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600,000 Cell Phones Drown

We learn from Continental Research in Britain that, " ... 600,000 Brits have accidently dropped their phones in the toilet, another 400,000 have dropped them into a drink by mistake and still another 200,000 have sent their phones through the washing machine.

28 Feb 2002, pageA3

If you find yourself in this spot, all is not necessarily lost if you act quickly according to the step-by-step illustrated directions found at "wikiHow to do anything". "How to Save a Wet Cell Phone" is a collaboration of 229 authors, written in several languages who are constantly revising the article with dozens of accompanying tips. http://www.wikihow.com/Save-a-Wet-Cell-Phone

Sidewalks Made of Toilets?

Bellingham, WA recycles their toilets. Sidewalks made of crushed toilets.

There's not much of a market for discarded old toilets, and they usually end up in the local landfill. But the folks in Bellingham, Washington have found a way to pave their sidewalks with 400 discarded porcelain thrones ground up in a mixture they call ”poticrete.” The mix contains about 20% crushed toilets by volume and represents about 5 tons of material diverted from a landfill and into the sidewalk. For more information about this innovative project contact the City of Bellingham, WA Public Works Department

Reinventing the Toilet

According to Scientific American, in August the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation expects to present several hygienic innovations developed through its Reinventing the Toilet Challenge. Technology alone might help with failing sewers in industrialized countries, but for poor nations, where changing social norms is more important, the Gates Foundation is a powerful ally. The foundation's involvement could do for sanitation what it has accomplished in the battle to eradicate malaria—raise the visibility of a fundamental health care crisis and encourage new efforts to end it. Scientific American, February 21, 2012

Decorative Toilet Paper Covers

Where the Sun Don't Shine

Seeking a conversation piece for your loo? Kimberly-Clark Corp. has the answer for you. Interior designer Jonathan Adler is the creative brain behind the new look of the season for bathrooms. Kimberly-Clark Corp. recently introduced a "collection" of graphic prints combined with bold colors on toilet paper containers to camouflage the spare roll yet still keep it handy. Moderately priced, these toilet paper containers can be ordered at: Where the Sun Don't Shine.

423 toilets out-of-order

USS George H.W. Bush carrier

If you have ever had to repair a toilet or two, pity the Navy plumber in charge of 130 bathrooms, 423 toilets and 250 miles of pipe. According to The Navy Times The USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier with 5,000 sailors onboard, currently deployed to the Persian Gulf has at least twice since the ship deployed in May 2011, all 423 commodes out of service simultaneously. The Navy says it has spent 10,000 man hours fixing the toilet system on this deployment. Sailors blame the ship's vacuum system; the Navy blames sailors flushing away inappropriate material.

Wastewater a new source for clean energy

Researchers at Penn State have found a way to produce a sustainable clean energy solution from one of the dirtiest sources available? Untreated wastewater one day may be powering anything from your dishwasher to your electric toothbrush. Led by environmental engineer, Bruce Logan, they have designed special microbial fuel cells that use bacteria that can turn any organic matter directly into electricity. For the rest of this story see "Flushing Your Toilet Will Someday Power Your Home" by Justin Fritz, published Fri, Sep 23rd, 2011 in the Wall St. Daily.

Councilman didn't flush his toilet

An LA City Councilman faces perjury and fraud charges because he didn't flush his toilets enough. He apparently doesn't actually live in the house he owns in the district in which council members must live in the district they seek to represent. According to the District Attorney, "Water use doesn't lie ... If they lived there, they didn't flush the toilet." A Department of Water and Power employee said that the house used so little water between September 2007 and September 2009 that the total averaged out to 8.2 gallons per day. For more details see: Curbed LA

Toilets for Praying

Japanese temple flushes away troubles

Which is the Best Toilet Paper?

Consumer Reports Magazine recently reported on their evaluation of 180 rolls of toilet paper and found that the most expensive tissue is not necessarily the best. CR tested for softness, strength, quanity, flushibility and cost. They also offered shopping advice on how to shop for tissues and wipes. The results are here.

ConsumerReports.org is a source for information and advice on consumer products and services. ConsumerReports.org accepts no outside advertising or free test samples.

All-in-one Washbasin and WC

(11/12/2009) Roca has combined the washbasin and WC to create W+W - an Roca Washbasin and WC all-in-one washbasin and WC made from vitreous china, designed to maximise space and conserve water. This idea, incorporating Roca’s new ‘water-reuse’ technology, uses waste water from the basin to fill the WC cistern, thereby reducing water usage by up to 25% compared to a standard 6/3 litre dual-flush WC. For more about this new UK combination sink and toilet visit Plumbingpark.co.uk .

Saving Water with every Flush

© 2009 City of Portland, Oregon... Beginning January 1, 2009, the Portland Water Bureau began a short-term toilet rebate on WaterSense certified toilets. Portland Water Bureau customers were eligible for the $100 rebate by replacing a toilet that uses 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or more with a new WaterSense toilet. To earn the WaterSense label, toilets could use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) and meet rigorous criteria for performance. Well believe it or not, Conservation Guru Sarah Santner reports that the $50,000 allotted for toilet rebates were depleted in not quite 5 months! Good work, Portlanders, you truly are a socially conscious bunch! That means there are a whole bunch of new "toities" out there right now, saving water with every flush!


Ready to join the White House Plumbers.

$35,000 'Commode on Legs' Outrage

An epidemic of, well, toilet humor followed the revelation of Wall Street's John Thain’s $35,000 “commode on legs”. It seems this one piece of decorating has spurred an oppressed populace to storm Merrill’s headquarters, plungers held in outrage, to flush the bums out before the nation suffers another epidemic of $17,100 traveling toilet boxes and $15,000 dog umbrella stand a la the Dennis Kozlowski era. For the rest of the story see The Wall Street Journal.

Plumber pulls 7-carat $70,000 ring from toilet

A Phoenix plumber became a hero after retrieving a $70,000 ring that had been flushed down the toilet of a Phoenix restaurant. "We just did what we do," said Mike Roberts, general manager of Mr. Rooter, a plumbing company. Roberts said he spent about eight hours fishing down the toilet with a fiber optic cable on Jan. 14. To read the complete article by Emily Dean - see The Arizona Republic; also see The Washington Post.

A Palace of Gold Is Sold Off
For Its Melt Value, but Not the Throne

The Golden Throne

HONG KONG -- At $800 an ounce, the golden bathroom sink had to go. At $1,000, say goodbye to the golden horse-drawn chariot. But don't even think about touching the golden toilet. Global economic uncertainty over the past few years has pushed gold prices into the stratosphere, and few people have felt that rise as much as Hong Kong entrepreneur Lam Sai-wing has. He has spent the past decade constructing a palace of gold, decked out in six tons of the precious metal. In recent years, the palace has become an attraction mainland Chinese tour groups couldn't miss. For the rest of this story by Jonathan Cheng and Yvonne Lee see the Wall Street Journal for 7 July 2008.

Flushed with $$$$ ?

Gold Plated Toilet

The main aim of the Extravaganza luxury exhibition held in Moscow was to gather interesting, unusual and extravagant goods and services under one roof. The three-day program was filled with on-stage entertainment acts, fashion shows and interactive presentations from dawn until dusk. The gold toilet is equipped with advanced plasma mirror and digital control devices. The decoration material used is gilded marble. The gilded toilet has been fascinatingly christened ‘Moscow.’
Swarovski Toilet

This iced-out toilet comes fully encrusted with swarvoski crystals. However, rumor has it that it is sold, but the artist has a matching sink up for grabs and if that is not enough, the artist is also planning to complete an ice-encrusted double slipper tub by spring of 2008. The swarovski-decked toilet comes for a stunning price tag of $75,000.

Historic Flushes

Concern about the aging Peers who would be gathered at Westminister Abbey for the coronation of the Queen, additional toilets were installed for the expected increase demand. Then the frightening thought that at the vital moment of the ceremony as the crown was being placed on the Queen's head all the toilets happened to be occupied and flushed at the same time. Guards from Welington Barracks were called in to run a test. At the given moment, all the toilets in the Abbey were flushed at the same time, but not a sound was heard inside the Abbey. Headlines for this story in the Time magazine of the day was 'Royal Flush'. From Flushed With Pride The Story of Thomas Crapper by Wallace Reyburn.

Fastforward to 2008 in Washington, D.C. and preparations for the opening of Nationals Park. With seating for 51,000, 526 Super Flush toilets and 218 urinals, the question was what will happen to the plumbing system at the 7th-Inning Stretch? Baseball fans tend to wait for breaks in the game to use the restroom facilities and the 7th-Inning Stretch was a big concern. 175 volunteers assembled for a synchronized flush dubbed the "Super Flush" on the ballpark's massive scoreboard. Thanks to low-flush technologies, the plumbing system passed with flying colors. The volunteer flushers received commemorative T-shirts after the Super Flush. From The Washington Post, Metro Section C1, 24 Feb 2008.

When You Gotta Go, Look out for Ads

A user-created directory of public toilets offers a new opportunity for local advertisers. Yojo Mobile announced yesterday that MizPee, its mobile search solution built around this directory, is expanding beyond its San Francisco beta to include other metro regions. While an advertiser's first thought might be not to associate her bar or coffee shop with the urgent needs of people on the street, the WAP site presents hyper-local advertising opportunities and sponsorships.

Environmental Problems - Where's Gore?

Inside the Beltway; By John McCaslin;
February 8, 2007. The Washington Times, page A5.

Global warming, spinach epidemics, deadly outbreaks of E. coli contamination, lettuce scares, these are small potatoes when it comes to environmental problems we face today. According to Thomas Rooney, president of Insituform Technologies in Chesterfield, MO; the world's largest sewer, oil and water-pipe repair company, "The biggest environmental problem in the world today is broken sewer pipes polluting waterways, swimming areas and drinking water all over the world."

Terrorist-Proof Toilet

Some of the exhibitors at the 2006 World Toilet Organization Summit held in Moscow said they offered not only comfortable, easy-to-maintain products but -- of critical importance nowadays -- toilets that are safe from terrorists. "This toilet, because it's made of concrete set on the metal frame, can withstand a suicide-bomb attack," explained Yury Otmakhov, a director of development for the Dvoinoi Dubl firm. As he spoke, Otmakhov displayed a massive contraption, already in use in some Moscow districts. "It will crack, but it will not explode and hurt anyone." "This is the market that's just about to burst ... the potential in Russia is huge," said Paul Franks, the general manager of the Swiss company Aquarotter and one of 300 delegates from Russia and 19 other countries attending the summit.

Shoji Tabuchi Theatre Bathroom

Voted the World's Best Bathroom

Branson, Missouri, features a bathroom Valhalla, otherwise known as the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre. No high tech gizmos, no sleek Feng Sui, only good old-fashioned hedonism. Thus begins a tribute to the world’s finest public restrooms by the folks at The Bathroom Diaries ™. Dubbed the Golden Plungers, this site covers elegant bathrooms from around the world.

Time for Reflection

There are two weeks a year when no one will bother you, two weeks a year when you're alone with your thoughts. Those are the two weeks a year you spend in the bathroom. The average American spends about an hour a day in the commode, according to a survey by the National Association for Continence. What does that mean if you add up your loo time over the course of a year? It's scary. If you're a typical American with a typical job with typical benefits, you're spending as much time in the bathroom as you are on vacation — 14 days. Is it time to renegotiate your benefits package? At that rate, if you reach the ripe old age of 80, you will have spent nearly three full years in the bathroom.

Prospective Husbands Must Own a Toilet

Khaleej Times Online

‘Africa’s water services so bad, some women choose a husband based on toilet availability.

Africa’s lack of running water and sewer problems are so severe that some impoverished women base their choice of a husband on whether he can provide a toilet, rather than a trench latrine or nothing at all, an aid agency said. Anna Tibaijuka of the UN-Habitat agency told the story of one young woman whose family wouldn’t agree to her marriage, because the intended husband had no bathroom in his house. “The lack of water and sanitation in Africa’s slum settlements can change a girl’s life,” she said on Sunday. “A girl from the slums will try to get a husband ... who can at least provide a toilet. That’s the extent of the need.” Tibaijuka’s comments came during the presentation of a report on the water situation in Africa, at the 4th World Water Forum held in Mexico City.

World Toilet College

World Toilet Organization (WTO) has started World Toilet College (WTC) because there was a need for an independent world body to ensure that the best standards in Toilet Design, Cleanliness, Maintenance, Quality of Work and Sanitation Technologies are kept. WTC is a dedicated institution that offers training programs such as Restroom Design Course, Restroom Specialist Training Course and Ecological Sanitation Course.

The Restroom Specialist Training Course is intended to redesign the restroom cleaner's tasks and bring it to a new professional level. The Ecological Sanitation Course is the first of many that will train much needed sanitation human resource to help alleviate the 2.6 billion people worldwide that do not have a toilet. Lastly, the Restroom Design will teach the finer points of designing a public restroom for those responsible. There are presently no comprehensive toilet educational institutions that address both urban and rural toilets' needs in a continuous manner. Locally and worldwide, through WTO, WTC has support from government ministries and agencies, private companies, sanitation experts, and industry stalwarts. In addition, WTO has a network of resources such as the World Toilet Summits to leverage.

Toilet Water Cleaner than Ice

Girl, 12, proves toilet water cleaner than ice

A Florida schoolgirl won top prize with a science project proving toilet water is cleaner than ice in fast food restaurants. Jasmine Roberts, 12, of New Tampa, tested her thoery in five local restaurants, reports Tampa Bay's 10 News. "My hypothesis was that the fast food restaurants’ ice would contain more bacteria that the fast food restaurants’ toilet water," she said. Jasmine says at each restaurant she flushed the toilet once, then used sterile gloves to gather samples. She also collected ice from soda fountains and asked for cups of ice at drive thru windows. She then tested the samples at a lab. Jasmine said: "I found that 70% of the time, the ice from the fast food restaurant's contain more bacteria than the fast food restaurant's toilet water." Her project won the science fair at Benito Middle School, and she hopes to win the top prize at a regional science and engineering fair.

Commode Contributes to Downfall of Congressman

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) resigned from Congress after tearfully confessing to evading taxes and conspiring to pocket $2.4 million in bribes, including a Rolls-Royce, a yacht and a 19th-century Louis-Philippe commode. For a gruff war veteran, Cunningham emerges from the court documents as a man with surprisingly delicate tastes. Among the gifts he accepted was a $7,200 Louis-Philippe commode, circa 1850; For the rest of this story ...

  • Charles R. Babcock and Jonathan Weisman; Washington Post Staff Writers;
    Tuesday, November 29, 2005; A01

Desks Dirtier Than Toilet Seat

Researchers Find Average Desk Harbors 400 Times More Bacteria Than Average Toilet Seat

Working late again? You’re not alone, according to a new study by University of Arizona germ guru Dr. Charles Gerba. You have plenty of bacteria keeping you company.

The study, the first of its kind to measure normal bacterial levels inside offices across America, found paper isn’t all that’s piling up on desks. In fact, the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

“For bacteria, a desk is really the laptop of luxury,” said Gerba. “They can feast all day from breakfast to lunch and even dinner.” Gerba and his researchers found that unless desks were wiped clean with a disinfectant during the day, bacteria levels climbed higher and higher, peaking after lunch.

Boa Makes Home in the Sewer

Boa in a loo

  • Online edition of The Daily Mirror (UK), By John Kelly

MEET Keith...a 10ft boa constrictor who has been captured after popping up in the loos at a posh block of flats. The snake had terrified tenants since it was first spotted in a toilet last week, after living in sewage pipes for three months. People had to put bricks on their loo seats to stop the Keith slipping into their bathrooms. Firemen were even called in to try to track him down in the pipework. But it was not until Saturday night that a plucky resident finally trapped him in a bucket. For the rest of the story.

Wedding Ring Returned From a Watery Grave

MASSILLON, Ohio - "It's a symbol of everything you've gone through for 34 years - your work and buying a house and having a kid." But Tom Dick thought his wedding ring had gone to waste when he flushed it down the toilet 20 months ago. Instead, two county workers returned the 14-karat gold band to Dick and his wife Carolyn on Saturday after uncovering it while cleaning sewer lines near the couple's northeast Ohio home.

  • Associated Press Oct. 28, 2005 09:30 AM

Killer Toilets

The odds are greater that you'll be killed or injured by a deer or a bathroom appliance than by a marauding shark, according to the latest statistics complied by the International Shark Attack File maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History. Stay out of the bathroom. Injuries involving toilets number in the tens of thousands each year. In addition, bathroom bowl products (things such as plungers, cleansers and, we presume, those ghastly deodorant cakes found in rest stop toilets) annually account for more than a thousand injuries. Killer sharks? Statistically, no problem. I'm worried about those toilets. From "Unconventional Wisdom" by Richard Morin < [email protected] >

  • The Washington Times, 3 July 2005, Page B4

The Bottom Line

Exerpt from an article that originally appeared in the March 16, 2005 edition
of the LA Times written by Bob Pool, Times Staff Writer

Lavish Gas Station Restroom

WEST COVINA, Calif. — A good toilette is good for the bottom line according to Paul Moghadan. A chandelier, faux travertine walls, silver columns and a marble counter adorn the bathroom at his Chevron gas station in West Covina, some 20 miles east of Los Angeles.

The walls are decorated in rich earth tones and blue stone tiles, giving the 10-foot-wide room a slight Tuscan ambiance — or maybe a touch of Vegas. "I wanted to give the restroom the greatest look I could. I wanted to show how much I respect my customers," said Moghadan, 55, of San Dimas. "I started with Chevron in 1966, and they trained us back then that the No. 1 priority was the station bathroom. They stressed we should keep it clean and papered up."

In the last dozen years, Moghadan said he has an average of 20 compliments a day about the bathroom. "I have customers from Palm Springs and Las Vegas who make a point of stopping here," he said. "Some even bring in relatives to show them the bathroom." He said the glitz has kept profits up and vandalism down. The mirror, for example, has only been replaced twice.
Full article available on page 20 of On The Road, Again! Vol 9; Number 2; May 2005, a publication of the Antique Automobile Club of America.

$80,000 Rat Damage

A Contra Costa homeowner discovered sewer rats were entering his home through a toilet. He bought an incendiary device intended for gophers and other burrowing pests, and dropped it down a plumbing vent on his roof. The device melted a plastic elbow in the pipe and the roof caught fire, causing $80,000 in damage before the firefighters could extinguish the blaze.

  • ASSE Northeastern Illinois Chapter Newsletter, Roselle, IL


From November 2002 to 4 April 2003 the U.S. military dropped thousands and thousands of leaflets over Iraq telling Iraqis they could hear coalition broadcasts on several radio stations. A few days after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, the U.S. military officials found the Iraqis were recycling the thin paper leaflets as toilet paper.

  • The Washington Times, 19 Mar 2004, Page A5

Flush Tax

Annapolis MD: Maryland taxpayers can expect to pay a "flush tax" if Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s new proposal for a monthly fee for sewage plant upgrades is passed. The bill will be voted on next week on the House floor.

  • The Washington Times, 12 Mar 2004, Page B4

Potty Parity

The Manhattan city council has had some unusual debates in its time. But the latest controversy has caught the eye of even the most jaded New Yorker. It concerns something called the "Restroom Equity Bill ," known in its less sanitized version as “potty parity.” The purpose of the bill is to create more bathrooms for women. The problem, to put it as delicately as the Associated Press did when describing the debate, is that women can’t zip in and out of bathrooms as quickly as men can, thus causing huge lines at public restrooms.

John F. Banzhaf III, a law professor who’s spearheading the measure, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that women are standing up for their rights "even if they can't stand up while exercising those rights." Other states and cities already have potty parity laws in place. The ratio is about two women's restrooms to one men's room. Most of the time they merely renovate men’s rooms into lady’s rooms rather than build more bathrooms.

  • Fox News, By David Asman, December 08, 2003

New Kohler Cimarron Comfort Height™ Toilet Puts an End to the Low-flow Toilet Debate Over Plugging


Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath design, introduced a new toilet at the International Builders' show in Las Vegas with exceptional flushing power, designed for extraordinary situations. The Cimarron Comfort Height toilet - the first KOHLER toilet to feature the exclusive Class Five™ flushing system, an industry-leading 3 1/4-inch flush valve, and direct-fed jet technology - is engineered to provide extraordinary bulk flushing performance for even the most demanding circumstances. Also making its debut on the Cimarron toilet is an innovative Drylock™ installation system that allows plumbers and do-it-yourself homeowners to install a toilet faster and easier than a typical installation.

Inspired by the raw power of class five whitewater rapids, the Cimarron Comfort Height toilet with Class Five flushing technology represents a new category of KOHLER flushing systems. Class Five flushing technology provides the answer to consumers who have expressed the need for a gravity-fed toilet that effectively removes ultra bulk waste without ever plugging. Even under the most demanding "commercial use", Class Five technology ensures a powerful, effective flush each time the toilet is utilized. This is a commercial-grade toilet, designed for both residential and commercial applications. (Kohler Press Release, January 2004)

Hospitals Feel Weight of Treating Severely Obese

IRVING, TX — A survey by Novation, Irving, Tex, a group purchasing organization for hospitals and health care institutions, found that hospitals are seeing more severely obese (ie, overweight by at least 100 lbs) patients than ever before. Hospitals throughout the United States are being forced to buy specialized equipment and in some cases even remodel their facilities to cope with the growing number of severely obese patients, according to a survey of hospital purchasing executives.

The growing number of obese patients drives up costs in nonclinical areas. Kent Demien, director of materials management at Wausau Hospital in Wausau, Wis., said many patients or hospital visitors are simply too heavy for a standard, wall-mounted toilet, which can accommodate patients up to 300 lbs. The standard wall-mounted toilets cost $350, but the hospital is looking to replace them with sturdier pedestal commodes priced at $750, which can hold up to 2,000 lbs. “This is a new trend we’re seeing among the 1,400 VHA and UHC hospitals we serve,”

  • Contact: Kristin Lucido, Director, Public Relations, Novation; 972/581-5116; [email protected]

Outhouse supporting communication satellites

Barbarians at the gate

A cartoon showing an outhouse supporting a collection of communication satellites and equipment was used in an article by Jay Ambrose regarding Rep. Maurice Hinchey's (NY Democrat) recent effort to seek passage of a law forcing radio station owners to hire liberal hosts to offset their conservative talk-show hosts. While Mr. Ambrose may have a different interpretation for this cartoon, I see it as just another bit of evidence of the importance of plumbing in our everyday lives. The outhouse was an early improvement in sanitation to be followed by inhouse plumbing that is the very foundation of civilization today. It seems Mr. Ambrose is suggesting that plumbing is likewise the corner-stone and foundation on which our freedom of speech and press is built. [Jay Ambrose is chief editorial writer for Scripps Howard News Service.]

  • The Washington Times, 13 December 2003, Page A11

The Toilet Paper Stampede

The stampede of consumers into grocery stores to clear the shelves of toilet paper and other staples at the first mention of snow on the news signals the start of winter in the Washington D.C. area. But not everyone stands in lines; some go online. Kenn Fischburg, president and chief executive of ToiletPaperWorld.com, says about 30 percent of their business comes from households. According to the ToiletPaperWorld.com website, Charmin is "the world's most popular toilet paper since 1928." For some amusing and educational tidbits regarding toilet paper visit the Toilet Paper Encyclopedia.

  • The Washington Post, 5 December 2003, Page C8

The Dry Toilet a.k.a. The Outhouse

While he's not claiming he invented the outhouse, former Vice President Al Gore, has joined the advisory board of a water-free technology board promoting dry toilets, from which resulting matter is manually collected then composted and used as crop fertilizer. Costing only a cool $2000 each, it sounds like a concept that's a winner.

  • The Washington Times, 18 November 2003, Page A9

The Toilet Fairy

The Toilet Fairy

According to Virginia Postrel's new book, The Substance of Style, the lowly toilet brush is an unusually pure example of aesthetic demands. If the local drugstore sells a perfectly functional Rubbermain toilet brush for $5, why would anyone pay $32 for designer Philippe Starck"s Excalibur brush or $55 for Stefano Giovannoni's Merdolino brush --- or extravagance be damned, $400 for a brush made of crystal and gold? Is it because an expensive toilet brush confers (and conveys) status, signaling to our neighbors that we're their equals or betters?

  • The Washington Post, 2 November 2003, Book World, Page 8

Toilet Delays Commuter Trains

NEW YORK --- Thousands of commuters and trains were delayed and rerouted while rescue workers tried to pull Edwin Gallart's arm from a toilet on the Mount Vernon-bound train after it left Grand Central Terminal during rush hour. Gallart got his arm stuck in the toilet when he tried to retrieve his call phone. When train employees were unable to free Gallart's arm, police and firefighters had to cut apart the stainless-steel toilet. The phone was not recovered.

  • The Washington Times, 3 November 2003, Page A8

Palace Paper

According to one American soldier who was inside of one of the many palaces in Iraq, Saddam Hussein may have had gold-plated bathrooms, but his toilet paper leaves much to be desired.

  • The Washington Times, 18 April 2003, Page A5

Potty Politics

Officials in Monaca, PA last week sent Tom Suica a letter telling him the 10 toilets on his roof had to come down. Later officials rescinded the order after discovering Mr. Suica, a plumber and Democratic candidate for councilman, had taken steps to keep the toilets free of water. Mr. Suica has successfully argued in court that the toilets are decorations and an expression of free speech.

  • The American Scene, The Washington Times, 7 October 2003, Page A10

Texas Toilet Seat Art

Barney Smith of Eastland

Barney Smith of Eastland, Texas says it takes about 20 hours to transform a toilet lid from blank canvas to a finished work of art. His first step is to prepare the lid by removing the toilet seat and unfasten the hinges. "They become wall plaques whenever I get to taking the lid off and…the hinge away from the seat," he said.

Flushless "Auto-Flush" Toilets

The toys and tools of the 21st century, from electronic faucets to toilets that flush on their own, weren't even conceived in the blackouts of 1965 and 1977, but for the huge blackout of 2003 in the northeast and midwest U.S. these electronic marvels left a lot of people not just in the dark but also unable to coax water from the sinks, use the toilets or get a drink.

  • The Wall Street Journal, 18 August 2003, page A1

MSN Launches World's First ‘Internet Loo’

London - UK - April 30th 2003 - The UK’s most popular website msn.co.uk is creating the world’s first ‘Internet Loo’. The iLoo will be mobile and is part of MSN’s mission to allow instant logging on ‘anytime and any place’.

In time for the summer festival season, MSN is in the process of converting a portable loo to create a unique experience for surfers looking for an alternative to the bog-standard festival loo experience. Users will be able to sit down, undock a wireless keyboard and conveniently access the first ever WWW.C.

A plasma screen will be located directly in front of them which can be adjusted to a desired height level. MSN is also in talks with toilet paper manufacturers to produce special web paper for those in need of URL inspiration.

MSN iLoo

Cutting edge technology is central to MSN’s plans for the iLoo. The world’s first www.c will be broadband enabled using the most up to date wi-fi technology, meaning no unsightly telephone wires. Users will simply be able to sit down, power up, and start emailing, shopping or searching for information. There will also be a six channel surround sound speaker system under the sink unit for use with listening to music from the Internet

Portable 'potties' go upscale

Black Tie Restroom Black Tie Portable Potties

Boasting amenities that range from tuxedoed attendants to brass fixtures and oak paneling, upscale portable restrooms are showing up everywhere from weddings to PGA tournaments to President Bush´s ranch.

Black Tie is one of a handful of companies across the country that specialize in the restrooms, which from the outside look like plain white trailers. The surprise is inside, where vanity mirrors, flushable toilets, full sinks, piped-in music, air conditioning and dishes of potpourri make the restrooms almost indistinguishable from those in a home or nice hotel.

For more information see: http://www.blacktieservices.com/

Casino Wins Best-Restroom Contest

Casino toilet The Grand Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, has been named the nation’s finest restroom as voted on by the Internet public in America’s Best Restrooms II, presented by Cintas. The restroom topped a list of finalists representing various states including California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

“Our guests have known for a while about the wonderfully decorated ladies’ restroom we have. Now with this award, we hope ladies nationwide will visit us to see why we were voted The Best Restroom in the U.S.A,” said Duncan McKenzie, General Manager of Grand Casino Biloxi. “It’s a beautiful restroom, definitely the talk of the town and well worth the million dollars we spent on creating it. We may have to start giving tours for the gentlemen so they don’t feel left out!”

Photo of Grand Casino Restroom The Best Restroom Internet survey is sponsored by Cintas and was created in 2001 to honor businesses across the country that maintain exceptional hygiene in their public restrooms. Each year, Cintas and TheBestofUSA.com will present a certificate of recognition to the winner and post the top five to receive votes in the Best Restroom Hall of Fame. Nominations for the Best Restroom Awards are open to any restroom that is free and open to the public. Last year, a proud custodial staff from the main building at The University of Notre Dame accepted the award as America’s Best Restroom.

High School Ring Returned to Owner
After 38 Years in College Plumbing Pipes

LUFKIN, TEXAS — Rebecca Tarver Robins once again has the high school ring that she lost in 1965. The 55-year-old Lufkin resident received a telephone call last week asking her if she had lost her senior ring from Hudson High School. "Yes," she exclaimed, recalling the exact day and place where she lost the ring at Stephen F. Austin State University. "Gibbs Hall, Room 110, August 1965. It was my second day in that dorm." "I was at the sink brushing my teeth or something. I had taken the ring off and it fell straight down the drain. I went and told my dorm mom. The next day, a plumber was in there blowing the lines out. I could just hear it clinking all the way to the septic system," Mrs. Robins told the Lufkin Daily News. University plumber Duane Frazar found the ring two weeks ago while replacing old pipes. He had his secretary contact Donny Webb, the high school principal at Hudson, about five miles outside Lufkin.

Metro Riders to Try Out
Self-Cleaning Restroom

The Galaxy Restroom

This coming summer (2003) Metro riders at one Virginia station will begin a one-year test run of a self-cleaning restroom. The space-age restroom comes with a price tag of $66,500 for one year. Called the Galaxy, it will automatically flush and dispense soap, paper and water. A chemical wash cleans the toilet after every use and the floor after every 30 uses. Features include Automatic doors, Toilet Seat Washer, Electronic Basin Unit, No Touch Flushing, Concealed Operating Components, Electronic Toilet Paper Dispenser, Motion Sensor, Automatic Systems Wash Cycle, Electromagnetic Locking, Music and Voice Messages.

Legendary Columnist Dies at 83

Ann Landers, a worldwide advice column institution, died in Chicago where she has dispensed her friendly, witty, and helpful advice since 1955. Syndicated in more than 1200 newspapers worldwide, Ann Landers (a.k.a. Esther Pauline Friedman), received over 2000 letters each day, addressing problems that ranged from infidelity and obnoxious children to animals in the toilet. According to the Washington Times account, "Few topics excited readers more than the question of which direction the toilet paper should be hung in." A sample follows:

Dear Ann Landers: Perhaps you don´t wish to re-open the "tissue issue" again, but I am unable to resist sending this article to you. Perhaps it will provide a laugh for your many readers. It was written by Art Robinson and appeared in the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Star-Phoenix. -- Longtime Landers Fan

Dear Fan: The column I wrote many years ago about how to hang toilet paper (should the tissue go over the top or hang down along the wall?) seems destined to go on forever. Thank you for the piece by Art Robinson. I´m sure my readers will enjoy it. Here´s an edited version:

OK, so we know who won the races for mayor and city council. We also know the makeup of the public and Catholic school boards. Ditto, the health board.

"But what about the really important question which was asked of those who took part in the ´fun´ vote just before the election? What about the toilet tissue issue?

"In order to have the new, computerized vote-counting machines tested and ready for the election, a trial run was conducted, and we were all invited to vote on a ´fun´ question. The question was one which just popped up out of thin air and which carried no political association. The question was ´Are you in favor of toilet paper in all public washrooms being installed with the loose end coming up and over the front of the roll?´ Here´s the scoop:

"The answer was a resounding yes. A total of 768 people said they want the loose end coming over the top. Another 196 said they wanted it the other way. And you thought there was nothing left about the election to report."

Dear Readers: In spite of the fact that an overwhelming number of people prefer the roll hung so that the paper comes over the top, I still prefer to have the paper hanging close to the wall.

As a great many readers pointed out when the question was being discussed in the column several years ago, "The most important thing is that the paper is THERE when you need it."

Toilet Stall Wall Message
Saves Woman

A plea for help scrawled on a toilet wall in Tennessee led to the arrest of a truck driver who allegedly held a woman against her will for a year. Katina Shaddix, 24, told police in Dublin, Georgia, she left more than 100 messages in toilets all over the country. Maintenance worker Binford Aycock found one, saying: "Won't let me out. Beating me, this is no joke!" at a rest stop in Tennessee. He called police.

The message, written in ink marker, named Cannon truck 383. Officials used a global positioning system to trace the truck to a rest area in Georgia. Shaddix was treated in hospital and taken to a homeless shelter because she told police she had no family.

  • Story filed: 20:28 Tuesday 23rd April 2002 by Ananova

Toilet Paper Capital of the World Opens Museum

A museum in Wisconsin is preparing to open an exhibition charting the history of the toilet and toilet paper. Privy To The Past: Inside America's Most Private Room has a replica of a sponge ancient Romans used to share. Green Bay's Neville Museum spokeswoman Marilyn Stasiak says the area is: "The toilet paper capital of the world."

The exhibition tells visitors about how corn cobs, leaves and newspaper came before modern-day toilet paper. It also shows how toilet paper used to have splinters in it. Ms. Stasiak told Ananova: "That would've been very painful." She added: "We're expecting all kinds of jokes about the exhibition."

Green Bay's Northern Paper Mill is credited with creating modern toilet paper in 1902 but it wasn't until 1935 that toilet paper was advertised as "splinter-free." The exhibition, which opens on April 27 is sponsored by Georgia Pacific, makers of Quilted Northern Bath Tissue.

  • Story filed: 21:17 Thursday 18th April 2002 by Ananova

Frogs Clog Up Toilets!

Frogs have been blamed for blocking up public toilets in New South Wales. They were discovered in the cisterns of toilets at Bodalla Oval sitting on the flaps that let the units refill. The toilets had only been working intermittently and no one knew why. Inspectors from Eurobodalla Shire Council found the source of the problem. The council's works and facilities committee chairman Keith Dance told ABC News Online it will now be taking some "frog-friendly" measures to discourage the creatures from making their homes in the toilets. He says the remedy would probably be as simple as flyscreen or netting placed across the top of the cisterns to stop the frogs getting in. Mr Dance says no frogs will be harmed in the process.

  • Story filed: 12:37 Friday 5th April 2002 by Ananova

Calling All Crapper fans!

At long last, a re-dedication ceremony for Mr. Thomas Crapper's newly-restored grave at Beckenham Cemetery, Kent, England will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, 4 May 2002; the Reverend Canon Derek Carpenter, Rector of Beckenham, has kindly agreed to preside.

The invitation reads, "We hope to have a gathering of Crappers both those who are related and those who share, or used to share, the surname. In addition, anyone who has an interest in the man or his trade will be welcome."

Many people give credit to Thomas Crapper (1837-1910), an English sanitary engineer, for inventing the valve~and~siphon arangement that made our modern toilet possible.

"Plans are being considered for a cake to be commissioned in the shape of one of Mr. Crapper's famous cisterns! However we will not travel too far into the burlesque - the aim of the day will be a respectful ceremony followed by a pleasant afternoon or evening. Conversation, some food and drink, perhaps even an illustrated presentation on the history of the man and his firm."

Now based near Shakespeare’s home at Stratford-on-Avon, Thomas Crapper & Co. has their own private 'museum' of rare, antique sanitaryware and they are always happy to show visitors around. For more information on this exciting event contact Thomas Crapper & Co at: [email protected]

Ring Returned to Owner
After 27 Years in the Sewer

For over 27 years, Yvette´s high school class ring rested in a sewer near her home. She had accidently flushed it down the toilet less than a month after her parents bought it for her during her junior year in high school. Yvette only recently moved back to Cumberland, Maryland after being away for 25 years. She was delighted when a sewer-pipe technician found the gold ring while cleaning debris from the sewer system in preparation for road reconstruction in the old neighborhood.

Seven Million Toilets

"...But in fact there is never enough of anything if overnight a country goes into panic-stockpiling mode. For the same reason that New York City would be washed out to sea if 7 million people flushed their toilets at the same moment, a national crisis can be sparked if everyone runs out on the same day to stock up on antibiotics."

Governor of New Mexico
Rescued from the "Toilet Bowl"

Gov. Gary E. Johnson was rescued from a dangerous section of the Rio Grande known as the "Toilet Bowl" after he was pitched overboard from his kayak. The Toilet Bowl is a dangerous spot on the Rio Grande where water cuts under a large rock on one side of the channel and can pin a person under water.


World Toilet Summit

Singapore (For the Trade Only) – Come November 2001, the world’s toilet and restroom professionals will congregate in Singapore for the Inaugural World Toilet Summit 2001. Scheduled from 19 to 21 November, the event will attract some 500 toilet professionals, government officials, NGOs, companies and individuals from all over the world. The Restroom Asia 2001 Exhibition scheduled from 20 to 23 November 2001 is expected to attract some 4000 trade visitors from the Asia Pacific region. Both events will be co-located at the Singapore Expo.

The holding of the World Toilet Summit 2001 and Restroom Asia 2001 is most appropriate and timely as more attention is being paid to the state of public toilet facilities and service which reflect the standard of living in our society. Today, there are both government and non-government organisations from all over the world which dedicate themselves to the subject of improving the toilet environment. Feedback from industry professionals show that 5-7% of the total construction cost for commercial projects and 10-12% for residential projects are taken up by toilets. Hence, an upturn in the construction industry means a rise in demand for toilet products. Concurrently, toilet care should be maintained at the highest level.

Loo of The Year 2001 Contest

(PRESS RELEASE 5 March, 2001)

WHERE ARE BRITAIN'S BEST LOOS? Britain's loos are once again under scrutiny, as the search for the 2001 Cannon Hygiene Loo of the Year Awards gets underway.

All types of public toilet can be entered in the competition, in a number of categories comprising retail, hotels, restaurants, pubs & nightclubs, museums & galleries, holiday parks, education and health establishments, commercial offices, municipal, road, rail, air & sea transport, beaches and leisure & sports venues.

Further information from Martin Higham on 01729 825384 or Richard Chisnell on 01962 850277 Every loo entered receives an unannounced visit by Loo of the Year Awards Inspectors.

Are Britain´s public toilets an endangered species?

British Loo Flower Shop

(LONDON (AP) November 3, 2000) A London public toilet has been converted into a flower shop. Scarcity of public restrooms and the decay of the distinctive Victorian lavatory buildings worry the British Toilet Association. The Victorians really knew how to build a bathroom. Britain is dotted with splendid little lavatory buildings, encircled by iron fences and crowned with arches or pergolas. The perfect places to, say, grab a bite, have a beer or watch a play. In cities across Britain, public conveniences are finding new life as pubs, cafes, offices and theaters.

British Toilet Association

British Toilet Association Logo The British Toilet Association is campaigning for better public toilets for all. In recent years significant numbers of Britain's public toilets, once the envy of the world, have been closed down. The BTA says, We need more and better toilets. Let's stop the rot! Our mission is to represent the interests and aspirations of 'away from home' toilet providers, suppliers and users of all types and to act as the catalyst for change in the pursuit of standards of excellence in all areas of public toilet provision and management. In its campaign for fewer closures of public toilets and higher standards generally, the BTA sponsors an annual conference. The fourth annual BTA conference "Away From Home Toilets - Nuisance or Necessity", was held on 21 & 22 May 2001 at the Heathrow Park Hotel, West Drayton, Middlesex.

The Seat That Never Forgets

War and Peace

A revolutionary redesign of the humble toilet seat is making news across Canada and the US. The subject of TV news stories by the CBC, CTV and Global News national networks. The CBC TV business show "Venture" did an 18-minute story on this new product. Numerous Canadian and American radio stations did interviews with the inventors, Tim Seniuk and Ken Wiklund. Featured in local newspapers and many North American newspapers, this new toilet seat is destined to save marriages and friendships.

The patented HydaGlide automatic system closes the "Considerate Seat" about two minutes after flushing. At any time you can stop the lowering seat, lower it yourself, or put it back up with no harm to the closer. Available in a variety of styles, this new seat, manufactured by Senlund Corporation of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the solution to the age-old battle of the sexes.

Tempest In a Toilet

Lawmaker Wants Low-Flows Outlawed;
Supporters Point to Water Savings and Better Designs.

Dubbed "the Patrick Henry of porcelain" by one backer, Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) cites widespread disgust not only with the new toilets but also with government intrusion in America´s bathrooms. House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) told reporters "Homeowners all across America are frustrated to tears with this kind of government meddling ... we´re going to flush them out." In August, Knollenberg secured congressional hearings on his repeal bill that has 80 House co-sponsors. However, the second worst drought in US history has put a damper on the Knollenberg repeal bill, even though support in the ranks runs deep.

The answer to a better flush may be found in the toilet tissue used, according to Bruce Case of Case Design/Remodeling Inc. of Bethesda, MD. Case claims in his personal experience switching from a thick fluffy tissue such as Charmin to a light tissue such as White Cloud his family found their toilets worked better.

Kids Ask the Darnest Questions


Jok Church is attempting to demystify the world for kids. A recent "You Can" syndicated comic page feature "The toilet: myth and mystery!" answered three questions sent in by kids about toilets. In addition to the "You Can" comic feature, Jok also answers kid´s questions at the "You Can" website. The motto, " A good question is a powerful thing" covers a lot of territory. Kids want to know the answer to such questions as: Why is poop brown? and Where Do Farts Come From? Why Do They Smell? Jok gives them answers in great detail.

Even the Toilet is Wired

The Japanese are still trying to improve on the conventional toilet. According to a recent report the latest high tech toilets being built in Japan can take your weight once a day in the morning and measure the proportion of your body fat. In addition, they are capable of measuring the sugar content of your urine, and sending the vital data to your doctor. This new toilet resembles a cross between an ejector seat and an electric chair according to Steven Butler who wrote the report for U.S. News & World Report. June 7, 1999, page 48.

NC Seeks to Wipe Out Outhouses

Under a new program called the Small Town Environment Program, or STEP, North Carolina hopes to upgrade their over 43,000 homes that still lack adequate indoor plumbing. The State officials suspect that there may be as many as 200,000 homes in NC still using outhouses or what is called straight-piping. Straight-piping is the term used for homes that pipe their 'blackwater' (the polite term for raw waste) directly into nearby rivers and streams. While outhouses are still legal in the state, straight-piping is not.

Indoor bathrooms are a major symbol of prosperity. As late as 1950, one-forth of American homes lacked indoor plumbing.


Joan Cushing's new revue, Flush, is one of two original musicals that start off the Source Theatre Company's 18th annual Washington Theatre Festival on 8 July 1998. Joan Cushing, aka Mrs. Foggybottom, said, "I took a wedding and a funeral and thought, wouldn't it be funny to do a revue where you only see the people in the restroom?" With the experience of having attended many weddings and funerals as a member of a large Irish Catholic family, Cushing sets her revue in the unisex restroom of a multipurpose hall where a wedding and a funeral are taking place at the same time. Cushing's long-running political spoof fest, "Mrs. Foggybottom & Friends," closed at the Shoreham in 1996.

Toilets vs. The World Wide Web

The Worldwatch Institute recently reported that, "access to adequate sanitation facilities in Latin America and Asia is falling while Web use is growing geometrically." Four million people are expected to be online by the year 2000 in China, even though not even half of them have a toilet.

  • TIME, 25 May 1998, p. 32

The Taj Majal of Restrooms

Nestled amid evergreens and wildflowers 90 miles north of Philadelphia in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, 12 U.S. Park Service designers, architects and engineers spent two years and $330,000 designing and building a two holer OUTHOUSE. According to the report this OUTHOUSE features slate, gabled roof, cottage-style porches and a cobblestone foundation that can withstand an earthquake. The baseboards are covered with $78-a-gallon paint and the wildflower seed planted around the foundation cost $720 a pound. There is no running water, just two composting toilets. A perfect example of your tax dollars at work.

Can You Top This?

The National Park Service seems to be testing the American public. We now learn that $300,000 for building the Pennsylvania outhouse is peanuts. The National Park Service has topped that by quite a bit with its latest project. The National Park Service has plans in the works for not one but two two-story, four holers in Montana's Glacier National Park at an estimated cost of $1,000,000 each. These state of the art, solar-powered composting outhouses have propane generator backups and are part of a larger park renovation project that some estimate will cost $6,000,000 before it's finished.

The rustic, 28-by-19-foot outhouse is a thing of beauty that will last forever, according to the private contractor supervising the job. While two million visitors flock to Glacier National Park each year, only a few thousand hikers to the remote site of the outhouses will be able to enjoy these works of art.

David Mihalic, Glacier's superintendent says the park service has far greater needs, and they could put the money to better use, but they had little choice. Montana's three-member congressional delegation directed them to undertake the project. Officials insist they have been frugal but building in remote areas costs a lot of money.

  • from USA Today, 15 December 1997 by Edward T. Pound (page 1A)

Congress Pressures
National Park Service
into Flushing Out Excesses.

After the embarrassing revelations of the extravant outhouses built in the Delaware Gap and Montana's Glacier National Park, the National Park Service has agreed to make fundamental changes in its construction programs. The changes include cutting about 240 employees from the agency's 488-employee construction design and supervision facility in Denver. In the future, any project cosing more than $500,000 must be cleared as a line item by Congress.

"The Loo of the Year"

The Tower Thistle Hotel in London is the winner of the 1996-97 "Loo of the Year" award. The hotel's lavish lavatory decorated in charcoal gray, marble and walnut, with ginger jars, glass tables and comfortable seating won the ninth annual competition sponsored by the British Tourist Authority and two companies that promote hygienic public washrooms. The Grand Prize in this contest went to Portsmouth Historic Dock Yard. The heritage shipyard was cited for excellence in providing facilities for disabled visitors and for parents with babies who can find highchairs, microwaves and bottle warmers in the loo.

  • from USA Today (17 January 1997) by Cathy Lynn Grossman

High-Tech Japanese Toilets
Embarrass Foreign Visitors

Just as many foreigners had finally mastered the traditional Japanese "squatter" with no seat, they are being confused anew by the latest generation of Japanese toilets--super-high-tech sit-down models with a digital control panel that looks like the cockpit of a plane. The toilets basically look like a standard American model, except for the conrol panel, which sometimes comes with a clock to tell you how long you have been in the bathroom.

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