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Toilet water proved useful for coffee shop
Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013

A Starbucks in China allegedly used toilet water when brewing coffee. 

The accusation isn't literal - we hope. The Starbucks staff in the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong reportedly took water from a faucet in a local bathroom back to the shop, and had been doing so since they opened in the fall of 2011. This is the store's sole source of water. 

"There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that's why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building," said Wendy Pang, a spokesperson for Starbucks.

The scandal broke when a picture of the tap in question surfaced online. The faucet has an official-looking sign under it in both English and Mandarin Chinese that states, "Starbucks Only," and was mere steps from a rusty urinal. Kotaku translated the original story, reported by Apple Daily. 

Apple Daily reports that a Starbucks employee would use a cart to transport the water from a nearby men's bathroom, sometimes making up to five trips per day. The employees reportedly filter the water before using it to brew coffee, but comments on the store's Facebook page ask why Starbucks, a company with a huge profit margin, wouldn't just obtain their own source of water. 

A Hong Kong resident told the source that it took common sense not to use water from toilet pipes. 

Ben Cowling, a professor at University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health, said that the concern lay with the viruses that a filtration system might miss. 

"If the staff need to frequently visit the toilet they may increase the risk of bringing other pathogens from the washroom into their food and drink preparation area," Cowling told HK Magazine.

According to the source, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department surveyed the location in response to the complaints, and have determined that the practice is not in line with official regulations. 

Grace Li, a second spokesperson from Starbucks, told the magazine that independent lab tests had ensured that the water was up to regulation by both the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and World Health Organization standards. The coffee shop, in light of the recent events, has switched to distilled bottled water.

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When you walk into a public restroom to use the toilet, you likely don't expect yourself to be viewed through a two-way mirror. However, this is exactly what happened to women who visited a Scottish nightclub - men were able to pay $8,000 to see females in the ladies' room for just a few moments. The Shimmy Club has been under fire as of late with more people catching onto the fact that they're being watched, according to the Scottish Sunday Express.

"The fact that these two-way mirrors only look into the ladies' bathrooms and not the men's makes it clear that the intention is to sexualize women as objects, allowing men to make inappropriate gestures and leer disgustingly at them," an anonymous club patron told the news source.

Representatives from the Shimmy Club could not be reached for comment, but it doesn't seem that the spy glass mirrors will be coming down anytime soon. Instead, clearer signage may make its way into the bathroom to tell women that they're being seen while using the vanities to spruce up.

Is your bathroom private?

Even people who are completely comfortable and confident might find themselves a little shy in their home bathrooms. For this reason, there are a few factors to consider while designing your own bathroom. Better Homes and Gardens magazine claims that you can easily achieve more privacy in your bathroom by installing items such as thick glass around your shower. These days, it's easy to find varieties such as frosted glass to maintain a level of personal comfort without blocking natural light.

In addition to considering how much people can see in your bathroom, you may also want to think about what they can hear through your doors and walls. A ventilation fan can help you create white noise and reduce moisture in your bathroom. If you're not opposed to renovating your room as a whole, you can also use insulating walls and doors to keep noises inside of this space.

While you may not have a problem visiting a bathroom in a place like the Shimmy Club, you might still want to maintain a certain level of comfort and seclusion in your own home. These key tips can help you achieve your interior design goals, and best of all, you'll be happy to show off this frequently used space in your house.

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If you've been itching to replace your bathroom faucet and you know that your toilet could stand to be replaced, you aren't the only one who's thinking about renovating. An April study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has found that American homeowners are expected to increase the amount of money they spend on renovations in 2013, according to the Press Herald. In 2012, homeowners spent about 9 percent more than the year before on upgrading their living spaces.

While some people simply want to be more comfortable in their humble abodes, others are attempting to increase the value of their houses. Those who are interested in selling are focusing on areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, which are frequently used and considered immensely valuable to buyers. These days, more people are also taking on projects themselves. The American Housing Survey commissioned by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development discovered that about 37 percent of renovations are being done by homeowners themselves - not hired professionals.

Updating your bathroom

Whether you want to install a new steam shower or you only need to replace a few fixtures in your bathroom, it's completely possible to take on these type of projects on your own. However, those who don't have much experience in renovating might want to take it slow, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It's also worth remembering that it's meant to be a learning experience - patience is key when it comes to a successful renovation and making the most out of a bathroom project.

The news source recommends beginning the process by picking out accessories that you want to have in your freshly decorated space. Look for bathroom fixtures that are not only eye-pleasing, but functional. Then, you can move on to larger pieces of the space such as the toilet and bathtub to enhance the practicality of the bathroom as a whole.

In the event that you hit a snag along the way, don't hesitate to seek a professional to help you out. This may especially necessary as you tackle areas like the sink where a plumber might be helpful to ensure that the job gets done right. In the end, these key tips can help you create the bathroom of your dreams.

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Kohler has recently launched a new toilet with a twist. The Numi Comfort Height comes complete with hi-tech gadgets to improve your bathroom experience.

New toilet technology

According to Kohler, the model allows you to play your favorite music in addition to streaming FM radio and podcasts wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection, which is stored on an SD card or by plugging your device directly into the toilet's remote control. This toilet sits higher than most at 18 inches for increased adult comfort, and is able to clean itself

The Numi Comfort Height also includes ambient lighting in seven different colors, and a battery back-up that is capable of 100 flushes during a power outage. On top of this, the model will monitor the frequency of use and turn off the heated seat when not needed to save power. 

The model can also be adjusted to suit your specific preferences, and that of up to five other residents, in regards to the seat and foot warming devices. But it's not all flash - the toilet also conserves a significant amount of water per flush. Integrated into the advanced toilet is a stainless steel bidet wand, complete with a precision air dryer and deodorizing filter. Kohler also installed a USB port in the model to allow for regular updates. 

You can control this hi-tech toilet via a touch screen remote that comes with an input jack for an MP3 player. The remote can be stored on a wall-mounted docking and charging station. 

Past toilet technology

A similar model, called Satis, was invented by the Japanese company Lixil in 2012. The Satis can be cleaned, flushed and otherwise adjusted through your smartphone, according to the Huffington Post.

To use the model, the user must download a specific app prior to using a Bluetooth connection to hook up the two devices. The app allows the Satis owner to adjust the heat and position of the seat, flush or clean the toilet remotely and play music through built-in speakers. It also allows users to control the gallons per flush that each use gets, in addition to the level of intensity at which the bidet is used. 

The two hi-tech toilets have a lot in common, but the most distinct feature is perhaps a remote controlled bidet in each model.  

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A suburb of Chicago held a tongue-in-cheek opening ceremony for a new restroom facility at a popular park earlier in May. The toilets fill a much needed role in the area, and city officials had some fun with the opening remarks and what some reporters are calling a "potty party." The washrooms opened in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Locals Bette and Ken Kalina petitioned for permanent facilities in Central Park in 2011, and garnered over 1,000 supporters, according to the Naperville Sun. 

A $245,850 contract was approved by city council members for the structure in March. The small concrete facility includes LED lighting, in-floor heating and a pup friendly water fountain in front, and features three stalls in both the men's and women's room. It is also handicap accessible. 

The mayor of Naperville, George Pradel, held a toilet paper cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new commodes in Central Park. The park is often used for concerts and community events, but this is the first time it plays host to a permanent bathroom. According to the Daily Herald, those who frequent the events have been requesting an improved washroom facility in lieu of portable toilets.

Restroom ceremony

The mayor opened the ceremony with a few words on what the facilities meant for the residents. Pradel took the potty party as an opportunity to delight attendees with bathroom puns. "It is my sworn 'doodie' to provide the public with some relief," he quipped, before stating that he believed the new facilities would be a "flushing success."

The mayor praised those who helped make the construction of the structure possible, stating that by working together, the town has improved its quality of life, and that he knows the residents of Naperville will appreciate the addition to their community. 

The director of the Naperville Municipal Band, Ron Keller, is having fun with the idea as well, telling the source that he plans to play "Happy Days Are Here Again" and the "Crimson Flush" at the next concert to commemorate the recent addition. 

Charmin was the official brand used in the toilet paper cutting ceremony, which Keller, Pradel and park board President Kirsten Young conducted prior to the ceremonial first flush. The mayor was granted this honor, which he completed while joking with reporters. 

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You might not be anxious to pick up a toilet brush and start scrubbing away at your loo, but those who have to do this as their job don't see it as a daunting chore. In fact, BBC News reported that some individuals even sing with toilet brushes in their hands as they work. 

A new documentary follows individuals who take bathrooms seriously - some of them even go to the extent of decorating public toilets during the holiday season. Kathleen Kidd and Diane Bellingham are two of the many people featured, and they enjoy singing and dancing around to music while scrubbing away nasty germs. While it seems unusual, these individuals have no problem with their careers.

"You've got to be happy at your work," Kidd told the news source.

The documentary, which is titled "Ladies and Gents," will debut on a BBC network on June 3. Those who tune in will be able to find out everything from who's cleaner in the bathroom - men or women - as well as what it's like to keep up with public facilities.

Is your home really bacteria-free?

You might be concerned about the amount of bacteria in a public bathroom when you need to relieve yourself, but the fact of the matter is that there may be more problems to contend with at home, according to The Huffington Post. Some of the dirtiest places that you'll come into contact with are right in your humble abode, and they might not even be in the bathroom. For instance, your computer keyboards and cell phones might be completely covered in bacteria, and you may not think twice about cleaning them on a regular basis. In addition, your carpeting and kitchen sink might also be harboring germs that rival anything found in your bathroom.

In addition to cleaning your bathroom on a regular basis, it's worth thinking about the other items you use frequently in your house. Whether it's a telephone or a remote control, these belongings can be easily wiped down with a disinfectant wipe and made cleaner in a matter of seconds. To keep up with other dirt, dust and bacteria that might be piling up in your household, Apartment Therapy recommends taking up habits such as washing dishes as soon as possible and sweeping daily. In the end, you'll feel more comfortable in your humble abode.

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When you're not at home where you can easily use your own bathroom, you might cringe at the idea of using a toilet in a public area. It's no secret that some of these toilets are downright disgusting and covered with germs. However, there may be other sources of bacteria that are worse than any public toilet you'll find at a restaurant or park. Specifically, think about the handles you grab onto when you use public transportation.

Procter and Gamble recently conducted research to find out which public utility vehicle has the most germs, specifically in the Philippines, according to GMA News. The company found that the handle bars of buses are in fact dirtier than toilet lids and trash bin covers, which has people thinking twice about holding on while on the move. The large number of germs has experts claiming that there's a greater likelihood of contracting influenza, typhoid fever and the common cold.

"The contamination levels of these PUVs are affected by different factors such as air pollution, human contact, and frequency of cleaning practices by the operators or owners, among others," Procter and Gamble stated to the news source.

Keeping your toilet clean

If your bathroom and toilet lid are clean, the bus handles can hardly compare to these items. However, not everyone is adamant about keeping their bathrooms bacteria-free, even when it only takes a handful of minutes to do so each day. Even though you and your family might be slacking when it comes to this chore, there are a couple of ways you can turn the situation around.

Martha Stewart Living magazine claims that you can easily give your toilet a good cleaning by pouring 1/4 cup chlorine bleach into the bowl, then allowing it to soak for a few minutes. Scrub away with your brush, then flush! Your toilet will be germ-free and ready for use.

To make the process even simpler, TLC recommends investing in disposable toilet brushes. These days, you can also find brushes that contain cleaners to get in between the seams and ensure that all of those nasty germs go away once you flush. By taking these tips into account, you won't have to worry about catching the flu or other ailments from your own bathroom. Cleaning this area for just a couple of minutes each day can go a long way.

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British plumber builds world's fastest toilet
Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A man out of Licolnshire, England, recently built a working toilet with a twist - the motorized lavatory can be driven at 55 mph. 

World's fastest toilet

Colin Furze, a 33-year-old plumber, beat the world record for fastest toilet by installing a 140 cc engine in a mobility scooter before building a toilet on top of the stripped frame, according to the Daily Mail. The toilet is powered by petroleum, and gets 10 miles to the gallon.

Furze gave the mobile latrine multiple gears and disguised the stick shift as a toilet brush. He also added a way of attaching reading material to the handlebars, in addition to giving the vehicle the ability to flush while in motion with the push of a button. Furze also installed a toilet paper holder and a towel bar, and covered the base in racing checks, just for authenticity. 

"I'm a plumber and I'm used to putting toilets together so I thought I'd try the challenge of making the fastest," Furze told Metro UK. 

The new world record holder told the source that the multi-function vehicle is treacherous to operate, due to a slippery seat and the top heavy nature of the lavatory. This particular challenge is a result of the water needed to make it able to flush. Furze also noted that he got water on himself whenever he went over any sort of bump in the road, and that the device is difficult to steer. 

Furze made a video for YouTube's comedy week, featuring himself driving the toilet on wheels at breakneck speeds, towel and toilet paper flowing in the wind, driving on both asphalt and grass. He also taped the building of the mobile commode for his YouTube channel called Fast, Furious and Funny. 

Slower toilets

The British plumber's contraption beat out the world's previous fastest toilet, which was driven by Canadian stunt woman Jolene Van Vugt in 2012. This motorized toilet was designed like a go-kart and managed to hit 46 mph at the Sydney Olympic Park, according to Car Buzz. 

In order to satisfy Guinness world record standards, the former motocross champion did two separate 100 meter legs, and an average was taken from each time. 

This stunt was part of Nitro Circus, a spin off of a hit MTV series. 

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Top 5 little-known bathroom maintenance tips
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013

As one of the most high-traffic areas in your home, the bathroom certainly sees plenty of action on a daily basis, but keeping it looking its best can be a major chore. Luckily, there are a number of small jobs you can accomplish on a daily basis that will allow you to put off the top-to-bottom cleaning. As a result, you can maintain an overall standard of cleanliness that will leave the room feeling fresh and inviting. Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Flush with the toilet seat down

Most people don't give it much thought each time they use their commode, but with each flush, this can put a bevy of germs and microorganisms into the air, reports The Epoch Times. Make an effort to put down the toilet seat each time you flush to avoid these germs from ending up on your bath products, bathroom vanity and other surfaces in the room.

2. Clean your showerhead

The showerhead is one of the most heavily-used devices in your washroom, and even it can be prone to bacteria buildup over time. You can remove the piece and soak it in bleach to eliminate traces of bacteria and other germs that may be filtering into your bath water.

3. Heat up surfaces

According to HGTV, using piping-hot water can make a real difference in the effectiveness of your bathroom cleaners, especially alkaline cleansers. Whether you're cleaning a bathtub or a sink, make sure to let hot water sit inside of them for 10 to 15 minutes to make it much easier to remove soap scum and grime from these areas.

4. Use anti-bacterial shower sprays

Post-shower spray products may seem like a gimmick, but they can make a huge difference in reducing bacteria levels after each turn in the shower. Be sure to spray the tub's surface and any tiles with these products to reduce the buildup of mildew and other unsightly developments.

5. Rinse thoroughly

During each bathroom cleaning session, make sure you thoroughly rinse all surfaces that have been exposed to cleaners. The vast majority of bathroom cleaning products are designed to attract soil and particles, and if they are allowed to linger, they could attract even more and undo all of your hard work. Err on the side of caution and rinse each of your bathroom surfaces completely and dry them afterwards with a soft cloth to leave the room looking its best.

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Before you go ahead and throw your steaks on the grill this summer, you might want to think about the last time you cleaned it. If you genuinely can't remember the last time you gave it a good scrubbing, you might be exposing yourself to more than just the deliciousness of charred food once it comes time to chow down.

A new study out of the U.K. shows that barbecues in Britain are more dirty that local toilets, according to The Daily Mail. Specifically, grills are said to have bacteria such as e. Coli and Listeria, as well as higher concentrations of bacteria that can cause nauseating symptoms in comparison to the average toilet. More alarmingly, barbecues that posed a threat were visibly clean to the naked eye, proving that you can never be too sure about what lies on the surface.

"To help keep the family safe, I would suggest cleaning and disinfecting garden furniture and barbecues prior to use," Lisa Ackerley, M.D., told the news source. "And, if you have small children, then remember to clean areas that may come into contact with their hands - such as decking and play equipment."

Additional research found that approximately 42 percent of people clean their toilets everyday. However, only 28 percent wipe down their patio furniture more than twice a year, and 36 percent cleaned their grills with the same frequency. If you're willing to get out your toilet brush, think about giving your grill brush another look for safety's sake!

Do you know how to keep your bathroom clean?

If you're ashamed to look in your toilet or shower every time you walk into your bathroom, there's no better time to get cleaning than today. You don't have to spend an hour scrubbing your fixtures to get them clean - there are a couple of easy ways you can keep your bathroom germ-free in a matter of minutes.

Apartment Therapy recommends taking five minutes each day to spray down your shower, refold your towels and clear off any clutter around your sink - you'll notice a positive difference in the environment. To make cleaning a bit easier, invest in products that make it a more enjoyable experience. Specifically, TLC claims that having a sturdy toilet brush can make all of the difference when it comes to scrubbing away at hard water stains.

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Celebrities refuse to use bathrooms to show support
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2013

Matt Damon has rallied a number of celebrities including Bono, Olivia Wilde and Richard Branson to raise awareness regarding the disparities in clean water and sanitation throughout the world. The stars made a humorous PSA promoting Damon's charity, Water.org, which aired on March 22 . 

Water.org

Damon co-founded Water.org, which was previously known as WaterPartners International, to create new solutions in aiding areas of the world that don't have adequate access to clean water and sanitation. According to the organization, 3.4 million people die annually from a water-related disease. 

The most recent campaign for Damon's charity uses humor to advance the message. In February, he hosted a parody press conference, in which actors played reporters, including Kate Micucci from Raising Hope and Lamorne Morris of The New Girl. During the mock press briefing, he pledged not to go to the bathroom until the entire world population obtains access to toilets, citing that more people have a cell phone than a toilet, a legitimate statistic following a laughable promise. Those who support the campaign can inform others of the cause by tagging their Instagram photos with the hashtag #strikewithme.

The PSA

Wilde, Bono and Branson created the video to show their support for Damon's toilet strike and to spread the word about the cause in a lighthearted manner. In the PSA, they assert that Damon came to them for help during a meeting of the illuminati, and made fun of known pacifist Bono for allegedly beating the Boston born actor with a two-by-four. 

The three celebrities echo Damon's pledge to not go to the bathroom until the world has access to sanitation and clean water. During the PSA, the actors break up the jokes with grave information on the state of water in areas of poverty - Bono noted that 780 million people, twice the population of the U.S., do not have access to clean water. 

This video follows a previous PSA from Jason Bateman, Jessica Biel and Josh Gad, in which they agree to take Damon's pledge and refrain from using the toilet until everyone has the same luxury. Damon concludes both videos with a sentiment encouraging others to join the strike, "Remember if you don't use the toilet, you're a celebrity."

Other videos in this campaign include Damon breaking up with his toilet and a rally of YouTube user support. 

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Anyone who has dropped a brand new roll of toilet paper into a toilet bowl knows a unique form of frustration. No matter how quick your reaction time is, the roll is likely doomed. One Arizona couple nonetheless attempted to revitalize a toilet paper roll that fell victim to the bowl, causing more trouble than it was worth. 

Old couple attempts to nook toilet paper

According to MSN News, a couple at a senior living complex in Tucson, Arizona, tried to get inventive to save a wet roll of toilet paper. 

Unfortunately, the attempt didn't end well. After the couple popped the roll into the microwave for a warm up, the paper caught on fire. Instead of a dry roll, they got an apartment filled with smoke. 

The couple survived the accident unscathed, despite the drama. Nonetheless, the Arizona Daily Star reported that the incident resulted in hundreds of dollars in damages. Crews from the Tucson fire department responded to the couple's fire alarm.

Captain Barrett Baker of the fire department explained to the source that this was the first accident of its kind that he'd seen. Baker said that normally, 911 calls dealing with microwaves involve people being burned by hot food or drinks. The ignited toilet paper was a one-of-a-kind case. 

When a roll of toilet paper goes to waste, it's a shame. Replacing it won't cost you more than a dollar though, so avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation by trying to salvage it. If you want to reduce the chances of losing a roll to begin with, there are certain measures you can take. 

Invest in a toilet paper holder

Dropping a roll in the toilet is usually just bad luck, but by buying a proper toilet paper holder, you may be less likely to experience this loss. 

If your toilet paper roll is attached to the wall, you won't have to worry about it falling to an unfortunate fate. There are a number of toilet paper holder options, from bronze to nickel pieces in modern and antique styles. You won't have to shell out much money for one of these installations. Plus, you'll save yourself the stress of fishing out and replacing any brand-new rolls of bathroom tissue. 

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Unflushed airplane toilet leads to lawsuit
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013

Forgetting to flush the toilet can lead to arguments at home, but can also apparently cause larger altercations in public. Recently, a man onboard a Virgin America flight failed to flush, and is now suing for the consequences. 

On board, passenger forgot to flush

According to Global Travel Industry News, Salvatore Bevivino, a businessman from San Francisco, caused an uproar after he left the airplane's toilet unflushed. The man, traveling home from Philadelphia at the end of April, used the plane's lavatory in the middle of his flight and left the compartment without pressing the flush button.

Bevivino exited the bathroom with a smile on his face, according to the source. A little while later, a flight attendant walked by the open door of the restroom and noticed the oversight. This may have been an innocent mistake, but for Bevivino - who had already made a scene on the plane - the incident had serious repercussions.

Unflushed toilet followed other poor airplane etiquette

RT TV, an online news source, explained that the toilet incident topped off Bevivino's overall behavior on board.

Before he went to use the plane's facilities, Bevivino already had gotten on the flight staff's bad side. According to the source, the 52-year-old became upset when he tried to get a drink. Rather than using the touch screen at his seat to place his order, Bevivino asked a flight attendant for a soda the old-fashioned way.

The crew member explained that the passenger had to use the touch-screen to get his soft drink. After asking two other attendants for his soda, Bevivino refused to follow the plane's beverage-ordering protocol, and went without refreshment.

According to the captain, Bevivino yelled obscenities during his confrontations with the flight staff. When the plane landed, a group of FBI and TSA officers removed Bevivino from the plane, but first the captain questioned Bevivino about his behavior. After denying any wrongdoing, Bevivino was asked why he didn't flush the toilet after he used it. 

The mention of the unflushed toilet upset Bevivino to the point of taking legal action. He filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the airline because he felt embarrassed after the captain revealed his lavatory error. Bevivino's behavior leading up to toilet episode may have warranted the use of authorities, but to him, having been cited for forgetting to flush may tarnish his professional reputation. 

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Anyone can tell you that flushing a ring, or anything of value, down the toilet would be a tragedy. This unfortunate incident recently took place in Virginia, but was luckily rectified by a group of city employees. 

Woman in Virginia flushes her ring down the toilet

According to the Associated Press, a woman in Hampton, Virginia, accidentally dropped her anniversary ring in the toilet and flushed it away. The accident led to an orchestrated mission by the city to recover the piece of jewelry. 

Originally from Richmond, the woman had been visiting her family in Hampton, a small city close to Virginia Beach, in early May. 

After the incident occurred, the woman called a plumbing service to attempt to retrieve the ring. The endeavor was unsuccessful, casting doubt on whether the jewelry would ever resurface. 

The Daily Press, a local news source from Newport News, Virginia, explained that the accident happened on Friday, and the woman waited until Monday to contact Hampton's public works department. After she reported that her ring was gone, the town assigned a crew to retrieve it. 

The team set up a debris trap along the toilet's line to catch the ring as it made its way through the plumbing system. Despite the nastiness of the job, the crew was successful, and the Richmond resident got her ring back. The story ended happily, but the moral may be to take extra care when using the facilities. 

How to avoid flushing your ring down

Though we may not consider our behavior in the bathroom careless, it's important to be conscious of our surroundings for safety's sake. Want to avoid calling out a crew of city officials to retrieve a flushed-away item? Bathroom organization could reduce your risk of losing possessions to your toilet.

If jewelry fits loosely, don't let it hover over the toilet bowl. Before using the facilities, take a ring or bracelet off and put it in a container on your bathroom vanity. If you're about to hop in the shower, you might also use your vanity as a safe storage area, so your valuable accessories don't go down the drain. 

Get in the habit of checking your hands before flushing. If you hear an unnatural "clink" while using the facilities, investigate its source. Though the work of Hampton's city employees shows that lost items can be recovered, with certain lavatory behavior, you won't have to hire a search party at all. 

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Cafe bathroom in Vienna has see-through doors
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When it comes to bathroom design, privacy is an unwritten standard. Public lavatory users don't want to be the subjects of strangers' glances, so the transparent doors of a facility in Vienna may make them wonder if they should look for a toilet elsewhere.

See-through doors become opaque through bathroom technology

MSN Now reports that Cafe Diglas in Vienna, Austria, is home to a lavatory that tricks its users into feeling exposed. According to the source, when patrons step into the restroom of the quaint establishment, they are confronted with see-through stalls. Instead of the typical doors, the stalls are made of glass. 

Upon seeing these, many individuals may become confused, wondering if they should go to the bathroom quickly or just hold it  until they get home. The risk-taking types - or those who really have to go - will find that once they enter the stalls and lock the doors, privacy magically sets in around them. 

With the simple turn of a lock, the stall's walls suddenly become opaque, hiding the user from view. Additionally, a "No Entry" emblem pops up on the door for extra security. As soon as these features activate, lavatory denizens can use the facilities with peace of mind. 

Nonetheless, the source questions whether patrons should trust this technology. It may be impressive, but prone to glitches. If you don't have full faith in the tech gods, you may consider using a more traditional toilet. 

According to the Huffington Post UK, aside from its tricky bathrooms, Cafe Diglas is a refined coffee house built in traditional Viennese style. Its tech-savvy toilet stalls show that even seemingly normal establishments can surprise you. 

Unique bathroom privacy for your own home

Feel inspired by these Viennese stalls? Even without the impressive technology, you can implement equally distinct privacy techniques in your lavatory. Houzz showcases several restrooms with eye-catching bathroom partitions. One of these facilities has a wall of bamboo sticks blocking the toilet from view.

Another example, like the Vienna bathroom, has a glass partition separating the toilet from the rest of the facility. It may not become opaque when an individual uses the toilet, but its clouded glass surface nonetheless offers him or her privacy. By choosing an interesting partition like this, you'll make your bathroom more private and simultaneously give it style. 

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Smartphone apps help out bathroom users
Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

These days, mobile apps can serve just about any purpose, and some are even designed specifically for bathroom needs. 

Shower-based noise makes bathrooms less awkward

Do you feel suddenly shy if you need to use the toilet while your significant other is brushing his or her teeth? The Huffington Post UK recently reported that there's a new app perfect for anyone who shares a lavatory

"Fake Shower," an app made by Akatu, drowns out your typical bathroom sounds with the sound of falling water. 

An old trick is to throw the sink faucet or bathtub on to muddle your sounds, but now by simply pressing a button, you can use the can with discretion. 

Not only is this app convenient, it's also eco-friendly. Just think of the gallons of water you'll save by not leaving the faucet running during your bathroom activity. 

Plus, the app has options. Once you've downloaded it, you can choose the tap or shower setting. Depending on how much of a sound barrier you need, you can also adjust the intensity of the "water flow."

Restroom-seekers find the cleanest toilets in Singapore

Another app may help restroom users scout out the most hygienic lavatories. According to Channel NewsAsia, the Restroom Association Singapore recently created an app called LOO, or Let's Observe Ourselves. This app not only directs users to the most hygienic toilets, but also allows people to give feedback on toilets that are particularly high on the clean scale. 

"As a non-profit charity advocating for clean public toilets, we are always keen to leverage on the use of new technology to promote our cause," Tan Puay Hoon, president of RAS, told the source. "With the launch of the mobile version of LOO Connect, this marks another milestone in our mission."

When looking for a bathroom, the app offers a few categories. A bathroom to avoid is a "Disgusting Toilet" that is not well-maintained. A "Certified Restroom," on the other hand, is part of the Happy Toilet Program, meaning that the RAS has audited and approved its cleanliness.

Users can add new locations or post comments on toilets already in the system. Simply specify the type of toilet operator, whether its in a bus terminal or food court, and give it a rating. With this sort of organized system, public bathroom users can guarantee that the toilet they're heading to is up to their cleanliness standard. 

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Recently, students at Drake University have had qualms with the school's choice of single-ply toilet paper. Although the Drake population is dissatisfied, the thin toilet paper may have environmental benefits. 

According to The Times-Delpic, Drake University's student newspaper, students across the college campus have voiced their negative opinions of the single-ply toilet paper the school offers. 

Specifically, the Drake Student Senate has gotten grief about the toilet paper on the Student Services Facebook page. 

"It's sort of been a big issue because it had been brought up a lot even in my last year when I was on Senate and even this year," Ekta Haria, the Senate's student services committee chair, told the source.

The manager of Facility Services told Haria that the school went with the thin paper because it clogged Drake's toilets less frequently. The University would have to upgrade the entire sewage system to make way for thicker, multi-ply paper. 

Despite this expense, students on the campus want change. The source cited Coleby Hanisch, a freshman at Drake, who claimed that the single-ply material feels like sandpaper. He said that he would completely support a movement for a better product. 

According to the source, the thin toilet paper at Drake is designed to cut back on waste and keep toilets from clogging. Each roll has 1,000 sheets and no core, providing more paper per roll. Switching to two-ply paper would make an environmental and financial dent, because the rolls would have to be replaced more frequently. 

"It was decided upon that, you know, we wanted to be a green university as much as possible," John Selin, Assistant Director of Custodial and Grounds at Drake, told the source. 

Thick toilet paper is tough on the environment

The New York Times also noted the environmental cost of the thick toilet paper popular in the United States. Though soft, thick and hot-air-fluffed paper is comfortable, it is made through the harvesting of North and Latin American trees, and environmental groups have called out toilet paper manufacturers for their destructive methods. Fibers from these trees gives toilet paper the softness you can't get with rolls made from recycled material.

"No forest of any kind should be used to make toilet paper," Allen Hershkowitz, waste expert from the National Resource Defense Council, told The Times. 

According to the source, countries beside the United States aren't as choosy when it comes to their toilet paper, willing to use rough and recycled material. Students at Drake University may also have to be satisfied with less-than-fluffy paper. 

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Can you imagine a toilet flying through the air and hitting your car? This may sound like an outlandish nightmare, but for a teenager in Thorndike, Maine, it was a Monday morning reality.  

Flying toilet makes for a one-of-a-kind wake up call

MSN reports that a portable toilet flew through the air and hit a teenage girl's car while she drove to school on a Monday morning in early May. The toilet fell directly on the girl's red Jeep Cherokee, causing the unsuspecting driver to swerve across the road. 

Luckily, the girl came out unscathed, though understandably shaken. She whipped out her phone and called 911 as soon as the accident occurred, emotionally recounting the event. 

The accident could've been messier: According to authorities, the toilet hadn't been used. 

"Fortunately, it was clean," Jeff Trafton, chief deputy of the Waldo County Sheriff's Office, said, according to the source. "It was a true Monday morning happening." 

Insecure toilet transportation is the culprit

Though it may have seemed like the toilet came out of nowhere, the incident was the result of another driver's carelessness.

The portable lavatory flew from the truck of a man delivering toilets to the girl's own Mount View High School. The truck driver, Ronnie Furrow, failed to properly lash down one of the porta-johns, so when he turned out of the school's parking lot and onto Route 220, the cumbersome toilet flew off his vehicle and into the road. As fate would have it, the girl's red Jeep was in the line of fire.

According to the source, Furrow has received a summons for his unsecured load. The girl was lucky in that she reacted quickly to the projectile toilet and survived the incident unhurt.

Because the girl was a juvenile, her name was not released. Chief Deputy Trafton noted that she was in no way at fault for the accident. 

This flying porta-john is testament to the fact that you never know what might hit you when you're on the road. Even if it's early in the week and you only have one cup of coffee under your belt, be alert and ready for anything. If your reaction time is quick enough, like the teenager's in Maine, you may avoid unlucky consequences. Plus, you'll have a good story to tell at the end of the day. After all, not many people can say a toilet has hit their car from above.

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Pop icon Beyonce has upped the mobile-living standard on her most recent tour. Her demands may seem over-the-top, but they show that when it comes to her on-the-road home, this superstar knows what she wants.

According to a Daily Mail report, Beyonce has made lists for each segment of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, laying out her particular needs in lists for each venue. 

Decadence in the bathroom

Some people are picky about the softness of their toilet paper, but Beyonce has specs on its color. According to the source, the 31-year-old requests deep red paper for her facilities' toilet paper holders.

Forget about cleaning the toilet seats, instead of whipping out the soap and sponge, Beyonce asks for brand new toilet seats all along her tour. 

Pampering in other departments

In the O2 arena - one of Beyonce's stops - the artist has requested the largest changing rooms the establishment provides. 

Usually, these spaces are reserved for entire sports teams, but pop royalty demands the biggest and the best. Though she only has a few night's stay at this arena, Beyonce has decked out the space with couches and curtains. 

Instead of guzzling water from the tap, the singer needs alkaline water to wet her whistle. The water must be chilled to a perfect 21 degrees. Additionally, all of her crew members wear clothes of 100 percent cotton from head to toe. 

In addition, according to UPI.com, the singer has asked for titanium drinking straws for her beverages while on the road. These products cost upward of $935, but will nonetheless make the ex-Destiny's Child member feel like a total princess.

Along those lines, the source also notes that the artist keeps carved balls of ice on hand for her to suck on whenever necessary. After a long on-stage performance, who could ask for more? 

Inspiration for your bathroom?

You may not be a world-famous superstar, but that doesn't mean that you can't treat yourself to a few of these amenities. In your bathroom, invest in items that, however specific, ultimately enhance your experience. Find gold-painted mirror frames, hand towels in your favorite zany color, and maybe even look into a luxurious shower panel to make you feel like royalty. After all, the bathroom is a place where you should truly pamper yourself.

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There are few moments in our daily lives that fill us with bewilderment and fear quite like an overflowing toilet, no matter whose commode you find yourself on. Unfortunately for one Pennsylvania man who was experiencing toilet trouble, instead of an embarrassing situation that could be cleaned up with paper towels and a few tears, his overflowing toilet led police officers to the discovery of a large-scale drug dealing ring running out of his apartment. According to CBS News, when Dickson City, Pennsylvania, police and fire department were called to an apartment building in response to flooding, they discovered a bevy of marijuana plants and other paraphernalia that put the sting on a fairly well-established operation.

According to WNEP.com, the toilet flooding was so significant that an entire downstairs apartment was destroyed, which lead to the fire department and law enforcement being called. The neighbor, Sherri Lyman, had just laid down to go to sleep when a small waterfall of toilet water began to seep through her ceiling and into her apartment. In an amazing bout of luck, Lyman's landlord wasn't available when called, so she decided to call the fire department instead.

When police and firefighters began to inspect the plumbing of the upstairs apartment, they realized that they had stumbled into a major drug operation. In addition to several marijuana plants that were growing in the apartment, police also found tell-tale signs of intent to sell, with scales, marijuana seeds and other forms of drug paraphernalia scattered around.

"Thank the Lord the night when the police came. Something was finally done. I am happy about that. At least they responded," Lyman told the news outlet.

As for the upstairs tenant, 19 year old Cody Turner was arrested and faces a series of criminal charges that could result in prison time. His bond is set at $10,000 dollars and he'll be enjoying a stay at the Lackawanna County Prison. As for Sherri Lyman, contractors have already fixed her apartment and she'll be moving back in within the next several weeks. Ultimately, the story showcases just how fine a line that drug dealers have to walk when trying to hide their illegal activities from law enforcement and their fellow residents. It is probably one of the only activities a person can participate in where an overflowing toilet can result in jail time!

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Rather than spray-painting a wall or breaking a few windows, vandals around the world have turned to bathrooms to wreak havoc. From broken plumbing to destroyed toilets, public lavatories bear the consequences of these unruly individuals. 

Laid off newspaper employees destroy bathrooms

According to a Times Union report, employees at The Daily Gazette, a locally-owned newspaper in Schenectady, New York, reacted violently after the company fired 10 employees, five of whom were newsroom staffers. 

In their distress, these individuals took to the Gazette's bathrooms to blow off some steam. Aside from vandalizing the toilets, the unhappy crew destroyed other parts of the company's property. 

After these incidences, the Gazette sent a staff-wide email declaring that the bathroom vandalism caused thousands of dollars of plumbing damage. The memo reminded the staff that the acts were due to the behavior of the newspaper's own employees.

Due to the events, the Gazette sent out protocol guidelines for the newspaper's workers to avoid the risk of future vandalism in sections of the company's property. According to these rules, employees can't leave their "designated work areas" during their shifts. If any of the employees need to leave their sections while on the clock, they have to check in with their supervisor to be personally escorted. Though these restrictions seem drastic, according to the source, any employee who doesn't comply may be fired. 

Campground closes due to toilet vandalism

Toilet vandalism is problematic in other parts of the world as well. The Australian Broadcasting Company recently reported that a campground in the Neerim State Forest closed down after vandals destroyed the park's bathroom facilities. 

This vandalism falls in line with a number of other issues the park has had since it was intentionally burned down in 2003. 

Rather than attacking the plumbing or toilet fixtures, vandals tore down the walls of the Australian toilet block. According to Peter McEwan of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, repairing the public facility may cost up to AU $20,0000. 

"I simply would urge any members of the public that see this sort of activity or any other activity that's not appropriate, if they see them in progress, get some registration numbers or a few descriptions and provide it to us so we can follow up on them," McEwan said, quoted by the source. 

This activity, like the problems at the Gazette, may make you wonder what's so tantalizing about wrecking a bathroom. Whatever the motive, recovering from these acts nonetheless costs money and causes inconvenience.

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Toilet museum opens in New Delhi
Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ever wonder if your toilet could be a piece of history or a work of art? Although toilets are often regarded exclusively as utilities, two museums - one in New Delhi, India and one in New York City - pay homage to the toilet as a work of art and a piece of history. 

New Delhi museum showcases history of toilets

Daily News America reports that the International Museum of Toilets has officially made the the Top 10 "Weird and Unusual" museums of the world list. The museum, conceptualized by Bindeshwar Pathak, Ph.D., is located in New Delhi's Palam section, and was inaugurated in 1992. 

"It is indeed a very unusual museum as it's the only one of its kind in the world," Pathak said, according to the source. 

The museum showcases toilet seats spanning different historical eras. According to Pathak, the museum's highlight is a replica of King Louis XIV's throne, which doubled as a toilet for the French ruler. 

Other museums that made the list included the Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. These aren't your typical painting exhibits or sculpture galleries: The collections are distinct.

"The museums are being called weird in a fun way," Varun Chadha of Journeymart.com, a travel website, said, according to the source. "Each museum is unique and can't be compared to one another. Interestingly, though Delhi houses this museum, the ratio of a person to a toilet is really low here."

New York toilet exhibit salutes classic punk venue

Back in the United States, another exhibit showcases toilets. According to The Fashion Spot, a beauty and lifestyle website, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is opening an exhibition in its Costume Institute called, "PUNK: Chaos to Couture." 

The exhibit showcases a replica of the toilets and urinals of the historic New York punk venue, CBGB. The source notes that the fixtures aren't functional, but the diorama is fully equipped with cigarette butts on the floors and graffiti on the walls. The source suggests that the exhibit might also be a reference to Marcel Duchamp's​ dadaist "Fountain," which was a urinal.

In either case, like in the museum in New Delhi, these toilets represent a piece of history. Though obscure, the toilet displays offer museum-goers a glimpse into another time. Just think: Your toilet could have similar historical value. 

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If you hate the chemical smell of typical cleaning agents but like to keep your bathroom spick-and-span, a few unconventional products may be your ticket. By cleaning the toilet and other sections of the bathroom with goods you may find in your fridge or kitchen pantry, your facilities will shine. 

6 household goods that'll clean your toilet

The Huffington Post recently listed a handful of unconventional cleaning methods for your toilet or bidet

One way to keep the toilet clean is by pouring two cups of Gatorade into the bowl. After letting the sports drink sit for an hour, wipe it away with a brush. Whatever flavor you use, the electrolyte-rich beverage will leave the fixture as clean as any toilet-bowl cleaner would. 

You can also use rubbing alcohol to clean toilet rings by letting it soak for several minutes in the bowl, then wiping away any stains with a cleaning tool.

Pouring a can of Coca-Cola into your toilet bowl and letting it sit for an hour sanitizes the fixture. Simply scrub the surface before you flush the soda down, and the bowl will be clean. A denture tablet dropped in the bowl and left for 20 minutes will also clean a toilet bowl. 

To get rust stains off of a toilet, use a pumice stone soaked in warm water. Make sure both the stone and the toilet are wet so you don't scratch the porcelain. Throw on your rubber gloves and scrub: The rust will disappear before you know it. 

Finally, vinegar sprayed over a ring of dish soap under your toilet's rim will also sanitize the piece. Use a toilet brush to scrub the bowl with the combination and the piece will look immaculate.

Household remedies to sanitize other areas of the bathroom

LifeTips, an advice website, noted a few unusual approaches to cleaning other parts of your bathroom.

Are the drains of your shower clogged with hair? Throw two alka seltzer tabs down the drain with some vinegar, then rinse with hot water.

To polish brass bathroom fixtures, the source suggests dipping half a lemon in salt and rubbing it across the pieces. Wipe the surfaces with a clean cloth, and your doorknobs and robe hooks will seem radiant.

Want your bathroom mirror to sparkle? Wash it with a mixture of water and clarifying shampoo. By using these household products, you can clean your bathroom without the leftover chemical aroma. 

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Bathroom renovations or improvements should always be done with safety in mind. Focus on improving specific areas in the room, like the shower, to reduce the risk of lavatory injury. 

Make the shower accident-proof

The area in the bathroom that likely sees a fair share of slips and falls is the shower. Even the most graceful people have probably experienced a blunder getting in and out of this fixture. 

To avoid these incidences, Better Homes and Gardens suggests making the shower separate from the bath, claiming that the majority of bathroom-related accidents happen when people climb over the edge of the tub to take a shower.

Following this advice may be an opportunity for you to invest in an updated fixture. A steam shower will instantly enhance your facilities. The showers come in a variety of styles with a selection of features. Choose yours based on its amenities as well as its safety. Find a shower with just a small step to get into it. Also, rather than having slippery ceramic bases, many of these fixtures have wood-paneled floors. 

A Houzz article notes a few other ways to make the shower safe. One of these is by putting a grab bar on the wall of the fixture. Rather than installing an industrial-style silver bar, the source suggests an oil-rubbed bronze piece, to keep your lavatory stylish. Also, seating in the shower adds to its safety. This way, rather than performing a balancing act when shaving your legs, you can sit down to get the job done. Luckily, built-in seats are typically standard in steam showers. 

Keep the rest of the room safe, too

The shower isn't the only place where accidents can happen. Overall, avoid installing any steps in the bathroom. Keep an absorbent mat with a slip-resistant backing next to the shower to dry your feet and stop any extraneous puddles from forming on the floor.

Additionally, limit the number of sharp angles around the bathroom. Make sure your vanity doesn't have jutting corners: You may even be able to find one with rounded edges. When putting your medicine cabinet on the wall, make sure the corner of its door doesn't swing out at eye-level. With these things in mind, you'll be able to safely navigate through your newly designed lavatory. 

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Whether or not you're a germaphobe, you probably want your bathroom to be clean. No matter how sparkling you keep your toilet, the simple act of flushing it might spread bacteria into the air of your lavatory. 

The germ-spreading power of a toilet flush

A recent Medical Daily report explains how technology has increased the spread of bacteria and germs. The flushable toilet, though not necessarily a new innovation, is one of the tech advances that contributes to high germ counts. 

According to the source, Charles Gerba, a microbiologist from the University of Arizona, has studied the effect of the toilet flush since 1975. The scientist, also known as "Dr. Germ," recently published research on the phenomenon of bacterial spray after a flush.

Gerba explained that flushing the toilet creates an aerosol of contaminated water that instantly spreads across the entire bathroom, from the shower curtain to your toothbrush. After each individual flush, according to Gerba's findings, these tiny germs linger in the bathroom air for up to two hours. 

This may sound frightening, but Gerba's studies show that when compared to other parts of the house, the toilet bowl is actually close to immaculate on the germ-scale. In fact, according to the source, a toilet that's been recently flushed has less bacteria in it than the sink in your kitchen. 

"[The toilet's] one of the cleanest things you'll run across in terms of micro-organisms," Gerba said, quoted by the source. "It's our gold standard - there are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs."

So, don't let bacterial spray stop you from flushing. Even with this projectile of contaminated water, the bathroom is still clean in the big picture. 

The effect of a toilet seat's shape

Still worried about the cleanliness of your toilet? The St. Louis Dispatch recently reported that for women, U-shaped toilet lids may be more hygienic. Sure, this style of toilet seat is more typical in public restrooms, but if you're concerned about germs, you might consider the U- over the O-shaped lid for your home.

According to the source, U-shaped lids allow ladies to wipe without touching a potentially germ-ridden seat. Even if the seat is cleaner than you might assume, avoiding contact with it may offer you some peace of mind. 

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The outhouse may be a thing of the past, but in Rantoul, Illinois outdoor toilets are reentering the scene. Residents of the town are waking up and finding these ceramic fixtures out on their front lawns, according to the Rantoul Press. Amazingly, these pieces generate cashflow every time they land at a residence.

How can a toilet make money?

You may wonder what makes a toilet in someone's yard a cash cow. According to the source, the youth group at the Rantoul First United Methodist Church created this bathroom-based fundraiser, called "Pass the Porcelain."

The donations of this mission work in a few ways. First, a donor pays for the toilet to be placed on someone else's yard. Once this friend or neighbor finds the fixture waiting outside his or her front door, they have a choice - either donate $15 to have the toilet removed or $25 to have the piece taken from the yard and planted in the yard of his or her choice.

Residents who either want to make a big donation or keep their lawns toilet-free can buy "insurance" by donating $35, which then ensures that no one can put a fixture on their property.  

"The support from the community, not only from our Methodist church members but from other people helping out [has been great]," said Pat Button, leader of the youth group. 

Are the toilets usable?

Well, not in the normal sense. However, according to the source, residents of Rantoul have found ways to enjoy their temporary outdoor installments.

Some people use the toilets as places to sit and contemplate quietly. Others read the newspaper atop these thrones. For fun, some people have filled the toilet bowls with candy or flowers. The fixtures, normally reserved for the privacy of one's bathroom, have become a zany way to raise money. Plus, Button tells the source that he's put on some muscle since the charity started. 

Inspired? Outdoor bathrooms aren't totally unheard of

Does the open-air quality of these outdoor toilets sound refreshing? They may seem like a staple of yesteryear, but outdoor bathrooms aren't completely dead.

Houzz recently highlighted an outdoor bathroom, which included an old-fashioned bathtub, a shower head attached to the outer brick wall and robe hooks next to the glass-paned doors going into the house.

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Spring is here and, for many homeowners, this is the time of year when they take a closer look at their living spaces to look for areas of improvement or a new design scheme altogether. One decorative layout that never seems to go out of style is the rustic backdrop, which aims to seamlessly blend modern style while embracing nature. With a mixture of naturally-inspired furnishings, dazzling bathroom accessories and a few personal touches, you can accomplish these design scheme with ease. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Hunt for flea market finds

One way to add a dose of personality and a classic style is to search through flea markets and antique shops this spring to find a series of furnishings that can improve the look of your bathroom. If you're looking to save some space, consider picking up an antique coat rack to hold towels, bath robes and other items to conserve your wall space. Additionally, keep an eye out for old mason jars and other containers that can be used to hold cotton balls, swabs and bath gels. These found items are a great conversation starter and they are also a very cost-effective means of decorating your space.

Invest in new window treatments

Window treatments are often overlooked in bathrooms, but they can play an important role in setting the decorative scheme of the space. Wood blinds blend in beautifully with a rustic aesthetic, but the high moisture content of the room may not make them conducive to your needs. Luckily, faux wood blinds are a great solution that won't be prone to warping and color fading over time and will provide a seamless view that will pair beautifully with the room's furnishings. Best of all, you can leave your windows open during the daytime and not have to worry about potential damage to your window coverings during a sudden storm.

Vessel sinks

If you're thinking of installing a new bathroom vanity in the space, make sure you give your new piece of bathroom furniture a major focal point with a vessel sink. These sinks come in countless styles and colors to suit your overall decorative layout, and you can even change out the piece over time with your changing interior design needs. Last but not least, consider adding a waterfall faucet to truly bring in a natural touch that your spring and summer guests are sure to love.

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For many individuals, it's a common dilemma - You wake up in the middle of the night to head to the bathroom, but you're forced to find your way through dark hallways and grasping for the light switch once you actually make it to the washroom. Worse yet, when those lights go on, and your eyes aren't adjusted, it can be a pretty uncomfortable experience. According to CBS News, inventor Dave Reynolds and his partner Tim Fittler have unveiled the glow in the dark toilet seat. The two hope that their product can make people a bit safer each evening and could shoot to the top of the shopping list for many homeowners in search of bathroom accessories.

Reynolds told the news source that he experienced a mishap while using the bathroom at night and actually slid off the toilet seat in his darkened bathroom. After shaking off the bangs and bruises, it occurred to him that a glow in the dark toilet seat could be a fabulous safety investment for children, the elderly and anyone else who happens to be a bit clumsy! Their product, dubbed Night Glow Seats, retail at $49.99 and are available in either blue or green.

"It's a great product, and hey, does it really hurt you if it glows? Do you really want your grandma to fall down because the lighting wasn't right? Or for a little kid, who is just learning to get up in the middle of the night to go to bathroom on their own?" Reynolds told the news source. "It's a bathroom lighthouse at the end of the day."

According to DigitalJournal.com, the partners worked with Scott O'Neil, director of applied research and development at St Clair College. Along with a team of enthusiastic college students, the team worked to engineer a toilet seat that can glow for an extended period of time, provide a series of colors and can be installed easily over existing devices.

Not only was this a great learning experience for the students to see the launch of a consumer product from the drawing board to store shelves, but they have also implemented a series of target market analysis and marketing strategies. In the end, bathrooms all over the country may have gotten a whole lot safer, and cooler!

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It's no secret that spring is one of the most exciting times of the year for interior designers, as they can leave behind the drab neutrals of winter and embrace the bold and beautiful hues of the season. While many individuals opt to completely renovate the space with a bold new bathroom vanity and an array of bathroom accessories, even the finest modern washroom furnishings can fall flat without the right personal touches. If you're looking for a quick and easy focal point for the room, arranging a centerpiece is a fabulous step in the right direction. Here are a few design ideas to incorporate into your display.

All the touches of spring

If you're going for a one-size-fits-all approach to the room, simply pick up a large dish, cake dish or another large vessel and put an array of spring accents together. Everything from fresh-cut flowers, colored eggs and other bits of greenery will have a huge impact on your space. These arrangements are a striking addition to any washroom with a dual-sink vanity and can provide balance for the room.

Repurpose antique items

According to MarthaStewart.com, searching through flea markets and antique shops for unique flower holders can add a vibrant touch to your bathroom. Keep an eye out for old watering cans, wine or milk bottles or a few beach pails that can be reinvented as floral vases. This will show off your decorative ingenuity and give your guests a taste of seasonal flair as well.

Eggshell holders

The traditional egg dishes that are meant for single hard-boiled eggs can act as fabulous backdrops for decorative endeavors. You can opt to hollow out a colored egg to hold a series of small flowers or use them as a tea light holder. These tiny additions will scream spring and give your bathroom a touch of personality. Be sure to arrange a few of these egg holders to improve the visual appeal of your arrangement.

Tin can vases

When looking to showcase your DIY handiwork, tin can vases are fabulous additions to your bathroom's interior design, suggests Country Living magazine. Simply decorate the outside of the cans with a design of your choice, and then fill them with a selection of fresh flowers. This can also work beautifully with mason jars and other leftover kitchen containers that can give your bathroom a sustainable quality that guests will appreciate.

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Bathroom design for the diva
Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Does your inner princess want a top-notch bathroom? Revamp your facilities to make the space look and feel good enough for royalty. 

Give your bathroom style

If you're a true diva, you'll want to go bold in this space. Pull out all the stops with your bathroom design, from the paint on the walls to the tile on the floors.

Houzz showcases a bathroom fit for a movie star. Half of the room's walls are electric pink while the other half is lined from floor to ceiling with small black tiles. Crystal chandelier-style lighting fixtures illuminate the space. All the surfaces are sleek and eye-catching.

Similarly, avoid subtlety when designing your bathroom. Instead of soft colors and paler shades, incorporate wild reds, purples and black. You can even give your space some bling with crystal fixtures, from the lights, to the mirror to the sink. 

Install items that will pamper you

A fantastic bathroom vanity is a necessity for every diva. Change out your sink and countertop for a beautiful modern bathroom vanity. Make sure that the piece has ample drawer space for you to stash your extensive make-up collection. You'll likely want the piece to be equipped with a large mirror for when you're getting dolled up in the morning (or at night). 

Additionally, invest in a shower that meets the royal standard. Steam showers may be your best bet in this department. These pieces are lined with jets that massage you while you shampoo. With rainfall-style shower heads and chromatherapy colored lights, these fixtures enhance the shower experience.

Install heated bars on the walls of the bathroom so you can wrap yourself in a toasty towel as soon as you're finished unwinding in the shower. Nail a few hooks on the wall, too, so you can dive into your comfiest robe afterward.

Don't overlook the little things

Make even the smallest details extravagant. Entertainmentwise.com, an online celebrity and entertainment source, recently reported that pop icon Beyonce will only use red toilet paper, and that she asks for a full supply of it in her dressing room.  

Let yourself be similarly picky. Choose hand towels that are your favorite color. Even if a plush rug in the space seems unnecessary, if it makes your toes happy, go for it. Don't worry about what other people think about this bathroom: You're the star, so make it all yours.

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