Porthcawl in Wales will install public toilets with systems to prevent people from having sex inside including an alarm, doors that spring open, and a water sprayer. It seems the possibility of false alarms makes this a real, er, shitty idea. From CNN:
Movement sensors inside the toilets will respond to "violent" activity, while weight sensors will be installed to detect the entrance of more than one person, triggering the deterrent measures. The toilets have also been designed to prevent rough sleepers taking shelter inside: If a user remains in the toilet for too long, a warning message will play, while the lights and heating will switch off.
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"I had no money for the toilet when (Lola) ran underneath and we realised it opened on her way back out," said the woman who originally posted the video from Ayr, Scotland.
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New York Times reporters Andy Newman and Ana Fota took one (and sometimes two) for the team by visiting subway station restrooms across New York City. It was a shitty job, but someone had to do it. I guess. From the New York Times:
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Norwood-205th Street, Bronx
The cracked concrete floor of the men’s room looked like it had not been mopped in years. But on the plus side, on the frigid day of our visit, the room was toasty hot.
So hot that someone had wedged takeout Chinese food between the scalding radiator and the wall, possibly to keep it warm — a full container of shrimp-fried rice and brown-breaded nuggets.
“That’s no good,” said the station supervisor, S. Hope, when we brought it to his attention. “That will melt and catch fire.” He threw it out.
In the women’s room, fire safety has apparently been learned the hard way. “No storage within three (3) feet,” read a sign on the floor beside a radiator covered in burn marks. The radiator was working fine, though. The environment was reminiscent of the tropical monkey habitat at the Central Park Zoo.
(Mr. Hope said the bathrooms are cleaned three times a day.)
The main door to the women’s room has a peephole to let you see who’s in the hall. But it does not lock. “People hert people,” reads graffiti on the door.
The women’s room offered another unexpected sight: a man, standing at the toilet. He apologized on his way out, but offered no explanation.
Smart toilets that analyze urine and poop in the bowl have been demonstrated for years, but now Rochester Institute of Technology engineers have integrated multiple kinds of biosensors into the toilet's seat. The WiFi-enable systems tracks EEG, blood oxygen levels, and the heart's pumping force. From IEEE Spectrum:
If the monitoring system works as expected, the device could help catch early signs of heart decline and decrease the number of hospitalizations for heart patients.
To test their seat, the team gathered blood pressure and blood oxygenation measurements from 18 volunteers in a laboratory who were instructed to sit on the seat but not urinate, defecate, or talk. Urination and defecation can shift readings since they put minor stress on the body, says Conn. While the system currently operates with algorithms that analyze signal quality, in the future Conn also plans to incorporate algorithms to identify and reject those inevitable bathroom moments from the data set.
But even if a person is fidgety on the toilet and the system fails to record a clean signal, there is always the next time. “If you’re not going to pick it up in the morning, you might pick it up at night. People are going to continuously use this seat,” says (researcher Nicholas) Conn.
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As Halloween approacheth, perhaps it's time to tour the world's most troubling and terrifying toilets, courtesy of Phil from Toilets With Threatening Auras. Read the rest
It doesn't matter what tech you opt for – composting toilets, incinerator toilets or, as we have in our rig, a john connected to a holding tank – if you live in an RV, sooner or later you're going to wind up handling your own waste.
The first time we dumped out tanks, it didn't go so well.
We hadn't quite started living in our old 1991 Triple E Empress just yet. At the time, we were busy downsizing our lives to fit into the motorhome, and my wife was enrolled in a week-long wilderness first aid course, in Canmore, Alberta. Normally, she would've had to spring for a hotel. But screw that, we were RV owners! We opted to parking-lot-surf for five days instead. Outside of a few frustrations that came from getting to know the Empress' heating and electrical systems, it was a comfortable week that made us feel like we'd made a good choice in buying the rig as our new home.
The Empress was an early example of the large class A RVs that you see on the road today. It was five feet shorter than our current rig, and has no slide outs. Despite its 35-foot length, things were a little bit more cozy at times than we would have liked. The Empress came with basement storage compartments. It was one of the reasons we chose it. Between my wife's dive gear, extras from our apartment that we weren't sure of whether we'd need or not, and the hardware I need to do my job, there wasn't much storage space to spare. Read the rest
Toilet snakes are reaching epidemic proportions in some parts of the world, but no more than in Mike Green's bathroom. Read the rest
Toilet aficionados and sewer connoisseurs never settle for boring bathroom fixtures. For a cool $16,500, you too could impress your guests with a venus fly trap urinal, just like Oto Cadsky. Read the rest
Mr. Friendly is a waterless public urinal that integrates a video screen to show you ads while you pee. This is just begging for "gamification." From the Dutch manufacturer:
Mr. Friendly Toilet (via Neatorama)
Every gentleman knows that a toilet break is a moment of relaxation. This is when we have “time on our hands”. We seize that perfect moment with our unique Mr.Friendly urinal. Sponsors of environmentally friendly urinals are happy with that moment when they can display a nice video to introduce themselves.
As a location holder you can also use the built-in display. Communicate your message at a unique moment.
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Inspired by the $6,000 Alexa-controlled toilet at CES, Jonathan Gleich hacked together his own one-tenth the cost. The base of this smart throne is the Brondell Swash 1400 Luxury Bidet Toilet Seat, available for $650 from Amazon. The other components are a $46 auto flusher, $23 infrared link, and $17 Adafruit Feather HUZZAH microcontroller.
Gleich posted directions to make your own over at Instructables: "Alexa Controlled Toilet"
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Silicon Valley has reinvented the pay toilet. But this time, you have to use an app to get in, yielding metadata (foeterdata?) to the powers that be. Yield the who, what, when and where of your bowel movements with Good2Go, the shittiest valley startup yet. Their turd-key solution is free now, but you'll have to spend a penny later.
As photographed above by Christopher Kennedy (website), a developer from San Francisco: "Welcome to app hell. You need an app or a printed QR code to use the bathroom here. The app is “free for a limited time” so after that, I imagine they plan to disrupt pay toilets. Silicon Valley is a parody unto itself. You cannot democratize access to utilities by making a gated community of smartphone and subscriber users."
Find and securely access modern restrooms – all through your smartphone ...
Q: Do I have to pay for Good2Go if I’ve made a purchase at the café?
A: No. Café patrons can ask the barista for a QR code or download the app for free.
Q: How much does it cost to use the app?
A: All subscriptions to Good2Go are free for a limited time!
Q: Is Good2Go only available in San Francisco?
A: San Francisco is now live and we will be launching in other major cities soon. Want Good2Go in your city?
The only civilized thing to do, if you encounter one of these, is to play Louis Armstrong's We Have All The Time In The World at maximum volume while taking a dump on the floor in front of it. Read the rest
In Alor Setar, Malaysia, married couple Zul Hanif Anip, 25, and his wife Puteri shot this video of a strange slithering creature emerging from their toilet. Anip insists that it didn't look anything like any snake he'd ever seen. He claims they captured the creature and release it into the river.
"I think the creature grew up inside the pipe works connected to the toilet hole, because I have checked and there is no entry point for it to have got inside," Anip said. "He was about two meters [6.5 feet] long with a very fat, thick body. I'm not sure if it was a snake or a kind of tidal creature or from the swamp.
"Its head was very small and it had a short tail, which did not look like a snake."
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Mike Greene of Lattimore, North Carolina is a good neighbor. When the 88-year-old man down the street called Mike to help get a snake out of his toilet, he was happy to help. After all, he'd had plenty of practice.
"When I arrived, only the tail of the snake was visible, so I had to reach in and pull the snake out of the toilet," Greene says. "It was a very long black rat snake, about 6-feet-long. This was the sixth snake that I have removed from the same toilet in the past four years."
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r/TFABAARBI, as in That's Fucking Awesome But Also A Really Bad Idea, is my new favorite subreddit, featuring all sorts of cool things that are, nonetheless, serious mistakes. I have selected a few here for your context-free enjoyment.
Last, but not least, quicksand fun!
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Sadly, it's already sold out, but Trump tweets toilet paper is perhaps the gift of 2017. While you're waiting for stock to replenish, you can instead wipe your arse on his face. Read the rest
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. Read the rest
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." Read the rest