July 24, 2014

There's only one thing that could make this awesome news story even better...

...and that's the ad running to its right side!
Here's the story:
British inventor builds giant 'fart machine' to fire at France
Colin Furze's huge valveless jet engine will be housed in a specially constructed pair of buttocks and aimed in the general direction of France. Furze, a plumber and inventor from Stamford, Lincolnshire, has begun building the biggest fart machine ever, which he plans to place on top of the cliffs of Dover and aim across the Channel towards France. 
His hope is that the French, 21 miles away, will hear the blast. 
The machine, which Furze will house in a pair of specially constructed buttocks, is a giant pulse valveless jet engine – as used in Nazi V-1 bombs during World War II – that creates a plume of fire to go along with its deafening roar. 

And here's a video giving background:

July 17, 2014

Hey, want to buy some dinosaur poop? (It's botryoidal!)

As readers of The Big Book of Gross Stuff know, coprolite is fossilized poop. How did it get fossilized? It’s really old!

For example, that long dinosaur poop above is between five to 34 million years old. What laid it? Dunno. We just have the poop. But it was almost certainly a dinosaur. (I mean, that thing IS over a yard long!)

What’s weird is that people buy coprolites. And this one is actually for sale; below is its auction description.
ENORMOUS AND RARE COPROLITE
This truly spectacular specimen is possibly the longest example of dinosaur feces ever to be offered at auction. It boasts a wonderfully even, pale brown-yellow coloring and terrifically detailed texture to the heavily botryoidal surface across the whole of its immense length. The passer of this remarkable object is unknown, but it is nonetheless a highly evocative specimen of unprecedented size, presented in four sections, each with a heavy black marble custom base, an eye-watering 40 inches in length overall.
Estimate $8,000-10,000

July 8, 2014

This Tokyo toilet exhibition is one of the finest museum attractions in the world

First, you put on a special poop hat and climb up to look in the giant toilet…but don't fall in!
Ha! Just kidding. You have a poop hat on—you're SUPPOSED to fall in the toilet. But where do you go?

You'll feel a little flushed as you head to a class where you will learn about all the different kinds of poop.
So what's the story? I'll let the Agence France-Presse explain:
A Japanese exhibition dedicated to what gets flushed down them and featuring a giant toilet slide is making a splash in Tokyo. Children wearing poo-shaped hats slid excitedly down a chute into a lavatory following the "Journey of Poo" at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. 
The aim of the exhibition, which also includes a chorus of singing toilet bowls, is to educate visitors about sewerage, health and waste. An angry lavatory asked out loud what would happen if the world's loos refused to do their jobs, encouraging toddlers to say 'thank you' after flushing. Children also lined up to make their own poop from plasticene, while giggling couples enjoying an unusual date also took the opportunity to sport the popular brown hats and slide down the toilet.
Link here, via Chris Buckley.

July 1, 2014

Tooshlights = Green means GO!

Wondering if someone's in that stall? 

Just check the light above its door! 

This is a terrific idea that will be of great use in crowded women's bathrooms. (From Forbes.)

June 23, 2014

You'll never believe what's in that Porta-Potty

The Lion, the Witch, and the Chemical-Smelling Poop Closet?
"Congrats! You found Narnia!" via joshuad80.

June 20, 2014

The "garderobe" was the first bathroom…and be sure to guard your robes!

Over at the Smithsonian, Jimmy Stamp takes a look at the history of the bathroom. As you may know, in the Middle Ages, folks kept chamber pots in their bedrooms to poop and pee in, then threw the contents out the window. This led to greater—and grosser?—things:
Garderrobe photo by Basha!
During the 11th-century castle-building boom, chamber pots were supplemented with toilets . . .  integrated into the architecture. 
These early bathrooms, known as “garderobes” were little more than continuous niches that ran vertically down to the ground, but they soon evolved into small rooms that protruded from castle walls . . . historian Dan Snow notes: “The name garderobe—which translates as guarding one's robes—is thought to come from hanging your clothes in the toilet shaft, as the ammonia from the urine would kill the fleas." 
. . . the garderrobe actually had a strong resemblance to an aspect of a castle’s defenses. And it works in the same basic way: gravity. And while the garderobe was actually a weak spot in a castle’s defenses, woe be the unassuming invader scaling a castle wall beneath one. 
Several designs emerged to solve the problem of vertical waste disposal—some spiral up towers, for example, while some were entire towers; some dropped waste into cesspools, moats, and some just dropped it onto the ground below. Not all medieval compounds were okay with merely dumping excrement onto the ground like so much hot oil.

June 19, 2014

How can a smart shopper pick the right toilet paper?

By comparing brands, of course!
And a Dutch supermarket lets shoppers do just that. (Via.)

IMPORTANT SCIENCE NEWS

Did you know that astronauts drink their own recycled urine? They have to! Where else are they going to get water?

Anyway, the International Space Station (ISS) is going to get a new coffee-maker. And its nickname is the ISSpresso.

But since the coffee maker's water will come from recycled urine, I think they should call it the PISSpresso.

BOOM Urine joke!

And hey, if a British astronaut collects the pee for another pot of coffee, he’d be "taking the piss”! (That’s British slang for “teasing/fooling someone.”)