Tag Archives: texas

2 July 2017 in toilets | Stories from the UK, Russia and the USA

Let’s start with a fairly gross story from the Bristol Post about the long-drop toilets at Glastonbury and what festival goers noticed living in the faeces there. Creatures that bask in the wondrously grotesque name of “rat-tailed maggots” feed on decaying plant and animal matter including poo. Festival-goers took photographs of the harmless creatures, who have protuberances like rats’ tails extending from their anuses, through which they breathe, but my manners are too good for me to post a picture of them here.

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And now to a story from devonlive.com, about a school which is planning to build unisex toilets and parents are objecting. Last week,  I wrote about the parents saying that girls would  be afraid to use tampons in a room with boys, which is at least arguable. This week, the parent objectors have just gone crazy, saying that teen pregnancies will “soar” as a result. Daft.

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RT.com ran a story about a highly entertaining and mildly terrifying viral video of portaloos being blown around in a summer storm in Moscow. It looks as if the toilets have come to life and members of the public literally had to run away from them.

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And finally to Austin Pride 2017 in Texas, where KXAN reports on a rainbow toilet display on the steps of the State Capitol in protest at the proposed anti-trans “bathroom bill”.

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The Texas State Capitol – pic from DallasVoice.com

11 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from India, the USA, the UK and Australia

First up, Australia, and one of this blog’s trustworthy repeat stories – the crazy things that people flush down their toilets. News.com.au ran a story about a plumber in Darwin and the things he’s found blocking toilets, which include: “dead cats, dirty underwear, sex toys, chain mail butcher’s gloves and soiled nappies”. Apparently, children frequently get embarrassed about having accidents in their underwear and flush them to hide the evidence and this frequently causes the plumber to have to be called.

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Chris Murphy, the Darwin plumber interviewed for this story, with the live cat he rescued from a toilet – photo from NT News by Glenn Campbell

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And now to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the UK, where the Sunday Express reports on the controversy around a secondary school’s decision to provide gender neutral/unisex bathrooms for their students in an attempt to be inclusive of students of all modes of gender expression.

Apparently parents (especially of female students) are objecting to the change, principally using the argument that girls will be too afraid of bullying to use the toilets with boys present while they’re menstruating and that each cubicle would have to be fitted with individual tampon machines so that girls could procure these without the boys seeing. If that really is the main argument, then it would appear that the boys’ parents need to do a better job of educating their children about menstruation, but I suspect that that isn’t the only reason behind the objections.

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We’re still in the UK, where Wigan Today reports that a website “Cruising Gays” which lists cruising spots for gay men (places where men can look for other men to have anonymous sex) has ranked the toilets at Wigan Wallgate railway station as the best for anonymous hook-ups in the region. Congratulations?

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A racism row has been reported on CBS’s Dallas-Fort Worth site about the small town of Paris Texas, where signs proclaiming “Negro Toilets” with explanatory notes about the Civil Rights Act, which were erected next to the site of what were formerly racially segregated toilets have been removed. Apparently, the were erected in an effort to educate about the racist past, but the wording has served to offend and reinforce and so they have been removed.

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The offending signs. Photo from CBS DFW, by Brenda Cherry

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Finally, to India, where a court row about two toilets in Bangalore has been resolved after 36 years according to the Bangalore Mirror. The two toilets were built in 1981 by one family. The woman next door claimed that the toilets blocked her right of way between the two houses and demanded that they be demolished so she could access the laneway between the houses. The court rejected her argument, stating that she could not establish that she had a right of way there. However, they also ordered that the toilets be demolished anyway, as they were  taking support from the complainant’s house.  So everyone’s a loser!

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.

The floral urinals of Paris, a rattlesnake family in a Texas toilet and a Scottish High School re-opens its girls toilets

Paris is combating the problem of people (mostly men) who urinate on the streets by experimenting with a fragrant solution. The New York Times reports on two “uritrottoirs” that have been erected outside Gare de Lyon. These are flower pots standing on top of a container of straw, which, when mixed with urine creates a compost. If the uritrottoirs are a success, they could be rolled out across the whole city.

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A uritrottoir – from the New York Times

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Yet another story about snakes coming up through the toilet. In Texas, CNet reports on a story where “Big Country Snake Removal” were called to remove a rattlesnake from a toilet and then in a terrifying twist, they found another thirteen adult rattlesnakes in the cellar. Mind your bums, folks.

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Rattlesnake in the toilet – from the Big Snake Country Removal Facebook page

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The wonderfully-named Dunfermline Press and West of Fife Advertiser has  a report on the curious closure and re-opening of the girls’ toilets at St Columba’s High School. The school had started locking the girls’ toilets from lunchtime until the end of the schoolday, claiming that this was in response to truancy. A 14-year-old student started a petition, complaining that the lack of toilets was unsanitary and embarrassing. Within 24 hours, she had collected 500 signatures and the toilets have now re-opened. The Headmaster said “This was a short-term measure to address specific issues of vandalism and truancy surrounding the main girls’ toilets just before Christmas. We wanted to try something different to disrupt this pattern of behaviour, change the school culture and improve the facilities for pupils. We encourage and listen to pupil feedback. The temporary closure was always going to be reviewed this week and, taking into account the petition, the toilets have now been re-opened.”

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Toilet crimes, trans activism, toilet certificates, missing school days and an honest cleaner

Today’s first story is a sad one from Northern Ireland. The Derry Journal reports on a court case where a 68-year-old man has been found guilty of common assault. He was in the toilets of a shopping centre when he tugged on the trouser leg of the man next to him under the cubicle partition. The victim thought that someone was trying to steal his wallet and reported it to security. The accused “told the police he did this in the hope of ‘having some sexual activity with them’. The pensioner added that he would go off somewhere with them if they returned the attention, rather than have sex in the toilet cubicle.” It is a story that calls to mind the generations of gay men who had covert sex in toilets, and a man whose life may have been very different if he had been born 20 years later.

The next story relates to the moves in Houston Texas to prevent transgendered people from using the bathroom of their choice (already discussed in the previous post). Transgender model Kelly Lauren posted this photo on her Facebook page, with the caption: “Houston, do you REALLY want me in the same restroom as your husband or boyfriend?”

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Meanwhile, in the continuing campaign to provide the whole of India with sanitary toilet facilities, the Times of India is running this report from Gujarat. In order to run for a position in government, candidates must get a toilet certificate, to prove that they have a sanitary toilet, a new legal precondition to run in elections there.

The Filipino site ABS-CBN is running a story in advance of World Toilet Day (November 19th – I hope you all have it in your diaries!) about the impact of the worldwide lack of sanitary toilet facilities. They report that every year 443 million schooldays are missed due to illnesses caused by a lack of access to clean toilet facilities. This is the equivalent of every single primary and secondary school in the Philippines closing down for a whole month.

Finally, to Turkey, where Albawaba is reporting on a janitor who discovered €24,500 in a toilet in Istanbul Ataturk Airport and turned it in to the authorities, even though he only earns €320 a month and the money would have been enough to buy a small house in Turkey.

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