Bill Gates wants a new toilet. The one he has can’t handle all the money he flushes down it. Like the sand he has barged in from an island in St. Lucia every year for the waterfront at his house in Seattle. So his foundation sponsored a contest to redesign one of humanity’s most important inventions since sliced bread, not that the two go together, or should. Consider that for eons, and it still goes on in undeveloped areas of the world, like Arkansas, mankind has left its residue behind bushes or just plain out in the open plain. Ever stepped in the stuff? Even our pets poo is a vile substance when applied to the carpet after transfer from a shoe. Now imagine the 7 or so billion of us and the daily detritus we leave behind. That ain’t fertilizer, that’s foul. So in times past the toilet was invented by a man named Crapper, and our wast went merrily downstream at an optimal fall of 1/4 inch per foot. Then it was noticed that at 3.5 gallons per flush a lot of water was being wasted on, well, water. So policies like; “If it’s yellow, it’s mellow, if brown flush it down.” were instituted. Still, too much clear, potable water was squandered so the 1.6 gallon flush toilet was mandated and even more water was wasted with double and triple flushes now becoming the norm. Enter Mr. Gates, maybe not personally into our water closets, but figuratively via his charitable foundation dedicated to making the world a tidier place. Let’s not belittle the effort, if regular basic changes are made, things are better all around, just like with babies. So a contest was held and the final entries finalized and three winners announced. Prize number one went to the California Institute of Technology for its design that generates hydrogen, an explosive gas, and electricity, shocking! Number two, how apt, went to Loughborough University in the United Kingdom for it’s toilet that creates little briquettes, presumably charcoal. And the third winner went to the University of Toronto in Canada whose utensil processes the fluid, flotsam and jetsam into substances that can be reused as healthy snacks and refreshing beverages. Recognizing that only a small portion of its work is done in minimizing the impact of our locust-like numbers, the Gates Foundation has announced a follow-up competition to deal with the extraordinary quantities of methane produced by our species and the bovines we raise to make shoes out of.
- Stuff To Pass The Time
- Fun Things To Do In National Parks