The Blog (archived)

Category: Toilets

World Toilet Day

Thursday, November 19, 2009

World Toilet Day official logoDid you know that November 19th is World Toilet Day? If you think the concept of a world toilet day sounds a little absurd or frivolous, then you’re probably not one of the 2.5 billion people on this planet who don’t have access to proper sanitation. Yes, that’s a lot of people without access to something most of you reading this probably take for granted - the humble toilet.

We may be in the twenty-first century, and have the technology to place Michael Jackson’s nose in orbit around one of Saturn’s moons (if we really wanted to), yet an incredible 1.8 million of our fellow humans still die each year because of a lack of proper sanitation. In fact, diarrheal diseases kill more children than either malaria or AIDS. Something as simple as the safe disposal of childrens’ poo could slash their diarrhoea by 40%, and those in developed countries could also benefit from more numerous and more hygenic public facilities.

That’s why the non-profit World Toilet Organization was formed - to improve toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. As well as trying to influence governments to improve their sanitation policies, they hold World Toilet Summits and Expos, and drive market-based strategies to promote sustainable sanitation systems. November 19th was declared “World Toilet Day” to increase awareness of the problem and generate local action for better sanitation.

Official Big Squat logoYou might be thinking, “how can I help?”. On the other hand you might not, but in case anyone feels so inspired, here are some options:

  1. Sponsor a School Toilet in India, or even donate an entire toilet block, via the World Toilet Organization
  2. Give the gift of a toilet through one of the other charitable organisations which conduct worthwhile projects in less developed countries (such as Compassion Australia)
  3. Take part in the Big Squat - a movement for the toilet-less. Simply squat for one minute in a highly visible location, and if anyone notices, explain why you’re squatting (flyers can be downloaded)

If you’ve missed world toilet day this year, there’s always next year!


Microsoft Help In The Toilet

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Anyone who has used Microsoft Word will probably have come across the built-in assistant known as Clippy. That’s the animated paperclip which pops up and offers what is called context-sensitive help, such as “It looks like you’re writing a letter. Would you like to …”

clippy-poo.jpgWith computer applications popping up in places like telephones, refrigerators and car GPS units, it might only be a matter of time before computer screens start appearing in toilets (sponsored reading matter, perhaps?). My imagination ran away … what sort of online help would Microsoft offer to toilet users?

The image on the right is one possibility I came up with when I should have been doing something more important like studying. I don’t know where I made it - probably on one of the many image-generator websites around. I just re-discovered it while searching my hard drive for something else, and thought I’d share it. Considering how thoroughly computers are infiltrating our lives, it may not be as far fetched as it looks, which is a scary thought.


A Unique Gentlemen’s Room

Friday, August 25, 2006

I don’t want toilet-related things to become a theme of this blog, but I just had to share these pictures of the inside of a men’s toilet I visited recently.

Its located in Queenstown, New Zealand, in the lobby of the Sofitel hotel complex (I didn’t stay there - finding good toilets is part of the art of being a good traveller). In the gents, six life-sized illuminated pictures of women appear to stare down at each of the urinals with expressions of amazement, or pity. Its a bit disconcerting to be standing there doing one’s business, with the feeling of being watched, or sized-up. But I congratulate this hotel on being innovative enough to make their toilet stand out from the crowd in such a fun and imaginative way.


Self-help for the bathroom

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You can find out almost anything on the internet. A classic example of this is the Toiletology 101 website by Kay Keating - “A free course on toilet repairs to save water and money”.

This unique resource promises “Almost everything you ever wanted to know about your toilets! And some things you probably never knew you needed to know”. Many years ago it helped me repair a fault in my toilet’s cistern. Last weekend, with my toilet constantly dripping, I remembered the site and was able to rectify the problem, thanks in part to the understanding of toilet plumbing gained from reading Toiletology 101.

Even if your loo is faultless, there’s plenty to interest those into gadgets and learning how stuff works. Useful information freely available … its what makes the internet great.


Bathroom etiquette

Monday, April 24, 2006

If you’ve ever entered a public toilet and wondered which urinal to stand at, or wondered what the proper protocol is when using someone else’s bathroom, then a visit to the International Centre for Bathroom Etiquette may answer your questions … and others you hadn’t thought of. logoIts light-hearted, but more than just toilet humour. The use of e-mail in toilets, and the latest news in toilet technology, are some of the other subjects on this unusual website. Its good to see that someone is thinking about how to be considerate of others while conducting one’s business.