Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Toilet Replacement Lids and Seats - Is this the world's most advanced toilet? - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

U.S. researchers have developed a toilet that could help transform the sanitation and waste industry. 
Designed by a team at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Sol-Char toilet uses concentrated solar energy to transform human waste into useful and sellable end products such as solid fuel, fertilizer and heat.
The toilet operates off grid without piped water or sewage. The team received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge."
"This is really trying to address the issue of management of faecal sludge," Karl Linden, Sol-Char Sanitation's principal investigator told CNBC in a phone interview.

Sol-Char Sanitation
"The idea would be if we could treat the waste on site, in real time and make it safe to handle, then that would be a great step for the protection of public health in many of these areas," he added.
Linden, who is also a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, said that in many communities around the world, the practice of maintaining and emptying toilet latrines and pits was unsanitary and unsafe.
The World Banks says on average, poor sanitation costs countries 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP); in India, for example, it costs $54 billion a year. Furthermore, 2.4 billion people across the planet, "do not have access to basic sanitation," according to the World Health Organisation.
The prototype toilet designed by Linden and his team is suitable for a family of four. Parabolic dishes are used to harness the sunlight on what Sol-Char describe as a "small focal point."
Fiber optic cables transmit this light to a "reaction chamber" where faecal matter is turned into usable by-products. Urine, once treated, can also be used as a fertilizer.
"From four to six people it's actually not that much that comes out – it might be one hundred grams, a few hundred grams, that come out of that, but as you collect it over time you can create value," Linden said.

"You could either use that in agriculture and it's good for improving the water holding capacity of soils; it's good for nutrient availability… and creates good soil structure," he added.
Solar power is an increasingly important part of the global energy mix and last year the International Energy Agency said the sun could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050.
"Solar is an ideal energy source… there's really a renaissance in solar energy today," Linden said. "The way we can collect it is very efficient and it's a free energy source," he added.
Linden did admit however that using solar power presented own challenges. "It's certainly not going to be a solution for areas that have high cloud cover and a long, long rainy season," he said.
"We've done some analysis looking at patterns of light coverage in different parts of the world and we've come up with a map of where our toilet could work well… North Africa, the Middle East, parts of India, some parts in the Arctic, say, where there's a lot of sunlight."
Linden said that it would cost a family of four around $12,000 to buy a first-generation toilet, and said that Sol-Char Sanitation's main goal was driving that cost down. It is hoped that a range of factors – from scaling up production to using different manufacturing methods and more affordable materials – will help to do just that.

by Anmar Frangoul

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Toilet Replacement Lids and Seats - Father and son build vehicles for Hampdenfest's Toilet Races - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Power behind the throne
Matthew Baker, 10, is too young to compete in the upcoming Toilet Races during Hampdenfest on Sept. 19. According to the rules, which his father wrote, contestants must be 18 or older.
When asked if he agrees with that rule, Matthew said, "Not really, but I get it."
There's no law against the Hampden boy building the race cars, however. That's what Matthew was doing Sept. 10 under the watchful eye of his father, artist Steve Baker, founder and organizer of the sixth annual Toilet Races and owner of Wholly Terra, an art studio on Chestnut Avenue.
Working out of a nearby garage, Matthew donned a protective helmet and gloves and began to weld parts together for an ambitious racing vehicle with twin toilet tanks, which his father jokingly referred to as a V–twin engine. It's one of several soapbox derby-style cars that the Bakers have been building.
"For the past few weeks, this has been our project," Steve Baker said.

The Toilet Races, a series of heats leading up to the championship race, start at Chestnut and West 36th Street, known as The Avenue. It's all downhill from there, as contestants get a starting push from their supporters and roll down Chestnut Avenue as fast as they can for several blocks to the finish line.
Several thousand spectators are expected to line both sides of Chestnut for the races, from 3-5 p.m., based on crowd estimates in years past.
Hampdenfest and its main event, the Toilet Races, are looking to rebound from last year, when the small neighborhood festival nearly was canceled because it conflicted with Baltimore's nationally publicized Sailabration. The date of Hampdenfest had to be changed at the proverbial last minute, because city officials said they lacked the manpower and resources to provide security and other support services for Hampdenfest and Sailabration.
the Toilet Races, and he had to turn those duties over because he had a scheduling conflict of his own.
This year, Baker is back in business as organizer and race car builder, but unlike his son he has no desire to personally ride one of their contraptions in the Toilet Races.
"Some other fool can ride it down the street," he said, recalling that there have been two crashes in the contest over the years — one of them involving him as the driver in the 2012 Toilet Races. He said he was "cruising pretty fast," gaining ground on the racer ahead of him, when he had to slam on his brakes, causing the vehicle and its built-in toilet tank to flip over on top of him.

The tank didn't just break — "it exploded," he said. "It totally blew apart. I was bruised for a week. I still have nightmares."
Bawdy contestants
But Baker has plenty else to keep him busy. He has already delivered one of his son's homemade racers to a troupe of burlesque queens. Several members of the troupe, Bawdy Shop Burlesque, decorated the racer with glitter in leader Ruby Rockafella's backyard in Hamilton last weekend, and they plan to enter it as a team in the Toilet Races.
"It's a single-seater. It looks like a sporty tricycle with a toilet on it," said Rockafella, who would give only her stage name.

The burlesque festival, called "The Avenue Meets the Strip," will run from 8-11 p.m., with an adults-only burlesque show in Gallery 788, located at 3602 Hickory Ave., followed by a glitter parade on West 36th Street and free kazoos for the crowd.In conjunction with Hampdenfest, Bawdy Shop Burlesque, which debuted last year with a show at the Ottobar in Remington, plans to stage its own post-race festival of burlesque and variety arts, featuring everything from belly dancing to carnival-style "side show" acts, including performers lying on a bed of nails.
"We love and celebrate everything about Baltimore," said Rockafella, whose troupe was invited to enter last year's Toilet Races, but was booked for a Bawdy Shop Burlesque show. "Hampden happens to be a place we go a lot. We all get our hair done in Hampden."
Rockafella said Bawdy Shop Burlesque is well-suited for Hampdenfest and the Toilet Races.
"We are in love with toilet humor," she said. "We are completely ridiculous people. It's a perfect fit. What is more bawdy that riding down the street on a toilet?"

Many of the contestants will be entering their own homemade racers, including Chris Doiron, of Hampden, new owner of Luigi's restaurant on The Avenue. He has competed in the Toilet Races every year, with a variety of creative entries, including an outhouse with a shingled roof, a claw foot bathtub with a toilet sidecar, and the Leaky Tiki, a Tiki bar urinal raised to the right height, "if you needed to go," he said.
"None of his racers go farther than the first round," Baker said. "It's all style."
Doiron won't deny that.
"I build things that are impossibly slow," he said.
Doiron wouldn't describe this year's entry.
"It's top secret," he said, "because I haven't made it yet."
But he dropped two hints.
"I guarantee it'll be slow as molasses," he said. "It'll definitely have a cooler attached to it."
Pride and glory

As for Matthew, "I make them for fun and speed.""He's just doing it for fun," said Matthew Baker, a fifth grader at the Jemicy School, who has become a veteran observer of the Toilet Races. "Some people really amp it up and get soapbox derby wheels. They're aiming to win. It's really fun to see what different people make."
Although he enjoys welding and "the mechanics" of building racers, Matthew isn't sure what he wants to be when he grows up. He's also really into rock climbing and said, "I'd like to be a climbing coach."
But he admires well-built toilet racers and enjoys being part of the action.
"I get a lot of compliments," he said. "When I watch (the races), I sometimes see my friends in the crowd. They think it's actually pretty cool."
His father said building toilet races isn't as oddball as some might think for a family-affair project.
"It lends itself to a very good thought process" for children, Baker said. "Matthew is one of the few kids in his class who knows how to build things. You appreciate good craft because you've done it."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Toilet Replacement Lids and Seats - Japan loos flush with success after toilet design contest - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Japan's luckiest lavatories have received a government award for their spotless appearance in a hard-fought contest among the nation's prettiest and most practical loos.

A panel including architects and an official from the Japan Toilet Association sifted through nearly 400 applications before settling on two dozen municipalities and companies with the loveliest latrines.
The criteria for the inaugural award were cleanliness, safety, comfortableness, novelty/creativity, and sustainability.
The range of winners included firms that created makeshift toilets after Japan's 2011 quake-tsunami disaster, Haneda airport for its spotless restrooms, and the organisers of a toilet-themed art festival.
Others got the nod for making female restrooms more attractive, including supplying space for breast-feeding and shortening waiting lines.
Toilets in Japan have been raised to something of an art and foreign visitors are regularly wowed by their seat warmers and pinpoint bidet jets.
But the government insists the award was more than just a beauty contest—it was about empowering women.
"Pleasant restrooms will improve the quality of daily life and encourage women's empowerment," Haruko Arimura, minister in charge of women's empowerment, told an awards ceremony on Friday.
"Having  where women feel safe is a sign of the maturity and richness of a society."
That idea was panned on social media.
"I cannot believe the government has created the toilet . Are restrooms the reason why Japanese women cannot shine?" said one Twitter user.
Another added: "The  is missing the point. They should work more on issues such as the lack of child care facilities."


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Toilet Replacement Lids and Seats - Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be - This Old Toilet 800-658-4521

Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be
What’s to be said for a guy whose first Kickstarter investment is a color-changing toilet nightlight? That he has an aim problem? An interest in a mid-stream dance party? Yes, I helped fund the Illumibowl, and I’m not sorry.
The Illumibowl is a motion-activated, color-changing toilet nightlight. Okay, it’s a novelty, but let’s be real: Who wouldn’t want a glowing disco nightlight inside his or her toilet?
Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be
Post-Kickstarter success, the creators of the Illumibowl spent nearly a year developing this finely China-manufactured plastic gadget, and I often despaired of ever receiving mine due to all the problems they encountered along the way. But this summer, lo and behold, my fellow backers and I were finally sent the finished product.
My verdict? This is the best $15 ever spent on a silly bathroom gadget, Kickstarter or otherwise.


Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be
The Illumibowl comes in a box half the size of a deck of cards. I received three to use, review, and give to friends. It’s a remarkably simple design—basically just a small white plastic box with a battery compartment (3 AAA batteries not included), a rounded motion detector, and some suction cups around back.
The left side of the plastic housing has one small, clickable button which lets you select which color you want. Until you press it, the Illumibowl will cycle through eight different colors. They’re beautiful and magnificently weird to watch. 
Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be
The fancy color-changing light is a 5mm LED capable of lasting 100,000 hours of use, theoretically offering years of mild entertainment. It’s attached to the top of the device by a flat, flexible cable that has roughly 2-3” of slack. This allows you to wrap the cord over the top of your toilet bowl. In addition, there’s a plastic clip to hold any additional cable length you don’t want.
The Illumibowl easily sticks to your porcelain throne thanks to four tiny suction cups on the back of the plastic housing. On the end of the LED cord, another suction cup can be found for placement inside the rim of your toilet. Gross? Indeed—so don’t forget to clean first.
Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be

Using It

Step 1. For a proper Illumibowl test, I suggest staggering into your bathroom at 3 am during a house party feeling approximately twice as bad as after your last wedding reception. For best results, quickly collapse to your knees. If this doesn’t trigger the motion sensor, I’m not sure what will. Use the newfound light to find the toilet bowl.
Step 2: Straddling your porcelain totem, watch and wait until the Illumibowl light switches to bright green, a color so neon it resembles toxic waste. By now, The Weeknd’s summer hit Can’t Feel My Face should be playing in the background.
Step 3: Expel the tempest in your stomach and enjoy the calming (yet eerie) mood lighting and ambient party noise, all while you relive your regretful moments from the past six hours.
Step 4: Flush and pass out. Illumibowl’s potty aurora borealis will shut off by itself.
Illumibowl Is the Toilet Nightlight We All Hoped It Would Be


Joking aside, this product does pretty much exactly what I wanted it to do. It guides me to a toilet without blinding me in the middle of the night. It gives everyone mild amusement during the most basic of human bodily functions. And, as you can see in my demonstration below (it’s water, people), it also helps you aim.

As you might expect, there are a few glitches. Of the three models I received, one had molded plastic blocking the clickable button, which required some screwdriver whittling to solve. And after I set the Illumibowl to my favorite color—teal—I had to wait an entire motion-sensor-refresh to get the colors to cycle once more.
Minor inconveniences like these are a small price to pay for the promise of disco toilet nightlight for years to come.
by Erik Hyrkas