Bidets have never caught on in the United States, perceived as a fixture meant for posh hotels an prissy home bathrooms. Of course they're quite the norm in Europe, Japan, and other regions. But not only are bidets more sanitary than toilet paper, they're actually much more eco-conscious. From Scientific American:
Justin Thomas, editor of the website metaefficient.com, considers bidets to be “a key green technology” because they eliminate the use of toilet paper. According to his analysis, Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees. Says Thomas: “This also involves 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to produce the paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine for bleaching.” He adds that manufacturing requires about 17.3 terawatts of electricity annually and that significant amounts of energy and materials are used in packaging and in transportation to retail outlets.
To those who say that bidets waste water, advocates counter that the amount is trivial compared to how much water we use to produce toilet paper in the first place.
This non-electric Greenco Bidet is $25 on Amazon and has many adoring fans.
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Japan's leading bidet toilet manufacturers (including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba) have come together through their industry association, the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, to agree upon a common set of UI conventions for the meanings of the icons on the buttons on the bidets' control panels, thus ending an era in which you might think you were getting "wash and dry" but actually ended up with "layer-cut and dye-job."
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San Antonio, Texas has what is probably the world's largest collection of toilet seat art under one roof: Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. Take a couple of minutes to enjoy Wes Plate's profile of a charming old guy's lifelong hobby. Read the rest
People need toilets, or the poop starts piling up, so video games that are supposed to simulate human environments need toilets to attain willing suspension of disbelief.
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NASA issued a public $30,000 bounty "for fecal, urine, and menstrual management systems to be used in the crew’s launch and entry suits over a continuous duration of up to 144 hours." From the competition brief:
Current space suits are worn for launch and entry activities and in-space activities to protect the crew from any unforeseen circumstances that the space environment can cause. A crew member could find themselves in this suit for up to 10 hours at a time nominally for launch or landing, or up to 6 days if something catastrophic happens while in space.
The old standby solution consisted of diapers, in case astronauts needed to relieve themselves. However, the diaper is only a very temporary solution, and doesn’t provide a healthy/protective option longer than one day.
What's needed is a system inside a space suit that collects human waste for up to 144 hours and routes it away from the body, without the use of hands. The system has to operate in the conditions of space - where solids, fluids, and gases float around in microgravity (what most of us think of as "zero gravity") and don't necessarily mix or act the way they would on earth. This system will help keep astronauts alive and healthy over 6 days, or 144 hrs.
Space Poop Challenge (HeroX) Read the rest
If you have ever swallowed 20 golf balls, a pound of orange peels, or a pound and a half of chicken nuggets, then worried your habits might overwhelm your toilet, you might need this workhorse. Read the rest
Now you too can spend a penny in a priceless pissoir: New York's Guggenheim Museum is inviting visitors to take a slash in a gold toilet created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Read the rest
Upcycler extraordinaire Rodney Allen Trice turned salvage toilet bowls into designer lighting! From Refitting the Planet
To contribute my ideas and vision and energies in the arena of creative repurposing or applied deconstruction was an honor.
here are some off the initial sketches and the build of THE TOILET CHANDELIER. My latest, largest and first piece built in my studios new home base of PITTSBURGH, yinz!!!
Very Exciting! Now I am making tweaks and changes to this design. There are still things to work out as it was a race to complete it at this event on Saturday, but the piece will be on permanent display at Construction Junction forevermore once completed! WOO HOO!!
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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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Rats can tread water for up to three days, and hold their breath under water for three minutes. Read the rest
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."
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
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
It's in Bohol, Philippines. Read the rest
] 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
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
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.:
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For fecal collection, a porous bag is placed in the receptacle.
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