Saturday, January 16, 2016

Episode 299 (1-18-16): Taking an Underwater Dive, Featuring “Scuba Dive” by Kat Mills

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:21)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, an image, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 1-14-16.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of January 18, 2016.

MUSIC – ~5 sec

This week, we use music by a Blacksburg, Va., singer-songwriter to help us dive underwater. Have a listen for about 55 sec.

MUSIC - ~57 sec

You’ve been listening to part of “Scuba Dive,” by Kat Mills, on the 2015 album “Silver,” from Sweetcut Music.  Ms. Mills’ lyrics use the challenges and thrills of underwater diving as metaphors for exploration and trust in human relationships.  While human interactions can be quite unpredictable, the main challenges of the underwater environment come from several predictable physical, chemical, and biological properties of deep water.  Buoyancy—resulting from the density of a submerged object compared to the density of the surrounding water—must be adjusted for moving up or down.  Movement is also affected by the frictional resistance of water, or drag.  Water’s density also affects vision and hearing underwater.  Pressure from the weight of the water affects a diver’s lungs, sinuses, and ears, as well as the levels of oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases dissolved in the water and in one’s blood.  Temperature affects dissolved gases, too, along with presenting a body-heat challenge.  Divers can become partially dehydrated through breathing dehumidified compressed air.  And dangerous aquatic organisms may await.  But adapting to those challenges through underwater breathing devices, other equipment, training, and experience allows divers to enjoy the exhilaration of feeling weightless, seeing fascinating creatures, and exploring worlds most humans never see.  Add in trust and overcoming one’s fears, and it’s no wonder people continue to fall backwards into endless blue water, literally and figuratively.

Thanks to Kat Mills for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 15 more seconds of “Scuba Dive.”

MUSIC - ~18 sec

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


“Scuba Dive,” by Kat Mills, is from the 2015 album “Silver,” from Sweetcut Music; used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at and at


Scuba diver among a school of fish in Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Oct. 13, 2010.  Photo by G.P. Schmahl, sanctuary superintendent, courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuaries Media Library, online at


SCUBA is an abbreviation for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, “SCUBA,” online at


Used in Audio

Dennis K. Graver, Scuba Diving (Second Edition), Human Kinetics, Champaign, Ill., 1999.

TechDiveCenter, Blacksburg, Va., online at

For More Information Physical and Chemical Properties of Water

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water Science School, “Water Properties and Measurements,” online at

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (

The following episodes discuss physical principles relevant to the underwater environment:
Density – Episode 255, 3/2/15;
Freezing point – Episode 249, 1/19/15;
Ice and dissolved oxygen – Episode 144, 1/14/13.


This episode may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Science Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Force, Motion, and Energy Theme
4.2 – characteristics and interactions of moving objects (including that moving objects have kinetic energy).
5.2 – sound creation, transmission, and use.

Grades K-6 Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Theme
5.6 – characteristics of the ocean environment.

Grades K-6 Matter Theme
6.5 – properties and characteristics of water.

Life Science Course
LS.9 – organism adaptations to environments, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.

Physical Science Course
PS.7 – temperature, heat, and thermal energy transfer, including phase changes, melting point, etc.
PS.8 – characteristics of sound waves, including technological applications of sound.

Earth Science Course
ES.10 – ocean processes, interactions, and policies affecting coastal zones, including Chesapeake Bay.

Biology Course
BIO.2 – water chemistry and its impact on life processes.

Chemistry Course
CH.5 – phases of matter, kinetic theory, and forces of attraction, including pressure, temperature, and volume principles and laws.
CH.6 – chemical properties in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

The episode may also help with the following Virginia 2010 English SOLs:

Reading Theme
8.5 (symbols and figurative language)
9.4 (imagery and other literary devices)
10.4 (imagery and other literary devices)
11.4 (imagery and figures of speech)

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at