‘The Daily Poo!’ History of the Loo part 2 + ‘Water is Life’

copyright URIMAT | Water is Life

Before heading into, ‘The Potted History of the Toilet‘ part 2, let’s just catch up on a few of the news posts and articles from the last week or two so we keep on top of what’s going on, and going down. Firstly, when we talk about toilets, WCs we also had to discuss water – the flush, then the sewer, then the treatment. The problem in many places is there’s no access to water, and/or clean water and that’s where companies like Urimat are innovating. Similar solutions and innovative ideas are emerging all the time, and thats what we’ll look at in more detail in next weeks, ‘The Daily Poo!’ but for now, those articles!…

  1. More news on the Poo Panecea and the strange, but surprising world of faecal transplants.
  2. As discussions at Davos bring up the subject of planting more trees, how about saving the ones we have, let’s start with toilet paper!! According to National Geographic worldwide we destroy over 9 million trees per year and that figure is increasing
  3. If you’ve even heard of, and then thought the ToiletRoll Bot wasn’t the most pointless gimmick (and waste of money) ever… then check out these other inventions!
  4. For those who may have wondered, here’s the scoop on a floating poop!

‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 2. Last week, we took a super fast look at the history of the toilet and, in conclusion, can clearly see that after the initial introduction of seating and sewers thousands of years ago, relatively nothing much happened after that up until around 200 years ago. Necessity and invention created a change, and although that still doesn’t address basic sanitation issues for over 25% of the world population to this day, at least the dot on the radar is growing more rapidly than ever before. Actioning the issues it highlights is taking somewhat longer. To finalise this short history, let’s look at a couple the inventors and driving forces behind the changes in the last 200 years. For more detail see this recent article: What the Earliest Toilets Say About How Human Civilization Has Evolved.

We touched on a few highlights last week but let’s expand. The video below touches on the main influencers, their inventions and impact and date stamps the ‘progress’, then discusses the more global situation we have today. ‘The Great Stink’ in London 1858, was the catalyst to a huge shift in the understanding and reaction to the terrible diseases associated with bad sanitation and the impact on human life, about the same time the matter began to be addressed in many other countries too. Whilst we’ve looked briefly at the evolution of the toilet, of even greater importance is that of the sewer and waste management. The man credited with the first super sewer, was Sir Joseph Bazalgette in London, UK. To read his story click here. It was completed in 1875 less than 150 years ago… and now, in the ‘throw it down the loo’ society of the 21st century, further challenges are arising rather than more being resolved – so in fact when people talk of progress it’s relatively little, and needs addressing not just in ‘civilised’ societies but on a global scale.

One of the keen advocates of improving sanitation and new invention is the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation [and the World Toilet Organisation!] here’s a short video, ‘How The Toilet Changed History‘ (from 2017) on that very subject.

‘How The Toilet Changed History’ + The Global Challenge Today

On a final note, there was an ad a while back that highlighted how many ‘cleaning’ sprays may clean your bathroom etc., but leave behind a chemical residue… it was removed after some complainants. However, the message is strong – and humour often helps more than instruction. Going back to the start of this blog i.e. helping protect people and their health, the company, ‘Method‘ is a standout example of environmental awareness and ethical products – so here it is anyway, and it does make you rethink your product choices…

peopleaghainstdirty.com | Method & Household Product Labelling Acts from 2009

Next week’s blog will include how the various types of toilers/wcs work and the usual updates on loos & no. 2s in ‘The Daily Poo!‘.

‘The Daily Poo!’ This week, ‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 1.

copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020| Jon Fowler Media

As per last week’s heads up on the bottoms down. We should point out from the very start, it’s a history that relates more to the west as sitters, than the east who predominantly squat (or other regions where people still squat) – as we all did once upon a time!

Nevertheless, with the exception of 25% of the world’s population who still have no access to basic sanitation, the evolution of the toilet [sit down, or squat versions + urinals for men] has been relatively slow – and as you’ll read, has also been relatively painful. The illustration above, from one of my books on the subject about, ‘The History of the Toilet’, shows that after the creation of humanity, all of who squatted – some bright spark designed and invented the first sit down toilets… Thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia first by the Sumerians, the Indus-Harappan, and Egyptian civilisations, then Greece, and a while later add Rome to the list – and so on and so forth, as many would have read at school. For example, the phrase ‘you got the wrong end of the stick‘ derived from the sponge on the stick that Romans used to wipe their bums, dip it in a bucket, and pass it on – I guess you’re now picturing that phrase somewhat differently!

Again, as in the illustration above, the first sit down toilet designs were a row of seats with horseshoe shaped holes, they were unisex, and the ablutions were washed away to the river, with their clever drainage/sewer systems, albeit they were polluting their rivers in the process. Bearing in mind how many thousands of years ago this was, a) there’s been relatively little progress, b) why there was no particular loo taboo then, how did that change, c) as it became obvious that bad sanitation and poor sewerage systems killed people – again, why such slow progress and, d) why no one ever asked the question about such a dramatic posture change, ‘so how does it affect the health of humanity to suddenly go from squat to sit?’ Guess what, same questions as above today, yet only some more definable progress in the last 180 odd years,… err wtf?

For example, Sir John Harrington is accredited with the first mechanical flushing system in 1596. But, to highlight the glacial pace, new design, development and infrastructure barely started to make an impact again for another 4000 years, way up until the mid 1800s when we learn that as a result of London’s ‘The Great Stink’ sewers and sanitation jumped up the ‘to do’ list, and around the same time the first septic tank was invented, and then Thomas Crapper became a marketing legend, which led to all sorts of tweaks to toilet and flush designs, aided by Alexander Cummings, Mr U or S Bend one might say. It was a bums rush of activity, infrastructure and invention!

As you can see, even with this brief insight – this is a big subject. After the mid 1800s progress lowed gain in real terms. For which reason this brief history is a two parter, no. 1 [this week] and no. 2 [next] explaining how the software (so to speak) evolved, as the hardware was introduced. Other inventors and ideas, and how we’re still struggling to cope to this day, and as mentioned at the start, at the same time neglecting 25% of the population who, quite honestly, are far worse off today than many people were all that time ago, over 5000 years earlier.

Until next week… and ‘The Daily Poo!‘ ‘A Potted History of the Toilet’ part 2.’

Childrens books, concept, content, text & illustrations
copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020

The latest news on the Toilet in our new Toilet Paper… ‘The Daily Poo!’

‘The Daily Poo!’

Though more and more people talk about it these days, the time has come to get down and dirty on this whole business, of your business!

Having written 2 books so far on Poop & The History of the Toilet (awaiting publication) and with a 3rd in the pipeline for early 2020… plus, having got patents pending on designs to make it easier to do no. twos and… various other health benefits – this seems like the perfect time. An opportunity to tell all, but with the usual and expected toilet humour that simply has to accompany the topic, as per the recent theft from Blenheim Palace.

Many of you would have read about the theft of a £4.8m loo from Blenheim Palace, the throne in question was made out of solid gold – though if you look carefully at the photos, the toilet roll and toilet roll holder were left behind, in fact they looked totally out of place beside such a fine toilet, as did the flooring. Visitors were recently being invited to book three-minute slots to use the throne for its intended purpose.

Visitors were encouraged to take a selfie and share with the hashtags #americaatblenheim and #cattelanatblenheim – pity the thieves didn’t do the same! At last we have a real version of the joke about the stolen toilet, and… ‘the police have nothing to go on!’ Look out for next week’s blog when ‘The Daily Poo!’ reveals the best of what’s going on in the world of WC’s!

Books, illustrations, story ideas and concepts | copyright Mark Hendriksen 2020

ABC of Opera Productions | Update

ABC of Opera | The Academy of Barmy Composers

  • The grant application has been sent for approval to Arts Council Wales, supported by Welsh National Opera [WNO] for an R&D period for the ABC of Opera stage show.
  • As the summer holidays kick in, we’ve now exceeded our 100+ ABC of Opera workshops and ‘Sing me a Story’ workshops for pre-school and KS1-3.
  • We have been awarded an author grant by the Welsh Books Council and a marketing grant too, via our publishers, Graffeg Ltd.
  • In the next weeks/months after Mark H negotiated a book contract with Graffeg obo Mark Llewelyn Evans, a series of our books will now e written and illustrated as we head towards the end of 2018. ‘The Academy of Barmy Composers’ [working title] is also being scripted for a stage show(s) to tie in with the book releases and should be on track for playing at theatres by late 2019, early 2020.

We’ll keep you posted…

Top 3 must-visit places in Greece

17 July 2018 Independent Online TRAVEL REPORTER

Among the top 3. is 1. #Corfu:

“One interesting place to check out on the #island is the Venetian-era #village of Paleá #Períthia, where tourists can follow #trails around the 14th-century village, summit Mount Pandokrátor”

@Corfu49081 #TheMerchantsHouseBandB #MarkHendriksen #SaskiaBosch bringing Paleá #Períthia, a Heritage village, back to life since 2010…