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Asia's Most Spectacular Swimming Pools

From Guardian Pool Fence

This time of year, many people's thoughts turn to sunny beaches, mai tai's, and relaxation in a tropical locale.  Those with an adventurous spirit will often look to exotic locations to satisfy their need for rest and relaxation.  This post from Guardian Pool Fence presents some truly exotic spots all over the Asian Continent that have exactly what these intrepid travelers seek, including some of the most breathtaking and amazing swimming pool designs in existence.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

With 70% of the world covered in water, swimming pools across the world have got a lot of competition on their hands. One part of the world that's really got it mastered is South East Asia, with pools that offer everything from beach-side bliss to skyscraper views. Here are some of our favorites.

The Library, KohSamui, Thailand

Don't worry; you haven't stumbled onto the makings of a horror film. Instead, the blood red pool at The Library simply gets its startling color from its base of mosaic glass tiles in orange, yellow and – yep, you guessed it –red. Believe it or not, it's nothing to do with the color of the water, so there's no risk of emerging from a refreshing dip with a brand new skin tone. At night, underwater lights transform the swimming pool into a dazzling spectacle on the Chaweng seafront. Check it out!

Click here to read more and see these amazing pools

Do early swimming lessons give kids the best start?

From Mercatornet

If you ever considered getting swim lessons for your infant or child, this new study will give you an even better reason to do so.  The study, which encompassed children from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, suggests that early swimmers gain a developmental advantage over non-swimmers.  This post from Mercatornet outlines some important aspects of the study, and presents parents who are on the fence about getting their child swim lessons some interesting food for thought.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The research also found significant differences between the swimming cohort and non-swimmers regardless of socio-economic background. While the two higher socio-economic groups performed better than the lower two in testing, the four SES groups all performed better than the normal population.

Professor Jorgensen says that in addition to achieving physical milestones faster, children also did better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, drawing lines and shapes, in colouring in and in many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also more advanced, along with higher performance in the general areas of literacy and numeracy. "Many of these skills are highly valuable in other learning environments and will be of considerable benefit for young children as they transition into pre-schools and school," Professor Jorgensen said.

One of the main movers behind the research study, swimming coach Lawrie Lawrence, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's The World Today radio program that he approached Griffith University because he was convinced from his experience over 35 years teaching kids to swim that the benefits extended well beyond swimming. He explained:

Babies come into this world with billions of neurons and they need stimulation because that's how they learn. They learn by sight, sound, taste, touch, smell," he said. "Now water is the perfect medium to stimulate the senses because as you immerse a baby in the water it covers their whole body and as you move the children through the water they experience different sensations. Plus the parents are there to communicate and talk so it's the perfect medium.

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The greatest swimming pool dunk ever

From USA Today

Missing summer yet?  The Fall and Winter Months can be pretty dreary for sure.  Sometimes, it is nice to get a reminder about how much fun it is to hang out at the swimming pool, have a party in the outdoor living space, or just plan enjoying the great outdoors.  This summer saw the proliferation of a few new things that will be with us for a while.  One was Vine, the online video sharing service featuring short vignettes uploaded by users, making superstars of some regular people around the world.  The other was a few "Rube Goldberg" type videos that were featured on sites like Vine, which spread across the online universe like wildfire.  One such video which incorporated these two phenomena involved a swimming pool, a basketball hoop, and some inventive and agile youngsers.  Hopefully this quick look back at the summer will have you thinking about basking in the sun in 2015 sooner rather than later.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The first masterpiece of classical literature, Hamlet, came 153 years after the invention of the printing press. Gone With The Wind, the first film classic, was released 12 years after talking motion pictures debuted. The first magnum opus on Vine, which launched in January, took considerably less time to surface.

Here's a video of seven dudes making the most epic swimming pool dunk in the history of the universe. And no, I'm not overselling it at all.

Click here to see the post and to watch the video

Modern Furniture Brings the Indoors Outdoors: Conversation Seating

From Pools Spas & Patios

Planning outdoor rooms can take a tremendous amount of forethought.  Where will people congregate?  Where will the traffic patterns take guests?  What vignettes will be created to make the space the most useful for your family?  There are so many aspects of design to consider, but one that is often overlooked or given short shrift is the outdoor furniture.  Whether the budget doesn't allow for it, or becuase it just wasn't considered in the early planning stages of the design, this can be the final touch that makes the space spectacular, or the achilles heel that ensures the space is never exactly what you had envisioned.  This post from Pools Spas & Patios offers a unique consideration for seating: The Conversation Seat.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Conversation seating, also referred to as deep seating, has been the most popular category of outdoor furniture in the last five years. This category can successfully bring the comfort and look of a living room to your backyard. The idea is to choose a combination of club chairs, sofas and loveseats to produce a perfect conversation arrangement that allows an easy exchange of words and laughter.

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These pool myths are all wet

From APSP

The biggest mistake that homeowners who want a swimming pool make is to wait until spring to think about a swimming pool.  Inground Swimming Pools require alot of planning, and time to submit for permit, receive the permit, and to build.  The correct time to plan for an Inground Swimming Pool is in the Fall, which gives the homeowner time to cover the aforementioned tasks.  If you don't start before New Years, you are highly unlikely to be swimming the following summer.  Once a homeowner decides that a swimming pool is right for his/her family, there are no shortage of myths and fears that have been promulgated over the years surrounding the construction of a swimming pool and the ongoing swimming pool ownership.  As this post from the APSP points out, there are misconceptions surrounding the cost of construction, cost of ownership, effect on a home's value, and the perceptions around usage of the swimming pool and outdoor living space.  

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Swimming pools are a great fit for any home and family. They add value, enhance the look and feel or your home and create an ideal entertaining venue for family and friends. So why are so many people against pool ownership?

From the belief that a pool costs too much to operate to the misconception it will go unused, myths about pool ownership abound – and they likely dissuade some homeowners from taking the plunge. If you've been considering adding a swimming pool to your outdoor living space, here are five common myths you may come across that simply don't hold water:

1. Pools are too costly to install

A swimming pool is a significant investment, there's no denying it. However, the cost of a pool will depend on several factors, including the size of your space, the dimensions of the pool and the materials you choose. When compared to other discretionary expenditures such as a family vacation – which costs the average family nearly $4,800 for one week of fun each year – a pool can in fact be a high-value investment that pays for itself in just a few years. Of course, finding the right installer is key and the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) offers an online member locator to help consumers find an APSP Certified Professional in their area.

2. It's difficult and costly to maintain a pool

Long gone are the days when operating a pool pump could cost almost as much as running your air conditioning during the summer. Pool pumps and filtration systems are more energy efficient than ever, saving owners plenty of money in the process. Plus, improvements in filtration system and purification chemicals mean you'll need less of them to keep your pool sparkling. In fact, when it comes to pool maintenance, 63 percent of pool owners say maintaining water chemistry is no trouble at all, according to an APSP survey. You can chalk up this myth as false.

3. Pools are not energy efficient

Modern pool pumps require much less electricity to operate than you might think, with energy-efficient pumps using up to 30 percent less power. When compared to other household sources of electricity, swimming pools turn out to be a small percentage of a home's overall energy use. What's more, these systems can be even more cost effective when solar powered. Accessories can help conserve energy, too. For example, using a solar cover on an inground pool when it's not in use can help the water retain heat and keep debris out, which means less work for the filtration system – and you.

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