The Line for the Women's Bathroom Is Always Notoriously Long. It Doesn't Have to Be That Way

iStock.com/justhavealook
iStock.com/justhavealook

Like small pockets and unnecessarily expensive razors, long women's bathroom lines seem to be an annoying yet inevitable part of the female experience. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if women could waltz into any restroom and find an open stall waiting for them? According to The Atlantic, the issue could be fixed once and for all by a seemingly simple measure: installing more toilets in women's bathrooms.

Historically, public restrooms have been designed with men in mind. Up until the Victorian era, bathrooms were male-only spaces because it was believed that men were the only ones who had any business being out in public. If women happened to be out and about and needed to pee, they had to crouch over a gutter or use a device called a urinette (kind of like a 19th-century Shewee).

With that said, the debate surrounding "potty parity" is fairly recent. After witnessing how long his wife and daughter had to wait in line for the bathroom at a Tchaikovsky concert in 1987, a state senator from California introduced legislation to provide women with more toilets. For the first time, the fact that women simply take longer on the toilet—partly because they have to enter a stall and sit down, but also because they have periods—was publicly addressed. The law passed, and it stipulated that new buildings have at least 50 percent more bathroom stalls for women than for men. Large cities like New York City and Chicago and at least 21 states passed similar laws in the years following.

So why are long women's bathroom lines still a problem? For one, the laws don't apply to bathrooms that existed prior to the legislation passing. There's also an extra cost associated with installing more toilets than plumbing codes require—something many developers aren't willing to take on. One way of circumventing the problem is by installing more gender-neutral toilets, but these tend to spark fierce debate in the public and political spheres.

Some have gotten creative. Bathrooms at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, have changeable signs that let men's bathrooms be converted into women's bathrooms depending on the sex ratio of the crowd on any given night. As The Atlantic points out, there are plenty of possible fixes to the problem, if only the developers and public opinion would allow them.

[h/t The Atlantic]

Watch 32,000 Dominos Fall in an Extremely Satisfying Way

iStock/Khongtham
iStock/Khongtham

Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, has achieved viral fame many times over with her ambitious domino videos. She's shown us dominos falling up a flight of stairs, dominoes toppling in a three-part spiral, and dominos collapsing in a continuous chain of record-breaking length. To make the video below, she collaborated with six fellow domino artists and set up an elaborate, freestyle design that leads to a domino fall that's incredibly satisfying to watch.

According to the video's description, this was the biggest project Hevesh and her collaborators built during a domino event she hosted earlier in 2019. The artists—which in addition to Hevesh5, included YouTube creators NC Domino, StickTrickDominoDude, Chris Wright, Jaytar42, jackofallspades98, and SmileyPeaceFun—gave themselves three-and-a-half days to set up 32,000 dominos using the most oddly satisfying domino tricks they knew.

Hevesh writes in the video description: "Everything in this setup (besides one field) was freestyled so we did not draw out a detailed floor plan. All we had was a list of satisfying domino project ideas that we built and connected on the spot."

In less than four minutes, the video showcases pyramids, spirals, and artistic patterns, all made from toppling plastic bricks. Whether or not you can name all the domino tricks that are featured, seeing them in action is mesmerizing. You can watch the full video below, and then subscribe to Hevesh5 for more domino creations.

What's the Difference Between Art Deco and Art Nouveau?

iStock/Getty Images Plus/Lepusinensis
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Lepusinensis

The Quick Trick: It all comes down to "flowery"vs. "streamlined." Art Nouveau is the decorative one. Art Deco is sleeker.

The Explanation: Both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements emerged as reactions to major world events; the Industrial Revolution and World War I, respectively. While both embraced modernist elements, they're easy to distinguish if you know what to look for.

An Art Nouveau Jugenstil building in the historic center of Riga, Latvia.
An Art Nouveau Jugenstil building in the historic center of Riga, Latvia.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/juriskraulis

Art Nouveau (it means "new art," but you probably figured that out) reigned from roughly 1880 until just before World War I. Art Nouveau embraced Europe's new industrial aesthetic rather than challenging it. It features naturalistic but stylized forms, often combined with more geometric shapes, particularly arcs, parabolas, and semicircles (think of the paintings of Gustav Klimt, or the arches of the Eiffel Tower). The movement brought in natural forms that had often been overlooked, like insects, weeds, and even mythical faeries, as evidenced by Lalique jewelry or Tiffany lamps. The black and gold robe Kate Winslet doffs in the erotic portrait session scene in Titanic is quintessentially Art Nouveau.

A stainless steel Art Deco winged sculpture on the facade of an embellished building.
A stainless steel Art Deco winged sculpture on the facade of an embellished building.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Kevin_Lucas

Art Deco, on the other hand, emerged after World War I. In fact, the deprivations of the Great War years gave way to a whole new opulence and extravagance that defined the Jazz Age and the Art Deco aesthetic. The movement took its name from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which was held in France. The style was prevalent from the 1920s until roughly the start of World War II and is characterized by streamlined and geometric shapes. It also utilized modern materials like chrome, stainless steel, and inlaid wood. If Art Deco dabbled with natural materials, they tended to be graphic or textural, like zebra skin or jagged fern leaves. As a result, Deco featured bold shapes like sunbursts and zigzags and broad curves. In fact, if you check out the spire of the Chrysler Building, the hotels of Miami's South Beach, or the "coffin nose" of a 1935 Cord Model 810, you'll be staring at the very definition of Deco.

Of course, you don't have to go outdoors if you're looking for Deco. Furniture from the period—like the black leather and chrome chaise longue by Le Corbusier or the Barcelona chair by Bauhaus giant Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—is still coveted by design aficionados and can be found in finer hotel lobbies everywhere.

This post was excerpted from Mental Floss's 2006 book What's the Difference?, and was updated in 2019.

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