sit down and spread ’em

There are people out there who have no idea how difficult it is to crap in space, and until I read Mary Roach’s book “Packing For Mars” I was one of them.

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“The NASA potty cam is an astronaut training aid. It provides a vivid arresting perspective on something you’ve had intimate contact with all your life but never really seen. Positioning is critical because the opening to a space shuttle toilet is 10 centimetres across as opposed to the 45.5 centimetres maw we are accustomed to.

toilet lighters found here

The camera enables you to see if your anus lines up with the centre. Without gravity you can’t reliably gauge position by feel. If your angle of approach is off you can sully the back of the transport tube or plug the air holes.

The re is an alternative positioning tactic called the two-joint method. The distance between the anus and the front of the seat should equal the distance between the tip of the big finger and its knuckle.

knuckle buster ring found here

Here’s something else you may not have considered.

Gravity facilitates what is known in aerospace waste collection circles as “separation.” In weightlessness, faecal matter never becomes heavy enough to break away and drip down on its own. Space toilets utilise air flow “drag” to pull the material away from its source. The seats are designed to also function as a cheek-spreader to facilitate a cleaner break.

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Early Apollo missions used faecal bags rather than sit down toilets. The moulded adhesive ring at the top of the bag rarely fit and the adhesive pulled hairs. Worse, without gravity or anything else to foster separation, the astronaut was obliged to employ his finger. Also under consideration was a defecation glove. The astronaut would reach around and crap in his own palm then peel back the glove and dispose of the contents.

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Given the complexity of this chore, “escapees” or free floating faecal material have been known to plague the crews. There is also the problem of “faecal popcorning”…..

You should probably buy the book if you want to know what that is.

Without gravity to pull things straight, bowel motions tend to curl as they’re coming out. Thanks to some filming done by NASA, their engineers are not only aware of the curl, they know its range of curvature and most likely direction.

The films featured male and female volunteers included gals from the nurses’ corps. The footage was classified as limited distribution but regularly travelled beyond their prescribed limits. They were very very popular.

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Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 7:07 am  Comments (47)  
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Princess Poo

The Japanese Toto Washlet is one of the most sophisticated toilets in use today.

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The most basic feature is the integrated bidet, a nozzle the size of a pencil that comes out from underneath the toilet seat and squirts water. It has two settings: one for washing the anus and one for the bidet. The former is for general use, or family cleaning, and the latter for feminine cleaning.

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Most high-tech toilets allow water temperature and water pressure to be adjusted to match the preferences of the user. By default, the vulva receives less pressure than the anus. High-end washlets allow selection of vibrating and pulsating jets of water, claimed by manufacturers to be beneficial for constipation and hemorrhoids.

do you really want to know what this is? then click here

Other features include a heated seat and an automatic lid equipped with a proximity sensor, which opens and closes based on the location of the user. Some play music to relax the user’s sphincter (for example the first few tunes of Op. 62 Nr. 6 Frühlingslied by Felix Mendelssohn). Some toilets also glow in the dark or may even have air conditioning below the rim for hot summer days.

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Recently, researchers have added medical sensors which can measure the blood sugar based on the urine, and also measure the pulse, blood pressure, and the body fat content of the user. The data may automatically be sent to a doctor through a built-in internet-capable cellular telephone.

The repetitive use of a Washlet type water jet on a high-pressure setting for an enema, can weaken the capability for self-evacuation which can lead to more serious constipation. If a Washlet high-pressure water jet is used on the anus repeatedly, it may cause excessive cleanliness, prompting other bacteria to adhere around the anus, causing inflammation around the anus. Proctologists in Japan have named this “Washlet Syndrome

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Some Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination. To cover the sound of bodily functions, these women used to flush public toilets continuously while using them, wasting a large amount of water in the process. A device was introduced in the 1980s that, after activation, produces the sound of flushing water without the need for actual flushing. A Toto brand name commonly found is the Otohime, literally “Sound Princess.”

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And now for some slightly related factoids from Ralph Lewin’s book Merde.

Rabelais related how some young ladies had such pure natures that their little virginal faeces were fragrant. The phenomenon may be questioned , since it is hard to suggest a physiological basis for such a manifestation of piety but scientists have in fact discovered that the excrement of young virgin queen bees aged between 1 and 14 days are actually fragrant, whereas those of other bees are not. The perfume of such a virgin queen in some ways controls the behaviour of her subjects in the hive.

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But the award for the sweetest anal excretions in nature goes to the aphid. They consist mainly of a concentrated solution of sugar, hence the endearing term “honeydew”.

carved honeydew found here


Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 10:32 am  Comments (36)  
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