Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Prep for Panel, II: Good News for Toilets

The librarians I know tend to be generalists. 
I expect those who'll attend the panel of nonfiction children's book authors I'm on will be somewhat familiar with 
the topic of my book >
––the history of toilets.

Rather than going over it,
I've decided to talk in my brief intro about what's happened since the book was published.

Besides Hurricane Harvey spewing 33 million gallons of raw sewage around southeast Texas (yesterday's post), there are a couple other biggies--and, amazingly, they're happy!

1. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge to develop a waterless toilet was still in process when the book was published.
The Gates foundation since has selected a toilet that is now in testing in Ghana--the nano membrane toilet (info and short video of how it works):

2. The story of Anita Narre, a woman in India who in 2011, when she was twenty, refused to stay in her new husband's home unless he installed a toilet, has been made into a Bollywood film "Toilet: A Love Story," which Bill Gates ranked #3 in hopeful things in 2017--(too much Bill Gates? yes--I will replace his photo in that end collage with Narre's). 

 One of the movie posters shows women going to the fields in the early morning with their lanterns and "lota"--
the pots for washing up after toileting (w/ water instead of toilet paper)"


gz said...

and why is a toilet called the john?

Fresca said...

I actually dislike that title, which Marketing insisted on---I asked kids and they don't call it "john"--kinda old fashioned.

Anyway, according to Etymonline, the term probably derives from "jack" or "jakes"--slang for "toilet" since the 1500s.

In that century--probably not the source of "john"-- John Harington devised Britain's first flushing toilet – which he called the Ajax (i.e. "a jakes"; from the old slang word for toilet)

gz said...


Michael Leddy said...

John Harington — in grad school I wrote something about his Briefe Apologie of Poetrie. (Where else would someone write about something like that?)

I like the book cover, which makes me think of Duchamp. But why did they choose a urinal and not the more democratically available toilet?