Welcome to Il Sanitario

A bathroom is a place of pleasure, a relaxing environment, but also fun; not only a place for bodily functions that can often be a starting point to address different topics, such as Science, Technology, Art, Design, and History. Without excluding hacks, viral phenomena, and more or less funny news.

So welcome to this blog to explore the bathroom from different points of view trying to break down the taboos about the place most people are ashamed of, but everybody attends.

So have a seat!

Latest posts
20 May 2024The video went viral but more explicit clips were removed As reported in this article, German politician Martin Neumaier recorded a video of himself licking public restrooms inside a railway station. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) candidate for the Ostalb district was shown in the video that went viral on social media putting his face into a toilet and licking the toiletries, which included a brush. In addition, the controversial figure posted videos of himself engaging in sexual activity online. The website took down the majority of the videos that went popular on X; however, in one of those videos, Neumaier is shown “masturbating rectally with a sex toy” and singing the German national hymn from the Nazi era. He licked the metal fixtures of a urinal and a seated toilet, which disgusted many users on social media, including native German speakers. In the video, Neumaier is heard stating that it was a part of his “punishment,” although he doesn’t go into much more detail. In another video that has since been taken down from social media, he played the former Chancellor Adolf Hitler and created a mustache out of poo. Das hier ist Martin Neumaier, Listenplatz 2 für den Stadtrat. Die Kommunalwahl Aalen/ Ellwangen findet am 09.06.24 statt.Er leckt auf den Bahnhofsklo das Pissoirs und Klobürste ab🤮 pic.twitter.com/ATdvtBHTEx— Marlyn (@AngelikaStratm6) May 15, 2024 In the upcoming local elections in the Swabian city of Aalen, where 70,000 voters are expected, Neumaier is the FDP’s candidate. Videos showing Neumaier ridiculing the holy texts of religion and the German national anthem before the city’s council election startled a lot of people. No one knows how the video was leaked to the public, and the guy hasn’t said why he was doing that. Dr. Gareth Nye, a medical expert, explains the impact of the man’s actions. “Toilets, especially public ones, are not something I would ever recommend someone licking. This goes even more for toilet brushes and other related tools. The good news for this person is that they are extremely unlikely to pick up many STIs (sexually transmitted infections) from this activity, with viral-based STIs not surviving more than a few seconds on a surface like a toilet seat.” “It wouldn’t be likely to die from doing this activity, but you are certainly going to be quite unwell and likely have some nasty gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea.” And another medical expert, who didn’t want to be named given the grotesque nature of the story, said: “Rubbing poo is going to give you a rash because it’s dry and irritant, which will be painful. It can put you at risk of developing candida, which is a fungus bacteria and can be painful to treat.” A spokesman for the FDP said: “We have decided to end support for the candidate in question with immediate effect. In order to fully investigate the incident and impose appropriate sanctions, we have initiated party regulatory proceedings to expel you from the party. We are committed to transparency as this investigation progresses and will provide regular updates on our progress.” [...]
13 May 2024The unpublished photos were taken in 1998 for COLORS Magazine and are about human and animal poop As reported here, a new exhibit by the famous Italian photographer Olivero Toscani (born in 1942 in Milan) about poop took place at Galleria Lampo in Milan from February 21st, 2024, to March 24th, 2024. “Poop is the only thing a human being takes without copying others; there’s nothing more personal, and every time it’s a work of art,” said the photographer.Human and animal stools (such as those of chimpanzees, cows, giraffes, hyenas, pigs, lions, ducks, goldfish, pythons, buffalos, tigers, and crickets) are the protagonists of ‘CACAS: Non è tutto oro quel che luccica‘ (Poops: Not all that glitters is gold). Cow poop Guinea pig poop Llama poop Nicolas Ballario who organized the exhibit, says: “With the title ‘Not all that glitters is gold’, we want to warn people that things are not as they seem. Toscani subverts fear and uses these words positively, showing that art can fascinate everything, including poop, which stands out in his photos.” CACAS presents some works made by COLORS in 1998 (the magazine Toscani and Tibor Kalmon founded in 1991 and published until 2014) that haven’t been shown. However, the tidbit was the sponsor: Sebach, an Italian company leader in renting portable sanitation solutions, which not only promoted the exhibit but also created a custom set-up for the occasion. But it wasn’t the first collaboration with Toscani. In 2006, the photographer restyled the brand using an upside-down heart, which marked a breakthrough in the company’s communication. Olivero Toscani has worked for the most famous magazines and brands in the world, creating pictures and advertising campaigns for Fiorucci, Toyota, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Environment and Health, Artemide, Croce Rossa Italiana, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, … He collaborates with magazines such as Elle, Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Stern, Liberation, and L’Espresso moving between Parigi, Milano, Londra, and New York. Above all, he created the identity of the United Colors of Benetton brand, shifting the communication strategy towards messages of peace and tolerance, social problems like AIDS and the death penalty, integration, and equality. He conceived and directed COLORS Magazine, including the Fabrica research center, and founded La Sterpaia, a laboratory on modern communication. He was awarded prestigious awards such as four times the Leone D’Oro at the Festival of Cannes, twice the Gran Premio d’Affichage, the Gran Premio of UNESCO, the Creative Hero Award of Saatchi & Saatchi and several awards from the Art Directors Club from all around the world. [...]
6 May 2024An eco-friendly treasure Paper is a significant source of waste generated in homes, workplaces, and educational institutions. It is essentially limited to using two sides before it degrades into another piece of rubbish. An estimated 2 million trees are felled every day in the world, most of which are used to produce the paper we use daily. The good news is that an increasing number of wood pulp paper substitutes are being developed daily, using a variety of resources like cotton, fruits, seaweed, and elephant dung. How is it made? Elephant waste is simply raw cellulose because they are herbivores. According to this article, there are multiple phases involved in the process of making elephant poop paper. To get rid of bacteria, elephant dung is first gathered and steam-cleaned. After the dung has been cleansed, it is combined with gray paper pulp, which is made by tearing up old maps and soaking them in water. The boiling and cooking process helps separate the lignin and acts as a disinfectant. To increase the strength of the paper, fillers like cotton rags are occasionally added. After that, the mixture is stretched over a mesh frame to create a rectangle, which is then flattened with a rolling pin and sandwiched between two pieces of dry felt. Elephant poop paper is produced by absorbing excess water and letting it dry for around 24 hours. This is an environmentally beneficial and sustainable substitute for paper products made from traditional trees. All the things they make contain about 70% recycled paper and 30% dung, so it’s a completely natural substance. Why is it eco-friendly? Elephant dung may not have been the first material that came to mind if you were searching for environmentally friendly products. However, given that an adult elephant can produce up to 200 kg per day, they are definitely not in short supply! Even the process of making elephant dung paper, which is a very ecological choice, requires less water, energy, and carbon emissions than the technique used to make ordinary paper. Poop paper and environment Elephant dung paper is produced in an environmentally safe way, therefore, it is free of acid and chlorine. Since 1997, Maximus, a company based in rural Sri Lanka, has been making paper made from elephant dung. The excellent Maximus Elephant Conservation Trust (also known as Eco Maximus) is a Fair Trade organization. It is dedicated to the principles of sustainable development and the well-being of people, animals, and the environment. Farmers and rural people now gain economically from the coexistence of elephants since they can earn money from collecting elephant dung, which is now used to make paper. In order to further the mutually beneficial relationship and improve the lives of both humans and elephants, they also hire and teach local artists to design the products. As if that weren’t enough, a portion of the trust’s profits are given to the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF), a small charity that looks after sick, old, and disabled elephants. The elephants at the foundation are especially vulnerable without the attention they receive there. By buying and using elephant dung goods, you’re actively enhancing the future of Sri Lanka’s magnificent elephant population. [...]
29 April 2024When fashion meets bodily fluids High fashion has always been known for pushing boundaries, but “pee-stained” jeans kind of win the prize, especially considering how expensive they are, which is a reality now. As explained here, Jordanluca is a clothing brand that sells jeans online. They go by the name “Stain Stonewash,” and they currently have a lighter wash pair available for $608 instead of the $800 they often go for. And no, we’re not kidding when we say these things look pee-stained—that’s precisely how they’re meant to look. And as it happens, people are interested in it since these items are almost completely sold out right now! The Jordanluca jeans made their fashion debut during the F/W23 at Milan Fashion Week, and it seems they left a mark, as they are still in high demand. Even though you could often feel ashamed to urinate on your clothes or leave any trace of a tinkle behind, it appears that fashion-forward thinkers are embracing it. The general response online is a resounding “nope” to these jeans, although high-end fashionistas have obviously been blowing their cash on them. Even though some people on X are complaining, the truth is that they’re undoubtedly well-liked. One more amazing thing about this is that comedian Tim Robinson actually touched on this idea previously, doing a whole TV sketch on it. His show “I Think You Should Leave” made fun of the notion of a website that offered pissy pants to help guys hide the fact that they might have been a little messy. It has now sprung to life. Another instance of life imitating art. [...]
22 April 2024The reason behind their attraction The saying “flies on poop” is quite well-known, however, it normally uses a coarser word than “poop.” We probably haven’t ever questioned the deeply rooted belief that flies are drawn to excrement, as it is part of our common sense. After all, flies like to congregate around the dirtiest things—from dead animals and rotten food to overflowing trash cans. But, as the Western Exterminator points out, flies are also interesting animals. They are not like humans in the way they move, breed, or eat. For example, because they can’t chew solid food, houseflies usually only consume liquids. According to this article, they regurgitate digestive juices onto solid foods and these juices break down the food into small pieces, allowing them to use their mouth-parts, called proboscis, to drink the meal. Because their chemonsensilla, or receptors, are found on their feet, flies can literally taste with them. In other words, flies basically land on something to eat it. Flies find poop delicious and helpful When flies land on anything tasty, like your food or anything else, “They will often wander around to give their next meal a good taste before consuming it.” To provide their larvae, or maggots, with food when they hatch, flies also frequently deposit their eggs on a variety of surfaces, including rotting fruit and carcasses. Naturally, this indicates that flies are not very hygienic. They only need to land on food or dishes to spread all kinds of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli. To put it simply, flies are attracted to the smell of excrement, according to Matan Shelomi, a PH.D. in entomology, who answered a question on Quora. Meanwhile, a reader points out that because feces are so nutritious, flies are typically drawn to them. It’s suggested that “Feces contain large amounts of dead and alive bacteria, fats, proteins, indigestible carbohydrates (like cellulose — fiber), minerals, and trace amounts of other nutritious goodies.” Despite having no nutritional benefit for humans, flies have special needs. For them, excrement serves as both a secure nesting site and a nourishing food. [...]
15 April 2024The Mariko Aoki phenomenon According to this article, Harvard-trained gastroenterologist Dr. Saurabh Sethi caused a stir on social media when he posted on TikTok about how going to your favorite big-box store, bookstore, or coffee shop could signal your intestines when it’s time to go. @doctorsethimd Doctor Explains Why Shopping May Trigger Urgent Restroom Trips 🤯 Ever felt an urgent need to rush to the bathroom while browsing through bookstores or relaxing in a coffee shop? Is this phenomenon familiar to you? Share your stories in the comments. #shoppingaddict #healthtips #medicaltiktok ♬ original sound – Doctor Sethi “A lot of my patients have shared with me that they have also experienced the same thing.” The Daily Mail claims that the unusual event got its name from a woman who, while visiting a bookstore in Japan, would get the sudden urge to go to the bathroom. Even though other people acknowledged having the same experience, it doesn’t seem like anyone was able to identify the exact cause at the time. According to Dr. Sethi, it might be because of specific odors, like those of books and coffee. He claimed that being around coffee might, in a sense, speed things up, even if you don’t drink it. Therefore, going to Target—many of which have Starbucks locations right at the door—or Barnes & Noble—which of course has its requisite cafe—may have you searching for the closest restroom. Another notion suggests that the smells of ink and paper together could function as a natural laxative, although further research is needed to confirm this. Additionally, the way we browse for books—often stooping to reach lower shelves—may speed up a trip to the restroom. Furthermore, excessive relaxation or anxiety can trigger the unexpected emotion that comes with shopping, according to Dr. Sethi. The doctor described how the occurrence is almost a blessing for some constipation sufferers, knowing of individuals who “visit specific stores daily to make their bowels move.” “Yes! Barnes & Noble, and also my favorite supermarket,” one commenter exclaimed. “Library in college always did it to me,” recounted one. “Happens with me every time I am shopping,” another confessed. This condition is known as the Mariko Aoki phenomenon. As mentioned before, a Japanese woman first wrote about experiencing this in 1985, describing feeling a strong urge to have a bowel movement upon entering a bookstore, even if she had no previous need to go. This phenomenon is a relatively common experience, with many people reporting similar reactions in bookstores and libraries. The exact cause is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to psychological factors and associations between books/reading and the digestive system. It is not considered a medical condition, but rather an unusual physiological response triggered by a specific environment. While not harmful, the phenomenon can be inconvenient or embarrassing for those who experience it unexpectedly when browsing books. It is discussed and recognized, particularly in Japanese culture, where Mariko Aoki’s original account helped bring widespread attention to the phenomenon. However, I think this phenomenon is not strictly related to bookstores; it deals more with a sort of psychological relaxation effect that happens when our mind undergoes relaxing stimuli, a bit like hypnosis, in which it is transported to unrestrained thoughts, and the body relaxes as a result. So it can happen when we are in the supermarket wandering the aisles carefree, in a bookshop, or even looking at an old house that takes our mind to distant but pleasant thoughts. I, therefore, believe that the effect is about being surrounded by exclusively positive stimuli that cause a complete relaxation effect, which consequently also causes a bowel movement. [...]
8 April 2024Understanding and mitigating toilet aerosol plumes Each time you flush a toilet, small water droplets are released into the surrounding air in plumes. These droplets, known as aerosol plumes, have the potential to expose users of public bathrooms to infectious diseases and spread pathogens from human waste. As explained here, because aerosol plumes are generally invisible, scientific comprehension of their propagation and public knowledge of their existence have been hindered. With the use of high-power lasers, John Crimaldi, Aaron True, Karl Linden, Mark Hernandez, Lars Larson, and Anna Pauls were able to picture and measure the spread of aerosol plumes from flushing commercial toilets in great detail. Up instead of down During the flush cycle, water is forced into the bowl’s contents, causing a thin spray of particles to fly into the air. Within eight seconds of the flush beginning, researchers discovered that a standard commercial toilet produces a powerful upward jet of air that travels at speeds greater than 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second). This jet quickly carries these particles up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the bowl. In their lab, they installed a standard lidless commercial toilet with a flushometer-style valve, which is widely available across North America, in order to view these plumes. Flushometer valves distribute water into the bowl through the use of pressure instead of gravity. They lit the area from the top of the bowl to the ceiling with a thin vertical sheet of laser light created by using sophisticated optics. The aerosol particles scatter enough laser light to become visible after flushing the toilet using a remote electrical trigger, which enables us to photograph the particle plume with cameras. They were taken aback by the force with which the jet expelled the particles from the bowl, despite their expectation that they would be present. A related study predicted the creation of aerosol plumes using a computational model of an idealized toilet; the model showed that particles would travel upward above the bowl at a rate of roughly 3.3 feet per second (1 meter per second), which is about half of what they saw when using a real toilet. Why lasers? For many years, scientists have been aware that aerosol particles can be released into the air when toilets are flushed. Nevertheless, to determine the quantity and size of particles that toilets produce, experimental research has predominantly relied on devices that collected air samples at fixed sites. Although these previous approaches can verify the existence of aerosols, they don’t tell us anything about the physics of the plumes—that is, how big they are, how quickly they move around, or how they look. The development of mitigation techniques to lessen the creation of aerosol plumes and their potential to spread disease depends on this information. Using lasers to determine the many ways that complex fluid flows move different things is a field of John Crimaldi’s laboratory as an engineering professor whose research focuses on the linkages between fluid physics and ecological or biological processes. These things are frequently invisible until we use lasers to illuminate them. One benefit of measuring fluid flows with laser light is that, in contrast to a physical probe, light does not interfere with or change what is being measured. Additionally, since humans are visual creatures, employing lasers to make invisible objects visible helps in their understanding of the complexities of the dynamic environment they live in. Aerosols and disease Important human disease vectors are aerosol particles that carry diseases. People may be exposed to respiratory problems from smaller particles that remain in the atmosphere for a while. When larger particles come into contact with the hands or lips, they can easily settle on surfaces and spread intestinal infections like norovirus. Pathogen concentrations in feces-contaminated toilet bowl water can last for dozens of flushes. Whether or not toilet aerosol plumes pose a risk of transmission is still up for debate. Limiting toilet plume spread The experimental methodology employed here lays the groundwork for future investigations testing various solutions aimed at reducing the potential for disease exposure resulting from toilet flushing. This might entail evaluating modifications to the aerosol plumes emitted by newly designed toilet bowls or flush valves that alter the length or force of the flush cycle. There are techniques that reduce human exposure to toilet plumes in the meantime. The obvious tactic is to close the lid before flushing. This does not, however, totally remove aerosol plumes, and many public, commercial, and healthcare restrooms lack lids. In the bathroom, exposure to aerosol plumes could potentially be reduced via UV disinfection systems or ventilation. [...]
1 April 2024Redefining the bathroom experience with a sculptural, functional masterpiece Designer Samuel Ross created his first toilet for the bathroom brand Kohler with the intention of defying preconceived notions about what a lavatory should look like. The toilet will make its debut during Milan Design Week. As explained in this article, the Formation 02 smart toilet has a striking orange color with an asymmetrical shape reminiscent of the sharp angles and edges of brutalist architecture. Its porcelain bowl is encircled by a recycled epoxy resin shell featuring a craggy texture and portions that resemble natural rock, along with some surprising cutouts. Formation 02, which is slated for limited production, is an attempt, according to Ross, to elevate the common toilet to the status of a “functional sculpture.” “It has such an intensity that pulls you in by use of the colour and by use of the asymmetry,” he said. “So I would argue that it’s actually closer to a sculpture.” “It’s also a new price band for that type of product, which will retail at roughly around $25,000 per unit,” he added. “So it places itself in this incredible grey area in design at the moment, between object and artefact and design object versus functional object.” After the unveiling of the angular Formation 01 tap at Design Miami last year, Kohler and Ross’s industrial design studio, SR_A have been working together to create several projects; the toilet is the most recent. Ross, who came from the fashion industry and worked for Off-White under Virgil Abloh before starting his own streetwear brand, A Cold Wall, in 2015, views the collaboration as a chance to rethink the conventional sanitaryware market. “There hasn’t necessarily been an aberrant on the shape and form that has been disruptive really since the 1960s or 70s,” he said. “It felt like there was such a familiarity with the object that it was one of the last unturned stones within service design.” “What it is to be a designer, fundamentally, is to be on the edge of risk when it comes to proposing new ideas,” Ross added. “And this was about having a sense of risk and elastic thinking applied to a functional category.” With this goal in mind, Ross approached the project more like a piece of art than a design assignment, sketching forms on paper rather than CAD files and KPIs. “I wanted to produce forms that had not been seen before,” he said. “So I wanted to start from a very pure standpoint, which was pen and paper, feeling, and emotion, to determine where we should go in the process.” In addition to being bright orange, Ross claims that the final design is more “extroverted” than a typical toilet since it is higher and significantly wider. Kohler developed a recycled epoxy resin that was molded into unique moulds and fitted around the ceramic base of the toilet, giving it its various facets and rough, textured sides. “If we think about the use of textured or recycled epoxy in toilets, it literally doesn’t exist,” Ross said. “So what we’re proposing is pretty much category creation within sanitary solutions.” “The way in which texture comes into play, the amount of concaves and convexes that have been worked into on the epoxy, which we actually patented as part of the partnership between SR_A and Kohler—all of these advents are new.” Together, Ross aspires to help the user initially perceive the toilet as a sculpture, prior to learning about its operational capabilities and technological integration. This comprises a nightlight, a heated seat, and a touchscreen control that may be used to operate the bidet, in addition to opening, flushing, and cleaning the toilet. The Milanese art and design gallery Spazio Maiocchi will be the toilet’s first permanent location after being unveiled as part of a temporary installation during Milan Design Week. “For the most part, if we’re being really honest, they’re going to be put into galleries, into museums, into high-value corporations, that have an affinity for the arts or value aesthetics,” Ross said. Other recent attempts to reinvent the toilet have mostly concentrated on functionality. For example, Samsung and Bill Gates collaborated to create a toilet that burns waste “into ashes,” while Swedish bathroom brand Harvest Moon introduced a compost toilet that doesn’t require water. [...]
25 March 2024Be careful using leaves as toilet paper Deep in the rainforests of eastern Australia lies one of the world’s worst botanical nightmares: the Dendrocnide moroides, more commonly called the Australian giant stinging tree or “devil’s toilet paper plant.” This simple tree packs an incredibly potent sting, delivered by needle-like appendages on its leaves and bark. The intense pain caused by brushing up against a giant, stinging tree has been described as a fire rapidly spreading over the affected area. The anguish can last weeks or months, with the initial sting causing severe redness, swelling, and throbbing. Some unlucky souls who encountered the plant have been temporarily paralyzed or landed in the hospital. So why is it called “devil’s toilet paper”? Because using the large leaves as makeshift toilet paper in the bush would be among the worst ideas imaginable. The silica-tipped needles that cover the plant can become lodged so deeply into the skin that trying to remove them often breaks off the tips, making the wound worse. The tree’s unique defense mechanism evolved to ward off browsing animals. The needles act like miniature hypodermic needles that deliver a potent neurotoxin cocktail when they penetrate flesh. This venom causes exquisite agony by targeting the same pain receptors as those activated by red chili peppers or self-defense sprays. The initial intense, burning sting can last for up to several hours or even a full day. This has been described as an incredibly severe, throbbing, swelling rash. After the initial sting, the affected area can remain painfully sensitive to cold and heat for many days or even weeks afterward. In some cases, the intense pain has been reported to last for months or over a year after being stung before fully subsiding. There are a few recommended remedies that may provide some relief if stung by the Australian giant stinging tree: Remove residual hairs/needles. Carefully remove any plant hairs/needles still stuck in the skin using sticky tape or a wax hair removal strip. Don’t try to pull them out, as this can break off the tips under the skin. Apply diluted hydrochloric acid. Carefully swabbing a diluted hydrochloric acid solution (like you’d find in gastric/stomach acid) can help neutralize the toxic pedunculate venom. Taking over-the-counter antihistamines like fexofenadine or loratadine can help reduce inflammation, itching, and swelling from the sting. Use hot wax. Applying industrial hot wax or gunk remover can allow the resin to cool and peel off, removing trapped needles/toxins. Pain medication. For severe, throbbing pain, OTC anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or even prescription pain meds may be required, particularly in the first few days. Anesthetic creams. Topical anesthetic ointments containing ingredients like lidocaine or benzocaine can temporarily numb the area. Seeing a medical professional is highly recommended, as the intense sting can potentially cause anaphylaxis in some cases. Most home remedies only provide partial, short-term relief from the immense agony inflicted by this tree’s stings. Coyote Peterson, a wildlife educator and adventurer known for his daring encounters with various creatures and plants, volunteered to get stung by the Devil’s Toilet Paper plant to raise awareness about the excruciating pain caused by its sting. Peterson’s experience with this plant was documented in the following video, where he demonstrated the effects of the sting and provided valuable information on how to treat it. [...]
18 March 2024The evolving landscape of toilet design and public perception As reported here, in Wim Wenders’ most recent film, Perfect Days, we follow Koji Yakusho’s character Hiroyama as he cleans the restrooms of the Tokyo Toilet Project. The restrooms in question are housed in buildings created by legendary architects Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma, and they are undoubtedly far superior to even the most luxurious public restrooms in the country or anywhere else. The Tokyo Toilet Project was started by retail executive Koji Yanai in 2020, and it was intended to gain international attention during the 2020 Summer Olympics. However, the pandemic destroyed those plans. Yanai then reached out to the directors he admired to see if they would be interested in collaborating on the project. The New York Times reports that Wenders, a longstanding “admirer” of Japan, fell for the ruse. Perfect Days has gotten mainly positive reviews and is nominated for a 2024 Academy Award. However, some reviewers have quickly pointed out that Wenders is essentially fetishizing Japan and blue-collar workers. Still, the toilets themselves—aside from Yakusho—are the true stars of the film. Although Wenders probably wanted viewers to contemplate motionlessness, slowness, and the indescribable beauty of the ordinary, what’s most intriguing about the movie is the respect the toilet receives. Though there have been some initiatives, at least in the US, to improve their state, public restrooms are generally not in a place where you want to spend a lot of time. In 2017, Bryant Park’s restroom received a makeover thanks to a $300,000 private funding project. New flowers were placed on the countertops, classical music was played on the speakers, and restroom attendants made for a pleasant experience using the public bathroom. People might use public restrooms more frequently if they were spotless and felt less like a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Any attention paid at all to the plight of the toilet, both aesthetically and functionally, is good news. Sure, it will take some time for the rest of the world to catch up to the level of cleanliness, service, and hospitality provided by, say, a public bathroom in a Taipei train station (very clean). Fascinatingly, the possibilities for toilet developments in your home have become wide-ranging and, to be honest, weirdly fascinating, even though it will probably be a while before the state of public restrooms improves in any appreciable way. Toilet closets, essentially a small room in the bathroom where the toilet lives, are a mainstay of HGTV renovations and real-life renovations alike. Toilets are traditionally white porcelain eyesores and a part of the bathroom that many designers hide. This is because no one wants to look at or think about a toilet and what happens in it. However, not every renovated or pre-existing house has the room to conceal the toilet, because everyone poops—to borrow a phrase from a well-known children’s book. There are plenty of choices if you play around with the toilet and make it the center of attention. To commemorate their 150th anniversary, Kohler brought back colors from their past in 2023. They offered tubs, sinks, and toilets in Peachblow and Spring Green, two muted pastels similar to those you could find in a bathroom with colorful vintage tiling. For 2024, they rooted around in the archives and reissued three greens: Aspen Green, an on-trend, soft sage; Teal, a dark and moody blackened green; and Fresh Green, an almost-avocado hue that suggests the eternal optimism of spring. You might have come across Bailey Hikawa’s 3D phone cases if you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time. Her newest obsession has been with toilets—resin seats covered in hair and cell phones from the year 2000. If you’re not comfortable remodeling your entire bathroom to accommodate a dark-colored toilet, think about going with a minimalist bathroom with a maximalist toilet seat as a simple way to embrace the ridiculousness of the piece itself. Hikawa’s recent forays would feel at home in an industrial bathroom in a cafe serving adaptogen-infused lattes; there’s a nasty and subversive quality to her creations that begs the user to linger. If the toilet is usually white porcelain and has no other color, texture, or finish, it feels especially impractical. Perhaps this is a sign that we’re moving away from the staid and toward an aesthetic that’s a little more playful and, dare I say, practical. It’s never fun to clean a bathroom. These manufacturers appear to be arguing that if your home expresses your personality in so many other ways, your bathroom ought to as well. Toto and other Japanese toilet manufacturers are notoriously luxurious because they provide customers the feeling of a true spa experience right in the comfort of their own home. Even though they have a generally pleasing appearance, they have a cold, sterile feel that conveys utility rather than fun. While Toto’s high-end products may seem to be the pinnacle of toilet innovation, several brands recently introduced choices that truly combine style and functionality. Just three items are available from the French bathroom brand Trone: two wall-mounted toilets and a matching wall-mounted plate that regulates the flush. Released in 2021, Callipyge is exquisite enough to serve as the focal point of the bathroom while having a slight resemblance to the Guggenheim. The toilet bowl is rimless, but it doesn’t have the bidet features that Toto and other high-end models have. In a traditional toilet, water flushes from under the bowl’s lip when you flush, but in a rimless model, the water flushes horizontally along the sides, making cleaning easier. With the Numi 2.0, for example, which has a slight resemblance to a nice garbage can and is equipped with all the expected bells and whistles—LED lights, warm air blasting on your nether regions, temperature-controlled water in a bidet function that cleans both your front and back—Kohler has also taken this on. Perhaps most important, though, is integration with Alexa. Then there are the companies that combine style and elegance. Agape Design, an Italian sanitaryware brand, features work from designers such as Studiopepe, Angelo Mangioratti, and Patricia Uriquola, whose 2015 Shimmer Table for Glas Italia has now been copied to the point of feeling ubiquitous. Agape Design treats sinks and toilets with the same thoughtful consideration one might give a kitchen or a primary suite. Pears 2, the 2019 toilet she created for Agape, has a rather conventional appearance to reduce confusion in the bathroom, but it sticks out because of its striking hue and simple lines. Although Agape and Trone’s European minimalism is one direction the bathroom has gone, plenty of individuals are experimenting with kitsch as well. It’s noteworthy that while so much innovation of private space is happening in private homes, we’ve stalled out on the private ones in public spaces The idea behind the development of a project such as the Tokyo Toilet Project is more similar to the choice of toilet you might make for your home than it might initially seem. That is, everyone should be able to find some beauty in the ordinary, because only then can we break up the monotony of a typical, everyday life. [...]
11 March 2024Pros and cons of drinking your own urine It’s probably making you gag just to think about it. But if you’re interested in wilderness survival, you’ve undoubtedly wondered about the consequences of drinking urine. As reported here, it is legitimate to ask: A person can expect to live for around three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in bad weather, three days without water, and three weeks without food, according to the commonly cited Rule of Threes. Getting a drink of water should be your top priority if you’re actually stranded far from a creek or pond. You may even find your thirst stronger than your gag response after a day or two. However, “should you drink your own pee?” and “can you drink your own pee” are two different questions. Anyway, no, consuming your output won’t make you sick. However, that only works if you’re well-hydrated, and that’s not the topic at hand. Contrary to what you may have seen on television, drinking pee can quickly drain your life force—it contains even more salts and minerals than seawater. After all, it’s wastewater; part of its purpose is to remove urea and other toxic materials from your body. Using a standard backpacking filter won’t help you at all. It also gets increasingly concentrated the longer you consume it. Are you desperate or determined enough to go ahead and do it anyway? Urine must be allowed to evaporate completely before it can be collected. Pour the waste into a big container, add heat, capture and condense the vapor, and then transfer the clean water into another container. If you have a stove or a campfire, tinkle in your cookpot, put a cup inside (on a flat rock), cover the whole thing with your lid inverted so the handle points into the cup, and boil away. Alternatively, you can build a solar still: Create a foot-deep hole and fill it with pee and any greenery you find. Place a cup in the middle. Cover the entrance with plastic, pull it taut, then use dirt and rocks to seal the edges. To ensure that the water drips into the cup, weigh the sheet over it with a stone. While the stove is quicker, the still might be able to extract more water from the soil. Anyway, you will only receive a small portion of what you put in both cases, and the water will taste like pee either way. Distilling your own urine is not the best approach to obtaining water in an emergency. Rather, wait until the evening when the temperature drops and use that energy to look for any puddles or watering holes you may have missed (hint: animals tend to congregate around water sources in arid regions, so follow their footprints). Better yet, prevent the drama entirely by planning and packing more water than you think you need, informing someone where you left and when you expect to return, and carrying a satellite communicator if available. [...]
4 March 2024How access to sanitation boosts health, safety, and more Despite having various names, including the loo, the WC, the lavatory, the privy, and the porcelain god, the toilet is one of the most commonplace items in life and is essential to civilization. However, the issue of not having access to even a rudimentary pit latrine—which affects almost a third of the world’s population—may worsen. According to recent statistical research, there will be 11 billion people on the planet by the year 2100. Therefore, here are five ways that toilets improve the world, from promoting education to reducing illness: 1. Keeping people healthy According to this article, improperly disposed human waste can result in serious illnesses. People who lack access to toilets commonly defecate outside, frequently close to residential areas or rivers that provide water for bathing or drinking. For example, the World Health Organization estimates that every minute, 290,000 gallons, or 1.1 million liters, of raw sewage enter India’s Ganges River. Diarrheal diseases like cholera are brought on by contaminated water and affect a large number of individuals chronically. A fatal cholera outbreak that left over 25,000 people sick and over 392 people dead occurred in 2012 as a result of latrines in Sierra Leone and Guinea flooding due to heavy rains, according to news reports. Fecal contamination-related diseases also result in stunted growth, low birth weight, malnourishment, and cognitive issues. Two out of the three main preventable causes of death for children under five are related to poor sanitation. 2. Preventing blindness The primary cause of preventable blindness, trachoma, is spread by flies that only lay eggs on human feces. The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, which also causes the sexually transmitted disease Chlamydia, is the cause of the illness. The disease can be spread by flies and contact with an infected person’s ocular discharge. The World Health Organization estimates that 21.4 million people worldwide suffer from trachoma. Approximately 2.2 million of them are blind, while 1.2 million are visually impaired. 3. Keeping women safe Women who live in areas without restrooms have to go farther to relieve themselves, which puts them at risk for sexual assault. Many women use “flying toilets”—basically, plastic bags they store in their homes—to minimize that risk. Flying toilets are an ideal habitat for pathogenic microorganisms, including the bacteria that cause trachoma. 4. Promoting school attendance It’s still taboo to discuss toilet issues in many countries, especially with women. If the facility does not have private restrooms, young girls may decide not to go to school, which eventually restricts their access to education. However, it’s not always an easy fix. As an example, some humanitarian workers have proposed building public restrooms. In November 2008, however, men were twice as likely as women to use the toilet blocks that had been built in Bhopal, India, as part of research. 5. Saving energy The biomechanical energy in toilet waste is approximately ten times greater than the energy required to treat it. To recover drinking water and save energy, scientists and engineers are creating new methods of processing wastewater. To develop sanitary waterless toilets that don’t require energy or a sewer connection and would cost less than five cents per user per day, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. A toilet has, therefore, several purposes beyond just holding waste. [...]
26 February 2024Innovations in toilet technology and sewage systems Think about the toilet, that insignificant porcelain bowl that discreetly disposes of our waste multiple times a day. It’s not a design darling, nor is it a piece of technology that receives frequent dazzling improvements (though options like dual flushing, seat warming, and electronic bidets can surely make it more luxurious). However, many designers, environmental engineers, and sanitation specialists wanting to bring about a paradigm change contend that toilets, along with our entire approach to sewage, are in dire need of modernization. According to CNN, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that roughly one-third of indoor water use in US households is attributed to our wasteful practice of flushing. The use of water toilets has become more risky in many parts of the world because of climate change, which is bringing harsh droughts and flooding that overflow septic tanks and back up sewers. Innovation is especially needed in areas without access to running water or in disaster areas. There may be a benefit to reevaluating our waste management practices: waste can be recycled to produce electricity, heat, and fertilizer. “Waste is not waste, it’s a resource,” stated Finnish architect and artist Arja Renell, who introduced the subject to the Venice Architecture Biennale as the curator of her nation’s pavilion the previous year. Although she was not an authority in the field, she was concerned to discover that a portion of Venice’s wastewater is dumped straight into its canals and wanted to highlight the “dry” toilet as a circular approach to sanitation. Renell told CNN over a video call that dry toilets, also known as “Huussi” in Finnish, are very common in remote summer cottages in Finland. They separate urine from stool and are vented to keep odors out. After using the restroom, users add peat or sawdust to the toilet bin. When the bin is filled, they transfer the waste over several months to a larger, airtight container to ensure that any microbes are eliminated. Instead of using the typical synthetic fertilizer that emits greenhouse gases, the residual material, which is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, can be used as a natural fertilizer. Those who live off the grid will be familiar with the dry composting process. In the US, people who cannot afford to build a neutralizing septic tank—which may cost thousands of dollars—or live in rural residences without access to a sewage system have traditionally constructed dry compost toilets as an alternative to flush toilets. According to environmental engineer Kelsey McWilliams, whose company Point of Shift installs circular sanitation systems around the nation, the demand for sustainable solutions will only increase in regions affected by flooding or drought. “There are multiple states right now where people are working on changing the current building codes to allow not only compost toilets but more innovative solutions for people who want them,” she said. “Septic tanks are great—they served a purpose. They’re a very old type of technology, and they still generally protect our wells from human waste and bacteria. But there are better solutions.” However, there are several obstacles to overcome before dry compost toilet use can be widely adopted, ranging from county or state laws to individual preferences. Installing and maintaining them in urban environments can be challenging, especially for larger homes than single-family homes. There’s also the issue of time: Many people may be put off if they have to wait up to a year for their waste to be safely recycled, and the repulsive feeling may be difficult to overcome. “It’s asking people to care about something that they’re biologically attuned to be averse to,” McWilliams said. Disappearing act However, what if your waste could largely vanish from your toilet? Change:WATER Labs, a startup run by scientist and entrepreneur Diana Yousef, is posing this question to patent an evaporative material that has the potential to minimize waste buildup by up to 97% in a single day. “We have developed a technology that we lovingly term ‘shrink wrap for crap,’” Yousef explained. The “iThrone,” a low-cost, completely waterless portable toilet from Change:WATER Labs, holds human waste in a bag lined with special material. Yousef stated that the remaining material only needs to be recovered once every one to two months, but it still needs to be gathered and processed because it is recyclable but not neutralized. The iThrone has been tested in disadvantaged communities in Uganda and Panama that lack access to safe sanitation since it was founded in 2018 by the Humanitarian Grand Challenge, an international acceleration award. Change: WATER Labs intends to expand the project’s scope. About 3.5 billion people, or 43% of the world’s population, were estimated to lack access to a toilet or latrine that was connected to wastewater treatment or safe disposal by the WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme last year. Of those, almost a billion use buckets or dangerous pit latrines, or they defecate outside. “When you shrink the waste at the point of production, essentially, you do a better job of containing it hygienically, so it cleans up communities”, Yousef said. “But then, on top of that, you are not using, or polluting, any water.” Excrement isn’t currently processed by the iThrone, but Yousef claims that as time goes on, the device will “get more sophisticated” and that in the future it might be able to turn evaporated moisture from urine or feces into drinkable water or turn the leftover stored waste into renewable energy. “I don’t think anyone living in a house with a flush toilet is within five or 10 years of saying, ‘Yeah, I want to give that up,’” she said. “But there are so many other applications. And they’re not all just for low-income or distressed, fragile populations. There’s public sanitation, green building, transportation. And there are so many places where people are tied to septic tanks.” Upcycling waste Sewer systems that are well-developed in cities can cause drastic changes that are invisible. For instance, San Francisco now mandates that new construction over 100,000 square feet have on-site wastewater recycling facilities, even as California struggles with an increasingly severe drought. Local startup Epic Cleantec is expanding its system to residential buildings, corporate campuses, factories, and hotels around the state. Epic Cleantec developed the first graywater reuse system in the city in the opulent high-rise Fifteen Fifty. Meanwhile, a conventional sewage plant in a brand-new coastal development in the Swedish city of Helsingborg has undergone a complete makeover to become a cutting-edge new treatment facility known as RecoLab, which stands for “Recovery Lab.” RecoLab is a striking structure that uses air vents to dissipate odors. It is connected to all buildings in the new district via a three-pipe system that recycles and separates water that contains human waste (also known as blackwater) from low-water vacuum-based toilets, graywater from washing machines and bathtubs, and organic matter from food disposal systems. When the housing complex is finished in 2030, RecoLab will provide homes for 2,500 people. “When you’re ‘source-separating’ the wastewater, it’s the same principle as when you’re separating plastic from metal—it’s easier to recycle,” explained Amanda Haux, business developer at RecoLab. “Ninety-four percent of the wastewater in our cities is actually very easy to clean,” she said, but mixing in blackwater contaminates what could be a reusable resource. RecoLab converts nitrogen and phosphorus from human waste and food compost into fertilizer pellets at a nearby facility, just like dry composting toilets do. While recycled water is used in the community swimming pool, biogas from recycled waste is converted for use as heating. Because of stringent Swedish government laws prohibiting the reuse of wastewater for human use, the plant does not currently recycle graywater. Haux, though, is hoping that will change—especially in cities where climate change may make water shortages more frequent. Haux intends to someday build a rooftop garden and restaurant on RecoLab’s property, using its recycled water and fertilizer to grow ingredients, in order to showcase the project’s circularity. “The purpose is to raise awareness about wastewater as a resource. We shouldn’t hide it away in our cities,” she said. “This is actually a low-hanging fruit when we’re talking about circulation.” Renell invited Haux to present at RecoLab at a fall seminar on innovative waste management techniques during the Venice Biennale. Even though they are on different ends of the spectrum, a large-scale urban sewage system and a simple dry toilet are both solutions to the same issue. “So many people get so excited about this topic,” Renell said. “Of course, the urban scale feels a bit more daunting, but even within that, there are these amazing examples going on.” “Going to the toilet needs to be quite simple,” Renell said. “If we want to compete with the current system, we need to provide something equally easy.” [...]
19 February 2024How bodily waste shapes emotions, disorders, gender roles, and moral views As reported here, the flush toilet is ranked ninth in the history of inventions by the British public, slightly above the combustion engine, according to a 2010 survey. At number 22, toilet paper is at number 62, and diapers are preferable to sliced bread, which comes in at number 70. Do these rankings make a significant contribution to our understanding of human issues, or are they merely another example of British perversity? If they are, psychology has overlooked it. The psychobiology of eating, sleeping, and sex has been extensively studied by psychologists, who have also dedicated a large number of journals to this subject. The movement of chemicals from the outer to the inner has been studied, but the traffic in the opposite direction has received less attention. Rumors circulated by an enraged former Nazi leader claimed that Adolf Hitler‘s romantic life was hindered by a urine fetish. Charles Darwin suffered from “extreme spasmodic daily & nightly flatulence” for decades, with ringing in the ears preceding each episode. Carl Jung had a vision as a young student of God dropping “an enormous turd” on a cathedral while sitting on a golden throne. Seated on the privy, Martin Luther received his own spiritual revelations, suffered from constipation and urinary retention, and denounced the devil with a wide range of scatological terminology. In addition, another sufferer of constipation was Sigmund Freud. Psychologists are more likely to come across excrement through Freud’s theories than through his digestive issues. Psychology students are well aware of the psychoanalytic movement’s founder’s assertion that toddlers find pleasure in holding onto and expelling their feces and that conflicts during this developmental stage may manifest as adult conflicts in an anal character structure. Fewer people are aware that Freud also described a urethral personality type that was characterized by “burning ambition” and hypothesized that repressing the urge to urinate on fire was a crucial step in the evolution of primitive man into a civilized species. In the same way that people attempt to erase excrement from their memory, they also want to hide their bodily waste and prize the items that allow them to do so—flush toilets are ranked 73 positions above Facebook. Nick Haslam wrote the book Psychology in the Bathroom (Haslam, 2012) because he suspected psychology did the same thing—that is, it avoided looking at the toilet. “Imagine if 10% of human nature had been walled off by an irrational taboo. Wouldn’t you want to peek in and see what was hiding back there?’ Of course you would,” as social psychologist Jonathan Haidt writes in a review It turns out that there is a significant amount of work on the psychology of excretion; however, it is frequently cryptic and scattered throughout the field. Scholars have examined an astounding array of phenomena related to excrement, such as various psychopathologies, personality traits, sexual aberrations, emotions, prejudices, and linguistic practices. Mental disorders To begin, let us consider psychopathology. Excretion plays a role in a variety of mental health conditions, including tics, paraphilias, obsessions, compulsions, and delusions. Strong anxieties about urinating in public, known as “paruresis,” are widespread and frequently limiting, restricting a person’s movements and inflicting humiliation and pain. One sufferer blacked out and even fell to the ground while attempting to find relief at a public restroom. Despite sharing many characteristics with social anxiety, paruresis is distinct enough for one author to suggest a new category of phobias called “sphincteric phobias.” A study that measured men’s pee streams at a public urinal using a periscope in a nearby restroom stall proved that milder types of bashful bladder are common. The time to begin urinating increased steeply the closer another user stood to the unwitting participant (Middlemist et al., 1976). Olfactory reference syndrome patients experience a distinct kind of anxiety when they worry that they are giving off an offensive, frequently faecal, stench. These phobias are obsessive-compulsive in nature and can occasionally become delusional. Patients have been known to interpret gifts of perfume or even nearby dogs’ barking as proof of their “alimentary stench.” In one well-known case, farting started to inspire safety rather than terror. According to Jungian analysis, a youngster employed flatulence as a means of constructing a “defensive olfactory container” to shield himself from worries of persecution and disintegration, thus forming a “protective cloud of familiarity” when threatened. The ability to control one’s bowel and bladder in children is an important developmental step and a source of worry for parents, to the point where “accidents” are sometimes used as an excuse for the maltreatment of children. According to a recent study, adults who were forced to drink five cups of water and were not allowed to urinate were better able to resist unrelated temptations, like making rash financial decisions, than adults who had an empty bladder. Parents frequently seem to view toilet training as a model example for developing self-control, and this conclusion is not entirely without merit (Tuk et al., 2011). Through history and throughout cultures, there has been great variation in approaches to achieving continence. In the Middle Ages, one cure for ‘pyssying in the bedde’ was eating ground hedgehog, and among the Dahomeans of West Africa, repeat offenders had a live frog attached to their waist to better control their behavior or gain self-control. According to shifting trends in child care, the pendulum has swung between strictness and laxity throughout contemporary Western history. While some psychologists formerly thought that childhood bedwetting, setting fires, and animal abuse were all related to adult criminality, more recent research has disproved this theory. Coprolalia, which translates to “shit speech,” is a common symptom of Tourette’s disease. Scatological expressions are the most popular, while other kinds of profanities and impolite phrases may be used. The Marquise de Dampierre, a woman with “distinguished manners” who was originally documented by Jean Itard in 1825, would occasionally yell “shit and fucking pig”; another of Gilles de la Tourette’s initial instances was a kid who had a preference for “shitty arsehole.” Excremental language seems to be preferred in many cultures, but there are exceptions, such as the peculiar Japanese term kusobaba (shit grandma).Given that scatological utterances are “the undisputed leader among the taboo themes” according to cross-cultural studies of swearing, the prevalence of excremental blurting in Tourette’s syndrome is undoubtedly not by coincidence (Ljung, 2011, p. 135). Abuse phrases with anal themes are extremely common, notably in the USA and Germany. The former relationship, according to controversial folklorist Alan Dundes (1984), was part of a larger pattern that also included a purported cultural affinity for flatulent music (such as wind and brass), toilet humor, and faecal foods (such as sausage). His analysis did not spare the USA, also finding anal themes to be rife in American football.Coprophilia and coprophagia are disgustingly literal, but coprolalia simply refers to excrement metaphorically. Eating excrement is common in a number of illnesses, such as psychosis, dementia, and intellectual disability. It has even been recorded as a spectacular form of malingering in the case of a defendant facing a third conviction under California’s ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law who stockpiled his excrement for several days before eating it in dramatic fashion. This was documented as an impressive example of malingering. Remarkably, young toddlers do not naturally oppose this behavior; according to research, two-year-olds willfully placed fake dog poop made of peanut butter and smelly cheese in their mouths (Rozin et al., 1986). There is also evidence of fetishistic enjoyment of excrement, although perversions involving touching, sniffing, or peeing on other people or their belongings are more common. Bowel and bladder complaints Researchers in the fields of gastroenterology and psychosomatic medicine have proven that a significant psychological component is present in many complaints related to the bowel and bladder. For instance, a relatively prevalent illness called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by constipation and chronic or recurrent diarrhea, along with discomfort, bloating, and abdominal pain. It co-occurs with a wide range of somatic diseases, such as dyspepsia, asthma, chronic fatigue and pain, dysmenorrhea, and fibromyalgia and has no clear organic origin. Individuals with IBS frequently report histories of maltreatment, somatize their distress, have trouble asserting themselves, and score highly on neuroticism measures (Talley et al., 1998). Individuals with the illness often experience increased sensitivity to pain and visceral sensitivity; this feature is usually measured by slowly inflating a rectal balloon. According to brain scans performed during this type of distension, people with IBS exhibit abnormally high levels of pain center activation; however, these activations can also be partially attributed to anxiety and depression (Elsenbruch et al., 2010). It follows that the brain’s representation of emotion states influences visceral discomfort, contributing to the top-down mechanism of IBS rather than only the bottom-up. Not all somatopsychic events related to excretion are related to digestive problems. Bladder issues can also have psychological causes and manifest as conversion symptoms in certain situations. For instance, it is widely known that experiencing physical or sexual abuse is highly linked to urine retention and other voiding disorders; survivors of abuse also exhibit higher rates of incontinence (e.g., Link et al., 2007). In summary, disrupted excretory functions are a common physical manifestation of adversity, stress, and suffering. The anal character Excretion has been linked to a wide variety of psychological disorders. It is also indirectly related to a normal personality. The most glaring example is Freud’s idea of the anal character, which is considered a discredited folly by the majority of modern personality psychologists (Haslam, 2011). The so-called “anal triad” of orderliness, obstinacy, and parsimony, according to Freud, are characteristics that group together in people who remember getting pleasure from holding back and emptying their intestines when they were young. According to his theory, these characteristics—which include tightness with money, a rigid conscience, stubbornness, and a cleaning obsession—represent sublimations or reaction formations against these bowel habits. Afterwards, Ernest Jones and Karl Abraham added embellishments to Freud’s depiction, speculating that anal individuals are perfectionistic, pedantic, preoccupied with detail and classification, easily disgusted, work-obsessed, and joyless (Jones, 1918/1950). Freud suggested that early bowel habits or toilet training would be linked to anal traits; however, research has not been kind to his theory, even though these features appear to be connected to an aversion to bodily waste. In perhaps the most entertaining study of this type, participants with anal features did poorly on a hand-eye coordination task while their arms were elbow-deep in a foul-smelling, “fecal-like” mixture of flour and used crankcase oil (Rosenwald et al., 1966). Nonetheless, notwithstanding Freud’s error regarding the genesis of the anal character, there is persistent proof that its characteristics do, in fact, constitute a coherent pattern. Indeed, the anal character lives on as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), whose eight diagnostic features mirror it strikingly. Individuals diagnosed with OCPD exhibit a number of traits, including an obsession with details, rules, and lists, a perfectionistic nature, an excessive dedication to work and productivity, an inflexible and scrupulous moral code, rigidity, stubbornness, reluctance to delegate, thriftiness, and the incapacity to part with worn-out or worthless objects. A number of interconnected characteristics that are mainstays of contemporary personality psychology, such as perfectionism, authoritarianism, disgust-proneness, and conscientiousness, also bear traces of the anal character. The anal character stubbornly endures. Excretion and morals Excretion is particularly relevant to social psychology, even if it is evidently related to concerns that clinical, health, and personality psychologists find troubling. Despite being a very personal subject, it also touches on public emotions, moral judgments, and prejudices. Within the affective domain, excretion is most strongly associated with disgust and shame, two hitherto disregarded feelings that are tightly related to our bodies’ inherent unreliability and dirtiness (Nussbaum, 2004) as well as to each other (Giner-Sorolla & Espinosa, 2011). Disgust indicates that something outside of oneself is contaminating, either symbolically—such as with rotten conduct—or literally—such as with feces and rotten food. Shame, on the other hand, conveys the belief that one is filthy or spoiled. Rules of sacredness and purity are broken, and moral revulsion is the result. The feeling can intensify moral condemnation, even in cases where it has nothing to do with the object of the condemnation. In one experiment, disgust caused by fart spray or hypnosis, for instance, caused participants to show a greater dislike for a variety of morally questionable behaviors (Schnall et al., 2009; Wheatley & Haidt, 2005). It is a short step from excretion’s connection to moral judgment to its correlation with social views. There is compelling evidence linking prejudice with disgust-proneness. For instance, research by Yoel Inbar and colleagues (2009) has demonstrated that people who are sensitive to disgust are particularly prone to holding anti-gay attitudes. Others have connected xenophobia and ethnocentrism to being disgust-prone. According to Thornhill et al. (2009), there has been a recent argument suggesting that cross-national variations in intolerance and closed-mindedness are caused by excretion. Specifically, nations with higher levels of parasite stress, which are linked to psychological disgust and material poor sanitation, are less likely to have strong democracies, individual freedom, equitable distribution of economic resources, and gender equality. Gender is a social construct, closely linked to excretion. Compared to men, women are typically more repulsed by bodily waste, more censorious of flatulence, more worried about hiding their sounds and odors when using the restroom, and more inclined to wash their hands afterward. Males are less likely to take offense to scatological language and more likely to use it themselves. Compared to women, toilet graffiti is typically shorter and less conversational, as well as more libidinous, aggressive, and excrement-focused (Green, 2003). It appears that masculinity, femininity, and the societal norms that uphold them are closely related to the bathroom. The fact that women’s excretion is more hidden, emotionally charged, and suppressed than men’s is a prevalent theme among these disparities. Jonathan Swift’s poem “The lady’s dressing room,” which depicts a suitor breaking into his beloved’s room and seeing signs of her dirty corporeality—such as perspiration-stained clothes, beslimed towels, and encrusted combs—clearly illustrates the incompatibility of femininity and excrement. He retreats in terror as he realizes she is hiding her chamber-pot, lamenting, “Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!” An American student states, less poetically, that “women are supposed to be non-poopers” (Weinberg & Williams, 2005, p. 327). Even with today’s progressive views on gender equality, women are still held to a higher standard of purity than men are for transgressing this ideal. In a specific study (Goldenberg & Roberts, 2004), a female experimenter who excused herself to use the restroom received a lower evaluation than those who excused themselves to get some paperwork; no such difference was observed for experimenters who were male. Results like these highlight the depth and interest of a subject that could initially appear to be merely puerile. Excretion, whether puerile or not, is one of the overlooked and undervalued subjects in psychology, which Paul Rozin (2007) calls a “hole” in the discipline. The “hole hole”—a psychology of body orifices that has been mostly abandoned since psychoanalysis’s partial eclipse—was singled out by Rozin for special attention. Even though this field isn’t yet ready for the Journal of Toilet Psychology, it could be time to start filling the gap. Writing on the wall Toilet graffiti, which one academic called “latrinalia,” has attracted the interest of numerous researchers and theorists over the years. Many of them have concentrated on gender, examining sex differences in the shape and content of these scribbles by using public restrooms as laboratories. One of the first researchers in the field, Alfred Kinsey, examined the walls of over 300 public restrooms in the early 1950s and discovered that the content in the women’s restroom was more romantic than the erotic in the men’s. Subsequent studies have revealed that men are also more likely to write scatological, offensive, biased, and image-based graffiti. They are also less likely to give advice or otherwise address earlier remarks. Differences like these have proven difficult for theorists to explain. Kinsey, in keeping with the times, attributed them to women’s alleged lower sexual reactivity and higher respect for social norms. Psychoanalytic writers suggested that men who wrote graffiti did so because they were secretly envious of women’s ability to bear children or because it was a type of “phallic expression.” Men’s bathroom graffiti, according to semioticians, expresses and signifies political supremacy, whereas women’s graffiti reacts to their subjugation. Social identity theorists proposed that gender differences in latrinalia reflect the salience of gender in segregated public bathrooms: men and women polarize their behavior in these gender-marked settings to emphasize their maleness or femaleness rather than merely revealing their real, underlying differences. Women produced fewer latrinalia than men, according to an early study, but subsequent investigations revealed that they had caught up to or even surpassed men in terms of quantity and explicitness. Even more lately, there appears to be less graffiti in restrooms. It may be argued that there is no purpose in writing taboo ideas on toilet walls in the internet age. Why scribble for a meagre one-at-a-time audience when you can make equally vulgar anonymous comments on a public discussion board or chatroom? [...]
12 February 2024Decoding the graffiti on pub bathroom walls “I’m in love with my friend, and I’m not sorry.” “Join a union.” “Dogs should be able to vote.” “ABORTION RIGHTS.” “Don’t trust Midwest emo men!” As The Guardian reports, these are all scribbles found in the women’s restrooms at Sheffield’s traditional Rutland Arms, a yellow-bricked pub. Grey-haired residents mix with blue-haired students in this dependable and warm place, where the cheapest pint costs £3.30. Its restroom stalls are entirely covered with graffiti, just like so many pubs around the nation. The walls, ceilings, and doors are all covered. Sprawling proclamations of women’s empowerment intersect with confessions of self-harm. This network of enigmatic relationships is both endearing and reassuring, as well as ominous and spectral. The male restrooms are similarly decorated, with indistinguishable handwriting in every color of the rainbow next to introspective statements. Pub loos are both public and private spaces, so while it’s unlikely that someone will be caught doing graffiti, it’s quite likely that their work will be noticed. Scholars refer to markings produced in public restrooms as latrinalia. For centuries, individuals have been fascinated by this topic. Although American folklorist Alan Dundes first used the term in his 1966 essay, Here I Sit. Scatological graffiti was also found in Pompeii’s latrines. Numerous theories have been proposed as to why we add these scribbles in the first place. These range from social identity theorists’ suggestion that it serves to accentuate stereotypical gender characteristics in segregated bathrooms to psychoanalytic interpretations of toilet graffiti as a form of “phallic expression.” Numerous research on latrinalia from China, Zimbabwe, Jordan, Canada, Cuba, and other countries have examined the graffiti found in university restrooms. High theories aside, though, there is certainly something to be said about being in a confined space and expressing yourself as inappropriately or as vulnerably as you like. “In any period of history, there’s a need to leave a mark—an utterance—and to have a sense that people can hear you,” says Richard Clay, professor of digital cultures at Newcastle University, who wrote and presented the documentary A Brief History of Graffiti. “A toilet cubicle is a space where you can get this slightly transgressive utterance, which is often dressed up in humour.” Pub restrooms are very unique places, if we set aside the bodily aspect of it all. People can graffiti there with confidence since it’s a unique case of a place that is both public and private, increasing the likelihood that their work will be noticed rather than being discovered. When a place chooses to accept its graffiti, a dialogue that is frequently political arises. For Clay, these conversations are manifestations of the underground culture that has grown up around the venue: “They have their own self-selecting group who more or less share similar values and likes and music tastes, so you get a snapshot into a moment in the life of a specific public interest.” The pictures might be funny, poignant, or scary. You can find a lot of graffiti regarding tattoo artists, global warming, and landlords in north-east London. A note on the wall of The Crooked Billet, a popular pub for young professionals and creatives in the gentrified Clapton neighborhood, says, “Please consider a vegan lifestyle for the animals and our planet… thank you.” The word “vegan” is crossed out, and “bacon” is written in its place with a thick black marker. The next line was written in a light ballpoint pen, “Girl shut up, I bet you do coke.” The majority of studies on latrinalia have usually compared graffiti in male and female restrooms because mixed-gender restrooms have only become more prevalent in the past ten years. Scribbles in women’s restrooms tend to be more vulnerable, discuss relationships, and demonstrate solidarity, whereas men are more likely to write derogatory messages and draw pictures. James A. Green noted the following in his 2003 analysis of 723 inscriptions from the central library of the University of Otago in New Zealand: “Females discussed body image more than males did. There was also a difference in focus: females listed their height and weight, whereas males listed their penis size.” That same paper also claimed that the most dominant topics in male toilets were politics and tax, while inscriptions in female toilets tended to ask for personal advice and, bleakly, “discussed what exact act constitutes rape.” After twenty years, what has changed? It’s challenging to be certain. There isn’t much written about graffiti in mixed-gender cubicles, but it’s obvious that fresh discussions are happening. “Gender segregated toilets, why?” reads an all-caps statement posted in the women’s restroom of the Dog House in Edinburgh. Men tend to scribble offensive words and draw pictures in women’s restrooms, whereas women’s restroom scribbles express vulnerability and solidarity. In The Ventoux, a buzzy pub in Edinburgh with fish tanks on the walls and bicycles on the ceiling, someone writes in the female loos: “Trans women are women.” Another pen scribbles out the last “wo”, turning the word to “men”, before someone definitively rewrites “wo” in thick red marker. Across town in Marchmont, in The Argyle and Cellar Bar, a door in the women’s says: “A transgender person peed in this bathroom, and nothing bad happened… we are not your scapegoats, and we are never going away.” The reason why most venues will monitor their graffiti is due to hate speech. Co-owner and general manager of the Rutland Arms Chris Bamford adds, “There’s a few things that have surprised us by being transphobic or something like that, in a pub that’s very supportive.” “If anything is offensive, we’ll get rid.” In addition to exposing some of the most divisive topics in our culture, toilet graffiti also has a melancholic undertone. In the female restrooms, topics such as depression, loneliness, and surviving sexual assault are frequently discussed. A notice alerting people to potential neighborhood predators is posted in the Art Bar, which is close to Dundee’s art college. However, there might also be a certain comfort in witnessing strangers interacting with their community—think of them as unidentified friends—interacting with them. Jodie, 25, from Edinburgh, was having a night at a dive club in east London when she noticed graffiti in a run-down toilet. The question “Are you having a good night?” was splayed over two columns labeled “Yes” and “No,” with supportive remarks all around it. Twenty or more tally marks were made in each of the two columns; some were scratched, and some were written in various pen or lipstick colors. “Throughout the night, you saw different tally marks being added, and it made you feel like you were part of the night in a broader way than just the friends you’d come with, in this community of contributors,” Jodie says. “What was important was that the comments were all quite varied, so there were lots of people who were ultimately on the same night out but with different experiences. It made you feel like whatever you were feeling that night was valid.” Later that night, Jodie went back to the same cubicle with eyeliner in hand. “I marked the ‘Yes’ column, but I remember thinking that I had been on nights out where I haven’t been having such a good time, and seeing that would have really made me feel happier or less alone.” ‘It’s soul-destroying to have one customer on a Saturday’: Is the party over for the UK’s pubs and clubs? It becomes more difficult to identify latrinalia in the UK. Venues are getting facelifts and any signs of damage are being quickly painted over as gentrification infiltrates more and more areas of cities. And the spaces themselves are diminishing. Over 150 bars closed across England and Wales in the first three months of 2023 as a result of rising energy costs, while the nightclub industry saw a 12% fall in sales last year, according to new information from the Night Time Industries Association. The graffiti adorning the walls of our restrooms reveals the degree of reverence these areas hold at night. We are driven to connect in these uncomfortable, stench-filled cubicles for some reason, even though we can hide behind keyboards and find groups online. Maybe because latrinalia is so anonymous and unmediated, it feels authentically appropriate. Or perhaps it’s because talking to strangers can be consoling in its solidarity. Loo graffiti, in whatever form it takes, is like a love letter to the venues themselves, even if it only consists of a penis drawing. [...]
5 February 2024The newly designed, Instagram-worthy area celebrates defecation while incorporating a cutesy Japanese flair An immersive exhibition celebrating “adorable poop” premiered at Melbourne’s new Unko Museum. You can find yourself thinking about the significance of excrement and our relationship with it while you relax with a furry poop creature named Jenny, browse the shelves of a poop supermarket, and have a poop tea party. As reported here, the first Unko Museum in Australia is located across the road from the former site of Melbourne’s first public restroom, which opened its doors in 1859. Over the past five years, Unko Museums have sprouted up throughout Shanghai and Japan (the word “unko” is a play on words for “doo-doo”). At $23.50 (or $18 for each child if you’re dropping the kids off), admission consists primarily of a collection of Instagrammable set pieces and a few crappy games. The poop featured here, arranged in a play area, suspended from the ceiling, and shining sinisterly in a dimly lit hallway, embodies the quintessential soft-serve shape of poop, surpassing even the much sought-after but elusive Type 4 on the Bristol stool scale, which is described as “like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft.” When describing the shape’s allure, Masaru Kobayashi, director of T Museum, the organization that created Unko Museum, references both the tiered pagodas of Kyoto temples and Euclid’s golden ratio. He mentions Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump manga series from the 1980s, in which an android girl struggles with her insatiable drive to poke poop with sticks and finally comes across a variety of endearing sentient objects. “For Japanese people, it is an ordinary thing to enjoy as a kind of entertainment,” explains Kobayashi. This is partly because of the kawaii style of Japan, which manages to make even “very dirty stinky things” cute. “You can find something kawaii in anything,” he asserts. He also emphasizes how important agriculture is to Japan and how “poop as fertilizer” has helped de-stigmatize it. However, over half of Australia’s land is used for agriculture, and here, we mainly just ignore the subject or get unhealthily fixated on it. That Unko Museum has pulled the rope in a city that was dubbed “Smellbourne” in the 19th century due to its neglect of maintaining a proper sewerage system is, in a sense, fitting. The Unko Museum does not have any such taboos. One installation encourages viewers to stomp on colorful turds in order to earn points for a game. In another, three kids yell “poo!” into a microphone, causing one of them to light up on a screen. Although the actual restrooms are hidden at the rear, numerous others are prominently displayed. In fact, some of them even reward you with a plastic representation of your accomplishments when you sit on them and pretend to squeeze. Children are delighted, and adults giggle as they cautiously poke a turd or two. Some couples take a romantic picture while seated next to each other on the toilet. It must be said that stigma plays a part in the 38% of Australians who report having incontinence; of these, the majority do not seek medical attention from a professional, and nearly a third say that their incontinence negatively impacts their mental health. One study found that simple praise can help one in five youngsters who struggle with stool-potty training. So picture what would happen if everyone in the room applauded as you pretended to win a toy by squeezing one out. Nowadays, scientists are looking at how a more literal acceptance of feces—in the form of transplants—might aid in the treatment of anything from cancer to gastrointestinal issues. In 2022, Australia was among the first nations globally to grant approval for the treatment. There’s more at risk than just our bodily well-being. The conservation biologist Joe Roman proposes using animal excrement as a strategy to address the climate catastrophe in his book Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World, published in 2023. The vibrant color displays of Unko Museum become less bizarre as Roman relates his more than two decades of collecting whale feces. With a poetic flourish, he adds that “at times, they sparkle with scales, like the sun glinting on the water.” “Whale fecal plumes can be neon green or bright red.” Whale scat is more than just a pretty face; it nourishes other creatures and pulls carbon from the ocean’s surface. This is just one of the many diverse ways that many animals respond to nature’s call to sustain life, repair ecosystems, and keep the earth cool. The Pooseum, Australia’s other poo museum, is located in Richmond, Tasmania, and offers “education about defecation”—an info dump with a stronger scientific bent. You’ll discover more information at the Unko Museum. However, Unko Museum is worth a visit if you’re looking for a lighthearted, breezy thirty minutes to mess around and snap some pictures. Photo by Unko Museum [...]
29 January 2024Despite containing up to 25% human poop, the clay bricks remained strong after testing Researchers have discovered a way to turn leftover human stools into bricks. Currently, sewer sludge is given a thorough treatment and dried out, but the leftover “biosolid” material is wasted and dumped in landfills. According to this article, a breakthrough technique has been created to produce a unique sort of building material by combining feces with clay. Researchers made bricks using 25% poo and the remaining portion of regular clay, and they discovered the block nevertheless passed rigorous strength tests. They are also better insulators and more porous. 30% of the sewage that is currently dumped in landfills or stored could be reduced by combining the biosolid material with clay for use in brick manufacturing. In their most recent work, which was published in the journal Buildings, researchers from RMIT University in Australia claim that the process “is a practical and sustainable proposal for recycling all the leftover biosolids worldwide.” ‘Utilization of only 15 percent of biosolids in brick production would reduce the carbon footprint of brick manufacturing whilst satisfying all the environmental and engineering requirements for bricks.’ The bricks can withstand the most stringent building rules and need less energy to be made. Both the financial situation and the carbon footprint will benefit from this energy decrease. Common bricks are created in kilns that are over 2,500 °F and release a significant amount of CO2. ‘Using biosolids in bricks could be the solution to these big environmental challenges,’ explains RMIT engineer Abbas Mohajerani, ScienceAlert reports. ‘It’s a practical and sustainable proposal for recycling the biosolids currently stockpiled or going to landfill around the globe.’ However, the idea of producing bricks out of poop is not new. The Italian shit museum displays an example of homemade clay made of poop called ‘merdacotta’. Although further research is required before the bricks are manufactured, the initial results seem encouraging. It has also been discovered through similar investigations that it is feasible to transform human urine into bricks. Students in Cape Town collected human waste from university department urinals and combined it with bacteria and sand. Compared to firing clay bricks, the microbial carbonate precipitation technique produces the construction materials at room temperature, which is significantly more energy-efficient. Instead, the new process yields potassium and nitrogen that can be sold as commercial fertilizers. In innovative urinals that also produce fertilizer, urine is collected and used to manufacture a solid industrial product. The liquid is then used to make bricks. Through a chemical process, bacteria in the form of urease break down the urea in liquid urine to produce calcium carbonate. This solidifies the sand into the required form, which could be a rectangular building brick or a column. The process is called microbial carbonate precipitation. Researchers described it as similar to the way seashells are formed. Loose sand is colonized with bacteria that produce urease. The bacteria could make the brick stronger by ‘growing’ it for longer in the mixture of sand and urine. Photo: RMIT [...]
22 January 2024A technique according to an acupuncturist TikTok is an odd and bizarre place. So oddball that you can find clever techniques to promptly induce bowel movements by discovering intriguingly presented old ideas. Anyway, it’s intriguing that acupuncturist Anita Tadavarthy, also known as empiricalgraceacu, shared a viral post on TikTok claiming that constipation can be cured by using acupressure from traditional Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM). As explained here, specifically, she suggested rubbing the soft skin between your thumb and forefinger together for a few minutes, either while you’re on the toilet or a few times throughout the day. @empiricalgraceacu Did you know? 💩 #constipation #bloating #digestions #hemorrhoids #diarrhea #constipationrelief #digestivehealth #gas #acidreflux #acupressure ♬ original sound – Empirical Grace Acupuncture Is it really that simple? Giving it a try, particularly because the video appeared to have garnered conflicting feedback, some people praised the hack’s effectiveness, but experts dismissed it as pseudoscientific. The strategy seemed to work; it’s not sure if it was just the anticipation that it would work or the fact that the process of rubbing your hands together forced you to sit up a little straighter on the toilet. To be fair, when we tried it, we weren’t constipated, but even though we tried later in the day when we normally don’t go to the bathroom, it seemed to get the bowels moving. This specific pressure point, sometimes referred to as the Joining Valley or Large Intestine 4, is highly recommended by acupuncturists. How does it work? In the opening line of her video, Anita Tadavarthy asks her audience, “Did you poop today?” She continues by saying that about 20% of people get constipation (the National Institutes of Health estimates that percentage at 12%). “It (the prevalence) blows my mind,” the acupuncturist continues. “All you’ve got to do is just do this,” she adds, providing an example of the hand rubbing technique that is derived from traditional Chinese acupressure, which uses pressure points on various body areas to treat pain, digestion problems, and other ailments. Acupuncture without needles is called acupressure. Among the numerous pressure points linked to the alleviation of constipation is the Large Intestine 4. Touch the soft skin between your thumb and forefinger by stretching out your hand with your thumb pointing outward and your other four fingers close together. Large Intestine 4 is this. You don’t need to massage both points together with your thumbs pointing outward and the rest of your fingers in a ball like in the TikTok video; instead, you may just apply pressure on this spot in circular motions, first on one hand and then the other, according to Healthline. “Couple minutes, couple times a day, or while sitting on the toilet, and you’ll have a bowel movement. So easy,” Tadavarthy shared. She said in a BuzzFeed News interview that she discovered this trick in graduate school and that she has personally witnessed it help patients who came to her free clinic in the Hyderabad, India area. It is significant to note that Tadavarthy advises against using this TikTok trick on pregnant women due to the possibility that stimulating Large Intestine 4 may also cause labor. “Constipation is when stool gets stuck and cannot pass through the colon,” she said. “Acupressure/acupuncture accesses various images through our body, like reflexology. There are connecting points on the hand that connect to the colon. It is key to bringing blood flow and stimulation to the affected areas.” According to one acupuncturist, you can induce a similar motion of contraction in your colon by rubbing the pressure point of the Large Intestine 4 back and forth to help move things along, but her TikTok advice for that doesn’t stop here. She has further videos where she discusses various acupressure points, such as Stomach 36, which is situated beneath your knees, and one where she applies pressure to an area beneath her mouth. Understandably, medical experts are divided on TikTok’s viral video, but we think it’s because they have different approaches. Every person is different, and therefore, what works well for some may not work for others. Nevertheless, if instead of discrediting what seems new to us, we approached it from the right perspective, perhaps we would enjoy new benefits. [...]
15 January 2024The PureWash E930 bidet seat from Kohler adds voice control, smartphone connectivity, and additional sprays to your existing toilet to make it smarter The majority of people find it a bit excessive to throw away $10,000 for a complete smart toilet. For those who have always desired a high-end toilet, Kohler is launching a more affordable option at CES 2024. With the $2,149 PureWash E930 voice-controlled bidet seat, you can upgrade your old toilet to a much smarter one. Bidet seats are appealing since they allow you to upgrade your plain toilet to a much more opulent one at a far lower cost. While Kohler’s bidet seats have been around for a while, the PureWash E930 stands out due to its connectivity with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. This allows you to use your preferred virtual assistant to turn on the bidet spray, warm air dryer, and UV cleaning features. The best part is that nothing needs to be touched. You can customize the defaults and preferences by using the Kohler Konnect app. In addition, the PureWash E930 boasts multiple spray settings, a heated seat, adjustable water pressure and temperature, and a remote control. This contains a full-pressure “boost” spray and a softer, gentler child mode. Kohler claims that the water is constantly heated for “consistent comfort” and that there is also an oscillating or pulsing spray. According to Alfred Richardson, the director of channel marketing and commercialization at Kohler, the E930 should suit the majority of elongated toilets because the manufacturer prioritized a low profile and slim design. Additionally, the E930 does not economize on some of the trendier smart toilet bells and whistles. It contains LED lights, just like the Numi 2.0, so it may be used as a nightlight. To put it another way, you can obtain the functionality of a whole smart toilet without really having to purchase a new one. Kohler has additional smart bathroom technology planned for CES. The $266 Atmo bathroom fans combine smart lighting and ventilation. The smart fan can sense the humidity and temperature in your bathroom automatically and adjust its on/off time accordingly. Using the Kohler Konnect app, you can also adjust the light’s color temperature and fan speed to conform to circadian lighting. In the meantime, you can now customize your shower experience and keep an eye on your water usage with Kohler’s latest addition to its Anthem shower controller series. Anthem Plus, which costs $2,800, comes with four extra features. Now, you may add up to 12 water outlets, such as a rainfall shower head or a detachable shower head, and fully regulate the lighting, sound, and steam. Similar to Kohler’s other devices, Alexa and Google Home allow voice control. Nine presets are also included for different situations, like right before bed, right after a workout, and right before morning. Wellness at home Kohler made an impact at CES this year with their shower technology, which helps transform a home bathroom into a spa. Updated from the original Anthem ($441), the Anthem+ Digital Control is essentially a bathroom display hub that allows you to adjust water temperature, pressure, and other settings from a sleek wall-mounted screen. Different kinds of showerheads and other connected devices in your bathroom, such as music and light controllers, can be connected to the Anthem+. The Stillness Bath, a range of smart tubs from Kohler that automatically fill, heat, and drain, is an example of this kind of technology. With light, scent, and fog, you can create relaxing experiences that are immersive. It is noteworthy that the key component of a fully intelligent bathroom appears to be the smart valves, which must be installed in the waterline itself. However, once you have smart valves installed, operating them with an app or physical interface is simple. [...]
8 January 2024The smelly science behind protein farts There’s one thing that both Reddit scientists and nutrition professionals can agree on: protein makes gains. Hard-boiled eggs and strip steaks help build muscle, but they also have the unintended side effect of making protein farts stink worse than your armpits after a workout. According to this article, protein by itself does not appear to cause gas, according to Mike Shea, founder of Hierarchy Nutrition. It can, however, make your farts stink. What then causes the protein to induce a fart? How can you avoid farting after consuming a protein shake? Certain proteins include sulfur, which when digested and metabolized produces an eye-watering gas. Others ferment in your stomach and release gases. Eating the proper proteins that contain the right compounds in the right proportions is the greatest strategy to prevent episodes of gassiness that occur too frequently. Different compounds found in plant and animal protein sources may influence how frequently you experience gas and the stench that follows. Animal Protein Meats and eggs Sulfur is a mineral found in turkey, beef, eggs, and chicken. It is required for the synthesis of insulin as well as collagen and keratin, a protein that forms and strengthens skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, sulfur is necessary for the synthesis and recycling of glutathione, a vital antioxidant that may help lower inflammation and stop oxidative stress-related cell damage. According to Shea, the sulfurous smell of rotting eggs is caused by the breakdown and metabolism of animal proteins. This process can also lead to the formation of gas. Sulfur is also present in some essential amino acids, such as methionine, which is found in animal protein, according to Shea. These amino acids’ sulfur content also plays a part in the generation of gas. Dairy Lactose, a sugar present in milk, can also be found in yogurt, and certain dairy-based protein powders, such as some brands of whey concentrate and casein. Lactose is transferred to your large intestine, where bacteria ferment the sugars, causing gas and bloating when your small intestine is unable to produce enough lactase, the digestive enzyme needed for your body to absorb lactose. Animal-based protein powders and bars with flavors have a double gas punch since sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol are frequently used to sweeten them and your gut won’t easily digest these taste enhancers that are low in calories. Plant Protein Short-chain carbs are found in plant protein sources such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas. They can go through your stomach and the small intestine may not absorb them well. The gut bacteria in your large intestine ferment these when they get there in order to use them as fuel, which results in the production of gasses like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane. Certain gases are recycled by bacteria, some are released through breathing, others are absorbed, and some are forced out of your body through expulsion. Plant foods like oats include soluble fiber, which is a type of fiber that dissolves in water to create a gel-like substance that slows down digestion and may cause an increase in gas because it is more fermentable. Because the soluble fiber has been removed during processing, plant-based protein powders are less likely to produce gas than whole food plant sources, according to Shea. However, Shea notes that if your plant-based powder has sugar alcohols added for flavoring, it may cause protein flatulence. Change your protein powder Whey isolate is the better option if you enjoy whey protein. “Whey isolate protein contains less lactose, carbohydrates, and fat than whey concentrate”, Shea says. That could be a huge help if you have trouble digesting lactose. A whey isolate is frequently tolerated by certain individuals who are lactose intolerant, according to Shea. Try a lactose-free plant-based protein powder like pea protein if dairy doesn’t sit well with you. An added benefit: you won’t consume less protein. Up to 20 grams of protein for every 100 calories can be found in one scoop of pea protein isolate powder, which is comparable to the quantity found in most whey isolate powders. Add herbs Certain herbs could calm and control your upset stomach. An increasing amount of research has shown that peppermint relieves indigestion, gas, and calms stomach muscles. Ginger may help with digestion, preventing food from fermenting and making you feel bloated in your stomach. Psyllium husk According to Shea, psyllium husk—a fiber that keeps you regular by soaking up water in your stomach—may lessen flatulence. Psyllium decreased inulin-related gas generation in 19 individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a small study published in the journal Gut, but it did not directly slow down fermentation. Eliminate gas-inducing carbs There are other factors than a high protein diet that can cause foul-smelling farts. Certain carbohydrates include sugars like fructose, which can be found in some whole wheat and oat morning cereals, and raffinose, which is mostly found in beans but is also present in smaller amounts in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. You may become bloated and gassy if your digestive enzymes aren’t working well enough to break down these sugars. Don’t eat quickly If you breathe in more air when you swallow your meal or drink your protein shake all at once, there’s only one way this can come out if you’re not burping it out. “Eat slowly and close your mouth while you chew. This reduces how much air you take in and decreases your chances of flatulence”, Shea says. The right protein dose People frequently overindulge in protein, especially protein powders, when they alter their diet or workout regimen, according to Shea. Protein powders are frequently overeaten, and if you ingest more protein than your body requires, you may get protein farts. Eating one gram of protein for every pound of body weight each day is a typical guideline. If you want to increase muscle mass while reducing gas, divide your daily protein consumption into four to six smaller, more regular meals. For gym gains, “you want a steady intake of amino acids periodically throughout your day”, says Shea. “Leucine is in all animal proteins and catalyzes muscle protein synthesis which signals growth and muscle repair”. Because plant-based proteins generally include fewer essential amino acids, animal proteins have higher levels of leucine than proteins from plants. Leucine supplements may aid in optimizing muscle building if you’ve gone vegan or switched to a plant-based powder. Protein farts are not so much a health issue as they are an embarrassing annoyance. Your flatulence might disappear if you switch up your protein powder, incorporate herbs into your diet, eat mindfully, and keep an eye on how much protein you consume. See your doctor or speak with a gastroenterologist if you continue to get protein farts along with symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, bloating, or abdominal pain, advises Shea. You may have an intestine disorder like lactose intolerance or IBS, which calls for further medical guidance. [...]
1 January 2024A brand-new aviation company has created a jet fuel that is completely composed of human waste James Hygate, Firefly Green Fuels CEO, said: “We wanted to find a really low-value feedstock that was highly abundant. And of course, poo is abundant.” According to this article, independent testing conducted by international aviation authorities revealed that this fuel was almost the same as regular fossil-fuel jet fuel. The Firefly team examined the fuel’s life-cycle carbon impact in collaboration with Cranfield University. It was determined that the carbon footprint of Firefly’s fuel is 90% less than that of regular jet fuel. Despite being chemically identical to fossil-based kerosene, Mr. Hygate, who has spent 20 years exploring low-carbon fuels in Gloucestershire, said the new fuel “has no fossil carbon; it’s a fossil-free fuel.“ “Of course, energy would be used (in production), but when looking at the fuel’s life cycle, a 90% saving is mind-blowing, so yes, we have to use energy, but it is much lower compared to the production of fossil fuels,” he added. Flying is responsible for about 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, resulting in climate change. Even though it is a tiny portion, it is expanding quickly. Eliminating carbon from aviation is among the most difficult tasks. Electric planes are being developed, with a company in the Cotswolds promising hydrogen-electric-powered flights for a dozen passengers by 2026. However, it may take years or even decades before entirely new technologies are used to power mass air travel. It has thus become a global gold rush to discover new, cleaner ways to produce kerosene without employing fossil fuels. Twenty years ago, Mr. Hygate started producing “bio-diesel” for cars and trucks using rapeseed oil on a small farm in Gloucestershire. His company, Green Fuels, currently serves clients worldwide and offers equipment for converting cooking oil into biodiesel. He then began searching for ways to produce green jet fuel. They experimented with leftover food, oil, and even farm garbage. They then used human waste in their experiments. He collaborated with Dr. Sergio Lima, a chemist from Imperial College in London, to create a method that turns poop into energy. First, they create what they call “bio-crude”. It appears gloopy, viscous, and black like oil. Above all, chemically, it behaves just like crude oil. In addition to being Firefly Green Fuels’ research director, Dr. Lima stated, “What we are producing here is a fuel which is net zero.” Dr. Lima was thrilled to see the outcomes at first. “This is so exciting because it was produced from a sustainable feedstock, to which all of us are contributing.” The scientist’s lab included a miniature replica of the huge fractional distillation columns that rise over oil refineries. His one functions in the same way. After heating the liquid, the gases are extracted at certain temperatures to get the proper “cut” for various fuels. A new clear liquid fills the collection pipes drop by drop. “This is our biofuel,” he says with a smile. “Seeing the final fuel is something amazing.” In collaboration with Washington State University, the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology at the German Aerospace Center is currently conducting independent testing of the bio-kerosene. The UK SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuels) clearing house, located at the University of Sheffield, will also conduct additional testing in the future. According to the initial findings, the fuel’s chemical makeup is almost the same as that of A1 fossil jet fuel. The group has been given a £2 million research grant by the UK Department of Transport for the lab to produce kerosene in a test tube. That’s a long way from kerosene being the standard in airports across the world. He estimates that every person generates enough sewage annually to make four to five liters of bio-jet fuel. The yearly sewage of 10,000 people would be required to operate a passenger jet from London to New York. And there are ten thousand more to return. Said another way, the whole sewage supply of the United Kingdom could cover roughly 5% of the nation’s total aviation fuel use. It may sound small, but he insists, “That’s pretty exciting.” “There’s a 10% sustainable aviation fuel requirement; that’s a legal mandate. And we could meet half of that with poo.” Sustainable Aviation Fuels are fuels derived from waste oils, corn oils, or other non-fossil sources. Experts estimate that this represents an 80–90% reduction in carbon emissions from fossil fuels, even if the aircraft emits the same amount of carbon dioxide since the plants used to produce the oil collected CO2 throughout their growth. Environmental activists argue that rather than using crops to produce jet fuel, people should simply fly less and use them for food or energy. They are more in favor of sewage-based fuel because, in the words of Cait Hewitt, policy director of the Aviation Environment Federation, “human waste is perhaps the one form of rubbish that society really can’t avoid producing”. Still, according to the International Energy Agency, sustainable aviation fuels are “critical to decarbonizing aviation”. Sir Richard Branson recently made a flight from London to New York using fuel made from waste oils and corn waste products to demonstrate what is feasible. However, hardly 0.1% of aviation fuel is “sustainable” at this time. In contrast, Mr. Hygate’s 5% aim seems rather lofty. Furthermore, he is making use of a universal feedstock that no one else wants. “Although it’s been developed here in the southwest of the UK,” he says, “it’s a global opportunity”. The company seeks funds to construct a large-scale demonstrator factory in the UK. Mr. Hygate explained, saying, “The opportunities in very populous cities are enormous. The amount of fuel we can create is huge.” [...]
25 December 2023An unusual and realistic artwork on an external faculty wall that shows the artist marking his territory Tisseren, or “The Pee-er,” a 2005 bronze sculpture by Claus Carstensen, may look lifelike at first glance when it is placed outside Copenhagen’s academic Panum Building next to a red brick wall. As you go closer to the male figure urinating, your initial amusement turns to wonder as you see the minute features that resemble a human statue performing on the street. The experience of this realistic public artwork is therefore strange. Beyond just being visually striking, Carstensen’s sculpture explores the idea of “territories.” The artist’s self-portrait depicts a distinct facet of the human condition: marking territory. This bronze impression defies conventional notions of outdoor art by commenting on power, self-expression, and human instincts. According to this article, prominent Danish artists praised the Panum Institute for installing the thought-provoking artwork by Claus Carstensen. They thought it was daring yet modest at the same time, made more notable by the fact that it was a sculpture that seemed to relieve himself within the university’s building. Tisseren is one of three sculptures by Carstensen that belong to this series. The other two, a few feet away, depict the artist similarly. One is depicted as “The Pointer,” standing firmly on a chair and gesturing forth as though to claim ownership. The other, known as “The Crouched One,” is sitting in contemplation with its hands covering its head and is engrossed in a conflict within. “Tisseren” is open around-the-clock and is situated outside the Panum Building, which houses the Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences. Take bus 6A, 15E, 150S, 184, or 185 to the bus stop outside Nørre Campus (Tagensvej) to get there, or take the red M3 circle line metro to Nørrebros Runddel and walk 15 minutes from the station. [...]
18 December 2023The evolutionary origins of the human butt Look around in the animal kingdom. Not even gorillas, bonobos, or chimpanzees, our closest surviving relatives in the great ape family, have butts that are proportionately larger than ours. Our distinct style of locomotion is most likely the primary cause of this. We are the only extant mammals whose primary mode of locomotion is bipedalism. And turning into erect bipeds has had some significant consequences for our posteriors. According to this article, the anatomic component commonly referred to as our “butt” is composed of fat, or adipose tissue, positioned over our gluteal muscles, which are attached to the bony pelvis. The shape of our butts is ultimately determined by the structure of our pelvis, a group of bones that has changed significantly over the previous six million years or so. The sacrum, two innominates (sometimes known as “hip bones”), and one other comprise the pelvis. The ischium, pubis, and ilium are the three bones that comprise each innominate and fuse during growth and development. And the true factor that separates us from our ape relatives is the ilium. The ilium of a chimpanzee has flat, rather tall, sides that face both forward and backward. Our pelvis is shaped like a bowl because our ilia are short and more curved to the sides. The evolution of bipedalism and the reorganization of our gluteal muscles, which enable upright walking, are linked to these changes in size and shape. The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus are the three gluteal muscles (the word “gluteus” means “butt” in Latin, thus that’s “biggest butt,” “medium butt,” and “smallest butt”). Compared to other primates, our gluteus maximus—especially the upper portion of it—is incredibly large. It gives us strength when we run or climb stairs, and it extends and retracts the thigh. And that’s what largely determines the shape of our behind. Nonetheless, in other apes, the gluteus maximus need not be a key participant because the so-called “lesser gluteals” (gluteus medius and minimus) perform much of this function. Instead, when we stand on one leg—as we do every time we take a step forward—our smaller gluteals are keeping our hips from falling to the side. Their ability to do so is made possible by the ilia’s curved shape, which modifies the location and function of those muscles. Rather than power, our smaller gluteals provide stability. From the 4.4 million-year-old early human relative Ardipithecus ramidus (possibly—this fossil’s pelvis was in pretty bad shape when it was discovered), to australopithecines like Lucy, and finally to Homo erectus, we can trace this change in ilium shape and inferred gluteal function throughout our evolutionary history. Throughout time, the ilium has typically grown shorter, wider, and more curved, meaning that our butt has undergone a multi-million-year transformation to become the anatomical feature that it is today. The fat on our bums is the final characteristic that makes them special, and it may also play a role in our evolution into bipeds. The brains of humans are comparatively large and energy-intensive. For a non-aquatic mammal, our bodies store energy as fat, and we have a comparatively high amount of it. Anthropologists have concluded from this that body fat protects our metabolically costly brains from periods of famine. We seem to be able to accomplish this because moving about on the ground while walking is an energetically efficient activity. It also avoids the drawbacks of living among trees, which would take a lot of energy to sustain our entire weight on tree branches and be dependent on gravity. Given their strength, flexibility, and limb proportions—not to mention their opposable large toes—orangutans do fairly well at this. All of these improvements sound amazing, but there is one significant drawback to having human-like amounts of muscle and fat on our posteriors: we poop more messily than most other primates. Imagine a quadruped, such as a chimp, with its legs and trunk meeting at an angle, with its anus facing more outward and the butt at the corner. Furthermore, the aperture isn’t confined between the big buttcheeks. For us, there is only a straight line—no angle. We increased the padding around the anus and rotated it to point more downward by standing up. Hence, a messier defecation thanks to evolution. [...]
11 December 2023The conclusion of a project started in 2020 The Tokyo Toilet Project started in 2020 with the aim of dispelling the misconceptions surrounding public toilets. Partaking in the initiative are a total of 17 public toilets in the Shibuya district that were in utmost need of revamping. The facilities were transformed by 16 creative pioneers, primarily those belonging to the Japanese architecture and design scene. Here are the last 4 toilets that complete the design project. Sasazuka Greenway A large yellow oval awning covers a row of varying-height cylindrical toilets, with rabbit silhouettes visible through the round windows set into the outside walls. Because of site-specific requirements for lightweight construction, the designer chose to build the facility using a steel plate panel structure that is resistant to weather. In order to remove the sensation of darkness and closure from the region beneath the elevated railway tracks of the Keio Line, she also made the wide awning hang overhead, forming a sky-like opening. The panels of weather-resistant steel plate have undergone rusting, which ensures that their strength and texture will last forever. The goal was to design a public restroom that exudes a lively atmosphere while maintaining a commanding presence akin to that of a resolute elderly man watching over the populace. The facility has a large, open feel due to its wide entryway, and its inside is safe, secure, and well-kept. Nishisando A public restroom serves as a city fountain or urban watering place. The designer suggests creating a public hand-washing station that is accessible to a broad range of individuals for various uses in addition to restroom users. The toilet functions as a single, spacious vessel that is available to everyone. Handwashing stations at different heights have given the building its distinctive design, which includes a big concave center. It is meant to establish a small community where everyone, young and old, congregates around the container to wash their hands, sip water, and converse. The proposal is to create a novel kind of public area where people may congregate and converse near water. Urasando The copper Minoko roof and other elements of traditional Japanese architecture are central to the design. The roof form, which is frequently found in tearooms, temples, shrines, and rural locations, evokes a subliminal sense of serenity and comfort despite its bustling, hypermodern setting. Over time, the structure will become a part of Tokyo’s urban fabric thanks to the patina on the copper pyramidic roof. The toilet has to feel honest and reliable from the inside out. Its light interior is expertly and hygienically completed in a monochromatic shade of green. For the toilet, the design prioritizes longevity, ease of use, and the creation of a warm, welcoming environment.Like the numerous hidden gems in the city, the toilet becomes something magical as well as immensely helpful to find in Shibuya. Hiroo Higashi Park The basic concept for this project, according to its designer, is “we are all the same in the sense that we are all different.” This is what he intended to capture in the design of a public restroom. In addition to being clean, safe, and secure, he also wanted his facility to be simple for everyone to use. He created this toilet to be like a piece of public art that is a part of everyday life and always poses questions to the observer because it is located inside a park, surrounded by greenery, and is visited by many locals and guests. He hopes it turns into a monument that raises more questions about the project’s importance. Seventy-nine billion is the number of ways that the toilet can light up the globe. You will never see the same pattern twice since it keeps shining in various patterns, such as light streaming through the trees in the daytime and moonlight or roving fireflies at night. [...]
4 December 2023The tricky logistics of flushing toilets on submarines Due to long-standing maritime traditions, a submarine’s head is referred to as its toilet, just like on surface ships. Submarines find it far harder to handle everyday tasks, like flushing the toilet, than their surface counterparts. On Quora, veteran US Navy submariner Dale Rich confirmed this claim. The National Museum of the US Navy houses USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659), a ballistic missile submarine of the Benjamin-Franklin class that was in operation from April 1967 to November 1992. Rich explains; “Submarines have sanitary tanks that are designed to hold the human waste generated in the heads (shipboard bathrooms in the Navy). These tanks are routinely flushed to the open sea when the boat is in normal operating condition and are usually done when the boat is close to the surface while making routine evolutions at periscope depth. These tanks are emptied by using air stored in the air banks to pressurize the tanks to a pressure that is above the sea pressure exerted on the boat at the depth where the boat is operating. An example would be that if the boat was 100 feet deep at the keel, the air pressure to remove the waste would have to be above 44psi. This routine procedure is called ‘Blowing Sanitaries’ and is performed by the Machinist gang on the boat”. Rich continues; “When a submarine is operating in hostile waters, is on a mission to trail an enemy combatant, or is operating at extreme depths, the sanitaries cannot be emptied. There are various reasons for this, but the primary reason is that evolution has the potential to make significant noise and uses vital resources to perform the evolution. If the boat is at an extreme depth (below 500 feet), the amount of air needed to remove the waste increases dramatically. (At 500 feet at the keel, it would require air pressure to be above 215psi to push the waste from the tank). Air is a vital commodity on a submarine and might be needed, and better used, to push the submarine to the surface in an emergency rather than being wasted pushing waste out of the sanitary tank”. “It is not unusual for a submarine to remain in a position where it cannot expose itself for many days at a time. During this time, the sanitaries start to fill up, and the heads are restricted. No showers, no laundry, limited use of the head, and no extra use of water. Usually, this is when the crew begins to beg for a ‘Mercy Blow’. The officer of the deck is always apprised of the situation and informs the Captain of the problem. Measures are taken to alleviate the situation if possible”. Rich concludes; “This is just one more problem that submariners have to deal with, but remember, all of them are volunteers and do the job because they love it!” [...]
30 November 2023Different designs, different needs Purchasing a toilet sounds like a very simple task. They are all essentially doing the same thing, and the options aren’t that great. Correct? False. More options are available than ever for toilets today, ranging from elegant tankless models to comfort heights. Leah Tuttleman, an interior designer at Re-Bath bathroom remodeling, states that “design trends evolve over time, and bathroom fixtures are no exception”. According to this article, Tuttleman has over 25 years of experience in residential and commercial design, including fabrication, project management, and directing. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. The size of the bowl comes next. Which would you prefer—a round toilet, an elongated or square one? Before leaving the store or clicking the online checkout button, even if you’re staying with a standard white commode, be sure you have the answer to this important question. Each offers advantages of its own based on your requirements and preferences. Below, Tuttleman discusses why it matters how your toilet is shaped. Round toilets This is your typical toilet, which you can find in small powder rooms and older homes. According to Tuttleman, round bowls are a good choice if space is limited because they are generally smaller in size. Consider half-baths, apartments, and children’s restrooms. Another perk is the price. “Generally speaking, round bowls are less expensive”, Tuttleman says. Round bowls are available in two heights: ADA-compliant comfort height (17 to 19 inches) and regular height (approximately 15 to 16 inches). According to Tuttleman, it’s a good idea to experiment with various heights to see which suits you best. Round bowl toilets are available in normal rough-in sizes (i.e., the distance from the wall to the floor drain) even with a smaller profile. Elongated toilets You’re not alone if you’re considering using an elongated toilet bowl. According to Tuttleman, “the elongated shape is by far the most popular choice for bowl shape today”. The majority of people find them more comfortable because of their natural, body-shaping fit. Because of this, those who are taller, heavier, or have limited mobility often choose them. Compared to round bowls, elongated bowl toilets provide a wider variety of styles and colors. Furthermore, according to Tuttleman, elongated bowls “are considered more modern and add a sleek look to the bathroom”. Like round ones, they come in various heights and typical rough-in sizes. Given that elongated toilets require two inches more space than round ones, it’s critical to take your space’s footprint and overall dimensions into account. Verify the measurements to ensure that the item you select fits properly in your bathroom. The front of the toilet should not be struck by the door. Elongated bowls are approximately 18-1/2 inches long from the center of the mounting bolts to the front of the rim. Get an elongated toilet seat if this applies to your toilet. Square toilets The sleek, modern design of square toilets complements elegant, modern bathrooms found in some commercial spaces, such as eateries. If you want to modernize your bathroom and add this uncommon toilet shape, you can make it a chic, modern, and useful space. The amount of comfort associated with square-shaped toilets is a topic of discussion. Because it more closely matches a person’s natural shape when sitting, some people find that the elongated toilet bowl and seat shape is the most pleasant. However, because a square toilet may better support your thighs than a regular chair can, some individuals find it to be more pleasant. Toilets with a square shape are thought to look more contemporary than ones with a round or elongated design. Square toilet designs come in a range of styles, including one- and two-piece models. Wall-mounted or tankless square toilets are just two examples of the different types that might improve a bathroom’s modern toilet look. Additionally, there are other options for smart toilets that come with heated seats, lights, and bidets. Choosing the ideal toilet shape Although Tuttleman notes that this choice usually boils down to individual preferences, there are a few considerations to weigh when deciding the bowl. Space: Compared to elongated and square toilets, round toilets require less space. Comfort: You get more space up front with elongated bowls because they are longer as well as square bowls since they fit better to the legs. Variety: Since elongated bowls are more common, there is a greater variety of colors and styles available. Price: In general, round bowls are less expensive than elongated and square ones. Style: Elongated bowls offer a classic look while square bowls are more modern. What about bidets? While standalone models of bidets are becoming more and more popular, not everyone can tear up their bathroom to install one. Fortunately, it’s not necessary. According to Tuttleman, bowl shapes are typically compatible with bidet attachments. These attachments are usually simple to install. To be sure it will fit, confirm compatibility with the maker of your toilet before making a purchase. [...]
27 November 2023Poop tells a lot about the past Graduate student Karen Chin collaborated with famous paleontologist Jack Horner at a dinosaur dig site in Montana. Her task was to thinly section fossilized skeletons so that microscopic examination could take place. But her attention was drawn to something other than the bones. “I learned that somebody had found fossilized feces, and I thought that was just the weirdest thing”, she recalls. So she requested to make a thin section of the feces. “And when I looked through the microscope, I could see plant cells that were ingested 75 million years ago by a dinosaur. And it blew my mind because I thought, ‘Man, this is how you can learn about interactions between dinosaurs, plants, and other organisms'”. As reported here, as an acknowledged expert on dinosaur excrement, or “coprolites” as they are scientifically termed (the word comes from the Greek for “dung stones” or “poop rocks”), Chin is in high demand these days. In fact, a recent children’s book titled “The clues are in the poo“, is about her. During her research at the Kaiparowits Formation in Southern Utah, Karen Chin found that during the reproductive stage, herbivorous dinosaurs consumed rotting wood along with all the worms, crustaceans, and other organisms there to acquire protein and calcium for their eggs. Karen Chin working on a dinosaur coprolite excavation in Southern Utah’s Kaiparowits Formation. Karen Chin is the paleontology curator of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. She is an important expert on preserved dinosaur excrement and a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At the University of Colorado, she serves as the paleontology curator and a professor of geological sciences. Upon entering Chin’s office, the first thing you notice is the abundance of petrified poop. They fill every available space, occupying drawers, cabinets, and shelves in shallow boxes. A coprolite specimen “They just look like black rocks”, she explains. “They don’t have the sausage shape that you would expect to see in fossil feces. They’re kind of angular”. That’s because they probably broke apart on impact because they had a good distance to fall from the dinosaur’s butt to the ground. Regarding dinosaur excrement, Chin claims that none are as large as the mounds seen in Jurassic Park. The largest one she looked at weighed six liters, which is somewhat less than a basketball. “When I saw the movie, I thought that was rather humorous”, she says. “But it actually made sense because if you have a dinosaur in a zoo, they’re going to be producing so much dung. And what are the zookeepers going to do with it but pile it up in one place, so somebody could cart it off later?” She claims that occasionally she can identify the one who dumped it by looking for skeletal remains close by. However, the poopetrator‘s identity is frequently unknown. “As a paleo-ecologist, it may not be the most important thing to know exactly who produced it”, says Chin. “If you can tell who is eaten and think about some generalized food webs in the ancient environment, you can get a feeling for what that environment was like. And this is another reason why I like coprolites so much because they’re basically like receipts of transactions of carbon resources that are traveling through an ecosystem.” Over the years, Chin has discovered a number of findings that provide information on these ancient food webs and dinosaur eating habits—information that is frequently scarce from skeletons. First, it was discovered that dung beetles—long believed to have coevolved with mammals following the extinction of the dinosaurs—were, in fact, present during the Cretaceous Period, happily delving into dinosaur excrement to provide food for their young. Another discovery was that contrary to what some scientists had speculated, the tyrannosaurs ate their prey whole, including the bones, rather than being selective eaters who selectively removed meat from the bone. Chin could come to this conclusion after discovering pieces of bone and raw meat in their coprolites. “A tyrannosaur would have had a skull about three feet long”, she says. “They couldn’t chew properly, so they would have grabbed and swallowed”. Large amounts of digested wood found in the excrement of herbivorous dinosaurs were one of her favorite finds. It was confusing since modern herbivores are incapable of breaking down the hard lignin, which functions as a glue and keeps wood cells together; therefore, they are unable to digest wood. But Chin was obviously observing, in addition to the curiously strange crustacean shells, broken-down wood in the feces of plant-eating dinosaurs. Her hypothesis was that they might be consuming rotting wood instead of any healthy trees at all. “White rot fungi can actually destroy the lignin, and if they do that, that increases the digestibility of wood by 30 to 60%”, she says. “So this meant these dinosaurs had been feeding on rotting wood. It was really surprising. You just don’t hear of that behavior in modern animals”. At least, according to Chin, not in the huge mammals like elephants and rhinos that scientists frequently employ to simulate the eating habits of dinosaurs. However, dinosaurs were not mammals. They resembled birds far more than their contemporary ancestors. Certain seed-eating birds begin consuming insects while they are laying eggs in order to obtain protein to nourish the yolks and calcium to make shells. “So my hypothesis was that because we found these coprolites in the nesting grounds of dinosaurs, the dinosaurs had to change their diet when they were reproducing”, she explains. “It seemed like, boy, if you’re a 25-foot-long duckbill dinosaur and you suddenly need to get a lot of protein, you’re not going to be like a T-Rex chasing after animals. But you could find a predictable source of protein in rotting wood in the form of invertebrates, insects, crustaceans, and worms—all kinds of things that would be hanging around rotting wood”. Thus, the next time you believe that excrement is just foul-smelling waste, reconsider that. “This is telling us about eating interactions between organisms, about recycling processes”, says Chin. “When you’re holding a piece of fossil poop, that really shows us how dynamic life has been—not only today but in the past”. Photos by Casey A. Cass/University of Colo; Karen Chin [...]
23 November 2023The surprising science behind human flatulence We have researched a variety of fields, but they have never ceased analyzing farts. And even once we figured out that we have tiny organisms inside of us that fart a lot, we continued to learn new things about farts. 6. Farts during WWII posed health risks According to this article, Britain feared being completely cut off from international trade during World War II. Mass famine resulted from isolating a city during a siege, and although the British Isles as a whole were more self-sufficient than any one city, they were still dependent on imports for food, especially meat. Would the British people go hungry if trade ceased? Would they have to put the needs of essential workers first and let others perish? Eight volunteers were given the only food that the nation could realistically provide for every citizen, and this was tested by Cambridge scientists over the course of three months. Every week, they consumed one pound of meat, one egg, and half a cup of milk. They had to eat potatoes and veggies to make up the rest of their stomachs. They consumed a lot of bread as well, but no butter to cover it with. Interestingly, none of the eaters experienced deficits in protein or nutrients, and they had plenty of energy to go about their daily lives and even engage in vigorous exercise. Their main grievance was the excessive amount of time they had to spend eating because they had to consume a lot of calorie-dense meals to make up for their loss. All those bulky veggies have caused them to produce 250% more feces than usual. Vegetables also made them fart a lot more. The researchers were forced to report that the increased flatulence was “remarkable” because they had not anticipated this and had not planned a method of quantitatively documenting the gas surge. Ultimately, even though food was rationed in Britain both during and after the war, they were never completely cut off, as they had feared. The Cambridge diet was never required, hence the gas masks that civilians carried turned out to be superfluous. 5. The Hunt to sample farts Your farts tell the real story about your health. It’s most likely that you have seen a shift in the smell of your flatulence after an intestinal incident. More precisely, the different compositions of hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide indicate the health of your microbiome. The one issue is that farts only reveal what’s in the last foot or so of your colon. Although your farts don’t show it, the rest of your digestive system is also full of gasses. Scientists have historically been able to sample this untapped gas by examining your breath. Indeed, part of the gas in your large intestine passes into your bloodstream and out of your lungs. But we’re developing a new approach. When you swallow a pill with sensors, it will take samples of your gases at different times and communicate the results to a connected tablet computer. This pill approach isn’t an invasive technique to examine the colon, and it may be able to identify early cancer signs. 4. Testing an anti-fart device There are numerous medical issues at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center that can be researched. For example, they addressed the topic of smelly farts in 1998. After giving study participants pinto beans to induce flatulence, they used rectal tubes to collect the gas. These diverse gas samples were then passed through a range of materials. A group of judges assessed the treated gases, rating each one from “no odor” to “very offensive” on a nine-point scale. The best substances to neutralize fart odor were zinc acetate, which reacts with hydrogen sulfide, and activated charcoal, a traditional odor absorber. Even though anti-fart underwear is currently available for purchase, the scientists felt that it was unduly bulky and that the results of their investigation may eventually lead to better products. The survey also revealed whether judges preferred the scents of women’s or men’s farts, although this was not the intended outcome. Women’s farts were consistently ranked worse by the judges in the blind smell test. Men create more gas than women do; therefore, in fact, fart offensiveness depends on both the quantity and content of the gas. 3. The sounds of farts are revealing Thanks to video conferencing, you no longer have to travel as much for in-person professional meetings. Doctor’s appointments are an exception. You may get a prescription, answer questions over the phone, and even have your doctor take a remote look to see whether your genitalia are as weird as you believe they are. However, there are limitations. But what if you could fart into an app one day soon and find out what’s wrong with you? Though we’re not there yet, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology created a presentation titled “Urination, Defecation, Flatulence, and Diarrhea: The Four Seasons of Toilet Acoustics” last year to discuss potential developments in this area. They revealed the Synthetic Human Acoustic Reproduction Testing Machine, an artificial toilet sound generator, to illustrate how such noises can suggest diseases. The scientists suggested employing this approach to track all bowel movements in public restrooms in order to spot any increases in diarrheal disorders, in addition to providing volunteer consultations. 2. High-Altitude Flatus Expulsion Throughout this article, the term “fart” has been used in place of any medical alternative. As far as we know, there isn’t a clinical substitute term. “Flatulence” is the verb for farting, although there isn’t a straightforward substitute word. “Expel flatus” is the formal term. Realizing that high-altitude flatus expulsion, or HAFE, is something you should be able to define for yourself. That is the phenomenon that causes you to fart more when you are at a high altitude, like the top of a mountain. It’s known by climbers as the Rocky Mountain barking spider. Those who experience this problem may consider using digestive enzymes or the popular anti-gas medication simethicone. This is the reason you should always have extra oxygen on hand in case someone close to you suffers from HAFE while you are climbing. 1. Does underwear protect us from fart germs? An Australian nurse asked Australian doctor Karl Kruszelnicki if she was spreading germs when she farted in the operating room. Is it correct that hospital staff members cover their faces with masks but not their asses? Alternatively, they do cover their asses with several layers of cloth, but as this obviously does not stop the smell associated with farts, does it also stop the germs? In order to conduct an experiment, Kruszelnicki had a colleague fart into two petri dishes. They blasted the other with no anal shielding at all, while they farted on the first through trousers and underwear. No bacteria grew on the filtered flatus. But shortly after, the second dish revealed two visible to the unaided eye bacterial colonies. Hence, it is true that bacteria from farts are captured by regular clothing before they have a chance to spread. Even the germs that did develop in the second dish, however, posed no threat. That means you don’t need to worry if you frequently have somebody fart in your face. Nobody is telling you to alter your behavior. [...]
20 November 2023An urban legend that may be true It seems too absurd and repulsive to be true. People are allegedly pooping and dropping trou while waiting in line for rides at Disneyland, according to a gross-out urban legend. Unfortunately for the weak-stomached, however, this tale is 100% true. As reported here, in the past month, people on the Disney World subreddit left angry and horrified comments over the things they claimed to have seen while standing in line. “I am in the queue for —someone let their kid take a dump on the floor, and then they just walked out and left it—WTF?” one wrote. Nearly instantly after the fecal sighting, a person who claimed to work at the park confirmed it. “For the skeptics… this actually happened. Fun fact: this was one of 3 s—t-related incidents at Rise today. Less fun fact: I was here for all 3 of them”, a user responded. A commenter on a different thread lamented the conduct of park visitors at the enormously popular attraction, Flight of Passage. “Bodily fluids no longer bother me after working at Disney”, they wrote. “Let’s just say that the attraction I work at has what the cast ended up dubbing ‘the poop hall’ because of the amount of times guests have gone in there and pooped. We even put up a camera and it didn’t stop it”. “Good lord, the poop hallway”, another commenter responded, adding, “…from a former flight CM, this absolutely gives me war flashbacks… I dealt with way too many bodily fluids at that dang attraction”. Two former Disneyland custodial team workers have also written about this unsavory topic in their book “Cleaning the Kingdom: Insider Tales of Keeping Walt’s Dream Spotless“. In the chapter titled “Disgusting Things”, former “cast members” (as employees are referred to in company parlance) Ken Pellman and Lynn Barron reveal there’s even a name for such happenings: “Human Code H.”. The authors claim that the code H was initially used to describe a “horsecrap”. That code indicated that once one of the horses pulling a Main Street vehicle finished its business, a custodial worker needed to clean up. Later, the phrase was changed to refer to a human bowel movement. “There’s a pair of individual-use restrooms just backstage from the north unload”, Pellman writes. “It was mainly for cast members, but guests could and did use it. A woman who did not know this burst into the control room for the attraction and deposited her gift right there… It must have been challenging for the ride operator to stay at their post in there before it was all cleaned up!” If, while standing in line, you feel the irresistible call of nature, do not follow the example set by those individuals. There are restrooms in the middle of the line for certain rides, such as Flight of Passage, which are known for having lengthy waits. Simply ask the closest cast member where the closest restroom is. You can respectfully explain your situation and request to rejoin your party when you return, even if you have to leave the queue. If the cast member at the ride entry had to call in the janitors for a Human Code H, she or he would probably much rather grant that polite request. [...]
16 November 2023The right position if you are constipated According to a doctor, pooping incorrectly can cause cancer. Singaporean nephrologist Daria Sadovskaya, 29, regularly posts health-related content on TikTok. As reported in the New York Post, the kidney specialist demonstrated a pooping posture in a video that has received over 26 million views, helping viewers avoid constipation and maintain good health. She is shown in the video with her left leg crossed over her lap and her foot resting on her right thigh. Then, as if extending her hamstring, she looks behind her and twists her body to the left. @sadovskaya_doctor What to do if you’re constipated and can’t poop? Try this position, it will help you to poop fast. #healthypooping #poopfast #constipationhelp ♬ original sound – Jazzzz “What to do if you’re constipated and can’t poop? Try this position; it will help you to poop fast”, read the caption on the video. The doctor explained that constipation can affect your health in addition to being painful and annoying. “Constipation is an issue itself, but it [using the wrong position] can also lead to hemorrhoids, anal fissures, urinary problems, even increases the risks of colorectal cancer”, Sadovskaya explained. “In addition to all of the above, it can cause nutritional deficiencies, bowel dysfunction, and even psychological issues”, she went on, saying that these circumstances might encourage the spread of cancer. She said the pooping hack she displays in the video is a “kind of self-massage, helping the stool come out faster and easier”. The position is one way to deal with “light constipation” and is something you may do to enhance your bowel movement experience in addition to following a good diet. “As well as sitting in this position, you should increase your fiber intake, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, avoid caffeine and alcohol”, the doctor said. Thousands of people thanked the doctor in the comments section of the video below for her helpful toilet suggestion. [...]
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