A key challenge in building colonies on the moon is that it's incredibly expensive to transport construction materials to space from Earth. That's why researchers are exploring how moon bases could be mostly constructed from raw materials already there. A team of scientists working with the European Space Agency (ESA) are exploring how urine could be a key ingredient in lunar concrete. A 3D printer could then form the "mud" into structural components. From FEYCT - Spanish Foundation For Science And Technology:
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Scientists from Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, in cooperation with ESA, have conducted several experiments to verify the potential of urine urea as a plasticizer, an additive that can be incorporated into concrete to soften the initial mixture and make it more pliable before it hardens. Details are published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.
"To make the geopolymer concrete that will be used on the moon, the idea is to use what is there: regolith (loose material from the moon's surface) and the water from the ice present in some areas," explains one of the authors, Ramón Pamies, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Murcia), where various analyses of the samples have been carried out using X-ray diffraction.
"But moreover," he adds, "with this study we have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could also be used. The two main components of this body fluid are water and urea, a molecule that allows the hydrogen bonds to be broken and, therefore, reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures."
Last week, an employee of a Starbucks in Mill Valley, California, just north of San Francisco, found a tiny digital camera hidden in a bathroom air freshener. At the time of the police statement below, they hadn't determined whether the camera had wireless connectivity. This particular Starbucks is a bustling hangout for kids from the nearby middle school and high school. Gross. And it probably happens in public restrooms more than I'd care to imagine, which is never.
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The City of Victoria, British Columbia rolls out public "peeosks," essentially urinal-shaped garbage cans, on weekend nights near downtown bars. From CHEK
The six “peeosk” urinals are part of the City of Victoria’s Late Night Program to help ensure “that everyone has a safe and enjoyable night out....”
(Kyle Massey, owner of a new vape shop,) worries the open-air urinal not far from the store’s entrance will hurt his business.
“If they’re going to do it, maybe they should have an enclosed outhouse instead of a urinal like that,” he said.
The City also seems to be unaware that women urinate. Read the rest
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.
In a recent scientific study on overactive urinary bladder syndrome, researchers used the term "latchkey incontinence" to describe "the loss of urine that occurs when one arrives home and puts the key in the lock of one’s front door." From MEL Magazine:
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According to Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urologist in Florida, peeing is a much more complex dance between the mind and body than you might think. “The ability to control how you urinate requires a balance between the muscles and your nerves around your bladder and your urethra working in synch,” he explains. “Some of these functions happen automatically, and some require manual control by the muscles that you naturally control. So when urine is filling up inside your bladder, your bladder naturally expands. When you go to the bathroom, your sphincter around your urethra will relax and your bladder will start to squeeze. This process sounds simple, but it does require the muscles around your urethra, which we call your pelvic floor, to all work and synch.”
He continues, “To keep your bladder healthy, I recommend my patients empty their bladder before they start having extreme ‘got-to-go’ feelings. There’s only so much the bladder can tolerate, and this process gets more complicated with the presence of a prostate, which naturally grows as men get older. All these processes can also be affected by diabetes, strokes, infections and many other medical problems.”
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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