Astronaut Chris Hadfield explains how astronauts wash their hands in the microgravity of space. Formerly the commander of the International Space Station, Hadfield spent nearly six months offworld.
Many people around the world use bidets so they can clean themselves properly after using the toilet. I discovered them in the 1980s in Japan and I installed them in the toilets in my house. (I have the cold-water version, which doesn't require electricity. They cost just [amazon_link asins='B01A17T3N6' template='PriceLink' store='boingboing' marketplace='US' link_id='53065460-75ef-4133-962b-594d344a2f69'] and are truly life-changing.)
In this video we learn why most Americans don't have bidets. It started because US servicemen first saw them in French brothels in WWII and associated them with prostitution. And when bidet manufacturers in the 1960s tried to get Americans warmed up to the idea of bidets, they learned that Americans didn't want to hear about machines that would clean their butts. They would rather use toilet paper and have dirty butts.
Image: YouTube/Tech Insider Read the rest
Some medieval mystics did not bathe as part of a self-scourging ritual, and some medieval sources warned against "excessive" bathing (by which they meant, "patronizing co-ed bathhouses where orgies took place" not "avoiding getting clean"), and some non-medieval, 16th and 18th century doctors warned that bathing was bad for you, but they weren't medieval. Medieval people bathed. Read the rest
...it would look like this. Made from 100% medical grade stainless steel, it "includes a tool with a unique spring and spiral design that can effectively relieve itching and massage the ear canal while cleaning." Look at the different handle design on each pick! It's only $8! I can't think of a better way to perforate my eardrum. Read the rest
In Evaluation of the potential for virus dispersal during hand drying: a comparison of three methods, published in The Journal of Applied Microbiology, researchers from the University of Westminster showed that viruses applied to rubber gloves were aerosolized by Dyson Handblade hand-dryers and spread further than viruses and other germs would be by conventional hand-dryers or paper towels. Read the rest
Most folks use paper,
Some use their hand,
Outdoors they use leaves,
In the desert they use sand.
But what about fruit? You've never wiped your keister with a kiwi?
They make every thing for every purpose in Japan, and now they're making fruit toilet paper. The original article on Rocket News notes that the company which created this bit of fruity foolishness won a design award of note for the product.
The simultaneously strange and endearing qualities of Japan are laid bare in this quote from the manufacturer's website, so helpfully pointed out by Rocket News: "Latona Marketing says of their sweet creation 'Many companies and stores throughout Japan give a roll of toilet paper to customers as a novelty gift to show their appreciation.'"
I want you to try that this upcoming holiday season and let me know how it goes.
Dave Witlock is a practical man. "I have not taken a shower in over 12 years," says the chemical engineer and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate. "No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day. So what’s the basis for assuming that that is a healthy practice?"
Twice a day, Mr. Witlock applies a live bacteria solution of his own design to his skin. To spread the bacteria to everyone else, he has founded a company called AOBiome and is selling a spray that contains live ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB), called Mother Dirt.
From the Mother Dirt website:
Read the rest
Modernization of the Skin Microbiome
The main premise of AOBiome is that human skin was historically colonized with Nitrosomonas, a form of Ammonia-Oxidizing-Bacteria (AOB). AOB have evolved a specialized purpose: they derive their energy solely from consuming (oxidizing) ammonia and urea.
Why do we believe this? AOB are extremely ubiquitous in nature. This is because they play a crucial role in the nitrogen cycle everywhere on the planet. As a result, anywhere that we find ammonia (even if it is thousands of feet below sea level & has never seen daylight), we will find a form of Ammonia-Oxidizing-Bacteria.
But there is one exception: The only place that ammonia exists without AOB is human skin. This seems like an incredible outlier. Knowing how sensitive Nitrosomonas and other AOB are to modern soaps and detergents, we hypothesize that it was modern hygiene and the obsession with “clean” that has stripped us of this crucial microorganism.
Instead of mandating that restaurant employees wash their hands between wiping their asses and making your food, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) says the state should only require them to advise the public of any handwashing policies in place. Read the rest
This is an actual poster that UNICEF used to promote Global Handwashing Day in Uzbekistan schools in 2012. I like to think of it as a brilliant example of why images can speak louder than statistics. After all, I can tell you that 58% of communicable diseases could be prevented with regular handwashing. But, really, would that change your behavior as much as a menacing clown threatening to fist you (I think) if you don't wash up properly? I suspect not.
Our great, collective, ongoing realization that wiping out all the bacteria in our bodies may not actually be a great idea marches on. At Scientific American, Deborah Franklin writes about chronic halitosis — the sort of bad breath that doesn't go away with a simple brushing — and scientists' efforts to cure it by encouraging the growth of some mouth bacteria, instead of pouring Listerine on everything and letting God sort it out. Read the rest
A1 Concepts "Let's Pizza" vending machines are robots that scratch-bake pizzas in three minutes, to order. In this video, the Let's Pizza is demonstrated by a model (made extra weird by dubbing from some unknown language) in the world's most painful looking stilettos, who stresses again and again how hygienic the machine is, producing pizzas "untouched by human hands" and "in a human-free environment." Your robo-pizza is thus prepared "with a guarantee of total hygiene." The dubbing, the rubegoldbergian gadgetry and the strange, squeamish emphasis on hygiene (as though pizza from a mere human kitchen comes covered in boogers, stray pubic hairs and a thin film of DNA) combine to make this the greatest product demo of all time, ever, in the history of the universe.
The brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Claudio Torghel, the machine will be distributed by A1 Concepts, based out of the Netherlands. It's expected to hit our shores later this year, according to the industry website Pizza Marketplace. The company is expected to set up its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta.
(Thanks, Gimlet_eye!) Read the rest