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  1. Fecal Transplants Cure Serious Gut Infections

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    November 16, 2017 by John Crapper

    Fecal transplants, and their effectiveness to treat serious illness, was personally brought to my attention recently.  Over the entire time I’ve been married, which is now over 40 years, my wife’s long-term friend has been caring for a daughter who has suffered from severe juvenile diabetes. Over those years, I’ve vicariously traveled down her life’s journey filled with multiple life-threatening illnesses, the latest of which has been a serious bout with C-diff infection.

    My wife loves to do research and she took it upon herself to investigate cutting edge treatments for this stubborn infection.  The results of that research pointed to an experimental procedure called a fecal transplant.

    After much discussion between friends, wife and daughter and the doctors treating her,  it was decided to enroll the patient for an experimental fecal transplant.  A healthy donor was identified and fecal material was inserted through the rectum in a similar fashion as an enema.

    The results were stunningly dramatic and positive.  The daughter recovered her ability to fight disease and infection and was able to eliminate her constant intake of various antibiotics, which had, up to that point,  been a vain attempt to fight the C-diff infection.  She now is C-diff free and enjoying the healthiest life she has enjoyed in years.

    Fecal Microbiota Transplant

    Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) is a procedure in which fecal matter, or stool, is collected from a tested donor, mixed with a saline or other solution, strained, and placed in a patient, by colonoscopy, endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or enema.

    The purpose of fecal transplant is to replace good bacteria that has been killed or suppressed, usually by the use of antibiotics, causing bad bacteria, specifically Clostridium difficile, or C. diff., to over-populate the colon. This infection causes a condition called C. diff. colitis, resulting in often debilitating, sometimes fatal diarrhea.

    Since then newer more “palatable” forms of doing fecal transplants have been developed.

    Poop Pills

    Pills made from poop

    cure serious gut infections. 

    Doctors have discovered that putting healthy people’s poop into pills can cure serious gut infections! Canadian researches tried this on 27 patients as a less yucky way to do “fecal transplants” and cured all of them.

    It’s a gross topic but a serious problem. Half a million Americans get Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, infections each year, and about 14,000 die. The germ causes nausea, cramping and diarrhea so bad it is often disabling. A very potent and pricey antibiotic can kill C-diff but also destroys good bacteria that live in the gut, leaving it more susceptible to future infections

    Dr. Thomas Louie, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary, devised a better way — a one-time treatment custom-made for each patient.

    Donor stool, usually from a relative, is processed in the lab to take out food and extract the bacteria and clean it. It is packed into triple-coated gel capsules so they won’t dissolve until they reach the intestines.

    Days before the treatment starts, patients take antibiotics to kill the C-diff.  On the morning they are slated to take the pills they are given an enema so “the new bacteria coming in have a clean slate,” Louie said.

    It takes 24 to 34 capsules to fit the bacteria needed for a treatment, and patients down them in one sitting. The pills make their way to the colon and seed it with the normal variety of bacteria.

    The treatment now must be made fresh for each patient so the pills don’t start to dissolve at room temperature, because their water content would break down the gel coating. Minnesota doctors are testing freezing stool, which doesn’t kill the bacteria, so it could be stored and shipped anywhere a patient needed it.

    Dr. Louie explained his findings at an infectious disease conference in San Francisco.  All 27 patients had suffered at least four C-diff infections and relapses, but none had any recurrence of the disease after taking the poop pills.

    Congratulations Dr. Louie for practicing medicine the Holy Shitters way!  You are a real “Smart Shit”.

    ***

    I’ve been following this project for quite some time.  Having already watched this documentary I can attest to its educational value.

    (The following is reprinted with permission.)

    d08156d0-e950-43d4-916c-13e1d4ae4a2e.jpg

    What the FLUSH?

    Five years ago, 11 Billion gallons of raw sewage overflowed into New York’s waters as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Filmmaker Karina Mangu-Ward wondered if the unprecedented storm damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood, the drought out West, and the future of our food supply had a lot to do with how we flush. So she gave herself a challenge: follow one flush from beginning to end. FLUSH – The Documentary is the story of everything that happens next, and the cultural, political, and corporate forces shaping the way we deal with bodily waste in America today.

    60828b7d-cac3-46ab-b6b7-efdc8d485fea.png

    The POOP Project is proud to present the World Premiere of FLUSH – The Documentary. In honor of UN World Toilet Day the film will be available Nov. 15 – 21, 2017 free streaming online, screening all around the world, and as part of World Toilet Day Celebrations in New York City, Nov. 19

    Nov. 15 – 21 FLUSH is available free, streaming online. House parties and screenings around the world. Scheduled showings include Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, Kailash EcoVillage in Portland, Oregon, and Jamaican Toilet Summit in Port Townsend!

    Want to hold your own viewing party? It’s easy! How-to guide, invitation text and high fiber brownie recipes all available here.


    See FLUSH Nov. 19, 2017 as part of World Toilet Day NYC!
    TICKETS and INFO HERE

    Afternoon Screening

    • 2-3pm : Tinkle Power Happy Hour. Featuring drink specials, promotional giveaways from Squatty Potty, and representatives from community stakeholders such as UN Water, NYC H20, Faiths for Safe Water, Peggy Lillis Foundation, Ryan’s Well Foundation and more.
    • 3pm : Video welcomes from the Jamaican Toilet Summit and from Jack “Mr. Toilet” Sim, World Toilet Day founder and keynote speaker at this year’s World Toilet Summit.
    • 3-4pm : NYC Premiere screening of FLUSH
    • 4-5pm : Panel Conversation: Where Are We Now? Featuring director Karina Mangu-Ward, The POOP Project’s Shawn Shafner, Leif Percifield of DontFlush.Me, and engineer Robert Adamski. Guests subject to change. Moderated by journalist Lina Zeldovich. Livestreaming on Facebook.
    • 5pm : Closing remarks

    EVENING COMEDY

    edb62294-2aa9-40e5-bea0-0e338f5b23dc.jpg

    Academics, researchers, and comics share hilarious tales to celebrate World Toilet Day. From stand-up about toilets in field work, history, mental-health, societal norms, and good ole-fashioned poop stories. Come for the laughs and the cutting-edge ideas, stay for the laughs and the cutting-edge ideas. Produced by Kyle Marian.

    Guest Host : Shawn “The Puru” Shafner

    Performances by : Kyle Marian, Ali Mathu, Gregory Hall, Saad Sarwana, Jackson Fisher…and more to be announced! (line-up subject to change)

    Doors at 7pm. Show at 7:30. Ages 21+. Livestreaming on Facebook.

    Tickets available HERE!

    CAVEAT is a downtown venue that puts on kick-ass, smart events. We’re redefining the boundary between intellect and entertainment. When the thirst for knowledge hits, you don’t have to sit at home watching TED Talks or binge-reading Wikipedia: this is a home for people who love learning, playing, and getting tipsy. Come for the oddball programming – stay for the beer, food and curious company.

    08d1a4a5-67e1-46c6-9ab3-5ed3348072d6.jpg
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  2. Flush – The Documentary

    0

    November 16, 2017 by John Crapper

    I’ve been following this project for quite some time.  Having already watched this documentary I can attest to its educational value.

    (The following is reprinted with permission.)

    d08156d0-e950-43d4-916c-13e1d4ae4a2e.jpg

    What the FLUSH?

    Five years ago, 11 Billion gallons of raw sewage overflowed into New York’s waters as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Filmmaker Karina Mangu-Ward wondered if the unprecedented storm damage in her Brooklyn neighborhood, the drought out West, and the future of our food supply had a lot to do with how we flush. So she gave herself a challenge: follow one flush from beginning to end. FLUSH – The Documentary is the story of everything that happens next, and the cultural, political, and corporate forces shaping the way we deal with bodily waste in America today.

    60828b7d-cac3-46ab-b6b7-efdc8d485fea.png

    The POOP Project is proud to present the World Premiere of FLUSH – The Documentary. In honor of UN World Toilet Day the film will be available Nov. 15 – 21, 2017 free streaming online, screening all around the world, and as part of World Toilet Day Celebrations in New York City, Nov. 19

    Nov. 15 – 21 FLUSH is available free, streaming online. House parties and screenings around the world. Scheduled showings include Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, Kailash EcoVillage in Portland, Oregon, and Jamaican Toilet Summit in Port Townsend!

    Want to hold your own viewing party? It’s easy! How-to guide, invitation text and high fiber brownie recipes all available here.


    See FLUSH Nov. 19, 2017 as part of World Toilet Day NYC!
    TICKETS and INFO HERE

    Afternoon Screening

    • 2-3pm : Tinkle Power Happy Hour. Featuring drink specials, promotional giveaways from Squatty Potty, and representatives from community stakeholders such as UN Water, NYC H20, Faiths for Safe Water, Peggy Lillis Foundation, Ryan’s Well Foundation and more.
    • 3pm : Video welcomes from the Jamaican Toilet Summit and from Jack “Mr. Toilet” Sim, World Toilet Day founder and keynote speaker at this year’s World Toilet Summit.
    • 3-4pm : NYC Premiere screening of FLUSH
    • 4-5pm : Panel Conversation: Where Are We Now? Featuring director Karina Mangu-Ward, The POOP Project’s Shawn Shafner, Leif Percifield of DontFlush.Me, and engineer Robert Adamski. Guests subject to change. Moderated by journalist Lina Zeldovich. Livestreaming on Facebook.
    • 5pm : Closing remarks

    EVENING COMEDY

    edb62294-2aa9-40e5-bea0-0e338f5b23dc.jpg

    Academics, researchers, and comics share hilarious tales to celebrate World Toilet Day. From stand-up about toilets in field work, history, mental-health, societal norms, and good ole-fashioned poop stories. Come for the laughs and the cutting-edge ideas, stay for the laughs and the cutting-edge ideas. Produced by Kyle Marian.

    Guest Host : Shawn “The Puru” Shafner

    Performances by : Kyle Marian, Ali Mathu, Gregory Hall, Saad Sarwana, Jackson Fisher…and more to be announced! (line-up subject to change)

    Doors at 7pm. Show at 7:30. Ages 21+. Livestreaming on Facebook.

    Tickets available HERE!

    CAVEAT is a downtown venue that puts on kick-ass, smart events. We’re redefining the boundary between intellect and entertainment. When the thirst for knowledge hits, you don’t have to sit at home watching TED Talks or binge-reading Wikipedia: this is a home for people who love learning, playing, and getting tipsy. Come for the oddball programming – stay for the beer, food and curious company.

    08d1a4a5-67e1-46c6-9ab3-5ed3348072d6.jpg

    FLUSH – The Documentary. Directed by Karina Mangu-Ward. Written by Karina Mangu-Ward and Maxine Trump. Produced by Karina Mangu-Ward with support from the Reva & David Logan Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and Fourth Arts Block.

    Release events produced by The People’s Own Organic Power (POOP) Project with generous support from Revada Foundation, on behalf of the Reva & David Logan Foundation. The event was also made possible through the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation’s Grassroots Events program. Promotional support from Squatty Potty.

    NYC World Toilet Day Celebrations co-presented by Caveat.

    ***

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  3. Antibiotics and the Revenge of the Superbugs

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    November 2, 2017 by John Crapper

    Antibiotics have helped millions if not billions of people. But the more they are used the stronger the bacteria they fight get.

     

    Superbugs are strains of bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics. Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and staph infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.

    The spread of superbugs—bacteria that have changed in ways that render antibiotics ineffective against them—is a serious and growing threat around the world, according to the World Health Organization’s first global report on antibiotic resistance.

     

    screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-5-02-55-pmWe often think of sewage treatment plants as serving to protect us and get rid of all those disease causing elements in wastewater. But it turns out some of these superbugs are eating sewage and recent studies indicate that sewage treatment plants are unable to kill them and are, in fact, making them stronger.  And that is not all. The treatment plants are also helping the superbugs spread by releasing the effluent into the environment.

    Take for example

    NDM-1

     NDM-1 refers to a gene that is carried by some bacteria. A bacterial strain that carries the NDM-1 gene will be resistant to even some of the strongest antibiotics. There are no current antibiotics to combat bacteria that have the NDM-1 gene, and this makes it potentially very dangerous.

    NDM-1 stands for New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, the bacterium in which NDM-1 was first identified.

    Previous research has shown that bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene were largely ineffective at transferring the gene to other bacteria. However, recent research has found that bacteria carrying these genes can spread the gene to otherwise benign bacteria—meaning the gene can spread antibiotic resistance outside of sewage treatment plants. “It’s scary. There’s no antibiotic that can kill them,” says Alvarez. “We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated.”

    One scientist estimates that 200 million people carry NDM-1 in their intestines.

    These findings underscore the need for governments and hospitals to limit their use of antibiotics consumption among both humans and farm animals.

    They also underscore the need for a major rethink of our sanitation systems.

    Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation.

    ECOLOGICAL SANITATION – “ECO-SAN”

    Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

    * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

    * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

    * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources.

    The following two videos take just about 19 minutes to watch. I ask you to take that time to familiarize yourself with the Ecological Sanitation process .

    Ecological Sanitation systems are currently being implemented overseas in developing countries and water-shortage areas. Implementation of ecological sanitation systems and principles in the United States are mainly found on a limited basis in rural areas.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions. Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, we prevent it in the first place by some kind of source separation. Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces. The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated). A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision! The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems. This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

     

    Make it your business to read about eco-san next time you do you business.

    Make it your business to read about eco-san next time you do your business.

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  4. Space Poop Problem-Solvers

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    February 20, 2017 by John Crapper

     photo wetsuit.jpg

    This picture illustrates why it is never advisable to fart in a wetsuit.  But what about astronauts and spacesuits?

    Thousands of people have been spending thousands of hours working on the “Space Poop Challenge and on 2/15/17 NASA rewarded five members of the public for their creative ideas for how to poop in a spacesuit.

    Currently, astronauts on spacewalks rely on diapers, which is a feasible solution for only a few hours at a time.  NASA is imagining a situation where an astronaut is stuck in a spacesuit for days during long journeys through space.

    The NASA challenge: 

    The super-portable-bathroom solution has to work quickly, easily, in micro-gravity, without impeding movement, for both men and women, for solid and liquid waste. It can either store waste in the suit or expel it. And it has to be comfortable … for up to six continuous days.

    Since the project launched on the HeroX crowdsourcing site in October, nearly 20,000 people, from all over the world, submitted more than 5,000 ideas. They were competing for a total of $30,000 in prizes.

    The winning solution came from an Air Force officer, family practice physician and flight surgeon named Thatcher Cardon.  His design was inspired by minimally invasive surgical techniques — and a strong desire not to store the poop.

    “I never thought that keeping the waste in the suit would be any good,” he told NPR. “So I thought, ‘How can we get in and out of the suit easily?’ ”
    “I thought about what I know regarding less invasive surgeries like laparoscopy or arthroscopy or even endovascular techniques they use in cardiology — they can do some amazing things in very small openings.

    He designed a small airlock at the crotch of the suit, with a variety of items — including inflatable bedpans and diapers — that could be passed through the small opening and then expanded. His design even allows an astronaut to change underwear while inside the spacesuit, through the same small opening. (emphasis mine) 

    And holy shit think about it.  Can you imagine enjoying being an interplanetary explorer if you’ve constantly got to use the bathroom and you can’t.

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  5. An Inconvenient Poop

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    August 14, 2015 by John Crapper

    Being Poop John the First in the Church of the Holy Shitters I have obligations and a mission to accomplish. I am the “head”, after all, of

    a secular environmental religion, scientifically based, with a focus on the psychology of it all. Our ego is the culprit when it comes to dealing with climate change. We cannot save the planet. We can only save ourselves. Our current egotistical self-perception makes that prospect a dubious one at best. Meekness, humility and a realization that our shit does stink, guides us on our path to true sustainable living and climate equilibrium.

    Being the administrator of the Holy Shitters Daily Kos group I’m excited to share important poop news! Poop, after all, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As such, there is a show opening in NYC that is of special interest to our religion.

    An Inconvenient Poop is making its World Premiere at FringeNYC! Opening Monday, 8/17 at 5PM at The White Box @ 440 Studios! From the website:

    What if the solution to climate change, world peace, and self-love was the one thing no one wanted to talk about? Professor Oscar von Shtein was going to give a thrilling FREDx Talk on the Classics, until Shawn “The Puru” Shafner took over the controls. Forced to explain why we feel the way we do about doo, now Oscar must face his own shit and save the day, before it starts to smell. Fascinating, hilarious, and a little bit uncomfortable, An Inconvenient Poop is a musical, one-man show. Breaking the potty taboo, it inspires audiences to take responsibility for our shit—literal, personal, communal—so we can liberate it, hold it to the light, and transform it from waste to resource. Join a revolution pushing for change from the bottom up, and proudly declare “I’m a pooper!”

    Here is a “taste” of what you can expect if you’re one of the lucky few who get a ticket.

    Tickets are going like diarrhea!

    The Poop Project was founded by Shawn. I’ve met him. We’ve touched base from time to time as our paths seem to “naturally” flow together . He’s a talented and very intelligent guy. I guess you could say he “really knows his shit”. He’s not farting around with this stuff either. He’s been talking shit for quite some time. I can assure you we’ve had some pretty shitty conversations together too.

    When you’re Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters you notice people like this and you don’t flush them. He has a wonderful message nobody likes to hear but needs to be listened to by everybody. So I’m just letting this flow out to all of you. Flush it along. And, by all means, if you’re anywhere near New York City and can make one of these shows I’d highly recommend it.

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  6. A City That Wants Garbage! No, It’s Not Washington D.C.

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    May 7, 2015 by John Crapper

    That’s right. The title is correct. There is a city that actually is looking for and wanting more garbage. Every day, about 300 trucks arrive at the city of Göteborg on the west coast of Sweden. They carry garbage. They deliver it to a special plant that has special ovens, which burn it, providing heat to thousands of local homes. Now that is a Church of the Holy Shitters cool idea!

    “The only fuel we use is waste,” says Christian Löwhagen, a spokesman for Renova, the local government-owned energy company operating the plant. “It provides one-third of heat for households in this region.” Across Sweden, 950,000 homes are heated by trash; this lowly resource also provides electricity for 260,000 homes across the country, according to statistics from Avfall Sverige, Sweden’s national waste-management association. With Swedes recycling almost half (47 percent) of their waste and using 52 percent to generate heat, less than 1 percent of garbage now ends up in the dump. “Sweden has the world’s best network of district heating plants” — essentially large ovens that use a variety of fuels to generate heat, which is then transported to consumers’ homes through a network of underground pipes — “and they’re well-suited for use of garbage,” says Adis Dzebo, an energy expert at the Stockholm Environment Institute. “By contrast, in many other countries the heat and electricity infrastructure is based on gas or other fossil fuels, so it’s not economical to start building plants that utilize garbage.”

    But there is a problem. The Swedes (along with the Germans, Danes, the Dutch and Belgians) have become very good at recycling. There’s no longer enough garbage to meet their heating needs. They now have to import the trash that most other countries are trying to dispose of — some 800,000 tons in 2014, up from 550,000 tons in 2010, according to Avfall Sverige.

    Last year Renova brought in 100,000 tons of foreign garbage, mostly from Britain, in addition to the 435,000 tons supplied by Swedish municipalities. In Stockholm, energy provider Fortum also imports garbage, and in the southern city of Malmö, the Sysav energy company brought in 135,000 tons of waste from Norway and Britain last year, according to the company’s communications director, Gunilla Carlsson. That’s an almost 100 percent leap from the year before.

    They only burn waste that is free of recyclable materials.

    It’s not that Swedish decision-makers foresaw the need to safely dispose of garbage when they started building a countrywide network of district heating plants a generation ago, but it turned out to be a fortuitous move when public concern over trash in landfills prompted the country to rethink its garbage-disposal policies. Today putting waste on the trash heap is banned, which means that municipalities have to sort, recycle and, yes, burn, their residents’ garbage. As a result, waste now constitutes 19 percent of the fuel used by district-heating plants, which heat half of Sweden’s households and also use biomass such as leftover tree branches from the logging industry. That makes Sweden the world leader in energy generated from garbage; it is followed by, in order, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

    What a cool waste-end ass-forward way to solve a waste problem. Decrease the pressure for more landfills, turn something that has been considered waste into a valuable resource, and decrease the use of fossil fuels. And the utility companies get the trash for free and then turn around and sell the heat to their customers. A win all the way around.

    You might think that the emissions from this process would be highly polluting but thanks to electric filters that give the particles a negative electric charge, it is almost entirely non toxic carbon and water.

    Because waste in landfills generates methane, a concentrated form of CO2, the Swedish municipal association estimates that every ton of imported garbage — which would otherwise have been decomposing in landfills — saves 1,100 pounds of CO2 equivalent. Even if ships were to travel specifically to deliver this garbage, the trade would still end up a net positive for the environment.

    As a result of Sweden’s ass-forward waste-end first thinking their trash needs are soaring. It is estimated the country will import 1/5 million tons of waste this year increasing to 2.3 million by the year 2020. The future lies in these waste to energy power plants.

    Holy Shit this is a great and innovative way to deal with all the crap we now dispose of in landfills around the world.

    “The Green Climate Fund is currently developing its investment framework, and one of the issues the members are discussing is whether waste-to-energy should receive climate funding as a renewable energy source,” explains Dzebo. “But it’s important that this model goes hand in hand with efficient sorting of the garbage, including the removal of recyclable and toxic material.” Developing countries will, in other words, have to show the Green Climate Fund that they don’t just plan to burn their waste wholesale but are also making serious efforts to reduce it

    .

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  7. Superbugs & Sanitation

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    August 28, 2014 by John Crapper

    Superbugs are strains of bacteria that are resistant to several types of antibiotics. Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and staph infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.

    The spread of superbugs—bacteria that have changed in ways that render antibiotics ineffective against them—is a serious and growing threat around the world, according to the World Health Organization’s first global report on antibiotic resistance.

    Klebsiella pneumoniae, the bacterium in which NDM-1 was first identified.

     

    Holy shit! Chinese sewage is feeding superbugs that no antibiotic can kill.

    Antibiotics have helped millions if not billions of people. But the more they are used the stronger the bacteria they fight get.

    Case in point: New Delhi Metallo 1 (NDM-1). A gene discovered in India in 2010, NDM-1 causes common bacteria like e. coli and salmonella to grow impervious to antibiotics.

    We often think of sewage treatment plants as serving to protect us and get rid of all those disease causing elements in wastewater. But it turns out these microbes are eating sewage and recent studies indicate that sewage treatment plants are unable to kill NDM-1 and are in fact making them stronger.

    And that is not all. The treatment plants are also helping them spread by releasing the effluent into the environment.

    Here’s why that’s so scary. Previous research has shown that bacteria containing the NDM-1 gene were largely ineffective at transferring the gene to other bacteria. However, Alvarez and his colleagues found that bacteria carrying these genes can spread the gene to otherwise benign bacteria—meaning the gene can spread antibiotic resistance outside of sewage treatment plants. “It’s scary. There’s no antibiotic that can kill them,” says Alvarez. “We only realized they exist just a little while ago when a Swedish man got infected in India, in New Delhi. Now, people are beginning to realize that more and more tourists trying to go to the upper waters of the Ganges River are getting these infections that cannot be treated.”

    One scientist estimates that 200 million people carry NDM-1 in their intestines.

    These findings underscore the need for governments and hospitals to limit their use of antibiotics consumption among both humans and farm animals.

    They also underscore the need for a major rethink of our sanitation systems.

    Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation.

    ECOLOGICAL SANITATION – “ECO-SAN”

    Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

    * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

    * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

    * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources.

    The following two videos take just about 19 minutes to watch. I ask you to take that time to familiarize yourself with the Ecological Sanitation process .

    Ecological Sanitation systems are currently being implemented overseas in developing countries and water-shortage areas. Implementation of ecological sanitation systems and principles in the United States are mainly found on a limited basis in rural areas.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions. Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, we prevent it in the first place by some kind of source separation. Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces. The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated). A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision! The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems. This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

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  8. Sanitation – Food for Thought

    0

    August 21, 2014 by John Crapper

    Scientists in India have noticed a disconnect between economic boom and vast numbers of children malnourished and stunted, leaving them with mental and physical deficits. Now they are hypothesizing that many of the 162 million children under the age of 5 around the world malnourished are suffering less from a lack of food than poor sanitation.

    India by far has the largest number of people who defecate outdoors. As a result, children are exposed to bacteria that often sickens them, leaving them unable to attain and maintain a healthy body weight no matter how much food they eat.

    “These children’s bodies divert energy and nutrients away from growth and brain development to prioritize infection-fighting survival,” said Jean Humphrey, a professor of human nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “When this happens during the first two years of life, children become stunted. What’s particularly disturbing is that the lost height and intelligence are permanent.”

    Unicef, the World Health Organization and the World Bank released a report on child malnutrition two years ago that focused entirely on lack of food. Sanitation was not looked at. Now Unicef officials and many other major charitable organizations believe that poor sanitation may cause up to half of the world’s stunting problems.

    “Our realization about the connection between stunting and sanitation is just emerging,” said Sue Coates, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene at Unicef India. “At this point, it is still just an hypothesis, but it is an incredibly exciting and important one because of its potential impact.”

    Why is a child raised in India far more likely to be malnourished than one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, or Somalia, the planet’s poorest countries?

    Stunting affects 65 million Indian children under the age of 5, including a third of children from the country’s richest families.

    How do we explain this disconnect between wealth and malnutrition? Economists have concluded that economic growth has almost nothing to do with reducing malnutrition.

    Half of India’s population, or at least 620 million people, defecate outdoors. And while this share has declined slightly in the past decade, an analysis of census data shows that rapid population growth has meant that most Indians are being exposed to more human waste than ever before.

    “India’s stunting problem represents the largest loss of human potential in any country in history, and it affects 20 times more people in India alone than H.I.V./AIDS does around the world,” said Ramanan Laxminarayan, vice president for research and policy at the Public Health Foundation of India.

    India has tried for decades to resolve it’s malnutrition problems by subsidizing and distributing vast stores of food but it has largely failed to reverse the trend.

    At present India spends about $26 billion annually on food and jobs programs but less than $400 million on improving sanitation.

    Studies are underway in Bangladesh, Kenya and Zimbabwe to assess the share of stunting attributable to poor sanitation. “Is it 50 percent? Ninety percent? That’s a question worth answering,” said Dr. Stephen Luby, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who is overseeing a trial in Bangladesh that is expected to report its results in 2016. “In the meantime, I think we can all agree that it’s not a good idea to raise children surrounded by poop.”

    An interesting observation, little discussed, sheds light on the possible fecal/malnourished connection. Muslim children in India are 17 percent more likely to survive infancy than Hindus. The difference is explained by the fact that Muslims are far more likely to use latrines.

    In September, 2013 the UN called on countries to give greater urgency to sanitation, particularly efforts to end open defecation.

    “We must break taboos. As was the case for the word ‘toilets’ a few years ago, it is time to incorporate ‘open defecation’ in the political language and in the diplomatic discourse,” the deputy secretary general, Jan Eliasson, said in a keynote speech at a annual World Water Week event in Stockholm, Sweden. He has urged states to step up their efforts on sanitation, which is the subject of the seventh millennium development goals (MDGs). Meeting the target would involve reducing the proportion of people without access to sanitation from 51% to 25% by 2015. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the objective is off track but, even if it were met, about 1.7 billion people will be without access to sanitation.

    Sanitation is not a topic most politicians want to discuss. Devoting resources to it is never a priority. It is not a subject that comes up much around the dinner table. It sort of tends to spoil one’s appetite. But as is beginning to become apparent, not having access to proper sanitation can spoil a person’s ability to benefit from the food consumed at their dinner table.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit. Remember:

    “If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit.”
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  9. Don’t Piss Off Piss!

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    July 10, 2014 by John Crapper

     

    Not long ago Dutch officials lined up some not-so-private urinals in an Amsterdam park and asked local men to come pee. But instead of having the pee flush down the drain and piss it away the local water district turned it into fertilizer.

    Phosphorus extracted from the temporary park urinals will go to a green roof in the city. And today, the water utility will launch a new recovery plant designed to mine the phosphorus out of all of the wastewater in the region. Amsterdam’s pee alone can fertilize 10,000 football fields’ worth of plants, according to officials.

    Who cares about phosphorus? For starters, every living thing on Earth—including humans—since all the crops we eat depend on it to produce healthy cells. Until the mid-20th century, farmers maintained phosphorus levels in soil by composting plant waste or spreading phosphorus-rich manure. Then new mining and refining techniques gave rise to the modern phosphorus fertilizer industry—and farmers, particularly in the rich temperate zones of Europe and North America, quickly became hooked on quick, cheap, and easy phosphorus. Now the rest of the world is scrambling to catch up, and annual phosphorus demand is rising nearly twice as fast as the population.
    Our addiction to cheap P (as it’s known in the periodic table) is risky for two reasons. The first, better-known one is that not all the phosphorus that farmers put on their land is absorbed by crops. A lot leaches into water, ending up in lakes and rivers, where it causes algal blooms—which, as they decompose and suck up oxygen, create dead zones.
    But the scarier reason is that, like any mined material, phosphate rock is a finite resource, and there’s fierce debate about just how long our supply can last. “Peak phosphorus” doesn’t get a lot of buzz, but it should. In a recent essay in Nature, Grantham, who also runs an environmental foundation, put the case bluntly: Our P use “must be drastically reduced in the next 20-40 years or we will begin to starve.”

    This idea all started because phosphorus in the urine was causing problems by forming crystals in the sewage pipes and clogging them.

    “We thought, if we have to remove it, why not do it in a proper way,” said Peer Roojimans, who serves on the board of the water authority. “Phosphorus is needed for survival for everything in life, but it’s a limited product, and the mines are exhausted. Since everyone takes it with us every day–and supplies it to our sewage treatment plant when we go to the toilet–we wanted to develop a device that could reuse it.”

    So the Dutch are developing a sewage treatment facility that will separate the nitrogen and phosphorus from the urine and transform it into a slow release fertilizer called struvite.

    Lest it seem that poo has been left out of the plan, Roojimans points out that the entire wastewater treatment plant for the Amsterdam area–which serves a million people–runs entirely on electricity that is produced from solid waste.

    Now Amsterdam residents can be proud to know they’re cleaning up their environment, recycling and helping to alleviate a growing scarcity of phosphorus every time they flush.

    As Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters I declare this a first class example of ass-forward thinking which puts waste-end considerations up front and center.

     A valuable resource.

    Piss – A valuable resource.

     

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  10. Toilet Progress – “Green Going” ?

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    June 19, 2014 by John Crapper

    Outhouse near Miller's Bakery

    The outhouse  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    There was a time, not that long ago, when doing your business meant taking a short walk to visit the outhouse. You opened the door, sat down and did your business. A very simple procedure and a very environmentally friendly process. Even the phone books and Sears catalogs were put to greater use back then!

    Now we have the benefits of progress. Today we enter a well-lit public restroom and sit down on a shiny porcelain toilet. More often than not as we get up to leave the toilet an electric magic eye senses our movement and triggers an electric flush. When the eye malfunctions we are left pondering what to do to instigate the desired evacuation of the evidence.

    Japan has taken the electric toilet to new luxurious heights. The Japanese are sticklers for cleanliness. Sixty years ago it was a country of pit latrines. Now “Japan makes the most advanced, remarkable toilets in the world.

    Rose George in The BIG Necessity describes these toilets.

    Japanese toilets can check your blood pressure, play music, wash and dry your anus and “front parts” by means of an in-toilet nozzle that sprays water and warm air, suck smell ions from the air, switch on a light for you as you stumble into the bathroom at night, put the seat lid down for you (a function known as the “marriage-saver”), and flush away your excreta without requiring anything as old-fashioned as a tank.

    Operating controls on a modern Japanese toilet...

    Operating controls on a modern Japanese toilet, labelled in Japanese, English and braille. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    A cleansing jet of water designed to cleanse t...

    A cleansing jet of water designed to cleanse the anus of the user of this bidet-style toilet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    A man urinating at the urinal will also have the electric magic eye monitoring his progress ready to whisk away the evidence as soon as he steps away. It has been my experience that the magic eye fails to function about 20 to 30 percent of the time. And these babies are relatively new devices. What happens in a few years down the road?

    Modern Japanese urinal

    Modern Japanese urinal

     

    A high-end wireless toilet control panel with ...

    A high-end wireless toilet control panel with 38 buttons and liquid crystal display. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    After the conclusion of our business we walk to the row of sinks to wash our hands. We usually put our hands under an electric soap dispenser which doles out the soap in a measured burst. It is never enough so you repeat the electric burst several times to get a sufficient amount. Then you put your hands under the electric faucet which senses your hand movement and, hopefully, turns on the water. It never stays on continuously so you are required to wave your hands repeatedly to re-trigger the electric switch to restart the flow.

    I can’t imagine what one of these toilets must be like in the case of an extended power outage. It does not conjure up a pretty sight.

    Why is it that in an age when we are encouraged to unscrew our incandescent light bulbs and replace them with LED ones we are experiencing these recently remodeled electric toilet facilities more and more? It seems pretty ass-backward to me.

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  11. Talking Heads

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    November 14, 2013 by John Crapper

    Disclaimer: This guy is no relation to me even though we have the same name. First off he is a toilet and I’m a man. This video does provide proof though that other people have thought about talking heads and points to the distinct possibility that they do exist.

    Ever wonder what toilets would say if they could talk? “No,” you say. Not a question real high on your list?

    Well, with a name like John Crapper and holding the official title of Poop John the First in the Church of the Holy Shitters, I have pondered this question at length. Let me share with you some of my thoughts in this regard.

    If toilets could talk they would talk shit. We would know much more about their most important holiday –World Toilet Day (November 19th). I’m sure they would tell us they get pissed on all the time and they get pissed off about shit being ignored all the time.

    If toilets could talk I’m sure they would say they put up with a lot of shit every day. I bet they would claim they put up with more shit than anything or anybody else. They would probably tell us that no matter how important or regal the person is sitting on them their shit in fact does stink just like everybody else’s.

    One thing for sure, if heads could talk I’m sure they would say they have met a lot of assholes. Most would say they have to put up with the same assholes day in and day out. They would say for sure they catch people with their pants down all the time. I guess they would say they have their head up someone else’s ass all the time too. Or maybe they would say they have someone’s ass in their head all the time. Depends of which way they look at things I guess. Either way I’m sure they would say they have a pretty shitty outlook on life; that every day is a pretty shitty one! That’s not necessarily a bad outlook for a toilet probably. Makes them feel wanted I’m sure. And we all know how wanted they are at times. A person can sure have a pretty shitty feeling when in need of the comfort of a toilet. I’m sure you’ll agree that many times a toilet is your best friend.

    If the toilet was located in a public restroom shared with other toilets would they compare notes? Would they tell each other a person who reads on the toilet is a smart ass? Would they consider those that don’t a dumb ass? Would they know when they have a tight ass sitting on them. I would guess they would talk about the epidemic of obesity we have. They would probably scream out in terror and pain when a fat ass is sitting on them.

    How about all the private habits conducted by people behind closed doors that could be revealed if toilets could talk. You could just imagine what things the toilet of the President could reveal. Toilet knowledge could provide governments with all kinds of crap on people. I bet it would make it easier to discern the facts from bullshit too. Let’s face it. Assholes have no choice but to reveal themselves to toilets.

    Do you think toilets would have debates between themselves on what the difference is between an asshole and a butthole? Is there a difference?

    As far as politics is concerned I would think toilets would tend to think of asses as bipartisan. They would say you have your left bum; you have your right bum; and they meet in the middle in a bipartisan way. I’m sure they would tell us that whatever the bums come out with it usually stinks!

    I would think one of their most pressing issues would be sanitation too. One would have to assume that toilets would talk about shit more than anything else. It sort of dominates their lives. They would advise all of us of the pressing need for all people in this world to have access to toilets. They would lecture us for sure on how dramatically a toilet can change a person’s life. They would ask us to give a crap about people who lack adequate sanitation.

    In our religion the toilet is our temple. In our practice of the Sacrament of Holy Shitting in striving to have smart shits, ideas such as these deserve our consideration and attention. We are committed to thinking about shit and treating our Shit as a holy substance.

    Thinking about this it dawns on me that toilets probably would say a prayer every day too. It would go something like this. “Give us this day our daily Shit and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into diarrhea but deliver us from bullshit. Amen.”

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  12. The Gun the NRA Doesn’t Know About

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    August 1, 2013 by John Crapper

    “Whenever I make a bum decision,
    I go out and make another one.”
    quote by President Harry Truman

    Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), 1945 – 1953 the...

    I’m not a big fan of the National Rifle Association. I think their politics are way too right-wing for my taste and their political influence in government is much too pervasive. Don’t get me wrong. I have no philosophical problem with the right to bear arms. I see no animal rights issues with sports hunting. I’ve hunted in the past and will probably do so in the future. I don’t see the need, however, for a person to possess a rapid-fire semi-automatic weapon.

    All of the above being said I would like to argue in favor of the swift and universal implementation and possession of a gun. These guns should be widely available throughout the world and be used on a daily basis.

    Believe it or not, this is a gun the NRA doesn’t know anything about. I’m not even sure they would support its proliferation throughout the world. The gun I’m talking about is the bum gun.

    So what is a bum gun you ask?  Well it’s a gun that literally blows your shit away. Let me explain. In the world today there are 2 kinds of people. There are wipe away and there are wash away. Wipe away people do their business of taking a dump and reach for the roll of toilet paper to clean themselves.  Wash away people reach for a sprayer (sometimes called the ass hose) located close to the toilet and gently spray themselves clean.

    I find it odd in modern cultures throughout the world most people are still wipers and not washers. We take showers every day and miticulously clean our bodies. We are urged to wash our hands often to stop the spread of disease.  We use sanitizing lotion, air purification devices, disinfectants, and antiseptics to eliminate germs and bacteria from our environment.  We are told to cover our mouths when we cough. Restaurant workers are required to thoroughly wash their hands after visiting the restroom to stop the spread of fecal carrying diseases. Yet when we sit down to take a dump we reach with our bare hands for paper to wipe ourselves knowing full well that we are really not clean afterward.   Frequent underwear tracks provide indisputable proof of the fact that our current system is a hit and miss not fully satisfactory system to clean ourselves.

    But the toilet paper industry does not want you to realize this fact.  It’s very big business in this country and around the world.  Take this one statistic.  In 2008 consumers in the United States spent more than $3.7 billion on toilet paper, according to Information Resources, and that does not include Wal-Mart Stores, (WMT) which does not report sales data!  This is literally ass-backwards consumerism in the shittiest sense of the term.

    It is not this way in some parts of the world however. In some cultures water is used (e.g. as with a bidet or lota) either in addition or exclusively.  In Japan and South Korea, some toilets known as washlets are designed to wash and dry the anus of the user after defecation.  Thailand has fully embraced the bum gun.  Go into most toilets and toilet paper is nowhere to be found.  Spray and go away with a squeaky clean asshole.  The washing method allows you to clean yourself  in a cheaper,greener more environmentally friendly manner.

    This wiper method has been something society has not questioned.  It has been a practice that has not been challenged or investigated.  I say it is time to change this.  I ask you to take the ass-forward step and please don’t squeeze or use the Charmin.  Don’t be an asshole – use an ass hose!   Install a bum gun for use with all your toilets.

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  13. Wipers vs Washers

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    July 25, 2013 by John Crapper

    A toilet paper roll

    A toilet paper roll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “The global toilet paper industry is worth $15-20 billion and according to the most recent statistics available, the average American uses 57 sheets a day.”

    Here is a little Church of the Holy Shitters experiment. Take a finger and place it in some feces. Next, wipe the finger as many times as desired with toilet paper to remove the material. Use either 4-ply or 2-ply. It really doesn’t matter. Smell your finger. What does it smell like? Would you consider it clean? Would you eat finger food with this finger without washing it first?

    English: Yelle

    “Using paper to cleanse the anus makes as much sense, hygienically, as rubbing your body with dry tissue and imagining it removes dirt. It is truly ass-backward. Islamic scholars have known for centuries that paper won’t achieve the scrupulous hygiene required of Muslims. In a World Health Organization publication that attempts to teach health education through religious example, Professor Abdul Fattah Al-Husseini Al-Sheikh quotes the Prophet’s wife, Aisha. She had “never seen the Prophet …coming out after evacuating his bowels without having cleaned himself with water.”

    “Paper cultures are in fact using the least efficient cleansing medium to clean the dirtiest part of their body.” A study conducted in Oxfordshire, England by Dr. J.A. Cameron in 1964 surveyed the underwear of 940 men and found fecal contamination in nearly all of them that ranged from “wasp-colored “ stains to “frank massive feces.” Ah shit – this is too much information! I’m not going to tell you about the women.

    Interestingly, the Japanese, although using the most advanced toilets in the world, are still wipers not washers.

    Why is it that most of our highly advanced technological societies are wipers? As Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters I find this quite ironic. We use water to clean ourselves when taking a shower. We use water to wash our dishes and clean our floors. We use it to wash our cars. Yet when we sit down to take a dump, we reach for a roll of toilet paper and wipe the crap from our crack. This, I find, an interesting quirk of our hygienic lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be cleaner to wash our butts afterwards? How many times after doing your deed do you wonder if you “got it all”? How many times does the finger break through? You know what I’m talking about. And as we all know the sink is not close enough to avoid touching the clothes to get to it to wash your hands! Sometimes the truth hurts but what is a Poop for if not to level with his flock.

    I’m here to tell you there is a better way. It is the Church of the Holy Shitters way. It is high time to convert to being a washer. It is easier on the environment. It is easier on your wallet. (One of these days I’m going to figure out how much the average person spends on toilet paper in a lifetime. I know it’s a shitload.)

    It is already in use in selective parts of our world. For example, when I lived in Thailand most toilets (not caving to western customs) had sprayers installed similar to what we see in the US on kitchen sinks. When you were done with your business you grabbed the sprayer and washed yourself. Clean, hygienic, easier on the environment and cheaper on the wallet. I called it the “bum gun”.

    English: Toilets in Thailand

    When I bring this idea up with friends in the USA I get instant rejection of the idea. “It’s too cold here; the cold water would shock a person.” “It would never fly here. The wiping custom is too ingrained in our culture.”

    Until we jump out of the box and remove the blinders clouding our perception in this regard, we will continue to be a nation of dirty assholes.

    Oh yeah – I forgot to tell you the final part of the little experiment above. Don’t forget to wash that finger!

     
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  14. Taking the Piss Out of You!

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    July 18, 2013 by John Crapper

    Français : urine

    Urine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    As Poop John the First I am called on to look at things from an ass-forward, bottoms up, waste-end first perspective. Consequently, I tend to see things a little differently than most people and reach some different conclusions as a result.

    Humans are amazing in lots of ways. Our intelligence enables us to accomplish incredible things such as our technological and engineering achievements, our literary and musical masterpieces and our medical advances to name a few. We view ourselves as being special, our religions preach to us that we are, and we are surrounding by things we have done in this world that convince us it is true.

    We cherish human life and go to great lengths to preserve it. When we die we have elaborate rituals to handle our remains. We wouldn’t think of disposing of a person’s remains in the same way we throw out the trash. Elaborate ceremonies are conducted to honor the dead before their placement in their final resting place. A proper burial is believed to be a sacred right of passage for the deceased. We anoint, bless, pray, sing, give speeches and place flowers as a means to properly say goodbye to our loved ones. Our bodies, our remains, are returned to Earth in the most respectable, dignified and reverent ways we can concoct because they are viewed as special and deserving of such treatment.

    In light of this, I find it just a little odd the way we treat our own waste. In all other aspects of ourselves in comparison to animals we consider ourselves superior. Yet when it comes to our excrement we coil away from our own as if it was some lethal substance requiring immediate isolation from us for our own protection and survival.

    Doesn’t it follow that if we consider ourselves superior to animals we should consider our excrement superior too? Shouldn’t it be considered more valuable? Shouldn’t it be handled with greater reverence? Shouldn’t we want to do something with it other than flush it into a sewer system where it is mixed with all kinds of industrial pollutants and contaminants? Since we are so special shouldn’t we naturally want to put anything coming forth from us to good use? Shouldn’t we consider our shit the best shit in town? We care a great deal about what goes into our bodies. We think our bodies are wonderful machines yet when we expel what our wonderful bodies can’t use we consider the process of it having passed through our wonderful bodies as turning it into something repulsive and toxic.

    We consider ourselves rational beings capable of high level thought but it seems to me this particular rationality is totally irrational. When it comes to thinking about what comes out of our asses we are illogical and ass-backward.

    Think about this for just a minute. In our stores we can buy multiple kinds of manure mixtures. We buy chicken manure, steer manure and dairy manure to spread on our vegetable gardens and planting beds. I’m a gardener and every year I buy a product called Booster Blend which is a 50/50 mixture of dairy manure and compost and gleefully spread it throughout my gardens each year. It’s a great fertilizer!

    But our own excrement we flush down the toilet as quickly as we can considering it to be only disgusting waste and of no use. Animal poop is not as repulsive to us as our own, yet we consider ourselves superior. When they die do we go through the elaborate rituals afforded to humans? Do we handle their bodies with as much reverence as our own?

    We have major problems with how we view and handle our own excrement and I contend it is causing us big problems. It is causing us to treat our own waste in a very ass-backward way. That needs to change. Our excrement is, in fact, just as valuable as the manure coming out of a chicken or cow. We need to come to terms with that and have a major attitude adjustment in our thinking in this regard. The concept and technology we need to start thinking about in this country is called ecological sanitation.

    English: Ecological sanitation cycle drawing, ...

    English: Ecological sanitation cycle drawing, english version Français : Dessin du cycle écologique de recyclage, version en anglais (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Globally, the practices of ecological sanitation have been a fact of life for many years in many developing parts of the world. For example, in China, it has been practiced for centuries.

    wg 5 Urine applied on petchay crops in Cagayan...

    wg 5 Urine applied on petchay crops in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines (Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation)

    However, the development of ecological sanitation in the Unites States is in its infancy. Composting toilet use can be mainly seen only in rural areas.

    Most composting toilets used do not separate urine from the feces. ” All manufactured American composting toilets today combine urine, except one, “Nature’s Head”, which is designed for use on boats and has only been available since 2007 (Nature’s Head, 2010).”

    “The law presents a major barrier in the USA to adoption of many ecological practices. Many sustainable practices, like greywater, rainwater, and composting toilets, are illegal under local and state building regulations. Because of this, early adopters of ecological practices in the United States are often breaking local or state laws. Though most do so without consequence, there is a history of a few “pioneers” being fined, losing property, and being forced to remove the unpermitted projects (Kettmanm, 2009).”

    Although both our feces and urine are valuable resources and in the perfect world should be treated that way, in the real world accomplishing this is a daunting task both in terms of infrastructure and social acceptance. Initially, rather than trying to change our culture to embrace and implement all proven ecological sanitation procedures from the outset it might be more feasible to tackle its implementation in a more modest step-by-step phased-in fashion. Under this approach the practice of urine reuse would be promoted and implemented first.

    A urine-diverting-dehydration toilet. 1:Humus ...

    A urine-diverting-dehydration toilet. 1:Humus compartment, 2:Ventilation pipe, 3:Toilet seat, 4:Urinal, 5:Urine collection and dehydration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    “Urine reuse is gaining attention at the global level as scientists, agronomists, backyard gardeners, and development professionals look to this universally available substance for solutions to a variety of water and sanitation problems. Urine collection reduces toilet water use by as much as 80% by decreasing flushes (Larsen, et. al., 2001). This reduction in water use is not hard to imagine. Just think about the amount of water used flushing the urinals at any major sporting or entertainment event in the men’s bathroom on any given weekend. Just think of the water used flushing the urinals in all the bars across the country. It boggles the mind!

    Urine collection would also reduce energy needed by sewer treatment plants to remove nitrogen (Wilsenach and van Loosdrecht, 2006). “Plant nutrients, mainly nitrogen and phosphorus, can be captured from urine and used as agricultural fertilizer, reducing demand for chemical fertilizers. Each adult produces an estimated 1.5 liters per day, (WHO, 2006) which contains about 4 kg of nitrogen, 0.36 kg phosphorus, and 1 kg potassium per year. This amount is enough to fertilize about 300‐400 square meters of crop for each person (Jonsson et. al. 2004). The range of low‐cost options for collection makes backyard urine reuse accessible for all income levels and for both renters and homeowners.

    For backyard gardeners, urine reuse would provide a free source of fertilizer while at the same time reducing household water consumption due to fewer toilet flushes . (Allen, L., and Conant, J. 2010)

    Recent research also shows that urine may be an efficient source of hydrogen for energy (Boggs et al. 2009).”

    As a first step on the road to changing our sanitation system to a sustainable green system the USA could and should encourage urine reuse by making appropriate legal changes to make the practice clearly legal, take steps to educate the public to increase public acceptance of the practice and provide incentives for its implementation into urban areas.

    We need to bring back the piss pot!

    Urine collection in Ede

    Urine collection in Ede (Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation)

    References:

    Allen, L., and Conant, J.: Backyard Urine Recycling in the United
    States of America: An Assessment of Methods and Motivations, PDF, April 2010

    Boggs, B., King, R., and Botte, G. (2009): Urea electrolysis: direct hydrogen production from urine‐ Chem. Commun., 2009, 4859 ‐ 4861, DOI: 10.1039/b905974a

    Josson, H., Richert Stintzing, A., Vinneras, B., and Salomon, E. (2004) Guildelines on the use of urine and faeces in crop production, EcoSanRes Publications Series, Report 2004‐2, Sweden.

    Kettmanm, M. (2009): Getting Grief for Going Green, The Santa Barbara Independent, Sep. 10th, 2009

    Larsen, T., Peters, I., Alder, A., Eggen, R., Maurer, M., and Muncke, J. (2001): Re‐engineering the toilet for sustainable wastewater management. Environ Science Technology May 1, 2001 / Volume 35 , Issue 9 / pp 192 A – 197 A. T.

    Nature’s Head (2010): Composting Toilets for Marine, RV, Cabins, and Trucks. A Nature’s Head Composting Toilet, http://www.natureshead.net/store/index.phpmain_page=pr oduct_info&products_id=1 (date of visit: 3 February, 2010).

    Wilsenach, J., and Van Loosdrecht, M., (2006): Integration of Processes to Treat Wastewater and Source‐Separated Urine‐ Journal of Environmental Engineering, vol 132, p 331

    WHO, (2006): Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater. Volume 4: Excreta and greywater use in agriculture. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

    Backyard Urine Recycling in the United States of America: An Assessment of Methods and Motivations
    This paper discusses the newly emerging urine harvesting movement in the United States of America.
    Authors: L. Allen, J. Conant April 2010

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  15. “Eco-San” – Ecological Sanitation

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    May 30, 2013 by John Crapper

    Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

    Clean water – 1% of the total!

    Only 1% of global water is drinkable, therefore, it is a precious resource.  Water used in flush toilets is often of drinking quality. .  Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets.  We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system.  We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant.  Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste.  At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water to return it to as pure a state as possible to be recycled.

    Section of a wastewater treatment plant.

    Section of a sewage treatment plant – energy intensive, complicated to build and costly to run and maintain.

    The mix of domestic and industrial effluent in this water cannot be treated properly because heavy metals and other pollutants make this water unsuitable for reuse.  It makes water treatment difficult.  All wastewater treatment plants use some natural/biological processes, but nature does not normally have this wastewater, so there are no microbes that can deal with this mix. In order to treat waste, treatment plants have to do this in stages. Each stage treats a different component of the mix by creating the right environment for microbes to do their work (aerobic, anaerobic, anoxic and the right pH). This is costly and requires energy.  The remaining sludge’s value, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.  Because of the complexity of the treatment process, treatment plants tend to be large. This requires costly infrastructure to build and maintain.  It is truly an ass-backward system and ass-backward thinking.  There is a better way – an ass-forward way!

    Looking at our excrement not as waste that needs to be treated, but as a resource needing to be put to full use, is the key to an ass-forward approach to the whole issue of sanitation.

    ECOLOGICAL SANITATION – “ECO-SAN”

    Ecological sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

        * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

        * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water

        * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

        * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources

    The following two videos take just about 19 minutes to watch.  I ask you to take that time to familiarize yourself with the Ecological Sanitation process . 

     

    Ecological Sanitation systems are currently being implemented  overseas in developing countries and water-shortage areas.  Implementation of ecological sanitation systems and principles in the United States are mainly found on a limited basis in rural areas.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions.  Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, we prevent it in the first place by some kind of source separation.  Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces.  The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated).  A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision!  The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems.  This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

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  16. Bottoms Up – Ass Forward Thinking

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    May 2, 2013 by John Crapper

    Very seldom, if ever, do you here of someone giving a person a “bottoms up” unless it is referring to booze! But this is not a post about drinking. This is an article about a psychological frame of reference. It is about thinking and perception.

    The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

    Ever have something blindside you? Every have those situations where you hear a new word for the first time and make note of its meaning only to discover that now that you know the word you are hearing it constantly? Makes you feel really unaware doesn’t it? Makes you wonder what other things happening in your world you’re not aware of.

    Why do we always want to get to the bottom of things? People always start at the top to get to the bottom of things. Why not start at the bottom of things to get to the top. That is the perspective of the Church of the Holy Shitters.

    Sometimes it’s important to look at things from the bottom up instead of the top down; to look at things downside up. This upside down type of thinking can shed new light on things.

    An incandescent light bulb.

    Everybody’s always giving a “heads up” on things. “Hello, I just called to give you a heads up on who’s going to be at the meeting.” “Before you go on that sales call I thought I would give you a heads up on who you’ll be meeting with.” “Before you buy that new car I thought I would give you a heads up on what the magazine Consumer Reports is saying”.

    Here at the Church of the Holy Shitters we like to look at things a little differently. We like to give people a bottoms up on things. It’s about looking at things in a 180 degree different way. Looking at things from the bottoms up perspective means looking at things from the waste-end. You basically look at waste first and work backwards.

    Take for example how we view ourselves. We typically spend very little time thinking about what goes on inside our bottoms when compared to other parts of our bodies. We do, however, spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what goes on inside our heads.

    When we sit down to take a dump we don’t concentrate on the feces itself. When we’re finished we flush and it’s thereafter out of sight and out of mind. We view it as unworthy of thought and useless in our lives. But this, in fact, is not the case. John Jeavons in Cultivating Our Garden argues that “Each person’s urine and manure contain approximately enough nutrients to produce enough food to feed that person.”

    Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets. We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system. We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant. Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste. At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive, expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water and return it to its pure state. The value of the remaining sludge, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished. It must be further sterilized, with questionable results, before it can be used as a fertilizer. This never-ending, expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature. It also demonstrates what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature.

    It is the same when we consider other areas outside of ourselves. We think much more about the new car in the showroom than the scrap heap in the junkyard. When in the shopping mall we peruse the products for sale thinking of all the benefits of ownership. We give very little consideration to the throw away remains when the product is discarded. Most of us don’t spend any time at the dump looking at the selection. What’s there is out of sight and out of mind.

    Practitioners of our religion train their minds to think in an ass-forward way. This is basically putting waste end considerations first before doing something. When you become skilled in ass-forward thinking it leads to some startling discoveries. It makes you view things in a new light.

    English: High Resolution black and white photo...

    Let’s work together to turn the light on our bottoms!

    Thinking it Over

     

    Think it over!

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  17. The Plunger – Part 2 – A New Use

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    April 18, 2013 by John Crapper

    Large image of household plungers: on the left...

    (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The plunger – one of the simplest tools we use. Until needed it is one of the least thought about items we have in our possession. It’s use is usually for a single purpose – to unstop a toilet or sink. But as was discussed in the last post it has been used for varied and surprising alternative uses since its invention. But in large part the plunger remains for most of us a single use item.

    When you need one you’re glad you have one. When you don’t need one it is hidden away or camouflaged to be out of sight and out of mind. It is functional and utilitarian in its simplicity. It remains virtually unchanged since its creation. It is viewed as an absolute necessity in any modern household.

    The plunger is also close to the bottom of the list of items ever given as a gift. Just doesn’t come to mind when you’re thinking of what to give to that person that has everything. It’s not often, if ever, you see a gift wrapped plunger under the Christmas tree! The gift would kind of have the subliminal message of “you’re full of shit” or something to that effect. When you check the items on a couples’ wedding registry it’s rare to see a plunger mentioned.

    When is the last time you read or saw an advertisement for a plunger? Not even on those cheesy commercials late at night when you can get a second one free if you act now do you hear about the merits of the Johnny Jolter power plunger.

    The lack of thought and attention we give to the plunger is a window of insight into our lack of thought to certain things around us.  Simply put it reflects how little thought we give to certain problems we face like climate change, super consumption and overpopulation.  In a nutshell it sheds light on just how much we don’t think about some of the serious shit we are facing!

    And this is the real kicker. If we really thought about our own excrement more we would realize there is no need for the plunger at all. It is a tool that helps us deny we take a crap every day. It is a tool that helps us to continue to fail to realize that when we flush we are throwing away a valuable resource, mixing it with unknown and untold toxins and swishing it away into a huge energy intensive sewage treatment system to be treated as best it can before being reintroduced back into the environment as sludge. As has been discussed many times on this site our sewage treatment system is totally ass-backwards.

    Chronically short of water.  All water facts in the next paragraph are taken from Robin Clarke and Janet King, The Atlas of Water:  Mapping the World’s Most Critical Resource (London:  Earthscan, 2004), p. 19.

    Looking at a globe of Earth you would think we have water, water, everywhere but that is not really true.  It is a fixed commodity.  Throughout all history we’ve had the same amount of water to work with.  The planet contains about 332 milllion cubic miles of it.  Most is salty.  Only 2 percent is fresh water and two-thirds of that is unavailable for human use because it is locked in snow and ice.  We are using the same water the dinosaurs used.  In 2000, twice as much water was used throughout the world as in 1960.  Water consumption is currently at about 1,700 liters (449) gallons per person per day.  Most of it is not going down sinks and toilets, but onto fields for agriculture.  By 2050, half of the planet’s projected 8.9 billion people will live in countries that are chronically short of water.7  Humans are wasting their water mostly by putting waste into it.  One cubic meter of wastewater can pollute ten cubic meters of water.  

    Our current sewage treatment system is totally ass-backwards.  When we look at the predominant sanitation system used in the world today in an ass-forward way we can truly see just how ass-backward it is.  Each of us pays good money to have purified water pour into our toilets.  We then do our business and flush it into the sewer system.  We also pay hard-earned money to carry our excrement away to a sewage treatment plant.  Along the way it is mixed in with all kinds of foreign substances including chemicals, solvents and medical waste.  At our sewage treatment plants varying energy intensive expensive processes are utilized to separate out the contamination from the water to return it to its pure state to be recycled.  The remaining sludge’s value, as a result of human excrement being mixed with other sources of contamination, is diminished.  It must be further sterilized, with questionable results, before it can be used as a fertilizer.  This never-ending expensive cycle of mishandled waste typifies truly ass-backward logic and indicates just how out of touch we are with our true nature.  It also points out to what lengths we will go to deny our bodily functions and ignore our relationship and dependence on nature.  It is truly unsustainable.

    Ecological Sanitation (Ecosan) offers a new philosophy of dealing with what is presently regarded as waste and wastewater. Ecosan systems enable the recovery of nutrients from human feces and urine for the benefit of agriculture, thus helping to preserve soil fertility, assure food security for future generations, minimize water pollution and recover bio-energy. They ensure that water is used economically and is recycled in a safe way for purposes such as irrigation or groundwater recharge.

    Ecological Sanitation

    Ecological Sanitation

    The main objectives of ecological sanitation are:

        * To reduce the health risks related to sanitation, contaminated water and waste

        * To prevent the pollution of surface and ground water

        * To prevent the degradation of soil fertility

        * To optimize the management of nutrients and water resources.

    People who work in sanitation sometimes have visions.  Eco-san people see a future where instead of controlling pollution after it happens, it is prevented in the first place by some kind of source separation.  Water separated from excreta; urine separated from feces.  The discarded products of the human body given treatment appropriate to one name (shit, meaning to separate), not another (waste, from the Latin vastus meaning unoccupied or uncultivated).  A cleaner new world where people put out their trash cans full of fecal compost to be collected on a Monday, like they do with garbage.

    The Church of the Holy Shitters hopes and prays for the expeditious arrival of this vision!  The technology presently exists to implement this transition. It is the lack of attention, drive and motivation that are the problems.  This Church is dedicated to transforming our ass-backward thought processes with regard to sanitation and ushering in a new ass-forward eco-san way of dealing with our own shit.

    As Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters this change of thinking is what the plunger represents.   Let it come out of hiding and be a visible and constant reminder of our animal connections. When we look at it let it remind us that we are not important to the Earth but that the Earth is important to us. Let it remind us to treat our waste with respect and reverence and to use it nourish the Earth we live on instead of it being treated as a waste product. Let it be used to hold up the globe of our home the Earth. Let it represent the increased stature we give to Shit and the revered position it holds in the Shitty Way of Life we have chosen to follow.  Let it remind us to think about all those things we try to ignore or take for granted like clean air and water.  Let it remind us to give a shit about our environment. 

     

     

     

     

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  18. Water vs Wine

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    March 1, 2013 by John Crapper

     Was sent this today from a very good friend looking out for my best interest and just had to share! 

     

    wine babes

    wine babes (Photo credit: brendaj)

    To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine and those who don’t and are always seen with a bottle of water in their hand:

    As Ben Franklin said: 
    In wine there is wisdom,
    In beer there is freedom,
    In water there is bacteria.

    In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) – bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop annually.

    Escherichia coli - Scanning Electron Microscopy

    Escherichia coli – Scanning Electron Microscopy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    However, We do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and fermenting.

    Remember:
    Water = Poop
    Wine = Health

     

     

    Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid,

    than to drink water and be full of shit.

    Words of wisdom from: Zendictive 

     

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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