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Trend Picks of the Year: Water

Free Flow
+ With all the natural disasters ravaging the West this year—drought, fires, Britney Spears on the VMAs—you'd think the waters had ceased to flow. Nope. Thanks to a deal with the city of Los Angeles, the Owens River ran for the first time in almost a century.

+ On a different kind of run, 20 athletes sprinted 15,200 miles (24,462 kilometers) through 16 countries to promote global water awareness.

+ Up north (like, Santa's Workshop north) Polar Bear Club poster child Lewis Gordon Pugh swam for nearly 19 minutes wearing nothing but a Speedo and a chattering smile.

+ Farther south 14-year-old Michael Perham became the youngest to sail the Atlantic solo, aboard Cheeky Monkey, potentially inspiring his own saltwater taffy Ben and Jerry's flavor.

+ Paddleboarding, a sport created from surfing's dullest moments, was marketed as the best workout this side of Maui.

+ When H2O news rained, it poured: Sudan's Darfur province may be sitting on a giant freshwater aquifer.

+ A 26-foot (8-meter), 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) colossal squid was snagged off Antarctica. And despite colliding with a freighter on day 15, Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad continued their quest to spend 1,000 days at sea without landing, resupplying, or reading a single blog entry about whether Lindsay Lohan's career is all washed up.

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