Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Posh poos

There's an article on the Boston Herald website about the poshest sorts of toilets you can get for your own home including... a throne.


 Tina Turner has one... why not you?

You can be proud owner of a sleek and sexy toilet - BostonHerald.com


The history of toilets in private homes is primarily a story of the rise and fall of ostentatious fittings.


In the early 19th century fittings and furnishings in bathrooms were needlessly ornate - people were making bathrooms out of rooms, and had to fill that space with a lot of filigree. By about 1855, cleanliness and simplicity ruled, before there was another shift towards putting all the expense of the house into the bathroom. And why not? You're pretty well guaranteed that your guests are going to see it. What a great place to show off!


Bathrooms remained an impressive size (for those who had bathrooms) until the revolution of 'bath-cells' in American hotels in the late 1800s, when bathrooms came down to a more reasonable size and utilitarian function. There seems to now be a shift again towards fabulous bathrooms, but the onus is on luxury rather than fussiness.


Toilets themselves, however, haven't changed all that much, so it's nice to see manufacturers doing something interesting, and even ludicrous, with the design.

Did you know?

The first bath was installed in the White House in 1851.


In 1895, no New York tenement had a bath.


The Lord Mayor of London was denied a request to install a shower-bath in the Mansion House in 1812.

Clean and Decent, Lawrence Wright

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Oh, the humanity!

I might be a lefty leaning pinko greenie, etc, but surely I'm not alone in thinking that toilet paper is a basic human right? Well, not in Montgomery County, Maryland USA it's not.

United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) which represents about 8000 government employees has released a memo with cost-cutting measures and it suggests, among other things, restricting the amount of toilet paper issued to inmates of jails.

The county spends ‘‘hundreds of thousands of dollars” annually to repair plumbing because inmates use it [toilet paper] to clog their toilets.

Issuing a maximum of three rolls a week to each inmate would avoid some of those costs.

Read the full article here.

I can just imagine the black market in Montgomery County jails: smack, cigarettes and bog roll. They'll have to get their mules to smuggle it in one sheet at a time so as to avoid detection.


Tuesday, 22 April 2008



I'm recently re-employed again (hence the slight downturn in regular blog postings). The toilets at my new place of employment are a little on the miserable side, and it got me to thinking - job interviews should be held in toilets.


Seriously. There are plenty of seats, you can talk shit without it being out of place, and guys can all stand around comparing penis sizes.


Picture by Leon Kuhn You can learn a lot about an organisation from the condition and layout of their toilets. The ladies toilet in my new workplace has two cubicles and one separate disabled toilet into which no disabled person has ever gone or could ever go. It is the worst type of accessible toilet: it is an almost-accessible toilet. It has a tap that can be mouth-operated, a generous hand rail and a slightly wider than usual access door. Unfortunately, the door leads into a little hallway with a door which is smaller than usual. Even if a wheelchair could fit in the hall door, there isn't sufficient room in the hallway to turn into the disabled toilet, without doing an 8 point turn. Honestly, who designs these things?


I do like my new workplace, but there is an air of almost doing things right.


My old workplace was notoriously bad for people not changing the loo roll - I guess it just wasn't in anyone's job description.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Why I love Malaysian newspapers

If I ever get cynical about the news, I just treat myself to a bit of Malaysian reporting. Where else can you get juicy leaders like this one:


"SOME homosexuals are alleged to be using public toilets in shopping centres in Kuala Lumpur to engage in unnatural sexual acts."


Unnatural sexual acts!! By homosexuals!!


Watch out! Homosexuals! 

"Guards would then carry out investigations before warning homosexual couples caught in the act."


Either those homosexuals are in the toilets for days, or the investigations are undertaken pretty quickly.


“We have our own ways to prove the offence besides having several security officers who are experts in handling these sort of cases.”


LMAO. Honestly, I can't even add anything to that.


A worker with a transportation company had admitted being caught in the act with another homosexual, who is a bank executive. The duo were caught by security guards at a staircase of a shopping complex in Jalan Pasar.


The 22-year-old suspect from Sungai Jelok, Kajang, said he did not realise his acts were captured on CCTV.


He said he started “becoming” a homosexual when he was 15, when he was studying in a residential school in Kajang


And so I think we can all learn something from this.

- don't use toilets in Kuala Lumpur

- don't go to a  residential school unless you want to 'become' a homosexual.

Misquote of the week

"I'm campaigning on the fact we have managed to get policies adopted such as the community toilet scheme... I hope I will hold on to my seat."


Hertsmere Labour group leader, Ann Harrison



Saturday, 5 April 2008

What's normal?

I received a bookmark in the post on Friday for the new Australian Government website dedicated to bladder and bowel health www.bladderbowel.gov.au.


www.bladderbowel.gov.auThe new website is part of the National Continence Management Strategy and builds on the success of the National Toilet map. I love the Toilet Map. There are a number of toilet map initiatives on the web, such as the Bathroom Diaries, and Public Toilets dot org, but the Toilet Map is the only government funded map of its kind. Because it has funding, it's very comprehensive (although the Find by Points of Interest section didn't recognise the Sydney Opera House as a location. Hmm....)


The Bladder Bowel website has a wonderful section about 'what is normal'. Did you know that your small bowel is 6 metres long?? I didn't even know I had a 'large' bowel and a 'small' bowel!


How your bowel works

The bowel is the lower part of your food digestive system. It connects your stomach to your back passage, where waste materials (called bowel motions or faeces) are passed out of your body. The job of the bowel is to finish digesting food by taking up water and nutrients.

Your bowel has three linked parts:

  • Small bowel - mainly takes up goodness (nutrients) from broken-down food;
  • Colon - mainly takes up water as digested food passes through;
  • Rectum - stores waste material until it is passed through the back passage.

The small bowel is about 6 metres long. The large bowel, the name for the colon and rectum together, is a tube about 1.5 metres long. The small bowel is called 'small' because it is narrower than the large bowel even though it is longer.

Everybody has different bowel habits. Some of us empty our bowel 3 times a day. Others may empty their bowel 3 times a week. Normally each bowel movement should take a minute or so. At the end of a bowel movement you should feel empty.


I like that my bowel connects my stomach to my back passage. I like the idea of having a 'back passage'. It makes me sound like an Edwardian country house.


Thanks for sending through the bookmark, Stevie! I'll use it in "Clean and Decent" a book about the history of toilets and bathrooms that I'm currently reading. Review up here soon!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Pam update

Pam Babcock, who you may remember sat on a toilet for 2 years, remains in intensive care in Kansas, USA. Her aunt has said that she is still ''a very sick girl" referring to her physical wounds, but also suggests that Pam's mental well-being is anything but well.


Her boyfriend, Kory McFarren, who kept her victualled and watered during her seemingly self-imposed incarceration, has been charged for mistreatment of a dependent adult. He was also arrested last week on an unrelated charge, after exposing himself to his neighbour's teenage daughter!