surcharge? Otherwise, 1 house opts out, but get it for free.   

       And, vampires who are exposed to such dilute holy water might build up immunity.
sophocles, Apr 17 2014


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