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!

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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. [...]
13 November 2023From stuffed noses to stained toilets Your level of hygiene can be inferred a lot from the condition of your bathroom. The last thing you want is for guests to enter your bathroom and notice sporadic, mucky brown stains. It is necessary to keep the toilet spotless at all times because it can be the source of many messes. That’s not to say stains may not happen occasionally, but it’s crucial to remove them as soon as possible. Every time a yellow or brown stain appears on a toilet seat, you cannot just ignore it. The good news is that there may be a simple fix using Vicks VapoRub. According to this article, given that toilets are one of the most employed items in the house, stains can occur rather frequently. For instance, minerals like iron and salts found in urine and blood can settle on or under toilet seats, causing stains. It’s interesting to note that Vicks VapoRub has a variety of active components, including menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil, which makes it ideal for relieving coughs and nasal congestion. Additionally, it has cleaning chemicals like turpentine oil, which is effective at removing stubborn stains, particularly those that are oily. You could save money on paying for a new toilet seat by using this useful bathroom essential product. Vicks VapoRub is more than just the stuffed nose remedy your grandmother used to use. Using the ointment to remove stains from your toilet is a hassle-free method. This trick is carried out by YouTube cleaning expert @AndreaJean using a cotton pad. She starts by dipping the pad into a bottle of Vicks, being careful to collect a nice big clump of the product. She then just applies it to the stain and rubs it until it disappears. That’s the only thing about it. To get the material into tight spaces, you can also use a cotton stick swab. The creator also remarked that VapoRub can do more than just clean off stains from your toilet seat regularly. “The nice thing is that this can help prevent future staining because it creates a protective barrier between your toilet—your porcelain—and anything else that it comes in contact with”, she asserted. The oil components of the rub are probably the cause of this barrier. In addition to turpentine, the rub’s non-active ingredients are listed on Healthline. These include petrolatum, cedar leaf oil, and nutmeg oil. [...]
9 November 2023In Naples, it was opened a private-public restroom In Italy, public restrooms have gradually reduced over the years to the point of having some cities without any of them. We went from a widespread presence of public toilets and urinals to a total absence of them. This has forced many people to use the restrooms in cafes. The reasons for the reduction are varied. First of all, it is believed that public restrooms have become places for disreputable encounters, especially since the 1990s, when public toilets became hangouts for drug addicts and sexual activities. Over time, the lack of maintenance and degradation made them increasingly dilapidated and unusable, to the point that people have stopped using them. Perhaps excessive management costs and new health and hygiene regulations have also led to their abandonment. However, in some cities, there are still some pay toilets and some urinals. Abroad, the situation seems different, with countries that maintain and innovate public restrooms with new designs and comforts. Nonetheless, where they are completely absent, the problems do not disappear. The lack forces many to use cafes when possible. But urgency and closing hours make it difficult, pushing people to urinate in the corners of the streets, with the consequence of increasing degradation. In addition, rising crimes in some neighborhoods haven’t improved the situation. In Naples, however, a young entrepreneur, Mario Pesce (26 years old), had the innovative idea of opening a modern pay toilet to solve the problem, demonstrating initiative and attention to the territory. Elegant and very clean, “Se ti scappa” (If you gotta go…) offers separate areas for men and women, hygiene product dispensers, automatic entrances, and a fiscal receipt. It costs 1 euro, and if successful, Mario wants to open others, improving accessibility. In summary, even if built privately, public restrooms could come back, thanks to technological innovation that can improve decorum and urban comfort. From a neglected problem, these toilets could transform parts of the cities into qualified areas. [...]
6 November 2023The Thames was used as sewage and to drink water English people employed chamber pots and emptied their trash onto the streets of London during the Elizabethan period. Living in the nineteenth century was hardly any better. By the 1840s, about 150 million tons of waste were dumped into the River Thames annually. Having one of the most bizarre jobs during the Victorian era, “toshers” would mine the fecal dumping ground, going through human feces and other garbage collected across the city to look for valuable objects. They made a nice living at it, too. As you would suppose, the river and its environs stink awfully in hot weather. Additionally, individuals drank water from the Thames. Then thousands of people died from sickness. So, the British government ultimately decided to intervene to solve the issue when the sickness and stench got too serious. An engineer and his team had to work for nine years to design a sewer system that would divert waste from the River Thames and into the city’s outskirts. The Thames used as sewage and drinking As explained here, the River Thames, which flows through London and southern England, was the direct recipient of raw sewage until sewer treatment systems were constructed during the 19th century. Even more repulsive than that on its own was the fact that people drank water from the river, which is even worse. Thus, in addition to drinking water, they were also consuming the excrement and urine of their neighbors. The “Great Stink” Londoners survived cholera in 1853 after drinking tainted water from the River Thames, but it was the “Great Stink” of 1858 that finally made the city change its sewage management practices. Sewage essentially cooked and fermented itself in that summer’s heat, and the stench was so awful that the locals could no longer bear to go about their daily lives with it in the air. To tackle the issue, the British government was compelled to appoint a professional engineer. Soil men Before the creation of what is now London’s sewer system by civil engineer Joseph Bazalgette, dwellings had cesspools. Men who worked as day laborers would go around to people’s houses at night and clean their cesspools to get a little more cash. Because venting in a cesspool was extremely unpleasant and deemed “too disturbing” to perform during the day, the legislation mandated that they complete the task at night. So, it was necessary for the “night soil men” to crawl into the cesspools, dig out the waste, deposit it in a wicker basket, and then carry it to a cart. Henry VIII King Henry VIII signed the “Bill of Sewers” in 1531. He proposed that London be split up into eight sewer districts, each with a commissioner. Every commissioner was responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of their portions of the sewer system. However, this resulted in a lack of consistent control, and commissioners allowed their issues to become those of their neighbors. This careless approach to sewer treatment was undoubtedly passed down to Londoners in the 19th century, which is possibly why they were frequently consuming water tainted with excrement. London streets and poop There were other excrements that 19th-century Londoners had to cope with besides human waste poisoning their rivers. In fact, strolling through the stench-filled and filthy streets of London was also quite a dirty and stinky experience. The “mud” that was spread across the carriageways was shit. Plenty of it. The author of Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth, Lee Jackson, writes that “It was essentially composed of horse dung. There were tens of thousands of working horses in London inevitable consequences for the streets. And the Victorians never really found an effective way of removing that, unfortunately”. Cholera A small intestine infection called cholera claimed the lives of almost 10,000 Londoners in 1853 as a result of people drinking from the raw sewage-filled River Thames. Although the symptoms might vary, watery diarrhea is one of the more typical ones. If left untreated, it results in severe dehydration and other adverse effects like wrinkling of the hands and feet, chilly skin, sunken eyes, and decreased skin elasticity. The skin may occasionally take on a blue tint. But the smell, not the number of deaths, was what spurred London to start planning a sewage treatment system. Cesspools Families used to store their sewage and liquid waste in a cesspool at home in the early 19th century. These were usually situated beneath the privy and were composed of brick, measuring roughly six feet deep by four feet wide. They were found in the basements or gardens of most homes. Upon their invention, water closets were built over the cesspool. But the extra water from the water closets contributed to “surges of waste and dump and smell” into the home. At that point, many began to worry that illnesses like cholera and typhoid could spread via the air into their private homes. “Treasures” in London’s sewers About 200 “toshers,” sometimes known as “sewer hunters,” would search through the early London sewers for objects that had been dropped into them, including coins, silverware, rope, and bits of metal. They would also look for gems along the Thames River’s coastline. Even though the work was dangerous, toshers made the equivalent of $50 each day, which was quite a bit of money for a working-class person in 19th-century London. OG-toshers were important because they knew where the best treasure might be hidden in the sewers—inside hidden crevices and deep pockets. Toshers therefore worked in groups of three or four men, under the direction of a leader who would have been in his or her late 60s or early 80s. Toshers were more terrified of being bitten by rats, who brought terrible diseases than they were of explosions and asphyxia. Toxic gases and fire In the eighteenth century, London had about 100 sewers constructed. However, cesspits, often known as cesspools, were far more prevalent. The city had 360 sewers and about 200,000 cesspits by 1856. The fact that certain cesspits release extremely combustible gases like methane is one of its issues. Because of this, it was usual for them to catch fire and blow up (occasionally killing people). In other words, cesspits were not only unable to handle the volume of waste that Londoners were creating, but they also posed a risk of death due to poo-related explosions. Lime chloride to cover the stench Members of the British government found it difficult to complete their job in Parliament in June 1858 due to the overwhelming stench of the city. The Parliament building’s right-side curtains were sprayed with lime chloride to mask the odor in order to address the problem but it had no effect. Members of Parliament thought about relocating their activities to Oxford or St. Albans because the stench was so bad. Additionally, it is documented that parliamentarians wore handkerchiefs over their noses in order to shield themselves from the foul smell emanating from outside. The sewer system The British government engaged engineer Joseph Bazalgette to create a sophisticated sewage system in response to the “Great Stink” of 1858, to improve both the safety and odour of London for its citizens. Alongside the River Thames, Bazalgette and his associates constructed 1,100 miles of street sewers and 82 miles of sewers. £4.2 million, or $5.3 million, was spent on the project. The old sewers were diverted into the new super sewers, which transported waste to treatment facilities outside of the city rather than into the river. [...]
2 November 2023A space startup may include a toilet with a view for their passengers According to CNN, a space tourism startup called Space Perspective may surprise visitors with an extraordinary view from their restroom. The Florida-based company intends to use a pressurized capsule suspended from a sophisticated balloon to carry passengers 100,000 feet to the edge of space. Naturally, the capsule needed an onboard restroom, given that excursions are scheduled to last approximately six hours. Founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective Jane Poynter, who was born in the UK, came up with the idea of a “loo with a view” after brainstorming with her team. Designers Dan Window and Isabella Trani’s concepts show a shiny bathroom with a wide window showing the stars and the earth’s curvature. According to Poynter, the restroom is intended to serve as a spot for visitors to reflect on their space adventures. “It’s going to be almost overwhelming at certain points”, Poynter says of the experience. “So we wanted to create a space where people could go to take time for themselves for a moment”. Although the view is the primary draw, there is a window blind as well—more for privacy since there aren’t many other people around and for when visitors need to take a moment to focus. “That’s why the toilet seat itself has a cushion, so you can sit there”, adds Poynter. According to Poynter, the restroom design prioritizes “wellness,” which is why the official name of the facility is “Space Spa”. In response to a question from CNN Travel about whether the moniker implies that a hot tub would eventually be installed next to the sink and toilet, Poynter chuckles and says, “The capsule interior can be modified”, which might mean adding anything from a dining room table to a research space. Few tourists have ventured into space since Dennis Tito, the first of his kind, did so in 2001. However, well-known space tourism businesses like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic have been active in this market lately, promising to make space the next trendy destination for travelers. The French company Zephalto is also organizing trips via stratospheric balloon to provide Michelin-starred meals on the “edge of space”. It’s important to keep in mind that traveling to suborbital space, which is 60 miles above Earth and involves a brief exposure to weightlessness and space views, differs significantly from traveling to orbital space, which involves gravity-defying high-speed takeoffs and longer durations. Additionally, journeys to the “edge of space”, such as those suggested by Zephalto and Space Perspective, are unique. Even though these capsules won’t reach suborbital space, they will nevertheless travel at a far greater altitude than the typical commercial aircraft. That translates to breathtaking views of the stars and the Earth, but without the sensation of weightlessness and lack of gravity, which is why a chic bathroom is feasible. By the end of 2024, Space Perspective plans to begin flying up to eight people. Though Poynter acknowledges that the company is working toward that date, she advises against scheduling it as there are still a few steps left before the balloon and capsule can take off. According to Poynter, the team places a high priority on maintaining safety, and the company is subject to regulation by the US Coast Guard and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Space Perspective plans to begin testing flights shortly. The precise lift-off date is still unknown, but Space Perspective’s $125,000 tickets are selling quickly. Once again, bathrooms demonstrate a significant importance in enhancing the experience rather than serving only a need function. [...]
30 October 2023Tokyo-based studio Schemata Architects gives new life to a sentō A Japanese sentō (銭湩) is a kind of traditional public bath where people go to relax and take a bath. In Japan, these bathhouses have a long history and are highly significant culturally. Typically, a sentō has distinct spaces designated for the needs of men and women. It’s a shared area for rest, socializing, and bathing. When visiting a sentō, guests change into the bathing area after taking off their clothes in the changing room. Once inside, they take a communal hot bath after properly cleaning themselves at individual stations. In addition, a lot of sentō provide several kinds of baths, like hot tubs, cold baths, and even saunas. Most sent water is heated; however, some sent also offer mineral-rich water and are said to have health advantages. Locals love sentō for their healing and communal qualities. Sentō has a long history that began in ancient Japan. Since their founding during the Nara period (710–794), they have played a crucial role in Japanese culture. Sentō, or public baths, became increasingly prevalent during the Edo period (1603–1868). The population of Japan increased during this period, and many places had limited access to clean water. Consequently, public bathhouses functioned as essential hubs for social interaction and sanitation. Even though modern Japanese homes increasingly have private restrooms, sentō retain their cultural and social significance. For people who may have smaller living spaces or prefer a social atmosphere, they are nevertheless a desirable alternative. Sentō frequently have unique architectural and design features, such as vibrant curtains, noren (fabric dividers), and occasionally creative tiles or murals. A sentō’s admission fee is typically quite reasonable, making a large variety of people able to visit. While the number of sentō has declined as a result of shifting bathing practices, some traditional bathhouses have survived and draw tourists eager to partake in this cultural custom. Sentō have seen a rise in popularity recently, and attempts have been made to update and rejuvenate them. Modern conveniences are now included in certain sentō while maintaining their original charm. However, the opportunity arises for Lucio Modesto, an old Roman spa engineer, to seize the inventions of a Japanese public bathhouse and transport them back in time when he unexpectedly finds himself there. This is depicted in Mari Yamazaki’s manga Thermae Romae, which takes the reader on a tour of the fascinating world of sentō. According to this article, Tokyo‘s ancient sentō, Koganeyu, has made the decision to reinvent itself. While the historic pools are preserved in accordance with tradition, Schemata Architects’ idea incorporates more contemporary features to appeal to a diverse audience, such as a sauna and a beer bar, which make use of the vacant spaces in the warehouse and machine room. Similar to traditional sentō, the main pool area is symmetrically split into male and female parts by a wall that is 2.25 meters high and open at the end. This feature was employed to facilitate communication between the two regions. The section in question has pools with varying temperatures, from medicated to hot, and there’s a tiny cold-water pool next to the sauna that’s connected to the outside. Yoriko Hoshi’s work is shown along the two regions of the interiors, which are covered in light beige tiles and concrete and include a mural with Mount Fuji in the background. The area also has a dressing room with Iichiro Tanaka-designed dividing drapes and wooden furnishings, as well as a bandai (beige tile) welcome area at the entry with a beer bar. Photo by Yurika Kono [...]
26 October 2023A urologist explains how to prevent nocturia You may now stop going to the bathroom in the middle of the night to pee. Dr. Edward Schaeffer, a urologist at Northwestern Medicine, has offered advice on how men may effectively control how often they use the restroom when they could be sleeping instead. According to The New York Post, prostate cancer expert Schaeffer provided some nocturnal advice on Dr. Peter Attia’s “Drive” podcast, and some of the suggestions are genuinely somewhat unexpected. “A lot of it is just education and behavioral modifications”, explained Schaeffer, program director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at Northwestern’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. “So educating people that a lot of what you take in will come out, that the idea of the kidneys are designed to maintain our body’s fluids status and that kind of homeostasis”. Schaeffer also mentioned the connection between nocturia—the urge to urinate during the night—and pressure on the bladder brought on by a prostatic enlargement. According to The American Cancer Society, one in eight men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, and they project that there will be 288,300 new cases of prostate cancer in the following year. 1. Limit your beverage consumption before bed When considering urine frequency, drinking habits should take into account not only the quantity but also the type of beverage and the time of day it is consumed. “A lot of people come in with nighttime urinary frequency, and a lot of that you can modify with education”, Schaeffer explained. “Saying, ‘Hey, don’t drink a glass of water right before you go to bed’, and, ‘If you get up in the middle of the night because you have to urinate, don’t drink another glass of water right when you get up to urinate”, he said. “That kind of component of the education, timing of when you take in those fluids, and then what’s in those fluids, specifically caffeine”. He also disclosed that certain liquids, such as coffee-infused iced tea, already contain natural diuretics and can cause issues over night. “If you’re taking or drinking something that’s a diuretic, you’re going to produce more urine, and that will result in more urinary symptoms within two to four hours after taking that fluid in”, he said. 2. Avoid alcohol before bed The two discussed how drinking alcohol can affect your nighttime urine throughout the podcast. The Cleveland Clinic states that consuming alcohol in the evening may make you feel more the need to urinate in the middle of the night. According to Schaeffer, an anti-diuretic hormone that is “naturally secreted” stops you from producing more fluid. “Alcohol, by the way, inhibits this hormone, which is why alcohol before bed is a great recipe for having to get up and pee for two reasons: you get the fluid in the drink, and then you get a molecule that inhibits the release of anti-diuretic hormone”, Attia said. “Absolutely, the classic one for that is beer, because it’s a higher liquid volume intake”, Schaeffer explained. The anti-diuretic hormone’s “peak” declines with each passing decade, he continued. 3. Stockings up to the knees can be beneficial Peripheral edema, or the accumulation of fluid in the legs, can impact urination frequency in both men and women, according to Schaeffer. According to him, fluid might escape and enter the vascular space when you’re lying down at night, which your kidneys may interpret as “increased fluid”. Even moderate peripheral edema is a major cause of frequent nighttime urine, according to him. “One of the behavioral modifications is… knee high stockings for people who, if I see them at 8, 9, 10 o’’clock in the morning and they have any edema, any kind of ringing around their socks, then I definitely strongly encourage them to do that”, he said. “I tell people that if you’re getting up twice a night and you have a little bit of edema, we do some behavioral modifications, we can reduce your nocturnal urinary frequency by kind of one—so you can go from two times a night to one time a night just by changing what you drink and wearing TED stockings”, he continued. Although this advice might not apply to everyone, he pointed out that it can benefit people without requiring them to take numerous prescriptions. [...]
23 October 2023There’s poop, even where you don’t imagine it Wherever you turn, you see poop, manure, and garbage. We’re a species that smears everything with our fingers and continuously shares that with others. Take a moment to look around you. Every surface you can see almost certainly has human poop on it. It’s probably invisible to you, and most of the time it’s present in small enough amounts and concentrations to not endanger people. Nonetheless, it’s still shit, and it’s still everywhere. According to this article, here are 15 places with more poop than you think. 15. Phones Researchers from the University of Arizona claim that the smartphone in your pocket has ten times more poop bacteria on it than a toilet seat. Every time you text, it’s like thumbing a whole stranger’s rectus. 14. Mugs If you frequently drink from shared office cups, congrats! Your body is being filled with the waste of all of your coworkers’ anuses. You are essentially getting paid to eat excrement because of your coworkers’ clumsy wiping and shoddy cleaning. 13. TV Visiting a hotel? If your favorite channel is someone else’s digestive system, don’t touch the TV remote. Remotes can hold as much waste as a real toilet. In addition, there is a lot of splatter on every surface in a hotel room. 12. Touchscreens The touchscreens that McDonald’s gleefully uses to reduce customer interaction and the need to pay for services are essentially laminated in poo. In a UK investigation, poop was discovered on every screen that was swabbed from eight branches. 11. Swimming pools While chlorine is used in swimming pools to combat bacteria, it is not a magical substance that instantly kills germs, so there are still plenty of poop particles floating in the shallow end. Swim diapers are useless, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 10. Beds Poop is always present, even if you don’t actively poop on the bed. Your sheets are more like bedshits. 9. Toothbrushes Most toothbrushes are kept in the same room as a toilet, which means that you are rubbing human waste into your gumline twice a day. Every time you flush, the “toilet plume” phenomenon spews poop out of the toilet. 8. ATMs The next time you use an ATM to withdraw money, remember that it is also depositing money on your fingers. The green contains brown. 7. Cabs In 2011, New York Magazine swabbed the seats of NYC taxicabs and discovered that the massive number of passengers that have ridden in them had left behind poo and yeast from both the vaginal and anal regions, as well as other bodily fluids. 6. Menus When restaurant menus were swabbed for bacteria in 2010 by Good Morning America, they were discovered to be more contaminated than salt and ketchup packets, which are frequently touched by hundreds of people. 5. Elevators According to some research, elevator buttons may contain thousands of times more bacteria than a toilet seat. 4. Ice cubes A BBC investigation in Britain discovered excrement germs in the ice used by McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King. That means your Sprite now contains the poo of a clown, a colonel, and true meat-based royalty. 3. Washing machines Some butthole bacteria persist when dirty underwear is placed in the washing machine; the drum of your washer is only dookie-free when you run a clothes-destroyingly hot wash or bleach everything to death. 2. Lemon wedges According to a 2007 survey, 70% of lemon slices served in pubs and restaurants had at least a passing familiarity with poo-poo. 1. Air According to a 2011 study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Biology, whenever you breathe in an American city, you’re taking in teeny-weeny particles from someone’s bowel movement. [...]
19 October 2023The reason for this new trend Recently, social media users have given you the recommendation to swap out the box of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator for a roll of toilet paper. According to this site, the absorbency of toilet paper is what led to this hack, according to Ruiz Asri, editor of Honest Food Talks. According to Asri, moisture in the refrigerator frequently causes mildew and foul odors. Asri says the toilet paper absorbs extra moisture as well as unpleasant odors. The term “toilet paper in the fridge” first appeared in 2015. Yet, videos that have appeared on Facebook and TikTok in the last year or so seem to indicate that it is only recently that it has been specifically used as an odor absorber. While it will absorb scents, there are more effective alternatives that require less room and draw less attention from home guests. So here are some alternative odor-fighting techniques if you want something more durable and compact: For some, baking soda is the go-to remedy. As producer Arm & Hammer pitched it as an eco-friendly substitute for chemical cleaning in the 1970s, it became popular. The Los Angeles Times it was stated in 1994 that baking soda is much more likely to be found in refrigerators than working light bulbs. Because baking soda is a basic substance, it neutralizes acids. As most smells are acidic, it can eliminate them at their source. However, after using baking soda to deodorize a refrigerator, avoid using the box’s contents for baking. These acids may get reactivated during cooking, contaminating your cake. Baking soda loses effectiveness as it interacts with more acids. Every three months, the majority of people will need to replace it. My Chemical-Free House founder, Corinne Segura, a practicing building biologist, has firsthand knowledge of refrigerator scents. “When food went bad in my fridge, it left a lingering foul odor”, she says. “I used black cumin seed oil, which has a deodorizing effect, to clean up the smell”. Segura attributes this to the essential oil’s capacity to neutralize the rotten-smelling molecule methyl mercaptan. “I mixed five drops of black cumin essential oil with one tablespoon of dish soap and applied it in a thick layer to all the plastic components inside the fridge”, she says. “I let it sit for two hours before washing it off. This worked well to get rid of foul odors in the fridge”. Like toilet paper, activated charcoal traps the particles that produce unpleasant odors. It can be purchased as a powder, pre-cut filter, or cloth that can be customized. It reduces odor by accumulating the volatile compounds released by smelly things. To maintain the charcoal’s functioning, replace it around once a month. Asri has a very delicious suggestion for individuals who enjoy a more pleasant aroma, especially around their food. “Soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract and place it in the refrigerator”, he says. “This combats bad odors and leaves your fridge smelling like a bakery”. If you want cutting-edge options, think about buying a refrigerator with a UV light filter. Alexander Hill, a sales representative for the UK-based Appliance Depot, says this. “Ultraviolet light can destroy bacteria, molds, and other pathogens”, says Hill. “Some fridge purifiers use UV light to sanitize the air and surfaces inside the fridge, thus reducing the source of many odors”. Since 2021, UV deodorizing filters have been an option for refrigerators such as those in the Samsung Bespoke range. UV filters are also available on several in-door water dispenser lines from other manufacturers. According to Hill, these filters are useful for large freezers or issues that frequently occur where passive odor absorption may not be sufficient. Electronic purifiers, according to him, also lessen bacteria and mold, making the environment for food storage fresher and maybe safer. Use a paper product that is even less expensive than toilet paper for a deep cleaning of your refrigerator or freezer. Crushed charcoal and crumpled newspaper (you can get unprinted newsprint paper) should be placed in a refrigerator that smells particularly bad. The newspaper will need to be changed every day for roughly a week, but it’s a cheap solution to a smelly problem. [...]
16 October 2023Poop was seized at the Minnesota airport A woman brought some feces to the United States from Kenya, according to officials, and customs officers intercepted and incinerated a box of giraffe crap at a Minnesota airport. On September 29, agriculture experts from the customs agency chose the Iowa woman for inspection, and she informed them that she had giraffe feces. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), she intended to use the giraffe poo to create a necklace. The woman admitted to using moose droppings to produce jewelry in the past when speaking with airport officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Following the US Department of Agriculture’s protocol for destruction, the giraffe excrement was steam sterilized and then destroyed. “There is a real danger with bringing fecal matter into the U.S.”, CBP’s Chicago field director, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, said in a statement. “If this person had entered the U.S. and had not declared these items, there is a high possibility a person could have contracted a disease from this jewelry and developed serious health issues”. According to the organization, swine vesicular disease, Newcastle disease, foot and mouth disease, and African swine fever are all now present in Kenya. If they receive a Veterinary Services Permit, individuals are allowed to import ruminant animal feces into the United States instead, according to CBP. According to Minnesota Public Radio, the woman who was carrying the giraffe feces won’t be punished because she declared the feces and turned them over to customs officials. If she had attempted to sneak the feces past the airport security personnel, she might have been subject to a fine of $300 to $1,000. [...]
12 October 2023Poop can tell a lot about people’s diet According to a study by Jelissa Reynoso-Garcia from the University of Puerto Rico and colleagues that was published on October 11, 2023, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, two pre-Columbian Caribbean cultures consumed a wide variety of plants, including maize, sweet potato, and peanuts, as well as tobacco and cotton traces. Coprolites, or mummified poo, can provide information on diet and lifestyle. To determine what these people consumed, Reynoso-Garca and colleagues examined plant DNA isolated from coprolites taken from the archaeological sites of two pre-Columbian cultures (Huecoid and Saladoid). As reported here, ten coprolite samples collected from the La Hueca archaeological site in Puerto Rico were meticulously processed to extract and analyze plant DNA. They examined the plant DNA that had been extracted with a database of various coprolite samples and current plant DNA sequences. The findings indicate that Huecoid and Saladoid people had a complex and varied diet, as evidenced by the discovery of sweet potatoes, wild and domesticated peanuts, chili peppers, a domesticated strain of tomatoes, papaya, and maize. The examination also revealed the presence of tobacco, presumably as a result of chewing tobacco, inhaling tobacco powder, or using tobacco as a food additive for therapeutic and/or hallucinogenic effects. Another unexpected discovery was the presence of cotton, maybe as a result of the employment of powdered cotton seeds for oil or because women wet the cotton strands with their saliva when weaving, leaving strands in their mouths. Cassava, manioc, or yucca (Manihot esculenta) eating was not documented by the authors, even though chroniclers frequently referred to this plant as a staple diet in the pre-Columbian Caribbean. The intricate grating and drying methods for cassava described in these reports may have damaged the plant’s DNA, or it may have been a seasonal staple diet, the authors say. The Huecoid and Saladoid people likely ate other plants or fungi not mentioned here because of food preparation methods, the fact that each coprolite sample only represents a snapshot of what one particular person had recently eaten, and the fact that the authors were only able to identify plants in current DNA sequence databases (not capturing any now-extinct, rare, or non-commercial crops). Yet, the scientists anticipate that their analysis can shed further light on pre-Columbian life in the Americas. Dr. Toranzos adds, “Who would have thought that something that we avoid even looking at would contain so much information? It’s especially incredible that this is so even after thousands of years”. [...]
9 October 2023A toilet paper manufacturer developed a new and useful tear Some people may have bumped into new toilet paper rolls in which the traditional sheets were no longer square where each perforated edge had a series of gentle curves instead of being a straight line, much like a sound wave. That gives the toilet paper a sophisticated, scalloped appearance, as though an interior designer had been recruited to swank up the buttwiping. According to this article, the roll comes from a brand-new 24-pack of Charmin Ultra Soft. The enormous blue label does not, in fact, indicate any difference at all. The toilet tissue that the bear on the packaging softly rubs to his cheek while savoring its ultra-softness has a square shape and straight edges, which is in no way indicative of the wavy tear. Google searches indicated that this toilet paper makeover had also been experienced by others. Although Charmin responded to a few of the posts in which some people complained about the new design, the company had not truly explained the change. However, Charmin’s public relations department said that the company was finally formally launching Smooth Tear, its updated, scalloped-edge toilet paper. Even while he acknowledged that some people found the scalloped edges to be attractive, he explained that they served a functional purpose: wavy edges are intended to address the most common issue with toilet paper that consumers encounter, the incomplete tear. The most common complaint received by Charmin’s call center is an incomplete tear. The majority of toilet paper fibers run vertically through the roll; therefore, tearing across goes against the material’s natural grain. Also, the ways in which people tear differ greatly based on where they keep the paper in their bathroom, whether they are left- or right-handed, and if they like to tear over or under the roll. However, the majority of people tear in a downward diagonal as opposed to a straight line, which results in that final lone strand being left on the roll. In order to find the ideal shape, scientists hand-punched perforations into blank rolls of paper in the R&D labs. They tried a diagonal line that matched the angle of force of the typical tear, but they found that it only worked well on one side. The team discovered that the wavy line could best survive the combination of sideways and downward forces seen in most consumer tearing movements. Retooling the company’s six toilet paper factories to comply with the introduction of perforation required five years. Toilet paper as we knew it before Smooth Tear was produced back in the Industrial Revolution. Over a century ago, it was designed to operate well on a line. Manufacturing is best served by straight perforations that are at a good, straightforward 90-degree angle to the toilet paper that is moving through the machines at 60 mph. The team had to supervise the changing and replacement of the company’s perforation equipment once they had come to the conclusion that wavy edges were superior in order to supply that wavy line quickly. This invention, which is now only accessible on Charmin Ultra Soft, cost real money to develop. The Cincinnati lab, complete with robot tear-testers, “balloon butts”, and its secret formula for synthetic poop, was the subject of a fun 2019 Popular Science article. Charmin does like to draw attention to its research and development, explained Gregg Weaver, a senior scientist at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. Weaver’s father, who also worked at Procter & Gamble, allegedly informed him that working there was akin to receiving a college education. “The majority of my paper science has been learned inside the company, more so than at a college”. For 25 years, Weaver has worked for Procter & Gamble. Weaver isn’t particularly uncomfortable discussing the gritty details of the restroom, which is appropriate for a man who spends his days thinking about toilet paper. “It’s something everybody does”, he says, “and why not enjoy that experience?”. [...]
5 October 2023Poop can be everywhere The toilet is the only spot outside of your body where you ever want to find human poop, just before it flushes away, disappears from view, and leaves you forever. Anyway, there are other places where you may find it. According to this article, here are ten unexpected places where poop has been found: 10. McDonald’s touchscreens Human poop was discovered on every touchscreen in an examination of eight McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom in 2018. Paul Matewele, a microbiologist, explained to the Metro newspaper, “We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals”. The testers did not investigate the shit’s sources, although it is presumed that it resulted from people not cleaning their hands after wiping. 9. Cosmetics counters There is a huge market for counterfeit cosmetics, which are generic products that are packaged to look like much more expensive names and sold for a lot. Or, for even more savings, create your own items using human waste. That strategy appears to have been adopted by some entrepreneurs, as evidenced by the $700,000 worth of fake Urban Decay and Kylie Cosmetics makeup that was discovered in Los Angeles in 2018. 8. Phones Due to people not washing their hands after dropping off the kids at the restroom, about one in six smartphones had human excrement on them. One survey found that 88% of people use their phones when using the restroom (the other 13% obviously lie about it), and 41% have admitted to putting their phones in their mouths while their hands are full. 7. Soda The UK fast food industry requires a thorough cleaning: In 2017, it was discovered that the ice used in the drinks at McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King restaurants in the United Kingdom had residues of human poop. As a result, as the ice melts, your drink not only gets poop in it but also becomes warmer, diluted, and less pleasant. 6. Las Vegas pools The results of testing the water in some of the most well-liked pool bars on the Las Vegas Strip were less seductive than one may have hoped for. Well, we detected a lot of fecal bacteria in some of these pools, a Columbia University microbiologist told Inside Edition, adding, “It’s kind of similar swimming in a toilet”. 5. Cilantro The FDA issued a warning in 2015 claiming that cilantro brought into the United States from Puebla, Mexico, was contaminated with human poop. After an examination into sickness outbreaks, it was discovered that the fields where cilantro was grown had insufficient restroom and handwashing facilities for the employees, as well as the presence of human waste and used toilet paper. At least most people can agree that cilantro smeared in human poop is something they don’t want. 4. Ikea A few rough meatballs are a must-have when visiting a Swedish furniture maze, but in 2011, some customers unintentionally ended up finishing their meal with a dessert of human poop. The witty-named Tarta Chokladkrokant, Ikea’s almond cake, was found to have traces of coliform bacteria in two batches, which led to the destruction of all the cakes made by that specific Swedish supplier. 3. Hotels It’s kind of amazing that you can arrive at a hotel room and not find obvious signs of prior tenants (a bed full of skid marks, shit stains on a towel, etc.). People pee, defecate, and bang in hotel rooms every day. Regarding the “poo” component of the equation, the American Society for Microbiology estimates that up to 81% of surfaces in hotel rooms may be contaminated with poop. Yes, there is shit on the mops and rags used to clean them as well. 2. The beach 13 beaches in New Jersey had to close in 2021 because the water had too many fecal bacteria. Meanwhile, excrement continues to coat every beach in the United Kingdom. 1. Ancient caves The Paisley Caves in Oregon have always attracted attention because of their unusually dry conditions, which have resulted in an abundance of extremely well-preserved ancient animal fossils. The oldest scientific proof of human presence on the continent of North America, dating back to roughly 12,000 BCE, was made in 2008, however, when DNA from a coprolite (fossilized excrement) was found to be human in origin. [...]
2 October 2023An animal exhibit about poop Kingston’s FUSEBOX, a new cultural center, will host the world premiere of one of the UK’s most unique art exhibitions that converts the subject of poo into a pleasurable, cost-free, and family-friendly natural history experience. As explained here, The Origin of the Faeces: Poo from the Zoo is a one-of-a-kind exhibition organized by Tracey Lee, a former senior zookeeper at the London Zoo who has spent the last 22 years collecting and conserving animal dung from more than 100 different species, many of which are threatened in the wild and are a part of significant international breeding programs intended to safeguard the species’ future. For the first time, Tracey is now allowing guests of all ages to investigate the bizarre and fascinating world of animal poops, challenging social norms, and igniting discussions about the environment and conservation. When the elephants from the London Zoo were relocated to Whipsnade in 2001, Ms. Lee dried and kept the last dung ball that was left over. Photo by Tracey Lee. Tracy, who has an art background, has worked for London Zoo for more than 30 years. Throughout that time, she has provided care for some of the most spectacular animals on earth, including elephants, black rhinoceroses, pygmy hippos, and Sumatran tigers. When the elephants she had been caring for every day for the previous 12 years were transferred to Whipsnade Zoo in 2001, her extraordinary collection and creative adventure officially began. She felt herself strangely drawn to the final lone ball of dung as she was clearing up the elephant house for the last time. So, she dried it out and preserved it instead of throwing it away. A short while later, the last black rhino in the zoo also was moved, and Tracey was once more inspired to save its final poop. She eventually used these two memories as part of her first painting, The Last Poo at the Zoo, which was painted on canvas and is from where her collection developed. Currently, Tracey’s extraordinary collection has over 100 preserved pieces of excrement from a variety of animals, including microscopic droppings from a caterpillar and kebab-shaped feces from an endangered gorilla. Using Tracey’s unique procedure, each poop has been meticulously conserved, preserving the details and making them odorless and hygienic to display. In addition to getting up close to the poop, the exhibition will offer viewers an opportunity to learn more about Tracey’s trip through images, audio, and artwork. The Community Brain, a not-for-profit organization in Tracey, Kingston, and the youth arts charity Creative Youth collaborated to create Poo from the Zoo. It will also be the first significant exhibition to debut at FUSEBOX, the brand-new multi-arts venue in SW London that was officially inaugurated in July by HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh. FUSEBOX is situated beneath John Lewis, just a short distance from Kingston Bridge. Tracey Lee says, “I’ve been collecting and preserving animal poo for the last 22 years, and in all that time, it’s been in my home, where it’s only ever been seen by a handful of people and never in its entirety”. “This exhibition isn’t just about poo; it’s about capturing the essence of these magnificent animals in a way that’s both educational and eye-opening. It’s a celebration of nature’s diversity while also a sobering reminder of the environmental challenges we face”. The Community Brain and Creative Youth’s director and founder, Robin Hutchinson, MBE, says: “When we first heard about Tracey’s collection and her amazing story, we just knew it had to be shared with more people. This is a brilliant exhibition because it gives visitors permission to talk about poo, and that’s something that appeals to people of all ages”. “I’m especially keen to use Tracey’s amazing exhibition to connect young people to the real plight of the natural world. The reality for many children today is that they can be more familiar with fictional Pokémon creatures than they are with many of the real-life species represented in Tracey’s collection. Getting up close to the creatures’ poo is a fun way to help enable this”. [...]
28 September 2023Public restrooms serve as a point of connection between people and urban design while also representing civic sense and urban culture It is not surprising that the design theme of public restrooms—exporting such intimate interaction to the streets and squares of a city—is particularly challenging. After all, according to Rem Koolhaas, since the 2014 Venice Biennale, the bathroom has been “the fundamental zone of interaction—at the most intimate level—between man and architecture”. The history of the public restroom dates back to the Vespasian era, when public urinals were used to collect urine’s ammonia content for bleaching fabrics. From the 19th century onward, restrooms evolved into symbols of urban decorum, with Haussmann-era furnishings and sanisettes in Paris, public baths at the Graben in Vienna, and the Albergo Venezia in Milan. As reported here, the way that the topic of public baths is approached varies depending on latitude. The Scandinavian countries, particularly Japan, are among the most upright in terms of respect for the individual and for public affairs. The sentō (the typical public bath with water pools) has provided opportunities for socializing and cathartic experiences of relaxation for centuries. In general, the public bath is a feature that goes beyond the simple role of controlling physiological needs on the street to become a symbol of culture and human dignity. This is shown by a variety of contemporary works from around the world, ranging from those rooted in an established tradition (the Tokyo Toilet project, transposed to the Triennale) to impromptu ones (Aandeboom); from those integrated into the historical or landscape context (Miró Rivera Architects, Diego Jobell, Snøhetta, Schleifer & Milczanowski Architekci, Manthey Kula Architects) to those openly exhibited (Gramazio & Kohler, Chris Briffa); from dreamlike ones (Hundertwasser) to those with political (Cassani, Galán, Munuera, and Sanders) and social (RC architects) significance. In any case, the bathroom as a space for the care and government of our bodies—whether in the home or in a square—remains the common denominator net of “structural” idiosyncrasies (due to neglect and decay known in our country) and psychological idiosyncrasies (related to germaphobia, claustrophobia, and pathologies of various kinds) and may be the only true “throne room” we have. [...]
25 September 2023What happens to your brain and bladder? As you drink water throughout the day, your body excretes any surplus fluid. When it’s time to use the restroom, your bladder will finally let you know. But how does your body know while you’re asleep not to urinate? While you sleep, your body continues to go through ongoing functions, including breathing, digestion, and, yes, urinating. This proves that your body isn’t completely offline just because you’re dozing off. Together, your bladder and brain decide what to do with the large glass of water you drank just before bed. Many individuals consider going to the bathroom every day to be ordinary, so you might not think much about it. But one crucial aspect of a pediatric urologist’s job is to comprehend how the brain and bladder interact—and occasionally miscommunicate. Bladder and brain The bladder’s two primary functions, according to this article, are to safely hold pee and to expel it. Despite their apparent simplicity, these two actions require the brain to coordinate a great deal of intricate muscle and nerve activity. The bladder has reflexes in babies and young children, which means that it understands when to contract its muscles to release pee on its own. Baby wears diapers since they can’t consciously regulate this. But, when children mature, their bladder muscles and nerves likewise do so, giving them more bladder control. Children learn how to use the toilet willingly during toilet training, which typically occurs by the age of 3 or 4. This implies that they have the ability to feel when their bladder is full and that their brain can recognize and process that feeling. The bladder can then be instructed by the brain to “hold it” until the person has reached the bathroom and it is okay to urinate. Most children initially discover how to use the bathroom during the day. Due to the fact that the brain doesn’t process signals the same way while sleeping as it does when it is awake, using the restroom at night may be more challenging. The body detects loud noises and bright lights while awake and responds accordingly. The brain is in sleep mode while you are sleeping; therefore, your body might not be able to hear the sounds or see the light. Consider a thunderstorm that occurred throughout the night that you missed until you overheard conversations about it the next day. Your brain was concerned with falling asleep, so it didn’t process the loud noises. Bladder signals can result in the same effect. Even when you’re sleeping, the bladder continues to fill with urine and alerts the brain when it is full. Your brain will instruct your bladder to keep it until the morning so you can get enough sleep. Your brain may occasionally instruct your body to wake up if you genuinely need to relieve yourself of a full bladder. Even though it’s common to wake up occasionally to use the restroom, especially if you drink a lot of hot chocolate right before bed, most older children can typically sleep through the night without having to get up. Your bladder gradually fills up during the night and persists until morning, when you stumble into the bathroom to empty it, when the brain and bladder are functioning properly. Nighttime mishaps The communication between the brain and the bladder, however, can malfunction in a variety of ways. One reason is that the brain might not get the bladder’s cue that it’s time to urinate. The bladder may not be able to be told to hold on even if the brain receives the information. Or, if the bladder cannot wait, the brain might not send the wake-up signal to the body. If the signals and messages aren’t conveyed or are misunderstood, the bladder will enter reflex mode and squeeze even when you’re soundly sleeping in bed, emptying itself of urine. More often than you would imagine, people experience nocturnal enuresis (bedtime wetting). 15% of children between the ages of 5 and 7 occasionally wet the bed. It affects some teenagers as well. Boys are more likely to experience it, and it frequently runs in the family, so parents or other relatives may have also experienced overnight mishaps. There are several causes of nighttime wetting. Kids’ developing brains make it more difficult for the brain and bladder to communicate at night. It’s more common for the bladder to fill up when you’re sleeping because certain bodies produce more urine at night. Some people have smaller, more quickly filling bladders. It may be more difficult to wake up in the middle of the night if you have trouble falling asleep or have a deep slumber. As their bodies and brains continue to develop, the majority of children who wet the bed at night outgrow it. By that time, their bodies are capable of waking them up at night to use the restroom when necessary or allowing them to sleep through the night without the need to urinate. Certain strategies, such as consuming fewer fluids in the evening or visiting the restroom just before bed, can help if you frequently wet the bed. These measures reduce the likelihood that the bladder will be overfilled as you sleep. The body can be taught to awaken when the bladder needs to be emptied with the aid of bedwetting alarms. You should speak to a doctor if there are worries about overnight accidents or if older kids start having accidents. [...]
21 September 2023Miles Pennington, from the DLX Design Lab at the University of Tokyo, created a unique and multifunctional structure that transcends the traditional notion of public restrooms in urban areas According to this article, Miles Pennington, a designer, created a multipurpose public restroom in Tokyo along with DLX Design Lab. Pennington is a professor of design-led innovation at the University of Tokyo. It’s a space that may be used for a variety of things, such as exhibitions, a cinema, pop-up shops, and information centers, with the goal of improving the concept of a public restroom. “Public toilets are often underused, lose their value to people, and are gradually forgotten”, Pennington said. “To try to reverse this trend, we created this toilet”. The project is one of 17 public restrooms throughout the city that were created as part of the Tokyo Toilet initiative, which is supported by the nonprofit Nippon Foundation. Some of the restrooms were created by Shigeru Ban, Tadao Ando, and Fumiko Maki. The project is a multifaceted white volume that is located at the crossroads of three streets in the Hatagaya neighborhood. It has a covered “square” in the middle, with the actual bathrooms arranged all around it. The color choice of white is useful for showcasing artwork and movies, enticing visitors to use the space in various ways, and fostering creativity. For a space that is continuously changing, a seating system in the middle ensures flexibility and dynamism. Metal columns set into the floor can be pulled out and connected with the wooden seats to create different combinations. On the other hand, the restrooms are situated within three triangular constructions that are reachable from both the interior and the exterior of this urban, dynamic design. [...]
18 September 2023A new frog has been found in Papua New Guinea In the Papua New Guinean jungles, scientists have found a frog that resembles a fresh bird dropping. In order to deter predators from eating it, the recently discovered species imitates a dollop of bird poo. The Crater Mountain Treehole Frog, according to The Telegraph, is located near water sources that birds use to hydrate themselves. Young frogs have evolved to resemble brown and white globs of poo in order to avoid becoming a treat for passing birds. As they age, the frogs’ appearance changes, turning lime green and white with spots. “It’s interesting that the little frog coming out looks like bird poo“, said Stephen Richards, a frog expert from the South Australian Museum who led the team that discovered the species. “What a great strategy to avoid predators! It’s a hypothesis, but I reckon it’s a pretty good one”, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The juveniles of the species “have color and patterning that closely resemble bird droppings; we think this is a form of defensive masquerade”, said Dr. Paul Oliver, a scientist from the Queensland Museum who contributed to the findings. The phenomenon is not limited to the natural world; other insects, such as Orchard Swallowtail butterflies and frogs in Asia and South America, also resemble feces, according to Dr. Richards. “Papua New Guinea is spectacularly beautiful, and it is very rugged, so it can be difficult to get into a lot of those sites. It definitely has its challenges. But when you have those spectacular finds, it makes it all worthwhile”, he said. One of the five new species that Dr. Richards and associates from the Queensland Museum and Griffith University recently discovered in the central mountain ranges of Papua New Guinea, one of the world’s richest places for amphibians, is the Crater Mountain Treehole Frog. On the island of New Guinea, of which Papua New Guinea makes up the eastern half, there are about 540 species of frogs that are known, but it is believed that there are many more that have not yet been properly categorized. The scientific journal Zootaxa reported the researchers’ findings. “The new species has juveniles with color and patterning that closely resemble bird droppings, suggesting defensive mimicry or masquerade”, they wrote. The species glues the eggs to tree trunks above tree hollows rather than placing them immediately in rivers or ponds. Tadpoles that have just emerged fall into the water-filled hollows, where they develop into frogs. The scientific name of the Crater Mountain Treehole Frog is Litoria naispela; the second word in this name means “pretty” or “beautiful” in the pidgin language of Papua New Guinea. Red-bellied tree frog A flash of vivid red distinguishes the abdomen of the red-bellied tree frog, another of the new species, which is supposed to serve as a warning to prospective predators. The Lisa’s tree frog, a third find, was given its name in honor of Dr. Richard’s wife and lives in woods in the limestone karst region of southern Papua New Guinea. Photos by Steve Richards [...]
14 September 2023When farting was a job At the request of King Henry II, a man who was famed for his ability to fart, received a manor in Suffolk and a huge 30 acres (12 hectares) of land. In the latter half of the 12th century, Roland le Petour, also known as Roulandus le Fartere, granted land, as was customary for the king’s favorite entertainers. He was presumably a jester who had to jump, whistle, and fart for the amusement of the assembled guests on big occasions. According to this article, the historical reference can be found in the English Liber Feodorum (Book of Fees), which was written in the 13th century and documents feudal landholdings in England or lands that were actually held directly by individuals from the crown. It was well documented that Roland had to execute “saltum, siffletum, pettum” (a jump, a whistle, and a fart). He was obviously a typical fool, using his fart as his stock in trade for this incredibly big parcel of land and Henry’s approval. He received a serjeanty, which is a term used to denote a type of feudal tenure that was contingent upon performing a specific personal service to the monarch other than knightly service. This is how serjeanty allowed Roland to acquire his home and estates. From the translated version of Liber Feodorum: “The serjeanty, which formerly was held by Roland the Farter in Hemingston in the county of Suffolk, for which he was obliged to perform every year on the birthday of our Lord before his master the king, one jump, a whistle, and one fart, was alienated in accordance with these specific requirements”. Valerie Allen, who gave a thorough historical account of Roland in her 2007 book, On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages, discovered that Roland’s historical record is quite scant. Her investigation, which was based on fee ledgers, suggested that Roland may have originally worked for King Henry I before moving on to King Henry II. Roland had already been dismissed when Henry III arrived because the king considered his talent and service quite “indecent”. Roland was forced to give up his estate as a result. It was improbable that Roland would have survived to see the end of two kings’ reigns and a third’s. He was most certainly a beloved and wanted figure, and his tale has brought a lot of joy and entertainment. Due to the fact that flatulence was common to all social classes, no one was immune from the fear of having uncontrollable wind escape from their bodies. Allen claimed that there was a second layer to the situation and that there was more going on than first appeared. “Gas is the product of decomposition, so morally, theologically, a lot of the writers in the Middle Ages saw it as the mark of death. There was a lot of moralization about farts and shit, that they are the living daily reminder that we are going to die and that’s all we are, we are mortal, and sinful as well”, she said. Unexpectedly, Roland did not occupy this singular position in society’s history as some sort of historical oddity. For instance, during the medieval era in Ireland, this vocation was very common. The term “bruigedoire” or “farters,” refers to people who had court retainers, according to an Irish tradition from the eighth century. A table at the banquet hall of the High King of Ireland reputedly belonged to a group of Irish farters known as the braigetori, who were Roland’s contemporaries. “The Image of Irelande”, John Derrick, 1581. Two flatulists can be seen in the right part of the picture. “Not all performing farters were land-owners”, cautions Allen, but there was an established, if not profession, at least specialty. “I should think that for festive occasions this kind of entertainment was central and necessary and must have involved high degrees of skills, a whole range of performance tricks”, she says, “They’re like circus performers”. The Farting God, also known as Matshishkapeu, is a very strong spirit in the Innus mythology of Canada. He is known as a legendary shaman with the power to instantly cause others gastrointestinal pain or make them feel better. He is even more powerful than the fabled Caribou Master, whom Matshishkapeu punished with excruciating constipation before offering him perfect relief after the Caribou Master begged for forgiveness. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), as well, mentioned certain performers who, in his words, had “such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at will, so as to produce the effect of singing… a number of people produce at will such musical sounds from their behind (without any stink) that they seem to be singing from the region”. There is even evidence of flatulist performers from Japan’s Edo era (the 1600s and the 1700s). Misemonos, street performers in Tokyo, were people similar to those in “freak shows”. Kirifuri-hanasaki-otoko was a well-known misemono performer. He is known to have taken in large amounts of air and modulatedly released it in flatulent arias as early as 1774. Farting men, also known as heppiri otoko, were said to have entertained the aristocracy with fart dances during Japan’s Kamakura Era (1185–1333). Roland the Farter was not alone; several cultures appreciated the humor of flatulence. Japanese drawing He-gassen (Fart Battle), 1864 Le Petomane, a famous farter and entertainer in France during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is credited with reviving the flatulence trend in modern times. He came up with a method where he would breathe in through his mouth and exhale through his rectus muscle. He had the ability to blow out candles and smoke cigarettes with his bottom. He could also take water up his rectum and expel it over long distances. According to Saint Augustine, some people could control their flatulence to the point where it could resemble singing! An 1892 drawing of Le Petomane from Paris Qui Rit (Laughing Paris) magazine “He dressed in a tuxedo and announced each sound as if he were presenting a music solo. Of course, the incongruence of a dignified gentleman letting farts only added to the humor”, wrote Jim Dawson, music journalist, and self-titled fartologist. Le Petomane was a French celebrity (f)artist and flatulist, rivaling the fame of Roland the Farter. An advertisement from the Moulin Rouge Even though flatulence has fallen out of favor lately, some performers are still making an effort to carry on the tradition, especially in the age of the internet and video-sharing websites like YouTube. Yet it’s safe to say that no one can compete with Roland the Farter’s ‘airial’ skills. [...]
11 September 2023The provocative power of Toilet Art With controversial works in a variety of media, artists have always pushed boundaries and challenged social standards. Bodily functions and toilet-related art provoke the strongest reaction when it comes to taboo subjects. By including toilets and urination in their installations and sculptures, a number of modern artists have sparked interest, controversy, and discussion. Marjetica Potrč is a Slovenian architect and artist who works out of Ljubljana. Interdisciplinary initiatives, research, case studies in architecture, and drawings are all a part of Potrč’s activity. Her work captures and interprets contemporary architectural practices, including how people interact and use water and energy infrastructure. She is particularly interested in social architecture and the collaboration between communities and governments that might result in more robust and resilient cities. She has emphasized the connection between human society and nature in later initiatives and fought for the rights of nature. Large-scale gallery installations by Potrč, which she refers to as “architectural case studies”, are a distinctive technique that have long been essential to her works. She refers to these homes as “theatrical objects,” but they actually represent actual architectural techniques as they relate to political, social, economic, and environmental concerns. Each time a work is cited, the real situation is depicted in a black-and-white documentary photograph as part of the supporting evidence. Caracas: Dry Toilet (2003-19), is the 9th version of a waterless toilet created for dry zones. This appealing installation is inoperable. The key is to separate the feces from the pee (which runs to the ground and makes the mixture smell unpleasant) before collecting them for composting. The design is the result of local collaboration, in this case with the people of La Vega barrio in the Dominican Republic. The exhibition was at the Nordenhake Gallery. Some of the most astonishing contributions to German contemporary art can be found in Andreas Slominski’s creations. He mostly produced sculptures with lower dimensions in the early 1990s, but in more recent years, he has switched to producing installations with a greater size. Slominski has always been interested in having a direct conversation with the viewer and exploring concepts related to art and how it is perceived. His so-called “traps” are ridiculous-appearing baits that straddle the line between sculpture and practical product. He was motivated by the sculptural elements he noticed in a vole trap. These can be seen as observations of the alluring and deceiving qualities of art. In Slominski’s universe, which also features bicycles, windmills, found objects, and unconventional materials, clever traps are just one of many elements. By placing these commonplace items in an artistic setting, he changes them in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s readymade, exposing the ways in which perception and expectation shape how we view things. In keeping with his satirical approach, he included paint and classical reliefs into his practice in 2006. Traditional painterly subjects were swapped out for kitschy motifs and color schemes, and exquisite marble was typically connected with these forms. 2016 release from Andreas Slominski, “Pissoir mit Korken” at Galerie Neu at the Art Berlin fair are dysfunctional urinals that are a surefire way to make a Duchamp allusion, but Andreas Slominski also calls up his own stream of “trap” works. In these pieces, however, liquid is imprisoned rather than an animal, unless there’s a fly in there. Perversely, the cork also suggests that there might be a potable product. Iman Issa is an Egyptian multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the influence of display on academic and cultural institutions in general. Since 2001, Iman Issa has been creating art using a variety of media, such as text, sculpture, video, and photography. As Issa navigates through history, language, and political and civic duty, memory and familiarity infuse her work. The contents of the Proposal for an Iraq War Memorial include found photographs and film of Baghdad, news reports about the conflict, and snippets from the 1940 Hollywood film The Thief of Baghdad. The voiceover narration was also created and spoken by the artist. The narrator’s nonchalant reaction to the frightening images in the video cleverly alludes to the plight of the media consumer in an era of information overload. The impartial yet implicated narrator used by Issa serves to undermine the voice’s power. German-born artist Dana Widawski, who resides in Berlin, works mostly in sculpture, porcelain, ceramics, installation, drawing, animation, and conceptual art. Dana Widawski first finished an apprenticeship as a painter in the field of advertising design. From 1995 to 2000, she pursued a degree in textile design at the Burg Giebichenstein Academy in Halle. At the Berlin University of the Arts, she earned a Master of Arts after completing graduate studies there from 2000 to 2001 and a degree in Art in Context from 2004 to 2006. ‘Artist’s Rest I – III’ 2014 is a self-portrait on kitschy ceramic tiles, making it practical – as well as thematic – to install them in the room least likely to have art already. There one can contemplate Widawski trying to discover herself as she takes the piss out of any remaining notion of artists as higher beings. The exhibition was displayed at Art Mur in the Positions fair. [...]
7 September 2023Metal, irony, and toilet humor The Italian metal band Merdiolence, whose name is a sort of blending of the words: merda (sh*t) and violence, before changing their name after their first release was part of the underground scene. “Fart of Doom,” the 1993 demo tape by Florentine death-grind band MERDIOLENCE, was reissued by Danex Records. The group changed their name to CRYOGEN shortly after the demo was made available, and they continued to perform until the early 2000s. The date of the vinyl release was June 23, 2023. Merdiolence was one of the forerunners of the early 1990s Tuscan death metal genre, according to metalitalia.com. Filippo Frizzi (guitar and vocals) and Andrea Bracali (drums) founded the group in 1991. They composed three unreleased cassettes of improvised no-fi grindcore, insane screaming, and ironic lyrics at home using homemade instruments and rudimentary equipment. They changed to a trio in the middle of 1991 with Matteo Bennici on bass and vocals, then to a quartet with Vesco on rhythm guitar until Niccol Gallio took his place in 1992. They immediately created their own sound, drawing inspiration from groups like Pestilence, Carcass, and Gorefest, and made their live debut in April 1993. A few weeks later, they make their first official recording, Fart of Doom, which consists of three tracks of fast, original death metal with tempo changes, acoustic inserts, and desecrating lyrics. The self-made demo tape helped Merdiolence establish a cult in Florence and influence other bands at the time. On the back of this initial success, they attempted to establish a name for themselves outside of the local area by producing material that was more sophisticated and complicated, geared toward a more technical and symphonic death, and they made the decision to assume a more “serious” character. As a result, Merdiolence became Cryogen in the spring of 1993. “We used to rehearse in a basement under the church of Isolotto in Florence, shared with other bands, called “la buchina” because of its size and stench. After rehearsals, we would listen to metal (and more) from the croaking stereo of Filippo’s Talbot Samba. In April 1993, we did our first live show in front of a small audience, which showed its enthusiasm with a wild pogo. A few days later, we booked our first studio session at All Music and, in a single day, recorded the tracks of Fart of Doom. The sound engineer was a perplexed but patient Jeppe Catalano, to whose memory this record is dedicated. We printed 300 copies on cassettes with hand-drawn and photocopied artwork and passed them around by word of mouth. In June 1993, at the Flog, we did our last concert under the name Merdiolence. At that point, a new chapter began, and many things happened, the best of which was that we remained friends. But those first two years as Merdiolence remain unforgettable. Now, 30 years later, this record is meant to be a tribute to that ‘Buchina spirit’ and to all the people we shared that time with.”, Merdiolence, 2023 [...]
4 September 2023A collection of photos from WWII depicting German soldiers in a peculiar situation Erik Kessels (1966) is a Dutch artist, designer, curator, and co-founder of the advertising agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam, with a particular interest in photography. In 1996, Kessels and Johan Kramer founded the “legendary and unorthodox” KesselsKramer, together with their publishing house, KesselsKramer Publishing, based in Amsterdam. He frequently publishes his own and other people’s discovered and commonplace photography and is “best known as a book publisher specializing in absurdist found photography”. Noteworthy works include his own In Almost Every Picture and the ongoing series Useful Photography, which he edits alongside others. As Sean O’Hagan noted in The Guardian, “His magazine, Useful Photography, forgoes art and documentary for images that are purely functional. Humor is the unifying undercurrent here, as it is in KesselsKramer’s series of photo books, In Almost Every Picture“. As reported here, his new book Shit is a literal collection of images of Nazi soldiers taking a shit during World War II. In several of them, they are crouching on a wooden bar known as the “Donnerbalken” (bar of thunder) while conducting their business side by side. “About a year ago, I stumbled upon some of the photos on eBay”, recalls the artist. “I’m not sure why, but there’s a pretty big second-hand market for these sorts of images from WWII”. A brief introduction to the photographs’ historical backgrounds opens the book. Kessels claims that, while wishing to give the endeavor some academic credence, he was unable to locate a historian who has expertise in both feces and Nazis. Photos: © Erik Kessels / RVB Books [...]
31 August 2023Kate Bush recorded her own farts on a Fairlight sampler The British singer, songwriter, record producer, and dancer Kate Bush collaborated with Irish musician Dónal Lunny. She is renowned for her unique and inventive art-rock approach and is regarded as one of the most successful and significant female performers in Britain in the late 20th century. She and he worked together on the song Night Of The Swallow, which was included on the The Dreaming album from 1980. As reported here, he recently admitted, “She was a funny, mischievous woman. Somebody told me she sampled a fart on the Fairlight and she would happily play tunes on it!” The Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) was the first commercially available digital audio workstation system. It was created in 1979 by Fairlight’s co-founders Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie and was based on the Qasar-M8 double microprocessor synthesizer starting at $25,000 and going up to $175,000. Since then, it has been replicated numerous times as a plugin and re-released as an iPhone app. It’s encouraging to hear that a skilled artist like Bush may have been employing the technology for puerile purposes even in the early stages of sampling. Peter Gabriel allegedly took delivery of the first Fairlight Series I in the UK and used it extensively on the 1985 albums The Dreaming and the all-conquering Hounds of Love, which introduced the celebrity to the instrument. It appears that Bush continued to use the Fairlight years later. Speaking to International Musician in 1989, the celebrity reportedly confirmed, according to the Kate Bush Encyclopedia: “As we have a Fairlight, it tends to negate us getting in other sampling gear. We’re pretty well covered with the Fairlight and the DX7 for keyboard and the quality of the Fairlight is much better, though so difficult to use. Everyone says that. I used to program it myself but since the new software… I can’t keep up. They keep changing it as soon as I learn to program it”. [...]
28 August 2023A doctor explains why Many people prefer flushing the toilet while sitting on it to reduce odors, especially if they tend to sit on the bowl for too long. But the alarming reason why you should never flush the toilet while seated is that this practice can leave you with spots, warned doctor Mehraveh Seyyed Sayyah, a medical student and influencer, in a video posted to TikTok. This acne can be brought on by E. coli and staphylococcus being thrown into the air and onto your skin. “When the toilet is flushed without closing the lid, small droplets containing bacteria can be released into the air and travel up to two meters”, the medic explained. According to The Sun, toilet bowls frequently harbor a large number of harmful bacteria, especially immediately after use. Staphylococcus and E. coli are dangerous bacteria that can be thrown into the air and land on your skin, potentially causing infections and spots. @dr.mehss When the toilet is flushed without closing the lid, small droplets containing bacteria can be released into the air and travel up to two meters (six feet). To prevent this, it is advisable to always close the lid before flushing. Additionally, maintaining cleanliness and freshness in the bathroom can help prevent the buildup of excess germs that could contribute to acne. #toilet #toilettok #toilettips #acne #acnetreatment #breaout #staphylococcus #bacteria #germs #bodyacne #bodyacnetreatment #inflammation #pores #folliculitus #dryskin #skincare #skincaretips #for #foryou #foryourpage #foryoupage #fyp ♬ NANANA COLA IAN ASHER EDIT Out Now On SoundCloud – Ian Asher E. coli can result in kidney failure, severe stomach pain, and bloody diarrhea. If there are no consequences, the symptoms typically last up to seven days, but certain infections can be quite serious and even fatal. Typically, staph, also known as staphylococcus, only causes skin conditions including boils, spots, and rashes. But if it gets into the bloodstream, it can result in bone and joint infections, pneumonia, or bloodstream infections. “To prevent this, it is advisable to always close the lid before flushing”, the expert said. Also, she advised preserving “cleanliness and freshness in the bathroom” to avoid the accumulation of too many bugs, which could cause acne. In fact, US scientists created a video to explain why it’s so crucial to close the toilet seat before flushing. For the first time, the experts showed how droplets were quickly ejected from a lidless public cubicle using brilliant green lasers and cameras. The particles of poop and pee that emerge from the toilet when you flush were discovered by University of Colorado specialists. After multiple flushes, the droplets may still be present in the toilet, putting others using it at risk of breathing in harmful germs. The alarming findings, which were reported in the journal Scientific Reports, also provide insight into how smaller particles can get past nose hairs and into the lungs deeper than larger ones, making them more dangerous to people. [...]
24 August 2023Scientists made a super toilet using lasers, plastic, and sand  A group of scientists at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, looked for a better toilet bowl as they thought back on thousands of years of toilet history. Now, Yike Li and his colleagues have invented a feature that is sure to please everyone: a super-slippery toilet bowl on which almost nothing can stick. The journal Advanced Engineering Materials has published their study. According to this article, they mixed plastic with hydrophobic sand grains in a 3D printing technique and then injected silicon-based oil into the concoction. The end result was a slick bowl that flushed everything they put in it, including starch-filled gel, artificial excrement, dirty water, rice porridge, milk, and honey. Even after they sandpapered the surface more than 1,000 times, nothing stuck. Even when the researchers used a Stanley knife and file to scrape the dish, it remained slippery. They refer to their invention as ARSSFT—Abrasion-Resistant Super-Slippery Flush Toilet. Nonstick sprays have been used in the past to treat toilets, but they ultimately wear off. The silicon oil penetrates deeply into the surface of the ARSSFT model bowl, which is one-tenth the size of a standard toilet, ensuring non-stick properties while being sufficiently below the surface to prevent leaching out. The research paper claims that the researchers’ motivation went beyond the straightforward desire for a cleaner toilet bowl. Huazhong University’s Li explained, “Globally, toilet flushing alone consumes more than 141 billion liters of water per day, which is six times the African population’s entire water consumption”. The ARSSFT approach can “address the issue of water waste on Earth”, Li said. [...]
21 August 2023They were uncomfortable but also risky The Victorian era saw significant technological advancements along with appalling health and safety regulations. Humans used asbestos in their construction, drank water from lead pipes, and turned their toilets into dreadful deathtraps. You can scarcely blame the Victorians for seeking a simple fix to cold bathrooms that didn’t entail using a stove because life without hot water must have been rather miserable. One of the remedies they came up with, though, occasionally turned out to be lethal. The bathtub itself was heated, much like you would a saucepan, as opposed to heating the water separately and piping it into the bath. 1. Hot water and gas vapors Benjamin Waddy Maughan created the geyser heating system in the United Kingdom in 1868. This gas burner could be installed under the bath, allowing users to heat the water directly. The issues with this technology, which may possibly reach scorching temperatures or even boil someone alive, are obvious to those of us with some common sense. According to this article, baths may become quite hot, and the gas vapors produced by the burner may also pose major risks. For instance, a tale from the Edinburgh Evening News in 1888 describes a man who appeared to have choked on gas vapors in his bathroom before passing out in the bath. He was cooked alive like a lobster while he was unconscious. Not only was the bathwater boiling when he was found, but the bathroom’s pipes had also melted. 2. Poisonous soap In addition to the hazardous plumbing and heating, Victorian England’s bathrooms frequently contained products poisoned with arsenic. People in the 19th century enjoyed adding arsenic to things, including soap, for a variety of reasons. At the time, arsenic produced a lovely shade of green that was quite trendy, and it was also employed in cosmetics to whiten skin. Arsenic wasn’t regulated in Britain until 1903, even though individuals had begun to notice something was wrong with the dangerous powder by the 1860s. Even certain products offered doctor-approved safety guarantees. The Wellcome Collection states that Dr. McKenzie’s arsenic soap was promoted as having an “absolutely harmless” amount of arsenic to promote healthy skin. This claim is particularly amusing and terrifying, given that arsenic poisoning can result in horrifying skin sores as well as death. Regrettably, there were other risks associated with Victorian baths. 3. Terrifying toilets Even though the 19th century saw significant advancements in sanitation, early Victorian plumbing and sewage systems were far from ideal. In London, the River Thames was filled with sewage, and people used cesspools to dump their waste. Yet, in addition to being unpleasant, trash disposal might also be highly dangerous because of the buildup of explosive gases. It wasn’t unusual for the cesspits in London to occasionally catch fire. Cesspools were frequently located in the basements of homes, where it was assumed that the scent would be contained and out of reach. The toilet was positioned above the foul chamber, and the poorer you were, the closer the waste ended up to your living quarters. It might be risky to keep candles or gas lamps so close to the bathroom. The accumulation of methane and hydrogen sulfide in some people’s homes might occasionally cause toilets to spontaneously combust. 4. Lead Lead is a soft, malleable substance that has historically been used to make pipes, particularly in the Roman and Victorian eras. According to The New Statesman, lead was formerly so widely used that the word “plumbing” really stems from the Latin word “plumbum”, which means lead. It might be used to solder toilet cisterns to walls, solder paint to pipes, and many other things. This is excellent if you want to make your bathroom bomb-proof, but not so great if you want to stay healthy. In addition, exposure to lead can be disabling. If you ingest it or breathe it in, it can harm your neurological system and even lower your IQ. If you are exposed to it for a long enough period, it will also kill you, according to the World Health Organization. People started to realize this in the late Victorian era when lead-contaminated environments and particularly lead-contaminated water caused individuals to become seriously ill. For instance, it was discovered that lead pipes and lead-tainted drinking water were to blame for a mass poisoning that occurred in Sheffield in 1889. Similarly to this, lead hot water pipes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were determined to be the source of major sickness there. Lead pipes were still used in the United States until the 20th century, even though the dangers of lead on humans were widely known in the 19th century because it was so convenient for the Victorians. In the US and the UK, lead was employed on such a large scale that pipes are still being removed today. [...]
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