Tag Archives: australia

9th August 2017 in toilets | Stories from India, Australia and the UK

We start today with two stories showing two different sides of the Prime Minister Modi’s Clean India campaign to make the nation Open Defecation Free. Firstly, with a story from the Indian Express about a movie star, Akshay Kumar, who has lent his name to the campaign. He is travelling around India, recording his journey on Instagram and unveiling 24 new toilets in 24 hours on his Instagram story. It all appears to be part of the promotion for his latest movie, a film called Toilet, which appears to be a love story. I don’t know whether the film is pro-sanitation propaganda or not, but this news story is definitely pro-government.

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The negative side of the Indian government’s campaign to end open defecation is reported in First Post in a story about the village of Rekhasundar in Bihar, where villagers built toilets in their houses on the promise of receiving a government grant. Nine months later, the money hasn’t materialised and so the villagers took the dramatic step of demolishing their new toilets on Saturday morning. As one villager said, “Some of us took loans. My neighbour bought bricks and cement on credit. Now lenders and shopkeepers are pressing us to return their dues. When we go to block officer, we are sent back with promises. How long can we wait? At least we can sell the bricks after destroying it.”

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A villager standing by a newly-demolished toilet – photo from Firstpost, credited to Alok Kumar/Prafull Kumar

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Now to McDonalds in Liverpool in the UK, where a naked man was spotted injecting drugs into his testicles outside the toilet door. A female customer who witnessed it was traumatised. According to the Cambridge News, she was in McDonalds for a morning cup of tea before work and after she saw the man lift his testicles and make strange noises while injecting himself, she ran into the ladies’ toilets and couldn’t stop crying. McDonald’s staff, who were probably panicking made the odd decision to lock the man in the gents’ toilets until the police came.

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Finally, a reality TV story, where news.com.au has reported on an interview with recently evicted Survivor Australia. According to evictee Mark ‘Tarzan’ Herlaar, the toilet provisions on the island were not good. In fact, he said of his fellow contestants that “most of them didn’t shit for three or four days. It’s actually not high on your priority list, going to the bathroom.” TV is weird. I can’t even imagine a situation that would make me forget about pooing for four days.

9 July 2017 in toilets | Stories from Australia, India and the internet

Let’s start with the news you’ve all clearly been waiting for. Who won “The Best Toilet in Australia” award? Well, Hit FM tells us that  the winner is Toowoomba Portable Toilets, who boast of their “Dunnies with a difference”. Their portable toilets include a red London phone box, rustic shed,  and a beach house.

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Two of Toowoomba’s dunnies with a difference – pics from hit.com.au

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The Hindustan Times reports on a new product, intended to calm fears around germs and public toilet seats. Neena Narayan, a Delhi homemaker, has invented a disposable toilet seat cover that you can carry with you in your handbag. She says that it “feels like silk, protects like steel.”

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Narayan with her toilet seat cover – pic by Burhaan Kinu in Hindustan Times

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Staying in India, and moving to Gurugram, where the police are investigating the case of 23 missing toilets. The Times of India reports on the case which arose around a new modern office block, Silverton Towers, where the developers sold the space intended to be communal toilet blocks as office space. Some of the companies that have taken office space in the building have reported this to the police and asked them to locate the missing toilets.

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And finally, to a four-year-old Amazon review for a toilet brush, which has reappeared on Reddit and on various tabloid news sites over the last few weeks.

“I don’t know how these things have caught on! Absolute agony and disgusting to use. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m sticking with toilet paper.”

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Discriminatory toilets, no such thing as a free tampon, eavesdropping in toilets, daughters vs toilets, composting loos and a toilet museum

Dan Savage at The Stranger writes about a vote in Houston, Texas. The electorate voted to repeal an-anti LGBT discrimination law. The reason the repeal campaign gave for wanting permission to discriminate was so that it could prevent “men” from using women’s toilets and locker rooms, that transgender women are really men in disguise and they pose a threat to women in toilets and showers. It seems a far-fetched idea to me, but it’s an idea that won in Texas. Access to toilets is one of the biggest fights the trans community is fighting at the moment, and moves like this make it seem like it could be a long fight.

The Tab reports on a failed attempt to provide free emergency tampons in the University of Birmingham toilets. These were being used so quickly, with whole boxes disappearing almost instantly, that students in need will now have to request their free emergency tampon from the Student Advice and Representation Centre.

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Free tampons – from The Tab

The Herald Sun proved what a classy paper it is by sending a reporter to eavesdrop on what rich women were saying to each other in the ladies’ toilets at the Melbourne Cup. Some of the things they heard: “I just dropped my sunglasses into the toilet.” “My Hollywood tape is stuck to my nipple and I’m too scared to rip it off … what if my whole nipple comes off?” and “I’m sick of my dress … do you want to swap?”

The Indian government’s Swachh Bharat campaign (to bring indoor toilets to the whole nation) has seen some success in Chattisgarh, according to a report in The Times of India. In Chattisgarh, a tribe of 10,000 in the Halba community have taken a vow that their daughters will not be married into houses without toilets.

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A dry composting toilet in Ecuador – pic from Fundacion In Terris

The Washington Post is reporting from Ecuador, where the lack of a network of sewage lines has caused health problems and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has aided in the building of hundreds of dry composting toilets that don’t require access to sewage facilities or running water to function. According to the report, they don’t smell, are sanitary and cost less than $300 each.

Finally today, to Toilet Heaven AKA Japan, where a toilet museum is making the news. USA Today reports on displays about the history, construction and design of toilets, as well as exhibits of famous toilets. “Among the more notable exhibits are toilets built for Buckingham Palace and the Japanese prime minister’s residence, both in the 1920s. On display, too, is the plain bathroom suite used by MacArthur — with what appears to be a well-worn toilet — when he was the all-powerful ruler of Japan right after World War II.”

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A display at Kitakyushu’s Toilet Museum – pic from USA Today