Don't know when to go? RunPee.com fills the void

Run pee chart

The problem has been around as long as moving pictures: At what point in a movie can you leave your seat to take care of bathroom business while minimizing the risk of missing an important plot twist?

The Internet was made to solve this kind of conundrum, of course, and finally stepping forward with a solution is Dan Florio, creator of RunPee.com. I heard Florio interviewed yesterday on NPR's "All Things Considered." From that audio clip:

"I got the idea from the movie King Kong, which was a three-hour-long movie. You can imagine that by the end of it I'm sitting there really, really, really stressed over my need to go to the bathroom. I chose not to miss anything, but as I looked back over the movie I thought there was that really horrible bug scene; I could definitely have missed that. Then it occurred to me that I could build a Web site where people could share this information."

RunPee.com provides visitors with a timeline for currently popular movies and plots the exact point at which it's safest to go. For example, in the 2-hour-and-18-minute "Angels and Demons," RunPee suggests that you make the dash at 70 minutes into the flick when: "Robert and a guard are in the Vatican archives and the power goes out (This is a perfect time to RunPee because they don't even talk much. You won't be missing a thing.)

And, in case you don't want to take RunPee's word for that last point, the site provides a short summary of the scene you'll miss, scrambled so as to avoid spoiling it for those who will choose to remain seated. Registered site users are able to leave comments and make their own suggestions.

"There are a lot of people who disagree with some of the pee times that I or others like myself have entered," Florio tells NPR. "(But) if you gotta go, you gotta go, and it's really better to miss a moment when you know what you're going to miss rather than just picking something at random."

The site's been live since August but it was only after being featured on http://twit.tv/natn101 that traffic "crashed the shared server that RunPee was on so it had to be moved to a dedicated server," according to Florio's blog, where he also explains why the site is built in Flash (clue: he's a Flash developer).

He promises that mobile versions are in the works.

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