Monday, 25 June 2012

Tuesday Turd

Your weekly round up of all the loo news you never knew you needed.

Governments commit to WASH

In a week that bodes well for WASH projects, Australian PM Julia Gillard has announced additional funding for the Civil Society Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund, providing $97million of funding to WASH initiatives around the world.

Also this week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passed the Water for the World Act. The Act has bipartisan support in both the house and the senate, yet I can't find much info on the ol' interwebs. US politics is not my strong point, but I gather that the Act now needs the support of the House to pass into legislation. The CEOs of prominent NGOs are urging congressfolk to support the bill.

Generation ZOMG! THaT's aLOT oF WaTER!

Do you know how much water that burger you ate for lunch yesterday really used? You might be surprised. Astonished, even. Possibly flabbergasted! I sure as hell was.
Every product has litres of hidden water, used in its manufacture, transport and packaging - and to help you find out just how much, the EU has launched Generation Awake - is it trying to scare you into sensibility? Maybe. But it's also a great resource to see how your everyday choices can have a far bigger impact than you realise.

It's a gorgeous looking site - maybe a bit naff, and I wonder what actual impact it will have. Still, an excellent website for teachers looking for resource-efficiency materials.

Toilet treasure

Conservators at an ancient communal toilet oustide Paris have uncovered a rare jewel - a hairpin of the Medici Queen Catherine. I once found someone's drivers license in a toilet in a pub... maybe not quite the same.

Sayonara for now, and I hope that you find something truly wonderful in your loo this week :)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Friday flush 15 June 2012

Ten tonnes of toilet paper aflame!

Luckily this didn't end up with anyone hurt, but in Ohio a trailer carrying ten tonnes of toilet paper caught alight, spilling the cargo onto the highway. Holy flaming bog roll!

Indian railways committed to loos

Utilising World Environment Day, Indian railways have proclaimed a new standard in provision for toilets across the network. Pay-and-use toilets will now be an 'essential service' to passengers at all railway stations, including disabled access toilets, lighting and round-the-clock attendants. The new concept is Renovate, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (ROMT). Not sure what the Transfer bit is about...

Punning on WTO

Jack Sim from the World Toilet Organisation (WTO) claims he was the first to break the taboo on sanitation. Well, I don't want to gloss over the really important stuff that many WASH organisations have been doing since before 2001 (WaterAid comes to mind), but I do admire Jack for getting the sanitation message out there. People gotta poop!


You don't have to be a boglogger enthusiast to know that having a clean place to crap can save you from a whole host of horrible diseases. Preventable deaths of children under 5 is possible - if we commit to sanitation and hygiene for all.

Coca-cola on the clean water front

And finally, an unexpected feel-good story. While I find their commitment to fitness and nutrition laughable, I have to commend the Coca-Cola Foundation for providing significant grants towards water stewardship, conservation and education. With a total cash amount of $1,279,614, the grants will help to provide improved access to water and sanitation to communities in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A further $7 million will go towards water and sanitation activities through the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation which works across 17 African countries. Well done, you evil bastards :-)

Until next week, I hope all your poos are safe poos.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Friday Flush, 8 June 2012

(Posting from sunny Cairns on the ol iPod so links may not work!)

Water seems like a pretty fundamental human right - most nations agree and finally Canada is on board.

The Gates Foundation is sponsoring research into low cost toileting systems - a phenomenal opportunity for people involved in WASH globally. Schemes like this are great for promoting thought and innovative solutions to the problem of unsafe toileting.

Who knew the portable loo market was so competitive? With a downturn in the construction industry has seen a related downturn in portable toilet rentals.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Friday Flush - 1 June 2012

Welcome back to the boglogger's Friday Flush! Catch up on the web's premier round up of global loo news!

To Pee or Not to Pee

First up, a debate in the UK about whether or not it is acceptable to urinate in public. You can read the full article here, but for me the real winner is in the comments.

There should be a national database of people who feel it is acceptable to urinate in public. They should then be banned from all public swimming pools.
~ mastutio

My favourite is from nblake42, who offers this very British tale:

One afternoon last year I walked up the road to my house to discover a man urinating on my driveway. Like a good, responsible, British citizen, I pretended it wasn't my house and walked on past.

There'll be no surprises that my personal view is quite liberal. If there aren't any facilities around (as there increasingly aren't) then you need to go no matter what the surroundings, or risk causing yourself an injury.

Quick off the mark

Which describes the feat, not my delayed reporting of it.

Earlier this month, Jolene Van Vugt motorised into the record books by beating the land speed record for a motorised toilet. I could elaborate on this story, but I think it really tells itself.

Prosaic advice from Toilet Man

Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organisation, gives great advice to Israeli students about entrepreneurship.

If you can use other people’s money, other people’s power, other people’s distribution, other people’s media, and other people’s influence and connections, and you align them towards a common mission, then each of them will join the party willingly.

As Sim says, he couldn't have run anything as fringe as the World Toilet Summit if governments and media weren't very willing participants.

Need to take the world's largest dump?

Maybe you need the world's largest toilet. Designer Sou Fujimoto has created a toilet like no other in Ichihara City, Japan - a single cubicle encased in glass surrounded by 200 square metres of garden.

I think the concept is great and the execution is breathtaking. At the moment, without the landscaping, it looks remarkably like a cemetery, and I wonder if this is on purpose? When the landscaping is finalised I think it'll be a really beautiful statement. About what? About how the mundane, the everyday, the routine, the necessary can still be beautiful.