Tag Archives: public toilets

2 August 2017 in toilets | Four stories from the UK

I love local news!

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We start in Hull, where a story in the Hull Daily Mail features one of my favourite complaints ever. Apparently, the city centre has been graced with new fountains that children love playing in, but the nearby public toilets have a sign up stating that the toilets are to be used as toilets only and should not be used for drying off or changing clothes. According to the council, wet floors in the toilets were a safety risk, but local resident, Mr Smith, does not believe them. He says, “I suspect that the prospect of people in Hull having pleasure was too much.” Too much.

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Wet children in Hull – photo from Hull Daily Mail

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KL FM, a King’s Lynn radio station, reports on a toilet story from Wisbech that I don’t exactly understand. Apparently a man got stuck in the public toilets for three hours. The confusing crux of the story is in this sentence “The man had fallen asleep, when a woman heard him banging on the doors.” Was he knocking in his sleep? Anyway, the police were called but couldn’t release him and eventually the fire brigade managed to extract him. Wisbech Town Council say nothing like this has happened at these toilets before.

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The Times reports on train toilets. I was surprised to read that in the UK, 500 trains still flush effluent directly onto the tracks. Gross! Thankfully, for the health of the people whose job it is to clean the tracks, the Department of Transport has announced a change in the law meaning that this practice has to end by the end of 2019. Yay!

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Finally, an abandoned monkey. The Metro claims that “an international hunt is underway” for the child that owns a cuddly monkey toy found in the women’s toilets in Gatwick Airport. In reality, it’s just an airport employee tweeting a photo of the monkey in question asking if anyone knows its owner, but still, it’s a cute story.

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The as yet unnamed monkey – photo from Metro, originally from Victor French on Twitter

23 July 2017 in toilets | Stories from India, the UK and the internet

I’m going to start by saying a word about what I’m not going to write about. In this week’s toilet news that I get in my email, I got news about a suicide in a school toilet, about a rape in a public toilet, about a woman giving birth to a baby, which subsequently died, in a public toilet and about a man sexually abusing children in a toilet. Toilets, for a number of reasons, are a venue for some of society’s great evils and I will address this in some future posts, but for right now, I don’t think I’ve found the right tone for that, so I’m going to avoid it for today, but I will come back to it in the future.

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The first story I will report on is from Attitude Magazine and it is about a new computer game based in a men’s toilet in Ohio in the 1960s, where the aim is to cruise men, i.e. pick up men for sex in a public toilet. The aim of the game is to successfully pick men up without the police catching you. I never thought of cruising as something you could “win” at before, but I guess I was wrong.

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A still from The Tearoom game – picture from Attitude

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Next to the city of Kozhikode in Kerala, where The Hindu reports that shopping centre staff are complaining about the lack of toilets. Most of the male staff will find a laneway to piss in, but apparently, the female employees either have to bring a pot to work that they then empty in the streets afterwards, or else bring a bottle which they can close tightly and take home in their bags to empty. We have it lucky.

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Then there’s this tweet from the @Visit_Wakefield account about the wrong way to put a toilet roll.

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Finally, to an Instagram account after my own heart. A man who goes around London photographing and reviewing gents’ toilets on Instagram as “London Urinal”. Keep your freak flying!

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Korans in the toilet, Fatboy Slim hipsterises toilets and a dream toilet.

The BBC is reporting on what is assumed to be a hate crime in the University of Texas at Dallas, where photos of Korans in three different toilet bowls have been shown to the media. The police are investigating and are trying to identify suspects from CCTV. The act is mysterious insofar as the copies of the Koran from the multi-faith prayer room in the same building were untouched and the police don’t know who owned the Korans that ended up in the toilet. The university has been anxious to emphasise its welcoming and diverse nature in the aftermath of this incident.

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The once famous DJ Fatboy Slim is behind a scheme to re-develop a dilapidated block of public toilets in Shoreham-by-Sea, in West Sussex in the UK into a “community cafe” and “watersports centre”. I don’t know what either of those things are, but the commenters in local Sussex paper, The Argus seem happy, so long as the centre includes public toilets. They also enjoy the fact that a local councillor involved in the scheme is called Brian Boggis.

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Finally, a video from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where local DJ with WKFR 103.3, Dana Marshall, finds his dream toilet.

No space loo, how to find the cleanest toilet and modelling at urinals

According to Popular Mechanics, we won’t be getting to use space toilets any time soon. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s company, which plans to offer private individuals the chance to go to space, are not planning to put toilets on their rockets that will bring paying passengers to space, six at a time. The total flight time will be between 41 and 42 minutes, so Jeff says we’ll be able to hold it in.

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How do you choose the cleanest toilet in a row of cubicles? Don’t go for the middle one! Apparently, when humans are faced with a choice between equal options, they tend to choose the middle one. The Sun is reporting on research that shows that the middle toilet tends to be the most used, but the toilets on the edges vary according to gender. Men tend to use the one nearest the door, while women tend to use the one furthest away. For this reason, the cleanest men’s cubicle is likely to be the one furthest from the door and the cleanest women’s cubicle is likely to be the one nearest.

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Finally, to Sao Paulo Fashion Week, where Out reports on a male fashion shoot at some urinals. Enjoy.

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Sao Paulo Fashion Week – pic from Out.com

Flush first, sex in toilets and a new toilet, but no faith

A urologist in Taiwan was giving some fairly regular advice to the Taipei Times for reducing the risk of disease in public toilets, which mainly boiled down to, avoid filth and wash your hands. However, she did give one piece of advice that I hadn’t come across before. Flush before you use the toilet. Firstly, this will allow you to see if the toilet is blocked, but mainly it will “remove any excrement left from the previous user” and will therefore reduce any risk of infection. I guess this is obvious. I’ve just never heard a doctor say it before.

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Two men were in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court this week, where they pled guilty to a public sex act in the men’s toilets at the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre. The Gazette Live reports that the act took place in front of the urinals and not privately, in a cubicle. It’s not clear whether or not that would have been OK. The perpetrators were fined and are said to be “mortified”.

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The News Minute has a story about a new toilet in Bengaluru. It is a beautiful new facility, but locals, interviewed by the The News Minute don’t believe that it will remain in good condition. There is an older public toilet a few metres down the road, which is broken and dirty with grease-filled sinks and interruptions to running water and which smells so bad that many people choose to urinate outside it, rather than inside. The fruit and vegetable vendors who work on the road are relieved that they will have a clean toilet for a few months, but don’t think it will remain clean.

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The new Bengaluru toilet – from The News Minute

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Japanese toilet paper, Indian urinals, Nando’s and a baptist church, Danger in McDonalds, awful Instagrammers and a baby kangaroo

We start with a picture tweeted by Joel Hensley of toilet paper for old people in Japan, which has been printed with warnings about scammers and criminals.

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Japanese toilet paper – from @gryphtor on Twitter

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This story from the Times of India outlines the shortage of women’s toilets in Pune, including the installation of new mobile toilets with panic buttons. It’s easy to get angry that toilets are still such dangerous places for so many women. (More on that below.)

The new toilets aim to address the following problem:

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From the Times of India

(lakh = 100,000)

I don’t quite understand what a urinal is in India.

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In other Indian news, @DGNewsClips on Twitter reports that thousands of new toilets have been announced in New Delhi, in a “toilet inauguration spree”. I like the idea of a toilet inauguration spree. I only ever heard of “shopping sprees” and “killing sprees” before.  I like the idea of politicians rushing from toilet to toilet inaugurating with gay abandon.

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In the first of two stories about UK councils’ public toilets, Oxford won a prize for the best toilets in the UK. I’m only including this story for the amazing photo in the Oxford Mail of the council staff receiving the award. Look at all those men and how bad they are at smiling.

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From the Oxford Mail

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Also in the UK, Camden Council in London are closing public toilets and replacing them by paying local businesses to allow the public to use their toilets. According the Ham and High, the council is saving money by closing three public toilets and paying 12 businesses £750 each to let the public in. The council will also advertise for these businesses. In the name of providing a public service, the council are now paying NANDO’S and a Baptist Church to let people pee. Nando’s. And a church.

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Another case of women being infringed on in toilets in the Ipswich Star, where it is reported that a man was convicted of helping his colleague, called “Danger”, to install a camera in women’s toilets in McDonald’s where they were working. His lawyer insisted that he only did so because of the threats from Danger and not for his own sexual gratification, which is the reason it was treated as a minor offence. He’s been banned from every McDonalds in the UK, and given a 12-month community order, as well as 150 hours of unpaid work and a fine.

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People find lots of ways to be awful. “Rich Kids of UK” on Instagram posted this photo. Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 14.17.13.png

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And finally, we turn to toilet roll, children and animals. This DIY/parenting blog suggests toddler-proofing toilet paper with an elastic band.

And then there’s this video of a baby kangaroo discovering the joys of toilet roll.

Mexican toilet art, toilet segregation, smelly politicians, hypocritical politicians and broken toilet seats

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Some of Kurt Hollander’s photos of the toilets of Mexico City – from the Guardian

Kurt Hollander writes in the Guardian about the toilets of Mexico City. He is a photographer who found himself suffering from chronic ulcerative colitis and hence found himself in many public toilets. He was delighted, in his pain, by the quirks of the toilets (of very varying quality) that he found himself in, and he created a photo series based on these. He says that they are tourist attractions and that the photos contribute to a true chronicle of the city. “I see it as my duty to work against all those superficial, hygienic, promotional views of the city that delete the raw material, sickness and death from our culture.”

Next to Breitbart, which reports a sad story about a form of sectarian segregation in Pakistan, where Christians and Muslims are expected to use separate facilities, including separate restaurants, shops, water fountains and sometimes toilets. One Christian school girl, according to this story, was beaten by the school principal for using the Muslim school toilets.

In more cheerful news, a meeting of the Nigerian Parliament had to be cancelled because their toilets were so smelly. 360 NOBS reports that the House of Representatives meeting was postponed for almost a week as a result of the stench.

I don’t know where South Lanarkshire is, but apparently, its Council’s Deputy Leader merits a story in the Telegraph. This is because the deputy leader (Jackie Burns) was caught urinating on the street, which was noteworthy because he had been responsible, months before, for closing public toilets in the area. He said: “I was in a taxi rank at the Bottom Cross in Hamilton and needed the toilet. I went down a lane to relieve myself and was approached by police, who gave me a £40 fine which I have duly paid. I am embarrassed by the incident and have apologised.”

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The kind of sign that will soon be placed in Yellowstone’s toilets – from the Jackson Hole News and Guide

Finally, to Jackson Hole, USA. The Jackson Hole News and Guide, who report on new signs that are to be installed in Yellowstone National Park’s toilets. This is a result of high numbers of broken toilet seats, which is being blamed on increasing numbers of Asian tourists, who are climbing up on toilet seats and squatting, rather than sitting in the American style.