At an alarming, unprecedented 100% success rate, literally every participant in my focus group correctly identified the abstract, gender-neutral concept I came up with to identify a restroom. Update: Printable Gender Neutral Bathroom Signs Project. Double Update: this is now a thing.
Refuge Restrooms is a crowdsourced website that works to help trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming people find safe restrooms. They've recently launched an iPhone app, with an unofficial (and with-ads) android app already out. [more inside]
Buzzfeed conducted a(n unscientific) poll of over 300,000 readers on their bathroom habits. Some startling findings: most people pee in the shower, some people take their pants and/or their shirt off to poop, and 21% of respondents have their toilet paper facing the wrong way. The gulf between sitters and standers is widening, and the sitters contingent is winning. (Previously on sitters vs. standers.) [more inside]
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]
It drips on her head most days, says Champaben, but in the monsoon season it’s worse. In rain, worms multiply. Every day, nonetheless, she gets up and walks to her owners’ house, and there she picks up their excrement with her bare hands or a piece of tin, scrapes it into a basket, puts the basket on her head or shoulders, and carries it to the nearest waste dump.A chapter from The Big Necessity, a book exploring the world of human waste: A Brief History of Class and Waste in India [more inside]
In 1962, the Mansfield (Ohio) Police Department stationed officers armed with a movie camera behind a two-way mirror in a public restroom known for its "cruisy" atmosphere. With the help of the footage shot, dozens of men were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on sodomy charges, which at the time carried mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison. In 2007, the original surveillance footage was obtained by filmmaker William E. Jones. He's screened the unedited 56 minute film as Tearoom at festivals and museums the world over, providing a clandestine look at the scrutiny small-town Midwestern gay men faced in the 1960's. [warning: explicit, NSFW material lies beyond most links] [more inside]
The Great Debate: What's the most environmentally-friendly way to dry your hands in a public bathroom? Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have completed what is believed to be the first major study to assess the greenest way of drying your hands.
In April of 2007, College Humor conducted an informal poll of their readership's (ahem) wiping habits. This month, Drew Magary re-examines the results of that "study" for Deadspin, and comes to the same shocking conclusions. (Note: These links contain bathroom-related discussions that those with more delicate sensibilities probably won't enjoy.) [more inside]
[NSFW] The Bathroom Graffiti Project | The Writing's on the Stall [previously] | The Writing is on the Wall | And the Words of the Prophets Were Written on the Bathroom Stalls | It's All in the Head | Microsoft Bathroom Graffiti | Documentary: In Search of Bathroom Graffiti | The Flickr Bathroom Graffiti Pool
MizPee works on your mobile phone to help you locate the nearest, cleanest bathroom.
Press button, wipe hands on pants ... NOT! FINALLY someone has done something about those crappy hand driers that never really worked in the first place. I encountered my first XLERATOR in the men's room of my local pool hall the other night. For a moment I feared it would blow the flesh off my tender hands. But no flesh-tearing was to occur; it performed its intended function flawlessly in about 10 seconds. My profound and everlasting gratitude to its inventor. Best news ever? Do I need to get a life?
NYC Police Arrest Transgender Man for Using Men's Restroom The first link is just a post-arrest picture of riot cops and protestors. Read the story here.