FreshMeat #11: A Load On Their Mind

FreshMeat #11 from Steve Portigal

               (oo) Fresh                  
                \\/  Meat

If you aren’t addicted to FreshMeat, well, why not?
Dive deep into the mundane; find fascination and humor

Not too much to say about the following news article,
most every toilet joke imaginable was crammed into it,
so there’s no real need for me to add more (yes, this
takes enormous restraint on my part). I think the point
is that for just about anything that we consume (and
as consumers, take for granted) there is some subset
of a brand manager, a designer, a committee, a
conference, a product manager, and who knows what –
someone who is concerned with some combination of
business success, usage, and meaning.


By John O’Callaghan SINGAPORE (Reuters) – It’s something
people use every day but organizers of the World Toilet
Summit in Singapore hope to bring the taboo topic out of
the water closet. Some 200 delegates from Asia, Europe and
North America are swapping ideas on design, public
education and sanitation under the theme “Our toilets the
past, the present and the future.”

The new World Toilet Association wants to spread the word
with its Web site — — as a nerve
center for researchers, designers, makers and vendors of a
device that is mundane to many but an unknown luxury in
much of the world.

“The proliferation of this movement worldwide will
inevitably lead to improvements in toilet environment
everywhere,” Jack Sim, president of the Restroom
Association of Singapore and organizer of the two-day
summit, said in an opening address on Monday.

Wash your hands and always flush was the message from a
mime troupe that kicked off the event with a graphic but
silent demonstration of the good, the bad and the ugly in
the bathroom.

Delegates, including Chinese officials preparing for the
Olympic onslaught in 2008, will also be treated to a tour
of some of Singapore’s most technically advanced commodes.
The latest and greatest loos will be on show at the four-
day Restroom Asia trade fair at Singapore Expo starting on

The World Health Organization estimates 40 percent of the
world’s population does not have access to adequate
sanitation, leading to the spread of disease, higher
healthcare costs and the death of two million people each
year — most of them children.

“Up to now, it’s an area that has been very much
neglected,” Lim Swee Say, Singapore’s acting minister for
the environment, told reporters on the sidelines of the
summit. “You can’t avoid talking about the kind of
challenges we face.”

Singapore already is at the forefront of enforcing toilet
etiquette with fines for not flushing and automatic devices
that sense when to send the water surging. But the city
state is not taking the future sitting down by spending S$7
billion ($3.8 billion) on a deep-tunnel sewage system and
millions more on upgrading public toilets in hawker
centers, housing estate coffee shops, parks and schools.

“We are adopting an end-to-end approach in looking at our
sanitation requirements,” Lim said in a speech.


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