Bizarre Rock Watering at Novartis

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The bus stop at 53rd and Hollis streets in Emeryville has been revamped recently to include a "park" -- several benches around a blatantly landfill-landscaped patch of bright-green turf. Of more interest is the circle of large rocks, perhaps some sort of Zen garden (or maybe a nod to the Ohlone shellmounds that used to be here?). They look vaguely ominous.

These rocks don't appear to be alive. They don't feature vegetation. Yet they are vigorously watered every day. It's quite refreshing to stand at the bus stop on hot days and enjoy a cool mist wafting from them.

However, isn't it a waste of nature's precious resources to, um, water rocks? For what it's worth, they do look nice and shiny when they're wet, but there are no other apparent benefits in a year where we were almost subject to water rationing. - Vicky Walker