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America's Cleanest Restrooms (and a Super Toilet on sale?)

By Sydney Beveridge
We're not huge deal spotters here at the 'floss, but we just couldn't resist telling you about this penny-saving quick pick: You have LESS THAN 7 HOURS* to bid for your own automated public toilet.

While the units cost the city of Seattle $1 million to install and maintain, you can apparently get one for as little as $89,000. So, what's included? These self-contained restrooms are complete with hand-washing and drying capabilities. Plus, automatic floor jets and disinfectants clean all surfaces after each use.  The truth is, it may sounds like a bargain, but Seattle had to shutter the automated toilets because of maintenance was so expensive and because of all the illegal activity occurring in the stalls.

"I used to smoke crack in there. But I won't even go inside that thing now. It's disgusting," said one homeless woman to the NY Times. When even the crack addicts are scouring for cleaner facilities, there's a problem.  

Will the Real Cleanest Toilet please stand up?

If you're trying to scout out the best public toilets in the country, there's only one place to look. Check out the finalists for America's Best Restroom.  Voting is open through the end of July. And in addition to bathrooms in hotels, restaurants and a spa, two high volume public restrooms have actually slipped their way in as finalists.

I don't remember New York City's Grand Central Terminal being a restroom destination, but apparently others do.  The terminal's recently renovated bathrooms were noted for their "Bottocino marble walls, terrazzo seamless flooring, stainless steel doors, Stony Creek granite partitions and sustainable light fixtures."

Picture 421.pngWalcott's Iowa 80 Truck Stop
is the other mass public bathroom to earn commendations. (The massive trucking rest area also features a laundromat, 24 showers, a dentist office and a barber shop!) As for the stalls themselves, an estimated 5,000 people each day enjoy the restroom's themed decorations and custom tiles.

For jet-setters looking to jet-sit their way around the globe, there's a more global directory at the Bathroom Diaries, where you'll find the winners of the Golden Plunger Awards.

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(*at the time of this posting)

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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iStock

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:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com 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”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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