June 15, 2004


Sure, women can be engineers. I’m sure there are plenty of good woman engineers. My daughter seems to want to be a scientist or engineer (or chef or spy) but she likes to think of solutions to problems.

So I’m baffled that women haven’t attacked the toilet seat problem.

You know what I’m talking about. So often you hear complaints that men “leave the seat up” in the bathroom.

I don’t hear a lot of this criticism of this type at home. Either I’m not leaving the seat up, or people don’t care.

However, someone must care. And that suggests the question, where are the engineering solutions?

Where is the spring which snaps down automatically—perhaps even frighteningly? Where are the timers that give you a few minutes to do your business before lowering the seat, pneumatically, into the acceptable down position?

I’m just wondering.

Posted by James at June 15, 2004 2:40 AM
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Those hi-tech toilets to exist. I found one in a restaurant in Japan. I'm busy washing my hands when I hear a noise behind me - turn round to find the toilet seat lowering and other magical things happening. The room was only lit with a few candles - thought the place was haunted to start with.

Posted by: BlogMonkey at June 15, 2004 5:16 AM

Magical toilets in Japan? Why does that not surprise me? For some reason I'm picturing a toilet that flushes itself, lowers the seat, sparys air freshener and disinfectant, tosses confetti lights up and sings that little song from Mosura Tai Gojira.

But it can't just be Japanese women who appreciate that sort of toilet. Isn't there a market for them here? Where is the vaunted American ingenuity?

MP3 found here: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Island/2295/song.html

Posted by: James at June 15, 2004 10:21 AM

I've met some outhouse-type toilets where a spring keeps the seat *up* when not in use.

As for the market - I know Japanese toilets can get pretty fancy, and supposedly there's one now that will analyze the sugar in your urine and do all kinds of other crap (no pun intended). Personally, however, I like a toilet that's dumb and inert and never does anything I didn't ask it to.

I don't even like the ones that flush automatically. Sometimes they guess wrong. Ew!

Posted by: Julie at June 15, 2004 10:26 AM

Darn - my direct link to the MP3 didn't work.

Go here and click on the link for "Mothra's Song (1961-1998)"

Posted by: James at June 15, 2004 10:34 AM

The ideal solution for those poor women married to Neanderthals who can't remember to lift the seat may be his and hers toilets. The ultimate in luxury and marriage saving devices.

Posted by: Mike at June 15, 2004 11:14 AM

I think the whole seat thing is bullshit. Why isn't it everyone's responsibility to actually look at the toilet and position the seat where they want it? Why is the default position "down" and not "up"?

Posted by: David Grenier at June 15, 2004 12:25 PM

I agree it is everyone's responsibility to look at the seat position. Further, were it not for this issue, I wouldn't have these great pictures of my daughter at age 4 with just her lower legs and torso sticking out of the toilet.

That said, down makes sense as the default position because the majority of toilet uses require the seat be down. Women need the seat down all the time and men need the seat down for a portion of the time.

Based on this fact, the fact that engineers by nature try to find ways to minimize energy expenditure, and the fact that the seat has more potential energy to be harnessed in moving from up to down than vice-versa, down is the most logical position.

This is a much better use of my thought cycles than my job. ;-)

Posted by: briwei at June 15, 2004 12:33 PM

Here's a solution: get a cat and/or dog who would enjoy drinking from the toilet. This teaches the humans in the house not only to put down the seat, but to close the cover as well.

Why on earth don't we just build bathrooms with small urinals as well as toilets? Seems like a reasonable solution to me.

Posted by: Patti M. at June 17, 2004 12:33 PM

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