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From Amsterdam, home of the original urinal fly. We’re not sure if this is a joke or not, but it definitely reduces spillage.


Urinals XII

How do you improve sanitation in Cambodia when education campaigns and free toilets haven’t worked? The BBC reports on “shame marketing” by International Development Enterprises (IDE) that is trying to turn the toilet into a status symbol.

IDE – which is itself funded by donors including the World Bank – developed a fresh approach, using disgust and shame to make people want a toilet enough to buy one at full price.

The young facilitator at the presentation in Sleng is half stand-up comedian, half sanitation ideologue. Chhun Dina adding up figures Chhun Dina tells villagers they are surrounded by their own excrement. As she moves between her audience and the whiteboard, Chhun Dina manages to elicit hearty laughter and rueful smiles even as she tells the villagers in no uncertain terms that they are living among their own filth…

“It’s like a mountain. Imagine if it rained and that mountain fell into the river. You’d be washing and bathing in your own excrement.”

Before the presentation, only two of more than 40 houses in Sleng had a toilet. But when Chhun Dina finished, there was a rush to sign up to buy one.

This is where the second part of IDE’s plan comes in. It commissioned a design for a low-cost “easy latrine” which, with a little training, local businesses could make and sell. The price to the newly-enlightened villagers is around $30 – and the easy latrine can be installed and ready to use on the same day that someone decides they no longer want to live without a toilet.

Hat tip: Dorothy Hall.

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Urinals XI

Is it too quaint to appreciate the original urinal fly? Let’s hope not. From the Guardian:

Sega has installed the Toylets in male lavatories at four bars and games arcades in the Japanese capital. The games use pressure sensors attached to eye-level LCD screens that test users’ accuracy as they answer the call of nature.

The four games include one in which the object is to spray the screen clean of graffiti. Another, Manneken Pis, named after the famous statue in Brussels, measures the volume of the urine stream.

Splashing Battle, meanwhile, pits one user against another – though thankfully not directly – by challenging him to produce a more powerful stream than the previous visitor.

In the fourth game, the North Wind and the Sun and Me, sensors control a digital wind blowing up a young woman’s skirt. The greater the stream’s intensity, the higher the skirt travels.


The soccer goal urinal shows up in Kiev, Ukraine. Hat tip: Tim Schulz.


Urinals part X

From an Umbro ad similar to urinals part III.


Tom Vanderbilt sends along this photo from a Stanford restroom. It’s a simple idea that seems like it should be everywhere.

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Julie Power, a Nudge blog reader with 7-year-old twins, knows that boys can be even messier than men. As she points out, “Most moms know nagging kids only backfires. They end up deaf to everything. And harassing boys about peeing straight is a losing battle.” Inspired by reading Nudge in her book club, Julie set out to adapt the urinal fly lesson to her home. She writes about the mission in the blog Moms to Work.

I wrote AIM in big red sharpie on the wall of the toilet bowl…in a spot cannily designed not to splash the seat or rim above.

It worked. The smell and odor has improved.

Spillage, not the word we use at home, has decreased markedly.

Only problem, my Sharpie pen keeps washing off. Next time, I’m going to try putting a sticker on the back of the toilet.


At a public restroom along the ocean. Actually, it’s a bee.

Urinal fly santa monica


What’s more amazing? The fact that Paris, France, has a special “elite” force known as the Brigade des Incivilités, or Bad Behavior Brigade? Or the fact that Paris, France, considered some aggressive choice architecture as part of its war on public urination? The basic problem: Parisians were going…everywhere. City architect Etienne Vanderpooten thought a little splash-back might nudge them.

In 2005, Mr. Vanderpooten unveiled a design for an anti-pipi wall, a jagged surface that splashes urine back onto the unzipped offender. The prototype was attached to a wall in one of the most affected areas at the time — a street called the Cour des Petites Ecuries on Paris’ Right Bank. Mr. Vanderpooten says he often goes by to check on his experiment: “The people who used to pee there don’t pee in the same place anymore.” The city has no immediate plans to erect more of the walls.

Hat tip: Tom Vanderbilt (two in a row!)

Addendum: “Urine sauvage” is translated as wild urine.


In Iceland, instead of flies, it’s bankers who fled the country following the financial meltdown.

Hat tip: Peter Warnock.


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