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July 09, 2016

Thread below the Gardening Thread: Toilet Edition [KT]

Serving your Late Saturday Morning Open Thread Needs

opossum_t.jpg

From May: "Two baby opossums that were rescued from a toilet in a Pacific Beach home earlier this month are recovering well. . ."

I am not a big possum fan, but I kinda feel for those little critters this week. Do you ever wish that someone would rescue us?


Sometimes I do. But I know that a superhero is unlikely to appear. And if one did, I might be scared of the rescuer, too. I think we're going to have to find our own way out.

This week, it just felt right to tackle the topic of toilets. In contrast to the toilet-worthy news, one of my more satisfying activities early in the week was smashing up an old toilet with a sledgehammer. Kind of a dirty job, but it felt good, somehow.

Normally, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about toilets. Guess I have some catching up to do.

Things you might not know about toilets

Planning some traveling? What to expect in bathrooms around the world. In Bali, you might get a hole in the ground. But a friend got a bidet spray attachment on her toilet when she returned from Thailand, where it was hard to find a refrigerator in private homes. That's about the fanciest thing I have personally seen on a toilet in a private home in the USA. A lot of people seem to think that toilet design sort of went backward here with governmental restrictions on water usage.

A spray attachment is much less sophisticated than an electronic bidet seat. The most popular type was pioneered in Japan. From the NYT:

In Japan, the proliferation of electronic bidet seats is tracked by the government as one of the basic measures of national prosperity. About 76 percent of households have a washlet (Toto's brand is often used as the generic name). Manufacturers say the devices are used widely in other parts of Asia, too, as well as in the Middle East and, increasingly, in Europe, where they've disrupted the market for old-school, toilet-adjacent bidets.

For you history buffs, The Toilet Guru explains how Hitler's toilet ended up in an auto repair shop in New Jersey. Churchill had to use a chamber pot when Nazi air raids threatened. The site linked above includes more information than you probably need about toilets, But it's kind of fun.

Political Calculations offers a description of the toilet snorkel. If you worry more about hotel fires than about sewer gases . . .

You can also compare toilet paper holders from around the world. Japan seems to be winning the design race in this field, too.

How did I miss World Toilet Day at PBS last November? Don't know about solar toilets. But at least we know they care at PBS. And that's what is important, until the next round of government impositions on toilet design:

toilet belgium.jpg

Home Improvement Corner

Mr. Bar-the-Door has replaced two toilets this month. One was for his cousin, who got a call from "the authorities" in Porterville, California. They apparently sort of ordered him to replace his toilet. They could tell from his water meter readings that he probably had a toilet that ran all the time. Yep. Whole thing had to be replaced. Seems a little "Big Brother-ish" to me. Even though wells ran dry in East Porterville last year. Wonder if the authorities would allow people to get electronic bidet seats there, as recommended in the New York Times? They use extra water.

Have you ever had an adventure with toilet installation, repair or replacement? My advice from the peanut gallery would be to have someone who knows what they are doing help you the first time you try doing a toilet replacement. Or hire a pro.

Do you have or have you considered getting an innovative toilet?

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:06 AM

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