A toilet exploded and injured two government workers in Washington, D.C., and it took a Freedom of Information Act request from Jason Smathers to find out what actually happened: a problem with an air compressor.
As the manager finished surveying the scene, another call came in for a person injured by a toilet on a separate floor. Litsey put out an announcement that the restrooms had closed and purged the system of compressed air that had been flowing into the building’s water tank. Several other toilets were found damaged while Litsey and staff corrected the issues. The next day, as news reports circulated, Litsey’s theory was that someone had turned the compressor on manually and “left it unattended.” While the extent of the injuries is unstated in these exchanges, at least some of the employees saw the humor in the situation.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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