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considering & rethinking bathrooms

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian):
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 22, 2014 - 181 comments

Poor sanitation and childhood stunting

New research on malnutrition, which leads to childhood stunting, suggests that a root cause may be an abundance of human waste polluting soil and water, rather than a scarcity of food. (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash on Jul 14, 2014 - 12 comments

Bayakou

"The only way to end Haiti’s cholera epidemic is to keep infected waste out of food and water. A subterranean network of pipes, pumping stations, and waste-treatment plants would be the ideal solution, but Haiti’s successive governments have had too little money, power, or will to build massive public works on their own.... International donors have been little help: in one case, the U.S. government, to protest the way an election was conducted, withheld funds to build water and sanitation infrastructure in northern Haiti for more than ten years. From 1990 to 2008, the proportion of Haitians with access to basic sanitation decreased from 26% to 17%. Cholera broke out in 2010. Four years into the epidemic, a trip to the bathroom for most Haitians still means looking for an open field or wading into a public canal at dawn. Those who can afford to, dig cesspools under outhouses. When the cesspools get full, it’s time to call a man like Leon." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 13, 2014 - 11 comments

Discovering a bat under your bare posterior can be traumatizing.

What Makes a Good Toilet?
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 20, 2014 - 34 comments

Waste Watching: Robin Nagle's Discard Sudies

Discard Studies "is meant as an online gathering place for scholars, activists, environmentalists, students, artists, planners, and anyone else whose work touches on themes relevant to the study of waste and wasting." It's about hoarding discourse. Migrants' material trails. The stewardship of repair. Flood level markers. And so much more, thanks to the trashiest anthropologist in New York. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jan 12, 2014 - 7 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Wipe your hands on paper towels

An article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings compares twelve different studies to determine which way of drying one's hands is the most sanitary, and concludes that the provision of Paper Towels is more effective than Blow Dryers. (previously: paper towels found to be less environmentally-friendly in paper commissioned by Dyson, inventor of the Airblade)
posted by Greg Nog on Dec 5, 2012 - 74 comments

Treasure in the Trash by Nelson Molina

One man's trash is another man's treasure — we've all heard the old adage, but Nelson Molina, a longtime sanitation worker in Manhattan, takes the saying to an entirely new level: a self-curated, full-fledged art gallery — from other people's trash. The New York Times toured Mr. Molina's gallery recently, getting a rare peek into the collection that contains everything from a Masters of Business Administration diploma (from Harvard!) to a portrait of Winston Churchill. Via
posted by infini on Jul 27, 2012 - 11 comments

SitOrSquat: Cheeta Camp

Mapping Toilets in a Mumbai Slum. As part of an initiative by the Harvard School of Public Health, a team of students is researching life in the Mumbai slum, Cheeta Camp. They started by studying sanitation and water use. Their results? This map of toilets.
posted by bluefly on Jul 24, 2012 - 8 comments

We need a better way to poop

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the second round of its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, designed to prototype a means of dealing effectively and cost-efficiently with human waste for the 2 billion people on earth who currently lack access to safe and affordable sanitation.
posted by slogger on Apr 26, 2012 - 78 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

Something is happening in our world: Memphis, Cairo, Madison

Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free."
Forty-three years ago today, a man was killed while protecting workers' rights to bargain collectively.
posted by orthogonality on Apr 4, 2011 - 54 comments

Do you mongo?

"One of the categories of garbage has its own word in New York City, but it’s a category found everywhere that there is trash. There are things people will put out for discard: they’re done with it, they don’t want to see it again. Somebody else looks at that same object and says, “Whoa, wait a minute. That’s pretty nice. I want to keep that.” Those two chairs you’re sitting in were on the curb to be thrown out. They’re pretty nice chairs. I’m happy to have them. In New York, that’s called mongo. It’s a noun and a verb: those are mongo. People who take things from the trash to keep are mongoing. " [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Nov 3, 2010 - 87 comments

Peepoo Blue?

Cats have toilets. Dogs have toilets. Even rats have toilets... but according to the World Toilet Organization, 2.5 billion *people* worldwide still do not have access to sanitation. Peepoo (YouTube video), developed by Swedish entrepreneur, architect and professor Anders Wilhemson, is a new biodegradable single-use toilet that could help grow crops (New York Times). A layer of urea crystals in the bag kills off disease producing pathogens and breaks the waste down... into fertilizer. If you prefer patent-free alternatives, Joseph Jenkins offers Humanure. You can get his Humanure Compost Toilet System Instruction Manual (Direct Download PDF) free of charge. All you need is a bucket, cover materials (sawdust, rice husks or coffee grounds) and the knowledge in his handbook. Peepoo or Humanure? Poo decide.
posted by stringbean on Mar 9, 2010 - 18 comments

Talkin' Sh*t

Let's talk crap. An interesting interview about toilets (NSFW, music, talking, interesting) and bathroom habits and expectations. Greasemonkey script for Salon premium-pass.
posted by nevercalm on Oct 20, 2008 - 25 comments

The major urban infrastructure that smelt it, dealt it

"Stench of manure engulfs London." When I saw this headline, my first thought was: what, again?

The "Great Stink" of 1858 was a particularly intense manifestation of London's ancient drainage problems. The Thames had always reeked, but that summer, the stench was so horrendous that the windows of Parliament were covered with curtains soaked in cleaning solution so that business could continue. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Apr 20, 2008 - 19 comments

Water

Conditions for Iraqi children affected by violence and displacement have reached a critical point, according to UNICEF (PDF). One of the worst problems is the lack of clean water: only an estimated 30 per cent have access to safe water that isn't contaminated.
posted by homunculus on May 23, 2007 - 11 comments

Human Development Report 2006

Clean water is a right: "The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless on Nov 24, 2006 - 18 comments

Food for thought

The new war on hunger. No strangers to controversy, the Food Not Bombs Network generated further discord while distributing meals to others. In the course of its work, FNB's food lines often neglect the issue(s) of sanitation disposal. In response, Legislation has been swiftly drafted to correct problem; feeding the destitute in public gathering areas has since become a criminal offense in a number of cities.
posted by Smart Dalek on Jul 27, 2006 - 37 comments

Does it float?

Some pig! In September, a Cincinnati artist carved a pig with wings...out of 7,000 pounds of Ivory soap. (It was commissioned by the chamber of commerce for an economic conference.) Now "Sudsie" is being sent on tour to Nicaragua to promote a kids' handwashing campaign.
posted by Vidiot on Mar 15, 2004 - 5 comments

The demise of the honey bucket.

The demise of the honey bucket. Many of us take running water and sewage services for granted. The Alaska Dept of Environmental Conservation is slowly converting rural Eskimo villages from a "fill and haul a bucket" sewage/water system to modern services. A fascinating look into the logistics required to bring these services into remote Artic villages.
posted by patrickje on Sep 23, 2002 - 1 comment

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