Gives new meaning to "going in the car"
Tue Oct 23, 11:30 AM
TOKYO (Reuters) - If you're stuck in traffic when Mother Nature calls, Japan's Kaneko Sangyo Co. has developed the loo for you.
The manufacturer of plastic car accessories drew back the curtain on Tuesday on its new portable toilet for cars.
The toilet comes with a curtain large enough to conceal users and a plastic bag to collect waste.
"The commode will come in handy during major disasters such as earthquakes or when you are caught in a traffic jam," a company official told reporters, according to Kyodo News.
Japan is situated on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
Drivers stranded by tectonic movements or stuck in tailbacks simply assemble the cardboard toilet bowl, fit a water-absorbent sheet inside and draw round the curtain.
The product is small enough to fit inside a suitcase, the company said.
But prospective customers will have to hang on until November 15, when the firm begins selling the new product online.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Clean loo campaigner to open toilet-shaped home
by Lim Chang-Won Thu Oct 11, 12:54 AM ET
SEOUL (AFP) - Sim Jae-Duck was born in a restroom and now he plans to live and die in one -- a 1.6 million dollar toilet-shaped house designed to promote his tireless campaign for cleaner loos worldwide.
Sim will open what is billed as the world's one and only toilet house on November 11 to mark the launch of his World Toilet Association.
The 419-square-metre (4,508-sq-foot) concrete and glass structure is rising on the site of Sim's former home in his native city of Suweon, 40 kilometres (24 miles) south of Seoul.
Before he moves in, anyone who is flush with funds can rent it for 50,000 dollars a day -- with proceeds going to his campaign to provide poor countries with proper sanitary facilities.
Apart from two bedrooms, two guestrooms and other rooms, the two-storey house -- of course -- features three deluxe toilets. Unlike the giant "toilet" in which they are located, they will not be see-through affairs.
"A showcase bathroom screened by a glass wall is located in its centre, while other toilets have elegant fittings or water conservation devices," Sim told AFP.
The showcase loo will feature a device producing a mist to make users feel secure. An electronic sensor will raise the lid automatically when people enter, and there will also be music for patrons.
The house, complete with a stream and small garden in front, is named Haewoojae, meaning "a place of sanctuary where one can solve one's worries".
Sim's birth in a restroom was in line with traditional beliefs.
"It was intentional. My mother followed advice from my grandmother that people born in restrooms will enjoy long lives," said the 74-year-old.
Sim's campaign began during his term as Suweon mayor from 1995 to 2002. His drive to transform toilets into "clean and beautiful resting places imbued with culture" earned him the nickname "Mayor Toilet".
Public restrooms in the city were jazzed up with paintings, fresh flowers or even small gardens. His achievements prompted Sim to launch the Korea Toilet Association in 1999, in time for South Korea's co-hosting with Japan of the football World Cup three years later.
Then he decided to take his clean toilets drive worldwide. The proposed World Toilet Association might be seen to rival squeaky-clean Singapore, where the World Toilet Organisation is based, but Sim has said the work of the two bodies will not overlap.
Indeed, he hopes his toilet house will highlight the global need for better sanitation.
"My family has already agreed to preserve this house as a symbol of South Korea's new toilet culture after my death," he said. "The house will be remembered as an example of saving mankind from diseases and protecting the environment."
Sim, a member of parliament, will host the World Toilet Association's inaugural meeting which he hopes will attract 300 representatives from 70 countries.
On the final day he plans to invite all participants to his house, which he said "envisions a new concept to place toilets in the centre of our life".
Sim said his campaign will focus on setting international standards for clean public toilets, adding that countries such as Mongolia, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil are actively supporting it.
Epidemics caused by poor sanitation worldwide cost two million lives a year, he said. Worldwide, 2.6 billion people live without toilets. Elsewhere, poorly designed flush toilets waste vast amounts of potential drinking water, he added.
A future project in his active mind is IT-based toilets, where people can check their health or surf the Internet.
"Toilets were once regarded as stinking and dirty places. Not any more. They must be treated as the sanctuary that protects human health," Sim said.
Human waste can help save planet: Indian expert
Wed Oct 17, 6:31 AM
NEW DELHI (AFP) - A cheap system to recycle human waste into biogas and fertiliser may allow 2.6 billion people in the world access to toilets and reduce global warming, an Indian environmental expert said Tuesday.
Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, said his group plans to push the system at the seventh annual World Toilet Summit, to be held in New Delhi at the end of October.
The organisation is dedicated to providing toilets to nearly 730 million people in India who lack them.
"The Millennium Development Goals set in South Africa in 2002 aim by 2015 to cut by half the 2.6 billion people worldwide who lack toilets and provide them to all by 2025," Pathak said at a briefing ahead of the summit.
He said India's contribution would be a toilet system that organically breaks down faeces into trapped biogas that can be burned to provide cooking fuel and electricity, and convert urine into fertiliser.
"Now we want others to know about this technology which was recently installed at Kabul, Afghanistan, because it can help meet the Millennium Development Goals and reduce global warming."
Founded in 2001 as a non-profit organisation, the World Toilet Organisation aims to make sanitation a key global issue and now says it has 55 member groups from 42 countries
'Memorial toilet' proposed in London for gay playwright
Wed Oct 17, 10:53 AM
LONDON (AFP) - A trader proposing a new set of public toilets in a popular north London entertainment district has come up with a novel way to sell the idea -- name them after gay playwright Joe Orton.
But Mike Weedon's suggestion has its critics.
One told the local newspaper it would be an "insult" to Orton's memory while the council said it didn't think it was appropriate.
Orton, celebrated in the 1987 film "Prick Up Your Ears", wrote a series of popular but controversial plays, including "Loot", "What the Butler Saw" and "Entertaining Mr Sloane".
In the era of "Swinging London", he was also know for his clandestine gay trysts in public toilets in and around his home in Islington at a time when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain.
"I think having a toilet with a blue plaque dedicated to him would suit his personality," said Weedon, who belongs to a local traders group.
"He did what he did because it was the only place he could do it in those days and I think it would show how attitudes have changed," he told the weekly Islington Gazette.
"We wouldn't be celebrating cottaging (gay sex in public toilets) -- we would be celebrating how much more liberal we are these days," he added.
Islington Council's deputy leader Terry Stacy admitted more public conveniences were needed as the area was popular with pub- and club-goers, but said naming them after Orton was a step too far.
"I would only support a blue plaque on a toilet if something worth commemorating happened there, and I doubt there is a toilet in the country that can lay claim to that," he said.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
How To Use a Squat Toilet
Frank Bures World Hum
The Situation: You’re sitting at a bar in the middle of Nigeria when you feel a rumble below your ribcage: the ominous tremors before the eruption. It’s the distant roar of a train coming down the intestinal tract. Ain’t nothing gonna stop it.
You look in your bag and see a cardboard tube that used to have white paper rolled around it, paper that suddenly seems to a have had a magical quality, paper that has been your friend and companion since you were a wee one, paper you learned how to use years ago, and which hasn’t been mentioned since.
But you’re a long way from Kansas and with no idea how people do it here sans paper. This is information that can be extremely hard to come by. It doesn’t come up at dinner. It’s about the last thing anyone wants to talk about at a bar. And it’s a little too weird to ask your host family about it. Besides, there wouldn’t be time for the conversation, even if you could figure out how to bring it up.
Now, of course, is the worst time to try to acquire this valuable bit of data. But now is when you usually start to think about it. Now is when you grasp the wonder of toilet paper. And now is when you realize you aren’t nearly as culturally immersed as you thought you were.
Now is when you wish you knew how to wipe like most people on the planet.
Background: Squatting is an ancient practice, but knowledge of it has recently been lost in the West. The flush toilet wasn’t even invented until 1596. And toilet paper didn’t become popular until the 1900s. According to the Toilet Paper Encyclopedia, pre-TP, humans used corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalogs, mussel shells, newspaper, leaves, sand, hayballs, gompf sticks and the end of old anchor cables on ships. Ouch!
But the good folks at the TPE seem blissfully unaware that most of the world’s people still use neither toilet paper, nor western sit-down crappers. Nor do they use corn cobs, gompf sticks or anchor cables. Because, while most of us in North America and Europe sit, people on just about every other continent squat, using water and their left hand. In much of Africa and Asia you can be hard-pressed to find anything else besides the squatter.
Beginning Squatting: I called Doug Lansky, a traveler and travel writer who knows the hardships of squatting. “It’s difficult,” said Lansky, who edited a book called, There’s No Toilet Paper on the Road Less Traveled.
“There aren’t any helpful directions, like a seatback pocket, that show you how to use a squat toilet. You have to sort of find your own technique, whether you’re up more on the balls of your feet, or whether you get a little more comfortable and put your heels down. And if you get advanced, you can even bring the newspaper in with you. That’s sort of the double black diamond mogul run of squatting.”
World Hum travel advice guru and Vagabonding author Rolf Potts has also seen a few squatters in his day. “In places like India, and many parts of Asia,” he told me, “a bathroom won’t have toilet paper. It will have a little cup of water. Basically, after you’ve done your business, you take your left hand and wash the exit hole of fecal matter, then wash your hand. That’s why nobody shakes hands with their left hand in most of Asia and the Middle East, because that’s your ass-wiping hand.”
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.”
Advanced Squatting: Do above. Read The Wall Street Journal Asia.
What to do:
Most important: Cultivate the right mindset. Relax, pretend like you’ve been doing this for years. Remember, using your hand is (according Wilson-Howarth) actually more hygienic, not less, than using toilet paper. “You get good bacteriological cleaning with just rubbing your hands together with soap under running water four times,” she says, and cites a study which says you don’t even need soap. “It can be ash or mud, just rubbing your hands together under water with some kind of washing agent. Even dirt from the river bank will give you good bacteriological cleaning.”
In other words, the dirtiness is primarily in your mind, as Potts found out one day on the road. “I think it was when I was traveling through Southeast Asia that I eventually got caught out,” he told me, “and was forced into this mental power situation where I just willed myself to use the water. It was very strange. We’re not culturally conditioned to have that kind of intimacy with our butthole. So I just sort of had to—it’s sort of like riding a bike, or having sex for the first time—I just had to figure out what I was doing. Then, of course, I washed my hands extensively afterwards. But that’s when I realized it’s not that big of a deal.”
What not to do:
• Don’t ignore your pockets mid-squat. “Don’t lose your wallet, cell phone or passport,” cautioned Dean Visser, who has lived in Asia for more than 15 years. “If you do, chances are you’ll have to tell someone how it happened. I speak from hard-won experience, Little Grasshopper.”
• Don’t use glossy magazine pages. (See: Smearing)
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions. “It’s a difficult topic,” said Howarth-Wilson “Just because they’re embarrassed about it, people don’t even know where to have a shit sometimes, so they won’t ask where the right place is to defecate. They do a dump and run, then everyone is ending up encountering this stuff.”
• Don’t lean back too far.
• Don’t forget to pour a little water in, if it’s a porcelain/metal squatter, before you go, to help wash it all down afterward.
Preparation: It’s a good idea to get a few, er, dry runs in while still at home. Because with practice, you can get it down. After all, as Lanksy and others pointed out, we are biologically designed to squat. It’s the fine tuning we lack.
“The technique,” said Wilson-Howarth, “is to use a lot of water so you’re not actually scraping shit off your ass. What you’re doing is facilitating washing it off. But if you’re a learner at this, and you don’t take your bottoms off, it splashes onto your pants and you look as if you had an accident, and everyone laughs at you when you come out.”
Traveling benefits: Mastering the squatter will save you tons of heartache, stomachache, time, comfort and embarrassment. It works; it’s clean; and it will give you the fearlessness to travel anywhere.
Besides, you’ll never step out of the toilet in that Nigerian bar looking like you just stepped out of the shower.
* * * * * *
Frank Bures is no longer baffled by bidets, stumped by squatters or a prisoner of paper. He is free to go wherever, or however, the road takes him.
And example of a link I found on the site:
Queenstown, New Zealand Hotel Unzips Eye-opening New Loo
2005-10-18 Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel and the Sofitel Melbourne often attract visitors from around the world who want to visit a loo with a spectacular view. Now Queenstown's newest hotel, Sofitel Queenstown, is joining that prestigious list with the most eye-opening male toilet of them all.
The second floor men's toilet, which services the complex's restaurants including Bezu and Fatz Cat, has been tastefully and aesthetically designed by the complex's developers Cam Marsh and Mark Perriam of Perron, and Brett Taylor of Group CDA. It features six unique individual 'stands' manufactured by Three Sixty Limited in Auckland.
But it's not the tasteful design or subtle lighting that has tongues wagging in the New Zealand resort town.
It is the six-metre long backdrop of life-size photographs featuring local models in varying poses directly behind each of the six stands - each with a full view of the action.
One has a tape measure out, one a pair of binoculars, another has a camera, a fourth is peering over her glasses and so the list goes on.
Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the images were going to be placed.
'We had a lot of fun with the shoot, made all the better for the fact that there weren't any men there when we did it,' said Sheena.
Queenstown Signs made up the huge posters which are protected (naturally enough) by a backlit glass wall, and there are plans to change the images on a regular basis.
'We were casting around for ideas with our Auckland creative agency Ideology to do something a bit different in the men's room when we hit on this,' said Perron Marketing Manager Peter Dallimore.
'The wall has only been in place for just over a fortnight and we've already had some very funny feedback. It's used by guests or visitors to restaurants and bars within the Sofitel complex.
'One guy said it was a bit disconcerting to be 'going about his business' and to have so many pairs of eyes watching him, a bit like the Mona Lisa effect. Others have called it 'hilarious' or say it makes them feel like going to the gym.'
Flush with success, Sofitel General Manager Mark Wilkinson said the men's 'loo art' had been a great talking point.
'It emulates the 'signature toilets' of some great hotel complexes around the world such as those in Hong Kong's Peninsula hotel, and the 35th floor toilets with an amazing wrap-around view in the Sofitel Melbourne.
'It's just a bit of fun and there have been big queues outside ever since word got out. We plan to change the look on a regular basis.'
Mr Wilkinson said he was now under pressure from those of the female persuasion to decorate the neighbouring women's toilets with something equally eye-catching.
'Christmas is coming so watch this space!' he said.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
with a fancy toiletand a small but deep tub.
I was amused by the instructions for the toilet, especially #1: "Sit down on the seat."
Some safety warnings for the toilet:
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I wonder what men think of this!!! Some woman's voice coming at them when they are standing at the urinal taking a leak... lol
As a one-of-a-kind, fully functional interactive device, Wizmark can talk, sing, or flash a string of lights around a promotional message when greeting a "visitor". The large anti-glare, water-proof viewing screen is strategically located just above the drain to ensure guaranteed viewing without interruptions. Using the elements of surprise and humor in a truly unique location will allow Wizmark, in combination with your ad, to make a lasting impression on every male that sees it.
In New Mexico
... "Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks?" a female voice says a few seconds after an approaching male sets off a motion sensor in the device. "It's time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride home."The message is a way to reach one group that is a target of state safety campaigns, Transportation Department spokesman S.U. Mahesh said. Men commit about three times as many drunken-driving infractions as women.
The devices are manufactured by a New York-based company called Healthquest Technologies Inc., which also sells a product for women's restrooms that flashes messages on a screen affixed to the stall door.The urinal version, called a Wizmark Interactive Urinal Communicator, was invented by Richard Deutsch, who says there's no other device like it on the market. Public awareness campaigns in New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Australia have used the devices, as have commercial advertisers. "The idea is based on the concept that there is no more captive audience than a guy standing at a urinal," Deutsch said. "You can't look right and you can't look left; you've got to look at the ad."
TEXT OF THE NEW CAMPAIGN
Hey there, big guy. Having a few drinks? Then listen up. Think you've had one too many? Then it time to call a cab or ask a sober friend for a ride hope. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight. Don't drink and drive. Remember, your future is in your hand.
[The New Mexican]
In New York
... When guys leave a bar, the bathroom is usually the first place they visit before they go to their cars. And now, when men step up to the urinal at participating pubs, they'll hear this public service announcement as they relieve themselves:
"Hey, you! Yeah, you! Having a few drinks? Then, listen up! Think you've had one too many? Maybe it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home. It's sure safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI! Make the smart choice tonight. Don't drink and drive!" ... [ABC News]
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Teens turn out to be underarmed and dangerous...
A group of young German women used so much spray deodorant in the bathroom of a North Sea youth hostel that it set off a fire alarm and brought the local fire brigade rushing to the rescue, police said Monday.
"The fumes of the pleasant-smelling deodorant were so intense that they drifted up to the ceiling and set off a fire detector," said Volker Buttgereit of the Buesum police force.
Local authorities said they were also surprised the heavy use of deodorant could set off the alarm. "Hopefully the girls will get by with a little less spray next time," said Buttgereit.
Friday, February 9, 2007
Gadget toilet made for modern kings and queens
Think you deserve a throne? A U.S. plumbing firm has created a luxury toilet equipped with laptop computer and flat-screen TV which it plans to give away in an online sweepstake.
Ohio-based Roto-Rooter says its "Pimped Out John" is designed to "fulfill all your wildest bathroom dreams." Special features include an iPod music player and speakers, an Xbox video game console, a refrigerator filled with drinks and snacks and a cycling exercise machine.
"The bathroom is the perfect place for your very own throne. It shouldn't always be regarded as the room of last resort," said Steven Pollyea, Roto-Rooter vice president of marketing, in a press release emailed to Reuters.
"The average person spends 11,862 hours in the bathroom, which equals one year, four months and five days in a lifetime... a toilet should be the most wonderful location in your home."
Roto-Rooter spokesman Paul Abrams said the firm spent about $5,000 on parts and components to customize the toilet.
Any resident of the United States could win this "gleaming monument to personal convenience" by entering the sweepstake at www.rotorooter.com before April 2.
You might never want to leave your bathroom again.