Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Weird or Cool: The Toilet Projector for the Poop Emoji Fan - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

toilet projector

Welcome to Weird or Cool, where we determine if a piece of gear is worth your attention.

Here’s your daily dose of toilet gear humor: If you recently walked into your bathroom, looked into your toilet, and really wished there was a poop emoji giving you a big grin, there’s a gadget out there on Kickstarterknown as the Toilet Projector from a company called IllumiBowl. To answer your question, it's exactly what it sounds like (but no, you can't watch Netflix with it).

Slightly different than a night light that you have to plug into an outlet, you can stick the IllumiBowl creation to the lid of your throne like you would a wall hook with an adhesive backing, and then cast the emoji of your choice down into your stool. IllumiBowl's calling it "the world's 1st toilet night light projector."

by Guy Wisdom

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Study: Your Kitchen Sponge Has More Germs Than Your Toilet - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Colorful cleaners or nightclubs for bacteria? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Do you wash your dishes in the toilet? In a study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from Germany showed just how germy 14 different used kitchen sponges actually were with more bacteria than typically found in the toilet. I say typical because you know the common saying, "different people, different toilets."
The team from Justus–Liebig–University Giessen (Massimiliano Cardinale and Sylvia Schnell), German Research Center for Environmental Health (Tillmann Lueders), and Furtwangen University (Dominik Kaiser and Markus Egert) used 454–pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes and fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with confocal laser scanning microscopy (FISH–CLSM) to analyze the bacteria content of used kitchen sponges including those that are regularly "cleaned". (I know what you are thinking, it's been a while since you've used pyrosequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and confocal laser scanning microscopy together.) They found not one, not two, but 362 different types of bacteria. And many of these are not just benign, friendly bacteria. Five of the 10 most frequently detected bacteria species had "pathogenic potential." In other words, they could cause problems and disease in humans, i.e., you. Yes, your kitchen sponge is a huge and shady nightclub for bacteria.

Like a nightclub, regular cleaning may help but many sponge owners don't seem to be cleaning their sponges adequately. Microwaving or boiling the sponge in the laboratory helped significantly reduce the sheer amount of bacteria. However, the researchers found that sponges that the sponge owners claimed were regularly cleaned did not contain less bacteria than uncleaned ones. This is another example of the adage, just because something (or someone) doesn't look dirty doesn't mean that it isn't.

If you have a stinky sponge, then you may want to blame Moraxella osloensis. This stinky bacteria is often responsible for making laundry smell and appeared abundantly in the sponges. Interestingly, the researchers found that boiling or microwaving the sponges could even increase the load of Moraxella osloensis, probably by killing off other better smelling bacteria and allowing the Moraxella more room to reproduce at the bar of the to speak. While Moraxella osloensis is not a common cause of infections in humans, there have been cases.

Washing your pots and pans doesn't clean your kitchen sponge. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Why would your kitchen sponge have more bacteria than your toilet? After all, don't you poop in your toilet and not your kitchen sink? (Please don't provide any other answer than yes.) Well, unless you prepare food and eat often while on the toilet, you handle a wider variety of substances like food and rubbish more frequently in your kitchen, while also touching yourself. Moreover, as studies have shown and hand hygiene warnings have emphasized, you may not be washing your hands as regularly or as correctly as you should before, during, and after food preparation. Additionally, there is generally more traffic in your kitchen than your bathroom...traffic meaning different people rather than cars and trucks. Your bacteria-laden and dirty family and friends (because that's what they are) bring more contamination to the kitchen than nearly any other location in your apartment or house.

What should you do then about the stinky nightclub of bacteria that is resting besides your kitchen sink? First, don't freak out. No matter how lonely you may feel at certain times, you are never alone. Bacteria is everywhere, although they may not be very talkative or like Netflix. Secondly, wash your hands regularly and properly. Third, clean your sponge regularly and properly, such as boiling your sponge, microwaving it on high, or soaking it in bleach (a quarter to half of a teaspoon of concentrated bleach per quart of warm, not hot water) for at least a minute. A Michigan State University web site includes some tips on how to do this such wetting your sponge and removing any metal before you microwave it so it doesn't catch fire or explode (both of which are bad).  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommendscleaning your sponge daily. Fourth, replace your sponge frequently, even if it looks OK. You can't see bacteria but they can see you. While cleaning your sponge regularly properly can help the bacteria count down, you should still replace your sponge regularly. The researchers recommended once a week while others (such as a microbiologist in an article in Self) have said about once a month, which is probably more frequent than you currently replace your sponge. Somewhere in this range is probably reasonable, depending on how often you use the sponge, whether you regularly clean the sponge, and what you do with it. Finally, if your sponge smells, just throw it away. Moraxella osloensis stinks.

by Bruce Lee

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Past times: When a Hollywood actor got stuck in a toilet - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Actor Tyrone Power who got stuck in a toilet in Sharnford

Actor Tyrone Power who got stuck in a toilet in Sharnford

Hollywood A-lister locks himself in toilet

Some years ago, Sharnford was delighted and honoured to play host to the world-famous film star, Tyrone Power.
At the time the Mark of Zorro star was making a film at Warwick Castle and stopped in Sharnford at the Cosy Café for a meal.
While there he managed to lock himself in the toilet and it was 30 minutes before his shouting alerted someone to his plight.
To everyone’s surprise the actor, who died in 1958 aged 44, was remarkably jovial about the whole incident and considered it marvellous to have been locked in an old fashioned toilet!
by Simon Holden

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - The Surprisingly Recent Innovation of the Toilet Duck - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

The nozzle of a bottle of Toilet Duck.
The nozzle of a bottle of Toilet Duck. ALEX BROWN/ CC BY 2.0

It’s not easy to come up with a product that’s built around a completely, utterly unique design. Especially involving a topic as unflattering as cleaning a toilet.
But in the early 1980s, a Swiss man named Walter Düring had such a moment. His company, Düring AG, had made a name for itself with the concept of decalcification, based on a formula his mother, Maria, came up with. But it was in the early 1980s that the firm had come up with something truly successful on a mainstream stage: A uniquely shaped nozzle that could spray decalcifiers into obscure crevices.
That tool, known as Toilet Duck, or WC-Ente, was basically perfect for its task. Designed to hit spots of the toilet bowl not easily reachable through scrubbing or even spraying alone, the brand gained a lot of attention starting in the 1990s for its unusual design, which, like the plastic lemon, was a product that was all design.
But there was one major difference: The duck design, which is now owned by S.C. Johnson, was clearly something brand new, that hadn’t been invented before. As such, the container received a U.S. patent in 1984. The patent makes clear that the design required some thoughtful engineering work to do its job:“The appropriately named Toilet Duck broke ranks with the conventionally bottled toilet-cleaning products by proclaiming, through the pack shape alone, its ease of use for the intended purpose,” author Bill Stewart wrote in his 1995 book Packaging as an Effective Marketing Tool. “There was little doubt in the minds of shoppers that the pack would perform better than conventional containers.“

The 1984 patent for the Toilet Duck design.
The 1984 patent for the Toilet Duck design. GOOGLE PATENTS US4437587A

By means of this construction, it is possible to spray a liquid stream from the supply retained in the smaller chamber in any desired direction, independently of the volume remaining available in the larger chamber of the bottle as long as there is liquid in the smaller chamber. Since the bottle takes up only a small height in its horizontal position, the stream hits spots which are unaccessible to bottles held in an upright position. Furthermore, it is possible to produce the bottle in common bottle manufacturing machines once the blow mold has been adapted, whereby the greater difficulties and additional working steps caused by sharply angled nozzles are avoided.
Most people wouldn’t look at the toilet as a potential hotbed of innovation—we go out of our way to hide our use of ‘em, despite the fact that everyone knows that everyone uses them.
But the person who does see the innovation potential is the one who gets to file the patent, of course. Maybe we need to be willing to find a little more toilet inspiration—hey, you never know, you could come up with the next Toilet Duck.
by Ernie Smith

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Lessons Learned From Ancient Toilets - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

A view of the Largo di Torre Argentina in downtown Rome. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Though it may sound distasteful, the ruins of toilets and sewer systems can be a treasure trove for researchers who want to know how early Romans lived and ate.
Here & Now's Meghna Chakrabarti spoke with Brandeis classics professor Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow about her work in archaic sanitation last summer, and today we revisit that conversation.

Interview Highlights: Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

On the changing understanding of Roman toilets
"We used to think there were no toilets in peoples' private homes, that if they used facilities in the high empire, they used public facilities that were associated with bath buildings, or near the amphitheater. But now, we understand that everybody did have a private house toilet. Only those were cesspit toilets… But Romans knew how to make flush toilets. They could have had house flush toilets, but they chose not to. Except for public ones — multi-seater toilets where up to 60 to 100 people sat around a room on open holes — those were flush toilets."
On how toilets in Roman homes worked
"What is interesting is that Romans didn't have sewer traps, and they didn't have the systems that we have connecting our modern toilets to sewers, and they were really afraid to put their house toilets connected to the sewer system.

"So instead they, once a year, roughly, maybe, excavated their own house toilets into the garden and raised their vegetables on the human excrement from the house. Or, they sold the contents of their house toilets — it was a commodity that you could sell to a guy going by with a wagon calling out, 'Looking for your excrement,' who would then collect from your cesspit the excrement to bring it to more commercial agriculture in the nearby city."
On Roman fears about sewer-connected toilets
"Of course, the Romans didn’t understand germs. They are also a people of extreme superstitions, and fear of sitting on a toilet with a sewer connection was something very real to them… Because they believed in demons that lived in dark, dirty places, and because, occasionally — as you were sitting on those public toilets over a real sewer — buildup of methodic gasses would cause a fire to burst through the seats of the toilet… Or, rats would crawl out of them and bite you.
There's one ancient story from a writer called Aelian who tells us about an octopus that climbed out of the sea into a house toilet which did have a sewer connection and ate all the pickled fish in a pantry of this guy's house."

"Of course, the Romans didn’t understand germs. They are also a people of extreme superstitions, and fear of sitting on a toilet with a sewer connection was something very real to them."
 Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

On the possible connection between Roman toilets and disease outbreaks
"I don't know if we can trace them (Roman disease outbreaks) directly back to them, but we can say now that, from studying the actual compacted excrement in toilets, scientists have found evidence of ringworm, and whipworm and things that would have caused severe dysentery and severe intestinal cramping and severe pains for a large part of the population."
On whether cesspit toilets are preserved enough to be researched
"Not everywhere and not everyplace but I can tell you, for example, of research done in the north of England, in Roman soldiers’ camps. We can see from the excavation of the excrement that the officers ate a much better diet and had flour free of boll weevils and bugs compared to the lowly foot soldiers’ toilets. So it can tell us about diet, and the quality of the food even, in the place where the people are using those toilets."
by Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Found: A Viking Toilet, the Oldest Bathroom in Denmark - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

A reconstruction of a Viking marketplace
A reconstruction of a Viking marketplace LEJRE LAND OF LEGENDS

AT A ROUTINE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG at a Viking site in Denmark, archaeologists stumbled upon a feature they weren’t expecting: a bathroom.
Middens and other waste pits are common features of archaeological digs. But students of Denmark’s Viking age tend to think that countryside settlements like this one didn’t have dedicated bathrooms for humans. Instead, they believed that people probably used their feces as fertilizer for fields and may have used their barn as a toilet, mixing their own waste with animal waste.
But Anna Beck, a PhD student working with the Museum Southeast Denmark, found a pit with a layer that, after analysis, they determined was human feces. The layer had high concentration of mineralize seeds, pollen, and fly pupae—all signs that this layer had formed from feces. The pollen indicated that it was human waste, since that high of a concentration of pollen would have come from honey, used as human food, not animal food.
Beck also found two postholes, indicating that the toilet was in a stand-alone building. Dating the layer, the archaeologists found it was about 1,000 years old, which would make this the oldest known bathroom in Denmark.
As Ars Technica writes, though, there’s controversy around this find. Not everyone believes the evidence adds up definitely to a toilet, and the director of another Danish museum argues that the first countryside toilets didn’t appear until the 1800s, according to other sources
by Sarah Laskow

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Replacement Toilet Lids and Seats - Man investigating high water bill discovers cat flushing the toilet - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

 A pet owner who was perplexed by the size of his water bill eventually caught the cause on camera -- his cat flushing a toilet.
Curt Coleman on June 16 posted a video to YouTube showing his cat Crazy Eyes standing on the toilet's lid and using his front paws to operate the flush lever.
"This is the reason my water bill was outrageous. Finally had to start leaving the door closed when I left for work. He was doing this numerous times throughout the day," Coleman wrote in a Reddit post.
He said the feline's newfound talent can lead to some scary moments.
"Hearing the toilet flush when I am in the house alone can be startling. Especially after watching The the dark...BAD CRAZY! BAD CAT!" he joked.
by Ben Hooper