CDC researchers recently published a study
of contaminants found in public pools (in the metro-Atlanta area). It's worth reading if you plan to take a dip in a public pool this summer. Here are the highlights:
During the 2012 summer swimming season, filter concentrate samples were collected at metro-Atlanta public pools... Escherichia coli, a fecal indicator, was detected in 93 (58%) samples; detection signifies that swimmers introduced fecal material into pool water. Fecal material can be introduced when it washes off of swimmers' bodies or through a formed or diarrheal fecal incident in the water. The risk for pathogen transmission increases if swimmers introduce diarrheal feces...
The detection of E. coli in over half of filter backwash samples indicates that swimmers frequently introduced fecal material into pools and thus might transmit infectious pathogens to others... A single diarrheal contamination incident can introduce 107–108 Cryptosporidium oocysts into the water, a quantity sufficient to cause infection if a mouthful of water from a typical pool is ingested.
The frequent occurrence of fecal contamination of pools documented in this study... underscore the need for improved swimmer hygiene (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea). This study also found that the proportion of samples positive for E. coli significantly differed between membership/club and municipal pools. This finding might reflect differences in the number of swimmers who are either diapered children or children learning toileting skills.
The week of April 21-27 has been declared "Go Diaper Free! Week."
Next week will be "Scrub Your Carpet Clean Week."
"Trust in God, and keep your Bowels open" is my new motto for every situation.
Original ad here.
History of Cascarets.
I'm pretty sure Chuck has reported on other cases of people found swimming in the human waste pits found beneath outhouses, so I'll just offer this recent case as yet another example of how this scenario might occur. An elderly man visiting Carters Lake in Georgia must have thought the outhouses there were some kind of newfangled way of going to the bathroom. Because of sitting down to relieve himself, he stood on top of the toilet seat, slipped, and fell down into the sewage pool below. It was over an hour before people realized he was missing and started looking for him. [Dalton Daily Citizen
Apologies in advance for the crappy post. I'll let the artist, Gabriel Morais
, explain his project:
The idea behind this project, is to show how much the food we ingest affects our body, therefore the colour of each poop was not manipulated on photoshop. To achieve the result, the quantity I ate for each picture was:
4.5kg of beet root in 36 hours.
3.5kg of Froot Loops in 30 hours.
4kg of sweet corn in 36 hours.
So in the photos below, he shows what he ate first, followed by what eventually came out the other end.
New York graphic designer Jang Cho has launched what he calls the Dog Poop Project
. It involves turning sidewalk dog poop into art by using a stencil to spray paint an image of a toilet around it. Then he takes a photo of the artified dropping and posts it on his blog. It's art with a message!
Back in January, I posted about a Korean fecal wine named Tsongsul
, which is drunk as a remedy for all manner of ills. But it turns out there's a long tradition of drinking fecal wine in the UK as well.
Over at the Recipes Project
, a blog about early modern recipe books, Jonathan Cey describes finding an unusual concoction in the 17th century medicinal recipe book of Johanna St. John
As I read I couldn't help but assume that the addition of spices, or the use of wine, sugar, and brandy might have best served to make some of the recipes more palatable. But then something caught my eye that all the cinnamon, saffron, and distillation could not possibly conceal. To put it lightly, it was, well, poo. Precisely, for smallpox, "a sheep's dung, cleane picked". Clearly you would want to make sure you were getting pure, uncontaminated crap. The recipe goes on to instruct the user to mix a handful of the stuff into a pint of white wine, "mash it well" and after leaving it to stand a full night, to serve a spoonful or two at a time. But wait, there's more! A note tucked into the margin recommends this smelly recipe for gout and jaundice. Fecal wine, if you will: good for what ails you.
And apparently Sir Robert Boyle, of the Royal Society, recommended human excrement "dried into powder, and blown into the eyes as a treatment for cataracts."
Although modern science has been able to send a man to the moon, it has not been able to make cows poop on command. An effort to solve this shortcoming
is described in a recent issue of Applied Animal Behaviour Science
The thing is, it would be really nice, for the purpose of general hygiene, if farmers could convince cows to stop pooping wherever they felt like it. So researchers devised a series of tests to see if prompts such as walking through a footbath, or being exposed to blasts of air or water, could stimulate bovine defecation. No such luck. The researchers concluded, "None of our tests reliably stimulated defecation, which seemed to occur most when cows were exposed to novelty."
This looks like an interesting book. [Amazon Link
]. Nat Geo has an interview
with the author, David Waltner-Toews
, that includes details such as, "in the slums of Nairobi, human poop powers hot showers and other services. In California, dog doo-doo keeps a dog park electrified."
The author offers this summary of his book: "as soon as you have life, you have essentially poop. As life developed, the waste for one animal became food for another animal. We depend on a web of recycling of nutrients, and poop is an important part of that. People get sqeaumish but they shouldn’t be. If you don’t think of it as poop, but instead think of it as recycling nutrients, this is a really interesting and sustainable way to produce food."
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a message
for all the people going to Superbowl parties today:
More than 1.23 billion chicken wings will be devoured as football fans watch the San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl... Just five wings have more calories, fat, and cholesterol than a Big Mac. Sickening, but more nauseating: Most chicken products people eat are tainted with feces.
They go into more detail
A typical large processing plant may slaughter more than a million birds per week. There, chickens are stunned, killed, bled, and sent through scalding tanks, which help remove feathers but also act as reservoirs that transfer feces from one carcass to another. After scalding, feathers and intestines are mechanically removed. Intestinal contents can spill onto machinery and contaminate the muscles and organs of the chicken and those processed afterward.
All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.