Celebrate World Toilet Day like a king

World Toilet Day is Monday Nov. 19th and while the message behind the day is serious we here at Layer 8 naturally can't keep it that way.

According to the World Toilet Organization, the underlying purpose of the day is to have people in all countries to take action, increase awareness of toilet user's right to a better toilet environment, and to demand for it from toilet owners. It also wants people to be aware that over 2.6 billion people around the world lack access to basic sanitation services. Founded in 2001 the WTO has 54 members in 41 countries dedicated to improving sanitation conditions around the globe. Hear them roar.

But really how can you celebrate such as day you ask. Ah, well, we found nine ways to enjoy a day about a place that in many ways is best kept to yourself.

Try a little potty humor for lunch: This seems a little much. According to a Reuter's story, the Modern Toilet Diner in Tapai is one of chain of themed eateries appealing to largely young clientele with a lot of toilet humor. All 100 seats in the crowded diner are made from toilet bowls, not chairs. Customers eat from mini plastic toilet bowls. They wipe their hands and mouths using toilet rolls hung above their tables, which may be glass-topped jumbo bathtubs. Managers say the restaurant's popularity shows that Taipei customers, who have a choice of theme-eateries that resemble jailhouses and hospitals, appreciate creative dining. Well, we beg to disagree with this one.

Buy some toilet slippers: According to this story in the Temple University News it's common for Japanese homes to keep slippers near a home's entrance for family members and guests to use while inside. Taking this idea a step further, the Japanese also use toilet slippers, which are worn while using the toilet room Toilets are dirty, so they have slippers designated for just that one dirty room. Buy some for the office, let us know how that works out.

Don't settle for just the same old toilet seat: Toshiba on Nov. 23 will slide out a heat toilet seat with remote control and, um an instantaneous warm water bidet feature. In addition, the toilet is equipped with a variable-speed deodorizing fan motor, whose "speedy deodorizing" function blows three times as much air as normal, says Toshiba. The new toilet has two models, "SCS-S510" and "SCS-S500." The automatic opening and closing of the lid and seat and speedy deodorizing are only featured in "SCS-S510."

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the fact that others such as porcelain giant Kohler were rolling out techie toilet seats as well. Potty startup Brondell says you'll love their Swash heated toilet seats, complete with bidet-like spray wash, dryer and deodorizer. And hey lets not forget the Privy Prop a foot-activated toilet-seat lifter, similar to your garden variety kitchen trash can.

Get off the toilet: We don't know who measures these things but a couple of the toilet companies say the average person spends three years of his or her life on a toilet. Sounds pretty bogus to us but even if the study is off by say two-years, that's pretty frightening.

Celebrate Mr. Toilet and his flushable house: Yes Virginia, there is a toilet shaped house. A South Korean lawmaker and public hygiene activist has opened his $1.8 million toilet-shaped showcase house, designed to campaign for cleaner loos worldwide. The two-storey home, complete with a nameplate reading "Mr Toilet's House", is now ready for its first guests, according to owner Sim Jae-Duck. Sim, 74, who said last month that his mother gave him birth in a bathroom, has actively campaigned for "clean and beautiful" toilets since his service as Suweon mayor from 1995-2002. Mr Sim's house was completed before the Korea Toilet Association, which he funds, holds a forum in Seoul later this month to launch the World Toilet Association to take his campaign worldwide, according to an ABC News report.

Join the outrage; employees have rights: Supermarket chain Kroger, a $60 billion enterprise, is being sued by its employees for allegedly putting a video surveillance in one of its grocery distribution centers. A total of 138 current and former employees in Kentucky and Indiana allege in their lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, that using hidden video equipment at the Kroger distribution center in Louisville violated their privacy and harmed them, according to a Louisville Courier-Journal report this week. The supermarket chain employees allege the surveillance equipment was placed in the men's restroom without their knowledge and that they didn't discover the camera until Nov. 11, 2006. No reason was given for the camera's alleged presence in the men's bathroom.

Get a cleanliness clue: When it comes to washing one's hands in public restrooms, women beat men hands down. An observational study of US public restroom habits out today says one-third of men don't wash hands in public restrooms while 88% of women do lather up. A follow up telephone survey of 1,001 adults ages 18 and over found that both lie about the activity though men fail more there too: 92% of adults say they wash their hands in public restrooms. This study follows another one that indicated more Americans are logging wirelessly into the Internet - from their bathrooms. Anyway, for the washroom study researchers at Harris Interactive observed the behavior of 6,076 adults in public restrooms and recorded whether or not they washed their hands.

Conduct business in your office or What's that flushing sound Bill?: In a rather disconcerting find early this year, almost one in five small business managers read work-related e-mails and other documents in the bathroom, presumably at work. It's worse that almost 50% of them said they work while driving, but the bathroom? What could be that interesting? (This study follows another one that indicated more Americans are logging wirelessly into the Internet - from their bathrooms.) The newspaper I understand. The survey of 300 small business owners (with up to 20 employees) was sponsored by Staples and conducted by International Communications Research.

Attend the next World Toilet Summit: The World Toilet Summit took place in Delhi last week and what a party it was. According to a story in the Economist the main tchotchke at the show was a ball of human excrement. Hey I can't make this stuff up. The excrement was a gift from one of the organizers, the Sulabh International Social Service Organization. The company has built more than a million toilets in a country where over 700 million people still have no access to one, the Economist stated. Anyway, the idea behind the summit is to promote the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal of providing lavatory access for everyone in the world by 2025. No small task since the UN says about 2.6 billion people lack such convenience.

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