The Big Necessity

by on October 16, 2008 at 10:47 am in Books, History | Permalink

I can’t decide if that is a very good or a very bad title.  Nonetheless the book itself is excellent.  The author, Rose George, stresses:

To be uninterested in the public toilet is to be uninterested in life.

You also learn that toilets may have saved more lives than any other human invention, public toilets are disappearing in London and many other cities, and that many Kenyans have "helicopter toilets," which start with the use of a plastic bag.  My favorite moment in the book is this:

After five hours of my questions, Mr. Tanaka shyly offers two of his own: "Why don’t English people want high-function toilet?  Why is Japan so unique?"

Definitely recommended and yes it is a serious book too.

1 Ryan Cousineau October 16, 2008 at 11:58 am

I don’t think I like where this “helicopter toilet” is going…

2 Jeff H. October 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm

It’s how he clears those toxic assets from the system.

3 Andrew October 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm

“Is a helicopter toilet what Bernanke uses?”

Ah! So THAT is what he meant. I just the dollar dump just hit the propellers.

Why is everything public $#!++y? Oh, wait, we know the answer to that one.

My first proposal is that sinks should be outside the bathrooms. You only need half as many sinks and the public viewing makes handwashing normative.

4 MichaelG October 16, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Sounds interesting. It will be #2 on my list of books to read…

5 Erik October 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm

My doctor told me I should wash my hands BEFORE going #1 and after #2. It makes much more sense.

6 Paul N October 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm

Why is there no standard for which side of the toilet the paper roll is placed on? Do a significant fraction of people use their left hands to wipe?

7 Anonymous October 16, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Maybe people would be more interested in public toilets if we took Lenin’s advice and made them out of solid gold.

8 kfc October 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm

kenyan helicopter toilets……… this is recycled in every sanitation/toilets/african slum story going. Do people in kibera and other such places do so sometimes? Probably. I’ve even did something similiar myself once. But why has it become a leitmotif for African sanitation. What reference does she give?

9 FFXI gold January 2, 2009 at 12:34 am

In this way, you can buy and gain very cheap FFXI gold.

10 jane May 15, 2009 at 4:20 am

you can do better,believe yourself

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