Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From Green Toilets to a Famous Hominid

Wayne is at it again. This time sending me a link that had me digging into the depths of porcelain archeology and sent me all the way to one of our ancestors.

He sent me a link to the Wired article Pissing Match: Is the World Ready for the Waterless Urinal? The world may need a waterless urinal especially in areas where there are water shortages. After all a busy urinal may use 40,000 gallons of water a year. The article itself goes into the politics and problems of trying to get plumbing codes changed to allow the urinals to be used. One major code was changed to allow for waterless urinals as long as a water pipe was run to that area of the bathroom and then capped. While this may sound silly, redundant, and like a make work project put forth by the plumbers unions (which it was) it also means that if you decide you don't like the waterless urinal there is already a water pipe in place for its replacement.

The fascinating recent history of the waterless urinal isn't enough though. I know it isn't. Don't worry... there's a lot more out there if you go looking.

Theplumber.com has been online since 1994 with advice and links on all the issues you can imagine relating to plumbing. Heck the site still looks like it's in the late 90s. Amongst all the usefull and practical advice is a history of plumbing. A similar site toiletology has another history online though in keeping with the site it is more specifically the history of the toilet and not just plumbing. Toiletology also has been online for a while and, like theplumber, looks like it hasn't been redesigned for over a decade. If you want a more tongue in cheek history of the urinal from Gracesdad's blog Normal Chaos.

But even those histories, as well researched as any history you will find online, are nothing compared to the power of Wayne's Law when applied to the word urinal. Take the word... add "www." to the beginning... and start adding net suffixes until... voila... there is a site called www.urinal.net. Calling itself the "best place to piss away your time on the Internet" it is a priceless treasure.

It is a site where people submit photos of urinals around the world. You can gaze at the wonders of the Top Ten Urinals in the World (truly well worth a look) and behold the interactive Urinal Map. Think of what you can learn while browsing pictures of urinals around the world. Did you know that The Cleveland Museum of Natural History held the remains of Lucy for a while before returning them to Ethiopia? Neither did I until I read the caption under the picture of the museum's porcelain and went digging a little.

At which point I stepped away from the browser before I kept going. Who knows where I could have ended up if I kept surfing.

No comments: