Soothe Yourself With "Drunk Tank" Pink

The hues in your crayon box aren’t just good for filling in coloring books. Researchers have long found that people often have physical reactions to certain shades. Blue, for instance, is said to suppress appetites. Conversely, red stimulates hunger—so it may not be a coincidence that you’ll find the bold color in logos for Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, and KFC. Orange is supposedly an energy booster, while purple is thought to encourage sleep.

And then there’s Baker-Miller Pink. Also known as Schauss Pink, this color is probably what you think of when someone mentions Pepto-Bismol. Named after the two U.S. Naval Officers who experimented with the psychological effects of the color, the shade was made by mixing one pint of outdoor semi-gloss red paint with one gallon of pure white indoor latex paint. The officers then used it to coat the walls of a cell at a Naval Correctional facility. The results, they said, were impressive: Just 15 minutes of exposure reduced the potential for violent and aggressive behavior.

With results like that, even football teams got in on the act. University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry notoriously had the opposing team’s locker room painted this shade back in 1979. Fry’s motives weren’t entirely to “calm” the opponent, however—he noted in his autobiography that pink is “often found in girls’ bedrooms, and because of that some consider it a sissy color.”

Despite critics who declared the tactic sexist, the Hawkeyes doubled down on the approach in 2005 when they added pink metal lockers, carpet, sinks, showers and urinals.

The University of Iowa football program isn’t the only organization to give Drunk Tank Pink a try. The city of St. Louis, Illinois, painted their public buses pink and saw a dramatic decrease in vandalism and assaults. The Washington State Penitentiary tried the Naval Correctional facility’s tactic, putting violent inmates in pink rooms to reduce aggression.

And hey, if it works in prisons and correctional facilities, it may work for you. The next time you need to calm down or de-stress, try thinking pink.

Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
New 'Eye Language' Lets Paralyzed People Communicate More Easily
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0

The invention of sign language proved you don't need to vocalize to use complex language face to face. Now, a group of designers has shown that you don't even need control of your hands: Their new type of language for paralyzed people relies entirely on the eyes.

As AdAge reports, "Blink to Speak" was created by the design agency TBWA/India for the NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute and the Asha Ek Hope Foundation. The language takes advantage of one of the few motor functions many paralyzed people have at their disposal: eye movement. Designers had a limited number of moves to work with—looking up, down, left, or right; closing one or both eyes—but they figured out how to use these building blocks to create a sophisticated way to get information across. The final product consists of eight alphabets and messages like "get doctor" and "entertainment" meant to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.

Inside of a language book.
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

This isn't the only tool that allows paralyzed people to "speak" through facial movements, but unlike most other options currently available, Blink to Speak doesn't require any expensive technology. The project's potential impact on the lives of people with paralysis earned it the Health Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier in June.

The groups behind Blink to Speak have produced thousands of print copies of the language guide and have made it available online as an ebook. To learn the language yourself or share it with someone you know, you can download it for free here.

[h/t AdAge]

Futuristic New Street Toilets Are Coming to San Francisco

San Francisco’s streets are getting shiny new additions: futuristic-looking public toilets. Co.Design reports that San Francisco’s Department of Public Works has chosen a new design for self-cleaning street toilets by the architectural firm SmithGroupJJR that will eventually replace the city’s current public toilets.

The design is a stark contrast to the current San Francisco toilet aesthetic, a green knockoff of Paris’s Sanisettes. (They’re made by the same company that pioneered the Parisian version, JCDecaux.) The tall, curvy silver pods, called AmeniTREES, are topped with green roof gardens designed to collect rainwater that can then be used to flush the toilets and clean the kiosks themselves. They come in several different variations, including a single or double bathroom unit, one with benches, a street kiosk that can be used for retail or information services, and a design that can be topped by a tree. The pavilions also have room for exterior advertising.

Renderings of the silver pod bathrooms from the side and the top

“The design blends sculpture with technology in a way that conceptually, and literally, reflects San Francisco’s unique neighborhoods,” the firm’s design principal, Bill Katz, explained in a press statement. “Together, the varied kiosks and public toilets design will also tell a sustainability story through water re-use and native landscapes.”

San Francisco has a major street-poop problem, in part due to its large homeless population. The city has the second biggest homeless population in the country, behind New York City, and data collected in 2017 shows that the city has around 7500 people living on its streets. Though the city started rolling out sidewalk commodes in 1996, it doesn’t have nearly enough public toilets to match demand. There are only 28 public toilets across the city right now, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

These designs aren’t ready to go straight into construction first—the designers have to work with JCDeaux, which installs the city’s toilets, to adapt them “to the realities of construction and maintenance,” as the Chronicle puts it. Then, those plans will have to be submitted to the city’s arts commission and historic preservation commission before they can be installed.

[h/t Co.Design]


More from mental floss studios