Thursday, April 17, 2008

26 Toilet Mansion

Did you hear about this planned mansion in Greenwich? It is going to contain 26 toilets. Neighbors are protesting the building of these mammoth house and plumbing extravaganza.

Check out the video:

I wonder if all of the toilets will be traditional toilets? Do you think some will have bidets? Will they be those new green toilets that have two flush settings, one for #1 (less water used to flush) and one for #2 (more water)? I really cannot believe it is 2008, we have all this technology, yet dual-flush are not omnipresent. It makes so much sense. There could also be a third setting for those times after you were at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

I've been meaning to blog about toilets ever since I got back from Greece and since two of my friends got back from Egypt.

Here are my completely random thoughts:

1. Why don't we have bidets? The French, who are not known as the "cleanest" folk on the Earth, use them and love them. Why not Americans?

2. Where does the waste from airplane toilets go?

3. I don't like the plumbing system in Greece (can't flush the toilet paper).

4. I can't believe there are so many places in the world that don't even have toilet paper. The left-hand deal is completely gross. Now, I've been informed that the way this is done (pitcher of water next to the toilet, cup the hand, fill with water, and wash) is actually quite sanitary, but it's just not my cup of tea. Let me know how you would feel about this. I understand, from talking to my Indian friends, that when relatives come to the U.S. from India, they insist on the left-hand water pitcher method and refuse to use toilet paper.

5. The VA hospital has very rough toilet paper.

6. Speaking of toilet paper, it has a FASCINATING history.

A. The first known reference to toilet paper is from the 6th century in China.

B. It wasn't until 1857 that the first factory-produced toilet paper was distributed.

C. Before the invention of modern toilet paper, people used a variety of materials to clean their bottom, such as wool, lace or hemp, rags, wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize husks, fruit skins, or seashells (ouch!), and cob of the corn depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. In Ancient Rome, a sponge on a stick was commonly used, and, after usage, placed back in a bucket of saltwater.

D. The first two-ply toilet paper was produced until 1942

7. There are two common methods of installing toilet paper rolls on a toilet roll holder, either overhand or underhand. The first method of installation, overhand, has the edge of the roll facing away from the wall and commonly facing the toilet. This method allows the defecator easy access to grab the toilet paper and pull off the desired amount of paper, as the roll spins toward the user. Since the industry designs toilet paper to be used overhand, designs that are patterned, quilted or printed upon toilet paper are found on the outside of the roll; i.e. so that it is displayed. The second method of installation, underhand, has the edge of the roll facing the wall and commonly facing away from the toilet. This method makes it a bit more difficult for the defecator to grab the toilet paper: as the roll spins, it spins away from the user. However, there is an advantage to this method in a household with toddlers, as is makes it less likely that toilet paper will spin off the roll. This is because a toddler is most likely to spin the roll toward himself (or herself). In the case of this installation, as the roll spins toward the toddler, the paper remains wound on the roll. Yet another advantage of this method is that when the toilet paper is folded directly from the roll, it allows the embossed or printed side of the paper to face out.

8. From what I learned from my friends, if you travel to Egypt, prepare to deal with very unsanitary bathrooms, that often involved stepping in excrement, no toilet paper, and no running water. Disgusting.


kath said...

First things first, Coca, you again appear to have way too much time. But who am I to judge?

I am a huge advocate for bidets and hope that our imaginery next house will have them. Despite my enthusiasm, though, I have to admit I haven't ever actually used them...but the concept is brilliant.

Toilets in most developing countries are scary. I remember sharing a roadside bathroom in Turkey with a goat.

Will said...

Kath - I agree that bidets have so much intuitive appeal... I often wonder how much the years of outright trauma we inflict on ourselves contributes to increased rates of ano-rectal cancer. (I'm not kidding).

Also, buried deep in this riveting post was the historical tidbit that people used to wipe with hemp. Not the most efficient way to get high but it must've happened at least once. (Don't be surprised if you find me at the hemp loom soon.)

And with that, I bid(et) you adieu (kie). yes, I typed it and it's too late to take it back.

Jeanette said...

oh will, you didn't, did you?