Posts tagged “poop”

Valerie’s War Story: Rank order

This story comes to us courtesy of Valerie Green, Research & Strategy Manager at Teague.

I was recently working on an air freshener project. It’s important to note at the onset that I live in Seattle, enjoy fresh air most of the year, and don’t favor perfumes or fragrances in my home. So it was already a bit of torture to go into three homes a day over the course of a week and smell all these strong, artificial fragrances. Most participants used multiple air fresheners in the home, and they would spray the air fresheners multiple times during the interviews. As the lead interviewer I would of course participate, sniffing the air appreciatively when they exclaimed how much they loved the scents.

The types of people who use air fresheners in their home like to create welcoming home environments, so most of the homes we visited were nicely kept up and relatively organized. Nancy’s (not her real name) home was a different story. We walked into a wall of stink. At first I wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but shortly after the interview started Nancy told me her three small dogs were indoor dogs (as if there is such a thing). In this case, it meant that they peed and pooped indoors. That’s when I noticed a pee pad in a corner, while other people on the interview noticed some poop indoors. I figured this would be a short interview.

The saddest thing is that Nancy, like the other participants, talked about wanting her home to smell good for herself and guests, and how much she loves air fresheners! It would have been incredibly awkward and inappropriate to say anything, so I kept my mouth shut and just nodded in affirmation…

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Tracing Unscooped Dog Waste Back to the Culprit [] – [Here's an example of CSI-level technology trickling down at least to the prosumer level.] Canine DNA is being used to identify the culprits who fail to clean up after their pets, an offense that Deborah Violette is committed to eradicating at the apartment complex she manages. Everyone who owns a dog in her complex in Lebanon, NH., must submit a sample of its DNA, taken by rubbing a cotton swab inside the animal’s mouth. The swab is sent to BioPet Vet Lab, a Knoxville, TN company that enters it into a worldwide database. If Ms. Violette finds an unscooped pile, she can take a sample, mail it to the lab and use a DNA match to identify the offending owner. Called PooPrints, the system costs $29.99 for the swabbing kit, $10 for a vial to hold the samples and $50 to analyze them, which usually takes a week or two. About two dozen apartment complexes around the country have signed up for the service. In 2008, the Israeli city of Petah Tikva created a dog DNA database for the same purpose.

Cottonelle dumps

Spotted on BoingBoing is this special toilet paper just for kids. It’s printed with a puppy paw path that spans five sheets (and then begins again). It’s portion control for toilet paper, presumably there is a need to have kids learn how much to use? I’m a bit confused as to the actual need, and how this solves it. Wouldn’t the amount needed depend on what is being wiped? And who is being wiped?

I’d guess you’d want to teach kids to wipe until they are done – to pay attention to the bodily and other cues (visual?) to ensure that the hygiene need has been handled. Making it such an inflexible system doesn’t teach anyone anything!

And if you use a different amount than five sheets, ever, then the system breaks until you sync up back to sheet zero with the happy puppy. A training system that is intolerant of (highly likely) user error is not a good training system.

You must always use five and only five sheets. Regardless of what’s going on with your po-po! Cottonelle has forgotten that they work for us, not the other way around.

And their site includes this lovely FAQ (which is such as misnomer, since these are not likely to be frequently-asked-questions, but rather info they wish to convey) that suggests some product problems besides the obvious usability failures.

Why is my toilet paper printed on the inside? How do I fix this?

The good news is that this is an easy fix. The toilet paper isn’t actually printed on the inside. What’s happened is that the two plies have become separated, and the inside ply is wrapped around the outside of your roll (you’ll probably also notice that the perforations on the two plies don’t line up). To fix, first make sure your toilet paper is positioned so that it unrolls from the spindle with the sheets coming over the top. Next, steady the roll so it does not move in the spindle. Take the top ply (make sure you are only handling one ply) and unwrap it behind the roll. The print should now appear on the outside, as intended, and the bottom ply should now be longer that the top ply. Tear off the excess bottom plies (approximately 3) and you are ready to go.

and When I tear the toilet paper, the perforations on the two plies do not line up? How do I fix this? which offers the identical answer.

Now we’re taking on toilet paper maintenance tasks? Who the hell wants to fix their toilet paper? This is way too much work and this company hasn’t a clue about addressing real people’s needs.

ScatShovel begets ScatManual

Strange New Products blogged about ScatShovel, yet another pooper scooper. But what is really amusing are the brand extensions on their site. The obvious ScatRake, and ScatBags, and the not-so-obvious ScatManual

written primarily to assist young people ages 10 – 15 in establishing and building a dog waste removal business. Although it is geared to a specific age group, all of the information in this manual and material included in its appendices can be used by anyone regardless of age to start a profitable business. This manual is a compilation of lessons learned through trial and error by two young entrepreneurs over the course of three years. The ScatManual describes a business model that works. The manual describes all aspects of the business model, from marketing to accounting and all the important details in between. Click here to view the Table of Contents.

With a minimum investment in time and money, your young entrepreneur will learn valuable lessons that go beyond the money he/she will earn.

Right. Because there’s a real demand for such a service, and poop cleanup is really the kind of thing that young people are looking to go into (when the paper routes, mall jobs, fast food, babysitting and lawn mowing gigs are all taken), but are stymied by the lack of information available.

I guess if Zingerman’s deli can spin off ZingTrain, the scat people can do it too? At least they didn’t call it ScatTrain.

Design imitates art

William Gibson’s Idoru

Laney, glancing down as they passed one of the glowing loops, noticed, on the treads of the stairs, hardened trickles of something that resembled greenish amber. ‘There’s stuff on the stairs,’ he said.

‘Urine,’ Arleigh said.


‘Solidified, biologically neutral urine.’

Laney took the next few steps in silence. His calves were starting to ache. Urine?

‘The plumbing didn’t work, after the quake,’ she said. ‘They couldn’t use the toilets. People just started going, down the stairs. Pretty horrible, by all accounts, although some people actually get nostalgic about it.’

‘It’s solid?’

‘There’s a product here, a powder, looks like instant soup. Some kind of enzyme. They sell it mainly to mothers with young kids. The kid has to pee, you can’t get them to a toilet in time, they pee in a paper cup, an empty juice box. You drop in the contents of a handy, purse-sized sachet of this stuff, zap, it’s a solid. Neutral, odorless, completely hygienic. Pop it in the trash, it’s landfill.’

They passed another loop of light and Laney saw miniature stalactites suspended from the edges of a step. ‘They used that stuff…’

‘Lots of it. Constantly. Eventually they had to start sawing off the build-up…’

‘They still…?’

‘Of course not. But they kept the Grotto.’

Another flight. Another loop of ghostly undersea light.

‘What did they do about the solids?’ he asked.

‘I’d rather not know.’

And today, this – Dog Poo Spray – the spray hardens the dog stuff so its owner can dispose of it more easily. I think it’s a concept at this stage, the winner of a design contest.


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