"America's Best Bathroom" is a small town's public toilet

The small town of Minturn, Colorado won the 2015 America's Best Bathroom Contest put on by Cintas, a company that handles restroom cleaning and supplies among other things. Minter's Town Planning Director Janet Hawkinson was involved in the design of the restrooms, inspired by the entrances to gold and silver mines. From the Denver Post:

The two restrooms, one for men and one for women, sit a few feet apart and feature fabricated wood pieces — 320 different pieces total — on the sides where they face each other to mimic an adit, or an entrance to a mine in honor of Minturn's rich mining history. Inside the bathrooms, walls are painted turquoise and copper and feature steel butterflies on the ceiling. Conception, design and construction were all done locally.

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How rats can swim up your toilet to terrorize you


Rats can tread water for up to three days, and hold their breath under water for three minutes. Read the rest

After winning poker tournament, gentleman caught flushing fake poker chips down toilet


Christian Lusardi, 43, of Fayetteville, North Carolina was pleased to win $6,814 in an Atlantic City poker tournament. But he was sad when his attempt to get rid of $3.6 million of counterfeit casino chips he'd used in the tournament was unsuccessful. Mr. Lusardi pleaded guilty to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief and will spend five years in prison. According to Carbon Poker, Lusardi is "already in prison for 5 years right now stemming from a bootleg DVD case where he made over $1 million."

Yahoo News:

Authorities said Lusardi, after suspecting the fake chips had been noticed, flushed them down the toilet in his room at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, where he had been staying. But the chips clogged the pipes, and guests on the floor below complained that water was dripping into their rooms.

Mr. Lusardi was also ordered to pay the Borgata hotel $463,540 for having to cancel the rest of the tournament and Harrah's Casino Hotel $9,455 for clogging the plumbing. Read the rest

App for subscribing to a network of clean NYC bathrooms


For $25/month, you can soon have access to a network of guaranteed clean bathrooms in New York City through a new app called Looie. The service launches in July with seven bathrooms at cafes and restaurants in TriBeCa. Read the rest

This might be the nicest gas station restroom on earth

It's in Bohol, Philippines. Read the rest

Korean toilet unclogger

[Video Link] This Korean toilet unclogger looks neat, but looks risky. I would be nervous about it bursting. Maybe the plastic film is too strong for that to happen. You also have to make sure the seal is perfect, otherwise you run the risk of getting squirted with dirty toilet water. (If you are grossed out by dirty toilet water, don't watch this video.) Read the rest

Man "seriously injured" by exploding toilet

Michel Pierre of New York received serious shrapnel wounds to his face, arms and legs when the toilet exploded in his Brooklyn apartment. From AFP:

'The 58-year-old information technology specialist is now so fearful that he uses a rope to flush the toilet from behind the bathroom door at a safe distance.

"Those fears are part of his damages," said his lawyer Sanford Rubenstein. "Clearly toilets are supposed to flush, not explode." Three other tenants were also injured by what the Daily News website dubbed "the porcelain bomb."'

Air pressure in the pipes, or something. Read the rest

How the Russians pee in space

I don't know if I can fully define human nature, but I'm pretty sure it includes a prurient and/or practical interest in how one uses the bathroom under strange circumstances. Thus, the various videos you've seen over the years explaining how astronauts use the toilet on board the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Until a recent visit to Seattle's Museum of Flight, however, I'd never seen how cosmonauts do their business — an issue with increasingly broad reach, now that Americans and other international space voyagers are being ferried into the heavens aboard Soyuz.

The Soyuz toilet does not look much like the ones on board the Shuttle or the ISS. Those are recognizably toilets, for one thing. The Soyuz sanitary unit is more akin to peeing into a soda bottle in the back seat of the family station wagon — if that soda bottle were hooked up to a vacuum cleaner.

This video — kindly shared with us by The Museum of Flight — was filmed in 2009 by NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. It features the urination demonstration talents of spaceflight adventurer Charles Simonyi and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. Please note that this video only demonstrates how the "part Number 1" works — and even that really only seems to apply to gentlemen cosmonauts. As best I can tell, women apparently just pee into something akin to a compact diaper or sanitary pad. (Fun!) As for "part Number 2", here is how it was described in a 2007 NASA publication written by James Lee Broyan, Jr.:

For fecal collection, a porous bag is placed in the receptacle.

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Biblical toilet rolls roil Scandinavia

A toilet paper maker has apologized for Biblical quotes, including the words of Jesus, which it "inadvertently" included on novelty wipes marketed in Scandinavia. "Bible verses do not belong on a roll of toilet paper," said Bishop of Tunsberg Laila Riksaasen Dahl. [Globe and Mail] Read the rest

Pubic hair stuck to a urinal forms a treble clef

A redditor called Frankie842 snapped a photo of a public hair stuck to a urinal in a near-perfect treble clef. I once experienced something like this, back when I was roomming with Possum Man. We'd cooked a pot of spaghetti and we tried the technique of tossing a strand against the wall to see if it would stick. It landed in just this configuration and we left it up on that wall for years after.

1 in a million chance musical pubic hair (imgur.com) Read the rest

How to: Use a squat toilet

In 2007, my husband and I were privileged enough to take a month off and travel around Europe. Given that we spent most of our time in Western Europe, there really wasn't a whole lot of cultural confusion, with a few notable exceptions*. Chief among them, the squat toilets we stumbled across at a very inconvenient moment in Italy. "Inconvenient moment" here defined as "actually having to use the bathroom."

My friend Frank Bures is a travel writer and he understands the squat toilet problem all too well. Frank is, after all, somebody who has traveled extensively in places where squat is all you got. In a piece from 2006, he shares some hard-earned advice on squat toilets. How I wish I had read this before my venturing into small towns in coastal Italy.

Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth is probably the world’s foremost expert on excretion, a real Buddha of Bowel Movements, and she’s not afraid to get into the details. “My technique when I’m teaching volunteers about to go abroad,” said the author of How to Shit Around the World from her UK office, “is that when you’re learning, you need to take everything off below your waist: socks, shoes, pants, underwear. Then squat over the toilet. Pour water over your bum, and with your left hand, just whittle away with your fingers and try to dislodge any lumpy bits while pouring water. And that’s actually not too unaesthetic, because any mess that goes onto your fingers comes off in the water.”

What to do: Most important: Cultivate the right mindset.

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