Also, Brazil deploys an energy-generating toilet and Britain scares the hell out of potential drunk drivers.

Warning: This Toilet Tuesday may cause involuntary loss of bladder control:

A PETRIFYING PRIVY, IN THE U.K.

It can take a lot to convince a bar patron to drop the boozy bravado and put away the car keys. This nightmare ad campaign from the British government's road-safety group THINK! would probably do the trick, though.

Folks wondering if any of the people in this London pub bathroom have filed suit over massive myocardial infarctions should know they are actors, reports Metro UK. That's led one Metro reader to wonder about the campaign's real-world effectiveness: "I think that if an actual person saw this happen, they would drink MORE because of the shock."

YOU'RE WASHING YOUR HANDS ALL WRONG, IN MICHIGAN

Would you give a firm handshake to somebody who just emerged from a bathroom? You probably wouldn't after reading this new study from Michigan State University, which found that only 5 percent of loo users wash their hands properly. The remaining 95 percent are teeming microbial colonies that give the Midas touch of projectile vomiting to anybody in their path (at least in my imagination).

The Michigan researchers observed 3,749 people in public lavatories in East Lansing, somehow avoiding a police dragnet for creepy-lingering bathroom behavior. They discovered that the vast majority of people do not rinse their mitts for the more than 15 seconds it takes to kill bacteria (the CDC says 20 seconds is optimal, which if you're curious is the amount of time you need to quickly hum "Happy Birthday" twice). A third of people didn't use soap and 10 percent chose not to wash before striding out of the john.

In a predictable finding, men proved to be much lousier hand-washers than women with 15 percent not cleaning at all (it was 7 percent for women). The new data throws a damper on a 2010 survey indicating that 96 percent of bathroom users wash their hands. Said one Michigan State professor: "These findings were surprising to us because past research suggested that proper hand washing is occurring at a much higher rate."

A ROCKIN' ECO-TOILET, IN BRAZIL

(JWT Brazil)

How deeply is music ingrained in the culture of Brazil? Well, in the past year alone the country has spawned not one but two revolutionary new toilets that transform urine into hot, hip-jiggling jamz.

First was the "Guitar Pee" urinal that popped up last summer in São Paulo bars. Patrons seeking to lighten their load could aim at a fretboard mounted on the porcelain fixture, creating splashy renditions of their favorite guitar solos. And now Toilet Tuesday is receiving word of another commode that debuted during this year's Carnival. Dubbed the XiXi Elétrico ("Electric Pee"), the toilet channels the brute power of pee to make a Carnival float bump with amped-to-the-max music.

The miraculous loo, put together by NGO AfroReggae and creative agency JWT Brazil, is meant to curb the nose-singing problem of Carnival revelers peeing en masse in the streets. It attempts this difficult feat by tying the survival of AfroReggae's music float with people using the modified bathroom. Partygoers direct their urine at a gyro that spins around to create electricity; this juice goes into a battery that powers the van. The makers of XiXi claim they got all pee-derived power they needed this year in the span of only three days:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

    Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

  2. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  3. Design

    How Birds and Bees Survive in the City

    Pollinators—the wildlife that shuffle pollen between flowers—are being decimated. But they may still thrive with enough help from urban humans.

  4. Transportation

    Ireland Is Ready to Bet Big on Battery-Powered Trains

    In an effort modernize its rail system, the country is looking to a technology it pioneered in the 1930s and ‘40s.

  5. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google’s Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

×