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Twin cities man caught stealing pipes
Posted on Monday, July 22, 2013

A Minn. man has been caught who had been allegedly stealing pipes from area restaurants to sell for scrap. Police theorize that the man stole pipes from several McDonald's restaurants, as well as several others, and sold the metal for the bronze they contained.

Arrest

Mikael J. Carlson, the 32-year-old alleged thief, had visited several restaurant bathrooms in the past month, and the managers of the restaurants began to notice the pattern. After several pipes went missing from a McDonald's toilet, the manager reported the theft to authorities. A white SUV was spotted in the surveillance footage of the restaurant's parking lot, leaving around 1 p.m. A man later identified as Carlson was seen getting into the vehicle.

The area manager of the McDonald's restaurants reported that there had been similar incidents at other nearby locations, and the police were informed. Using surveillance footage and information from area managers, police were able to ascertain the suspect's license plate number.,

After another complaint was registered with the authorities, Eagen, Minn. police began to follow Carlson as he drove from place to place, visiting at least three establishments on July 5. At each location, pipe was missing from the bathroom after Carlson left, according to the local CBS affiliate.

Before the suspect could make another attempt, police intervened and arrested him. After searching the vehicle, they found pipes, screwdrivers and a wrench. Carlson admitted that he had stolen the pipes from the three restaurants at that time and was taken into custody. He was linked to other, similar thefts in nearby counties as well.

If convicted, Carlson could serve up to five years in jail and face a $10,000 fine for felony theft.

Pipes

Carlson stole the pipes so that he could sell them for scrap metal. They contain yellow bronze, which sells for over two dollars a pound. In total, Carlson was charged with stealing over $1,700 worth of material.

Police also reported that Carlson always left a few of the toilets in the establishments he visited working, allowing customers to continue using the bathroom. He also shut the water off before removing the essential parts, which prevented leaks and water damage.

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Snake bites man while on the toilet
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013

An 35-year-old man in Israel was bitten by a snake while sitting on the toilet. Luckily, the snake was not poisonous, and the man is expected to survive the encounter, though understandably rattled. The man was taken to the hospital. 

After running from the bathroom in shock and horror, the man was taken to the Rambam Medical Center. He had been visiting his parents in Galilee at the time of the incident. While the bite was enough to attract the attention of the press, the man will be fine, showing only scars for his traumatic experience, according to the Huffington Post.

"This is the first time I've seen a snake bite like this. Luckily, all tests seem fine and the man is feeling well," said on the paramedics who treated the man.

While there will "undoubtedly be bite marks in the area," according to a hospital representative, the man should make a full recovery and be discharged as soon as tests are completed. While it sounds strange, this is not the first time that such an injury as occurred. A Taiwanese man was bitten by a snake in 2009 while on the toilet, though he considered it to be the animal's call for help, as it was stuck in the septic system.

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New research has shown that smartphones, tablets and other portable electronic devices have encouraged Americans to take phone calls, work and shop in more places, often including while using the toilet.

Work

Research from integrated marketing agency integrated marketing agency 11mark found that many U.S. workers won't go into the bathroom without their cell phones, and that most have used their phones at one point, in the bathroom according to Business News Daily. In total, three out of four of the 1,000 Americans surveyed said that they used their phones in the bathroom, while 30 percent of men and 20 percent of women claimed that they never went to the toilet without their phones.

A little over half of those surveyed said they had answered a call while using the toilet, and slightly fewer claimed to have made calls from the bathroom. Of the men surveyed, 20 percent, compared to 13 percent of women, said that some of the calls they took or made in the bathroom were work-related.

Generations played a role in the usage of cell phones, with people from Generation Y using them the most. The rates fell as the generations grew older, although more than half of Baby Boomers reported using their phones in the bathroom, and just under half of the Silent Generation did as well.

Shopping

With the ability to shop anywhere in the house, many Americans have turned to browsing online wares while on the toilet, detailed by research from SeeWhy originally published in Wired.

In total, ten percent of respondents claimed to have made purchases while actually using the toilet. Other spots included the living room, the bedroom and the kitchen, while some preferred to do their online shopping while sitting outside.

While some of the shopping occurred on smartphones, much of it was more focused on tablets. Those who used tablets like iPads were three times more likely to actually make a purchase instead of browsing. The numbers also revealed that people had different shopping habits on mobile devices than desktop computers.

Charles Nicholls, chief security officer of SeeWhy, said "You find that you've got this evening pattern of recreational shopping that doesn't happen on desktops in the same way."

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The water-saving design of a sink and urinal or a sink and a full toilet has been growing in popularity in recent years. The design of the device makes it cheaper to both install and produce, is more environmentally friendly, and even encourages users to wash their hands.

The design

Though combination inks and toilets have been around in Japan for nearly 60 years, one new design has recently begun to be installed in several European countries. The new model was created by Latvian designer Kaspars Jursons​, who insists that the model is not a "fancy piece of art," but rather a utilitarian tool, according to NPR.

"The idea is about function and consumption. You are washing your hands in the sink on top of the urinal, and the same water that's running is also used to flush," he explained. "You don't have to use water twice, like when you use the urinal and wash your hands in separate sink."

The basic design of his device and others like it is that the toilet is used first, then the sink. Afterward, the gray water produced from washing hands is what actually flushes the toilet, thus saving water, according to Geekologie.com.

Called The Stand, the new sink-urinal sells for just under $600, and has been distributed in Germany, Poland and the designer's home country of Latvia, among other places. By his own estimation, the device has already saved significant amounts of water and and encouraged more hand washing, because the sink is directly above the urinal. His next project is to create a unisex design.

Japanese models

Similar designs to Jursons' have been used in Japan since 1956. Often, they are utilized in densely-populated areas where there is not adequate space or water for both a sink and a toilet. In the Japanese models, the sink is located on the cistern, the tank on the back of the toilet, and the water helps refill the toilet after it's been flushed.

Though the new idea has been popular in Europe, NPR suggested that Americans may be more interested in the full sink-toilet rather than the urinal-toilet.

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Video footage has surfaced of 19-year-old op singer Justin Bieber relieving himself in a New York restaurant's mop bucket. The bucket was placed directly outside the toilet, but the popular young singer chose to use the bucket instead, and then launched a tirade of insults at a photo of former president Bill Clinton.

The video

First appearing on celebrity gossip site TMZ, the video showed the young singer and a group of friends being rowdy at a restaurant before stopping to use the mop bucket as a toilet. Bieber and his friends appear to be proud of their actions in the video, and some offer a few pieces of advice to those watching the incident.

Bieber defends his actions in the video, saying "Quick little [bathroom] break you know, quickest restroom you can get to."

After he finished with the mop bucket, the signer then turned his attention to a framed photo of Bill Clinton hanging nearby. He took a spray bottle from a table and proceeded to squirt the photo with water, yelling expletives. Later, the singer used Twitter to thank Clinton for his words.

Throughout the ordeal, Bieber and his friends referred to themselves as the "Wild Kids" and consistently referred to the level of their "swagger."

Troubled singer

The Canadian pop star has recently come under fire for other actions, garnering including attention from the Homeowner Association of the singer's neighborhood, The Oaks in Calabasas, California. Though the complaints did not mention the singer by name, it has been widely speculated that he is the "celebrity neighbor who has been wreaking havoc on their streets," according to the Daily Mail. There were also allegations of reckless driving in the community, which some suggest are directed at Bieber.

The pop star has also garnered negative attention for demanding that his pet monkey be allowed to fly with him as well, as arriving hours late to his own concerts. Since his rise to tremendous fame, the singer has been the center point of much media attention, though some of it has turned decidedly negative in recent months.

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French artists uses toilet paper rolls as a medium
Posted on Monday, July 15, 2013

A French artist recently released a book showcasing dozens of dioramas made from toilet paper rolls. Anastassia Elias crafted the rolls with a knife over the course of several years.

Process

While artists often use  creative media, Elias took it one step further by delicately crafting toilet paper rolls into silhouettes of images from around the world. To create the images, the artist planted carved layers inside the tube. Looking through the tube creates depth, which gives the images their vividness, according to Inquisitr.

Elias then used back-lighting to create a soft glow for her photos. The detail in the sculptures is apparent from their tiny scale, as well as the clean lines on the images when seen in the high resolution photos available on the artist's blog.

Elias, who lives in Paris with her husband, is typically a painter, often doing portraits and modernistic landscapes. For this project, she branched out, after finding that she had a knack for creating images with toilet paper rolls. Shes sculpted the series of rolls between 2009 and 2012.

The book

There are several photos of some rolls in the book, which features a total of 67 images, as well as sketches. In the book, over more than 100 photographs spanning 42 pages. The book has a global theme, featuring scenes from all over the world.

Some of the diverse images include depictions of Mariachi bands playing, while others show miners using pick-axes and rustic images of farmers, donkeys and windmills. Some of the sculptures go back in time, showing dinosaurs walking the earth, while others reference famous works, like a scene featuring Charlie Chaplin. She also showcased nature, showing deep jungle scenes and underwater vistas.

Dioramas

The concept of the diorama  was first created by artists Daguerre and Charles Marie Bouton in the early 1800s. Since then, artists and school children alike have experimented with the medium's simple, evocative nature. The techniques have changed over time - the earliest dioramas primarily used photographs. The first device used light to change the image depending on which way it was viewed.

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A restaurant in Beijing has been drawing large crows of young people with its toilet-themed decor. Its odd style has drawn attention from food critics and bloggers from around the globe. While there have been other bathroom-themed restaurants in the past, the Beijing House of Poo may be the most brazen.

All 50 of the restaurant's seats are made of actual, porcelain toilets, according to CNN. Each one is topped with a toilet seat warmer in the likeness of a popular cartoon character, such as Winnie the Pooh. The food is also served in toilet-themed dish ware, and the drinks are served in miniature urinals. The foods are often given peculiar names, so customers sometimes aren't even aware of what they are ordering, according to CCTV.

Most of the restaurant's customers are students who come to enjoy the silly atmosphere and inexpensive fare, which averages about $3.25 per dish. Other, similar restaurants exist in Taiwan, Seoul and New York City. Though they may not be as over-the-top as this restaurant, they have reportedly been enjoying success for years.

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During an Audit of a Lake County, Fla. contractor, investigators realized that the operator left classified documents, among other places, by the toilet. The papers were not meant to be seen by people outside of the company, but were left among reading materials inside a company restroom.

The company

MV Transit, operating the discounted bus service Lake-Xpress, was undergoing an audit when the infractions were discovered. Many of the documents found contained personal information from customers and other operators, and were stored in places where they could easily be found and read by people who shouldn't have had access to the information, including a company bathroom.

Other than the toilet, some documents were found in an old pile of Halloween decorations, while others were thrown into a dumpster. The documents in the trash were not shredded or bagged, and the lid was unlocked, allowing anyone on the street access to the information. Other documents were found in the shower and many other places outside of secure filing cabinets or other proper storage, according to local news affiliate WFTV.

The audit was raised to see whether people's personal information was at risk due to the company's sloppy record-keeping. Once finished, the audit concluded that a shredding policy is necessary for the company.

In response to the audit, the company told the news outlet that it was working with county commissioners to ensure that it followed shredding procedures and made sure that documents will be stored properly in the future.

Documents on the toilet

The incident in Florida is not the only time that important documents have been left by the toilet. A covert intelligence-gathering move titled Operation Tamarisk by British and American troops during the Cold War focused on finding classified information in documents used by Russian soldiers as toilet paper, according to NowIKnow.com.

The Americans and British went to work depriving the Soviet army of toilet paper, forcing them to use something else. Many of the Russian soldiers were not well-educated or literate, so they just used documents that happened to be laying around. Some of these contained the information that the Americans and English intelligence agencies desired, though the means of retrieval were much more unpleasant than those employed by the county commissioners.

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The workday sometimes feels never-ending, but imagine how much longer it would feel if you were not able to use the bathroom!

Employees of the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) are taking a stand and demanding access to bathrooms during their shifts. Currently, the MUNI cars are not equipped with restrooms in which drivers may relieve themselves, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

After much back and forth negotiation between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents about 2,000 MUNI operators, a proposed solution has been drafted. If the measure passes, the Transportation Agency will install 36 standalone bathrooms on the sidewalk, so drivers can make convenient pit stops during their routes. 

The bathrooms will be about 10 feet high and measure approximately 8 by 11 feet in length and width. Each unit has an estimated cost of $170,000, and this price tag has been the source of considerable contention. 

"I would hope that the MTA would really try to whittle it down," said Supervisor Scott Wiener. "These are large facilities that serve, I believe, only bus operators."

An alternative to these standalone toilets is to establish an agreement with local businesses, so operators may use their bathrooms. MUNI has done this in several past cases, and the costs for such arrangements are in the ballpark of $4-5,000 per year. 

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu suggested to strike more of these deals to reduce the cost of the exclusively-MUNI toilet proposal. 

"This strikes me as solvable given the density of our city and how many establishments there are and how many bathrooms there are around the city," he told the Examiner.

MUNI operators are displeased with this response from city officials. 

"We refuse to be treated as second-class citizens in regards to using a restroom while serving the public and The City," said Ronald Austin, vice president of Local 250-A. "If there is a concern about a restroom costing $170,000, I have to ask how much does it cost for The City in workers' compensation costs for renal failure of an operator? I think it's a lot more than $170,000."

This toilet drama casts an unflattering light on the MUNI system, which is rare for this otherwise iconic and well-liked transportation association. MUNI was established over 100 years ago, and was the first publicly-owned, land-based transit agency in the United States. The famed San Francisco cable car is the original MUNI platform, and has become the city's trademark, as recognizable as the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Women of the Senate finally get bigger bathroom
Posted on Thursday, July 11, 2013

If one topic could bring together female Senators from across the aisle, it's the issue of having an adequate bathroom. After a drawn out, bipartisan battle in the U.S. Senate, female senators finally have more comfortable access to toilets.

The bathroom issue

The plans for the new bathroom that were passed through the senate will replace the current bathroom, which only has two stalls. The first bathroom was constructed in 1993, a time when there were not nearly as many women in the senate as there are now. As a result of these small facilities, there have been a number of problems with traffic, as two stalls for 20 women isn't enough.

"For the first time, there was a traffic jam in the Senate women's bathroom. There were five of us in there, and there are only two stalls," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said at the Washington Ideas Forum.

The new bathroom may have more amenities for the Senators as well, featuring a window and a baby-changing table. Amenities upgrades in the Women's restroom are reported to include a baby changing table, a mirror and bar sink and others, according to the Huffington Post. Construction will start on the new facility after the August recess.

The move comes two years after women in the House of Representatives were given a new bathroom on the behest of Speaker John Boehner.

A step forward

Many female Senators are considering this a leap forward for females in government, since it shows that there has been a large increase in the number of female elected officials that changes must be made. Women now make up one fifth of the Senate, and this growth is encouraging to many of the female senators. Though the inconvenience of the bathroom is not necessarily the best sign, it still shows that women are becoming more successful in civil roles as their numbers increase.

It's a really positive sign of how things have changed here," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told the Washington Post.

While inconvenient, the situation had become a running joke among the women of the Senate for several years. The fact that they had outgrown their smaller facilities was taken more light-heartedly than as a major inconvenience.

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Many municipalities in Britain have been closing public toilets in the past several years, and this may lead to the potential for increased heart attacks and strokes, according to health experts. The desperation caused by having to use a restroom when none is available can raise blood pressure and lead to these issues.

Closures

To save money in public budgets, many cities in England have opted to close public restrooms. Figures from the Daily Mall show that 2 out of 5 total public toilets in England have closed in the past ten years, often leaving people unable to find a suitable place to relieve themselves.

Some cities have reduced their budgets for toilets by as much as 20 percent, which causes many of the toilets to shut down. This leads to issues with older, more vulnerable citizens as well as tourists seeking restrooms. With some cities closing as many as half of their public toilets, some officials fear that citizens won't be able to come out of their homes.

Raymond Martin of the Stroke Association said, "These cuts affect the health of the nation, with the elderly and disabled really hit hard. It's a major worry with many people feeling they are becoming prisoners in their own home. Not being able to go causes all sorts of medical problems, from raised blood pressure and bladder issues to infections."

Representatives from disability and elderly advocacy groups have petitioned the government to create an up-to-date map detailing the location and status of public restrooms in the U.K. Some cities have even gone into planning for community-funded toilets.

Other issues

Even in instances were public toilets are available, there are still other issues with anxiety and U.K. restrooms. One study from the University of London recently found that many men faced severe stress when attempting to use public urinals, notes Medical Daily.

The etiquette expected of men in the public restrooms found in bars and restaurants may be to blame. Men are expected to not make eye contact or physically touch each other, even by accident. Any breach of these rules has the potential to lead to a fight. The negative emotions brought about by these conditions left some men unable to actually use the facilities at all, according to the authors of the study.

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Archeologists performing work to conserve the ancient Drum Castle in Scotland happened upon two ancient rooms that had not been seen for hundreds of years. One room had once sheltered a Scotsman who was defeated in battle, while the other contained a Medieval toilet.

Discovery

The 700-year-old castle was under the guard of the National Trust for Scotland's Drum Castle, and was undergoing preservation work it when the discovery was made. Dr. Jonathan Clark of Field Archeologists Heritage was part of the crew that decided to explore the castle further. He described how it was apparent that there were hidden passageways and rooms in the castles.

Windows in the tower could have revealed what was inside, but they were blocked by bookcases. The team wondered whether there was going to be anything behind the windows at all, according to The Scotsman.

"So we set out to unblock two window openings on the west face of the tower to establish the form and condition of these interior spaces. Before we unblocked the windows we wondered if the passages had been filled up with rubble at some point in the history of the evolution of the ancient tower and that there would be nothing to see," said Clark.

After the team members carefully made their way past the antique shelving, they discovered a perfectly preserved chamber and toilet that had been untouched for hundreds of years. The toilet was even complete with a seat, in pristine condition.

History

The secret chamber was used to hide a Scottish war hero during the middle ages. After a defeat in the Battle of Culloden, Alexander Irvine was hidden in the chamber for three years by his sister Mary. At the time, the Scottish were at war with the British, and she was able to misdirect English soldiers while her brother remained out of sight, according to The Herald Scotland.

The battle took place as part of the Jacobite revolution, a move to restore the Pope to power in the 1700s. Only an hour or so long, the battle was very short by European standards, though both sides took significant losses and the Scottish eventually lost.

The discovery should allow historians and archeologists to better understand how ancient castles were used and populated during their time. 

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Dirty bathrooms send customers packing
Posted on Monday, July 8, 2013

New research has shown that a majority of customers are bothered enough by dirty bathrooms at restaurants and other establishments to be persuaded not to return again. Anecdotal evidence supports the theory that if the restaurant won't take care of its bathroom, customers become concerned over the state of its kitchen.

Data

Research conducted by the Harris Institute for the Cintas Corporation in the summer of 2011 found that one-third of customers who saw a dirty bathroom in a restaurant would never return, while roughly half would discuss the state of the facility with friends and family, according to the study, and 95 percent of customers would avoid dining at the establishment again if the conditions were bad enough.

The study was conducted over the phone and surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults. The findings revealed that dirty bathrooms were especially bad for restaurants, hotels and healthcare facilities. Retail outlets and car dealerships were also negatively affected by the poor bathroom conditions. {

Analysis

If bathrooms were in any way dirty, customers were more likely to be unhappy with their dining experience. Reasons that patrons might be unhappy included dirty soap dispensers and bad odors. Many customers were likely turned off by the fact that if the soap dispensers were dirty, diners and kitchen staff would not have clean hands. Customers were also put off by dirty toilets and other indicators that the bathroom had not been properly cleaned.

Mike Thompson, Senior Vice President of Cintas Facility Services, stated that "Dirty restrooms cost businesses lost sales, customers, referrals and repeat business. This study reaffirms that if customers are not satisfied with the state of a restroom, they will take their business elsewhere."

Another representative from the company noted that it was important that bathrooms also be well-stocked and perfectly functioning at all times to maintain customer satisfaction, according to Reuters.

The Cintas company provides cleaning services to other companies and ordered the study to demonstrate the necessity of having clean bathrooms in store. According to the results, having clean toilets and restrooms can make a strong difference as to whether customers will return or recommend a store to family and friends.

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The bathroom may not be a particularly appetizing setting for your dinner, but Beijing restaurant House of Poo proves that it is a memorable one.

The restroom-themed restaurant is stocked with poo-raphenalia, serving dishes in miniature replicas of bathtubs, sinks and commodes. House of Poo offers its guests a seat on toilets - topped with Winnie the Pooh warmers - and walls crowded with bathroom knickknacks, like shower curtains and glittering urinals. There are no traditional tables, rather the guests eat atop glass covered sinks. Even the restaurant's tiled floors add to the illusion of dining in a giant, shared restroom

The decor at the House of Poo is off putting to some, who blame all the bathroom imagery for killing their appetite, but traveler and CNN iReporter Alain Sojourn says that the environment creates a fantasy. 

He understands how eating out of mini toilets that could make one queasy from his personal experience at the House of Poo, "But then, that's the point," he says. "You just entered the bathroom and not a restaurant."

The menu at the House of Poo is filled with toilet-centric cuisine. The food is Western, although the desserts incorporate some local Chinese flavor. Dishes include "poo funny mud", a mashed potato dish served in a tabletop toilet, and beef curries floating in a tiny bathtub. 

"The food wasn't really that good," says Alain. "Or maybe it was good, but the environment I was in might have contributed to my judgment of the food's taste."

Marilyn Mai, the dining editor of The Beijinger, visited the restaurant earlier this year. She ordered a dessert dish of soft serve ice cream, shaved ice, red beans and sprinkles served in - of course - a little toilet. Mai writes in a blog entry about the House of Poo that between being served in a replica commode and the restaurant's surrounding environment, the dessert was impossible to enjoy. 

House of Poo is not the only restaurant of its kind, as CNN reports there are similar toilet-themed concepts at dining establishments in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. 

"I would recommend this to fellow adventurous tourists with a fun attitude," says Alain. "The experience might gross you out at first, but when you're with the right people, it will be a memorable experience."

United Airlines has issued an apology for Flight 931, the non-stop flight from San Francisco to London that took to the sky without enough toilet paper for the transatlantic journey. 

ABC News reports that before the 10-hour trip began, the United crew failed to stock the plane with adequate stores of bathroom tissue. Once in the air, half of the lavatories ran out of toilet paper. Flight attendants were left scrambling, stocking the lavatories with cocktail napkins instead. 

A spokesperson for the airline issued a statement to The Huffington Post in which they claim stopping to stock the toilet paper supply would have delayed the flight. The statement insists that more than half of the nine lavatories were stocked with bathroom tissue for the duration of the flight. United does concede that when the remaining bathrooms ran out of toilet tissue, the crew improvised with paper napkins, and apologized for the inconvenience. 

"That's disgusting, that's just so terrible," said United passenger Gretchen Holland to ABC. "If I'm paying for a ticket, that should include the price of toilet paper, I would think."

Embarrassing as it may be, the toilet paper debacle may not come as a surprise to those familiar with the airline. United has ranked lowest in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for the second year in a row, according to ABC. The company claimed that its merger with Continental Airlines was a contributing factor.

Matt Brownell of Daily Finance recalled the ASCI distinction, writing that the most recent incident is an example of United's unorganized customer service approach that has led them to rank dead last for the past two years. He writes that although having to use cocktail napkins in lieu of toilet paper is not the end of the world, it's is hard to imagine an airline like JetBlue - ranked number one in the ACSI survey - having to resort to "college-dorm-style innovation."

However, not everyone thinks that the bathroom tissue affair is worth the media frenzy. United passenger Kelly Ames told ABC that in her opinion, the airline did  its best to satisfy. 

She said, "You want to get to where you are going and people have alternative plans and connections. They provided a solution."

In a similar vein, travel advice author Edward Hasbrouck from ABC expressed his bottom line.

"Which is more important: making your connecting flight or having to wipe with paper towels?" he asked. "Is this a big deal? No."

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Super Bowl ring found in airport bathroom
Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Former San Francisco 49ers center John Macaulay recently lost his 1984 Super Bowl ring, though it was found and turned in by an airport employee.

The ring

Arra Daquina, a Starbucks employee at the airport, found the ring in the public toilet in the airport terminal. Though she didn't know what it was, she could tell that the near 30-year-old ring was valuable, as it was encrusted with jewels and diamonds, according to Mercury News.

"I didn't know what it was, but it was big and heavy,." Daquina said, according to the source.

Though she didn't know how valuable the ring was, the next person she showed it to did. Denny Pfaff, a volunteer at one of the airport's information booths and former employee of the city's aviation department, knew what the ring was right away and promptly took it it to the airport's lost and found department. The athlete's name is carved into the ring, so there was no question as to the highly-prized piece of jewelry belonged to.

Soon after the ring was turned in to the lost and found, John Macaulay came looking for it. Reportedly, he was in awe that it was not only there, but at how quickly he was able to recover it. Though he only played in three season games in 1984, he still had a ring.

Missing rings

Macaulay is not the only person to have a Super Bowl ring go missing. In one of the most famous recent cases, Russian president Vladmair Putin is rumored to have stolen New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's ring. Though Kraft initially stated that he gave the ring to Putin in 2005, he recently stated that Putin simply stole the $25,000 ring, according to The Associated Press.

Putin now claims that he remembers neither the ring nor Kraft, but that he will be willing to provide another piece of jewelry to replace the lost item if it will satisfy Kraft. The ring is now on display at the Kremlin several years after Kraft claims the Russian president pocketed the jewelry, claiming that he could use it to kill a man.

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Earlier this month, Charmin announced the winner of the ninth Cheap Chic Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest. Mimoza Haska of South Carolina was flush with joy when her design won her the top spot in the competition's finale in New York City. 

Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com, a money-saving website for brides-to-be, began the annual contest nine years ago. This year is the third time Charmin has partnered in the competition, providing coupons for entrants to cover the cost of purchasing the rolls of toilet paper, ranging from two to 40 rolls for some gowns. 

Haska's winning dress, which she named "Beautiful Swan," showcased a bustier top and asymmetrical hem. According to NY Daily, it took 16 rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft to create the gown. To finish the dress, Haska used glue, tape and thread - the only permitted additions to toilet tissue, according to Charmin's rules. 

The Charmin Facebook page indicates that Haska beat 1,100 other contestants in this year's wedding dress challenge. The contest's sponsors, Charmin and Cheap Chic Weddings, a website dedicated to inexpensive ceremonies, selected ten finalists from this pool of applicants. After a fan vote, the top three finalists were sent to New York City for the final stage of the competition, where they were judged by a panel of bridal industry experts. 

One of this year's judges, Project Runway's Season 11 contestant Kate Pankoke, was proud of all three finalists. 

"As a designer who specializes in bridal, I was particularly impressed with the level of creativity the three finalists brought to their designs,"  said Pankoke in a statement for Charmin. "It was incredible to see how they used Charmin toilet paper to create soft and sturdy gowns that are as beautiful as those made from fine fabrics, and Haska's dress was stunning!"

Haska competed against Susan Brennen and Carol Touchstone. Brennen, a cheerleader for the Detroit Pistons, won the last two consecutive wedding dress competitions. Her entry this year was a halter gown with a detachable, full-bodied skirt, made of 11 jumbo-sized rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft. 

"That was my favorite dress that I have made," Brennan told the Detroit Free Press. "I thought it was a very interesting concept."

Touchstone, a shop owner from Fort Lauderdale, came in third place with a dress she named "Coastal Wave." The news source reports Touchstone drew inspiration from the ocean to create her gown. She used 30 rolls of bathroom tissue to bring her design to life. 

Investigators from the Mirror have detected large amounts of cocaine use in the public bathrooms at the Wimbledon tennis tournament. The investigation lasted three days and found trace amounts of the drug left behind in the toilets of the tournament and many bars nearby.

Bathroom usage

The investigation revealed that nearly 40 percent of the tests performed came back positive for trace amounts of cocaine in public restrooms ranging all over the tournament grounds. The drug was found in the toilet blocks of the All England Club, as well as many facilities near Center Court and Court 1, where many high-profile matches take place during the tournament.

Traces of the drug were found on toilet paper holders inside stalls. Some bathrooms even had baby-changing stations that revealed trace amounts of the drug, sometimes even residue visible to the naked eye, according to The Mirror.

Wimbledon

The London tournament attracts tennis players from all over the world as well as over 40,000 fans. Hospitality packages for fans often cost over $1,000, and guarantee priority seating for matches, as well as champagne throughout the day. Many of the toilets of these exclusive grounds also revealed traces of cocaine.

In response to the evidence, a representative from the All England Lawn Tennis Club said that tournament operators had launched their own investigation into the security of the games.

She stated, "We thank you for drawing our attention to this. We have nothing further to add at this stage."

A security force at the tournament checks bags and other items, though members of the security team did not do full pat-downs of spectators. Items like coolers and briefcases are not allowed onto the grounds, and other bags must meet a certain size requirement.

A ticket-holder's guide from the tournament stated that "Comprehensive security measures will be in place for all those visiting The Championships: These will include extensive searches on entry to the Grounds and the Show Courts.

Many of the sport's most famous and talented players play the tournament, including Andy Murray, Serena Williams and current men's champion Roger Federer. It also draws guests ranging from public officials to celebrities who come to enjoy the games, as well as families and sports enthusiasts.

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Renovation work on two bathrooms in the British House of Lords could cost tax payers about $150,000. The British government has posted an ad asking for private companies to bid on the job, estimating the entire work load to cost the six figure sum.

High price

The current toilets were revamped 20 years ago, but have since fallen into disrepair, according to representatives of the House of Lords. Since the area is considered high profile and the lavatories are used by members of Parliament, as well as guests and delegates from overseas, sponsors of the new plan consider the cost to be well worth the price, according to The Telegraph. The original restrooms were built in 1937.

A statement from the British government's website noted, "The works are to address the overdue refurbishment of the existing Salisbury Room area amenities. The toilets have not been refurbished for over 20 years and have reached the end of their serviceable life."

The statement went on to say that some of the workers' goals are "to improve the aesthetics and maximize space, and eradicate user complaints."

There is also not an available handicapped bathroom in the building, with the nearest over 100 yards away. Some of work will include installing oak wood paneling and potentially removing a urinal in the men's bathroom to make a larger stall available. There are also plans to add new decorations and sanitary equipment as well.

The work is expected to take approximately 40 days and begin in August. Twelve companies have come forward with proposals for the work.

Controversy

The high price of the construction has incited some criticism. One critic, the chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, Matthew Sinclair, expressed concern over the cost of the project, calling the estimated budget "eye-watering," according to the Sky News. He is one of several concerned parties skeptical of the value to the tax payer of the work.

"A family could afford to build themselves a home for this much cash," he stated.

The building is grade one in the standards of British government buildings, meaning that it must adhere to certain standards of quality.

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