Evolution of a toilet

Here's a first: I was doing the weekly Turnip yesterday and came across a bunch of dates so fascinating, I thought they deserved their own post. Via, we have highlights of the evolution of the toilet from 2500 BC to 1990 AD. (The dates come from a paper presented by Dr. Bindeswar Pathak, Ph.D., D.Litt. at the International Symposium on Public Toilets held in Hong Kong, in case you're wondering about the Indian-slant, as well as the grammar. Still, you'll be able to impress everyone around the water cooler, me thinks... especially if you click through to the paper and quote the first line: UNLIKE body functions like dance, drama and songs, defecation is considered very lowly.")

  • BC 2500: In Mohenjo - daro, there existed highly developed drainage system where waste water from each house flowed into the main drain.
  • BC 1000: In the Bahrein Island in the Persian Gulf, flush type toilet was discovered.
  • AD 69: Vespasianus (Roman Empire) for the first time levied Tax on Toilets.
  • 1214 AD: Construction for the first time of public toilets manned by scavengers in Europe.
  • 1596 AD: JD Harrington invents W.C.
  • 1668 AD: Edict issued by Police Commissioner Paris, construction of Toilets in all houses.
  • 1728 AD: Architect J.F. Brondel argues that attached toilet is ideal.
  • 1739 AD: First separate toilet for men and women appear at a ball in Paris.
  • 1824 AD: First Public Toilet in Paris.
  • 1859 AD: Toilet of Queen Victoria is decorated with gold.
  • 1883 AD: First Ceramic Toilet by Thomas Turiferd for Queen Victoria.
  • 1889 AD: Sewage Treatment for the first time in the world.
  • 1959 AD: All surface Toilets abandoned (Paris).
  • 1970 AD: Sulabh International is established by Bindeshwar Pathak, as a non-profit NGO in Bihar.
  • 1980 AD: Installation of Auto - control Public Toilet.
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”



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