September 5, 2008

Spin Cycle: A Saga of Toilets

By Joan Morris

Fluffing and folding the news

Going boldly

Our employers over the years have asked us for some odd things (showing up on time, meeting deadlines -- crazy things), but we think NASA takes the cake. The urinal cake, that is.

One of the space agency's contractors, Hamilton Sundstrand, has asked employees to, excuse the imagery, hand over their pee for use in testing a space toilet that will orbit the moon for future missions there.

Since real urine is full of unseen solids that can, over time, clog the venting system, they need almost 8 gallons a day for testing. And, as a NASA spokesman tells us, "You can't make fake urine."

So, if you're an inventor looking for a million-dollar idea, here's a golden opportunity.

Can't bear it

We can accept a lot of the world's weirdness because most of it involves humans, and there's just no telling what we'll do. But when animals start acting like cartoon characters, we feel reality shifting beneath our feet.

Take, for example, a recent break-in at a Circuit City in Colorado Springs, Colo. Investigators found the burglar had broken a sliding-glass door and wandered around the store before being frightened away by an intruder alarm.

The culprit? A bear, no doubt in search of a pick-a-nick basket and a new plasma television.

Shocking news

The folks who make Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning products decided to conduct a "Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel Survey," asking women questions about how important it is to have a fresh and clean home.

And no surprise, 98 percent said they wanted their houses to look clean every day, and the toilet was the No. 1 place they wished would always look clean.

See, another market for fake urine.

-- Joan Morris

Spin Cycle is a random column that takes a quirky view of the daily news and everyday happenings. Reach Joan Morris at 925-977- 8479 or [email protected]

Originally published by Joan Morris, Contra Costa Times.

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