Tag Archives: Poop

My New-ish Expertise

Being a fake medical expert has become a bit passe, frankly.  And that expertise came after my rarely discussed time as environmental science expertise honed as a lowly paralegal/legislative & regulatory assistant/lobbyist.

So I figure I’m ready for a new challenge.  And just in time for World IBD Day, I’m takin’ on physics!

The Physics of Poop, of course.  And I think you will agree that I do have the expertise.  And the, ummm, credentials.  And I don’t have to go far for sample collection.

You see, there’s an article I read.  (Of course there’s an article.)

The Physics of Poop

You know it’s a good article, because this is the photo that accompanies the article:

Elephant Poop

This critter has nothin’ on me.  Except maybe on my shoes  Credit: Barry Kusama Getty Images

The authors, David Hu and Patricia Yang, studied poop every which way but Sunday.  Well, maybe Sunday, too.  Because there are some chores that simply must be done 7 days a week.

They discovered that herbivores produced “floaters” and carnivores plopped “sinkers.”  And apparently “stinkers” too, as tigers apparently have the stinkiest poop and panda poop is positively precious.

Bigger animals, not surprisingly, are more prodigious poopers, but interestingly, the speed of poop production is similar regardless of the size of the animal:

Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It’s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog’s, at 10 milliliters.

In all honesty, the attraction of the article wasn’t the significant increase in my already vast knowledge and understanding of poop.

Nope. There were two reasons.

First, it’s the fact that this article alerted me to the existence of NASA’s

Space Poop Challenge

I think you will admit that I should be an automatic contender.

More importantly, this article gave me something to write about to celebrate World IBD Day.  And while I personally celebrate every day, you, personally can have fun with poop on World IBD Day.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

***

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!  After this post went to press, I found this article.

When Birds of a Feather Poop Together

Golly.  Studying poop has become a 24/7 commitment for me.

You’re welcome.

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Only I Would Call It “Poop Week”

In May 2012, about a year after I started blogging, I came out of the closet here on FiftyFourAndAHalf.  Out of the water closet that is.  I fessed up.

I posted this:

My life is shitty.

No, no, no.  I can’t say that, they’ll think I’m suicidal.

My life is in the toilet.

Ditto.

Saturday, May 19th is World IBD Day.  World Irritable Bowel Disease Day.

That’s it!

Recently I learned about this, umm, holiday.  It is a very personal one for me.  Way more personal than I want to admit.  But of course it’s not my fault.   I blame my sister, Judy.

You see, some time in the late sixties Judy pasted a picture on the front of the medicine cabinet above the toilet in our one bathroom.

*

Little did I know at whatever tender age I was that that picture would illustrate my life.  Because in 1972, not long after it went up, I found out that I had ulcerative colitis.  An inflammatory bowel disease.  The bloody flux.  I was in and out of the bathroom and the hospital for much of my teens and early 20s.  What a blast!

Long story short, it ended up that I didn’t have colitis!  But we only found that out when a bunch of men (led by Dr. Herbert Hoover) came at me with knives, removed my large intestine and reorganized my plumbing.  That was when they found out that I really had Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s Disease, is, well, worse.  Partly because I can’t for the life of me spell it.  But also because it means I still spend way too much time in the bathroom (although I am very well read).  Oh, and it can affect the entire rest of your body.  Trust me when I say it’s nasty, and that there is no cure.  I would be delighted if that were to change in my lifetime.

*****

Fast forward to now, today, December 7, 2016.  Today ends Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week.  There will be a Thunderclap of posts, and tweets, blogs, and Facebook postings to call attention to Crohn’s and Colitis — to Irritable Bowel Disease — diseases that are often “invisible.” Because unless a person goes onto the Internet and proclaims that their life is in the toilet, well, nobody knows.  Unless perhaps if they are in the next stall.

In all seriousness, 1.6 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from Crohn’s or colitis.  These diagnoses are life changing — they cramp not just your gut, but your life.  Your life really does revolve around the toilet.

So I have a favor to ask of you guys.

You’ve all been wonderful, supportive friends, who have laughed with me about my poop problems.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Or maybe just from my bottom.

But here is the favor.

I have been working with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to get member of the House of Representatives to join the Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus.  These Representatives will, hopefully, help direct funding into research towards a cure.  To, in fact, get me (and 1,599,999 others) off the pot.

Please send an email to your Congressman/woman (you can find their information here:  http://www.house.gov/representatives/) and ask them to join the Caucus.  In fact, just cut and paste this into the email/form:

PLEASE JOIN THE CONGRESSIONAL CROHN’S & COLITIS CAUCUS!

Led by Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-4) and Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), the Congressional Crohn’s & Colitis Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to educating their colleagues and the American public on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The Caucus works together to raise awareness, support IBD medical research, and protect patient access to care. The Caucus also works to assert the patient perspective in regulatory decision-making, including the development of a biosimilar regulatory pathway. To join or to learn more information, please contact Matthew Moore in Rep. Crenshaw’s office (matthew.moore@mail.house.gov; 202-225-2501), or Dana Miller in Rep. Lowey’s office (dana.miller@mail.house.gov; 202-225-6506).

Thanks.  You guys are the best.

be-idvisible

 

 

 

 

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I’d Like To Buy The World A …

You’ve been asking for more poop from me.  Be careful what you wish for.

Because today is World Toilet Day!

This morning, I was inspired as shit by my friend Judy when she alerted me to the arrival of World Toilet Day (which I’d somehow forgotten?!?) and to Mr. Toilet himself.  And to this article.

Mr. Toilet is my hero.  Seriously.

Mr. Toilet was not born with that name.  Nope, Mr. Toilet is actually a rich, big-hearted man named Jack Sim who wants to do good in the world with the shitload of money he made in construction.  So, being flush with cash, Jack was inspired when he read a statement by his country’s (Singapore) then prime minister:

He said we should measure our graciousness according to the cleanliness of our public toilets.

As a travel lover, let me tell you that nothing, and I do mean nothing, says “welcome” like a clean, accessible toilet.   (As a Crohn’s patient, however, I stay home a lot.)

As I said last year on this auspicious occasion,

The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important.  People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go.  Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.

The "F-diagram" (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing. Source WikipediaThe “F-diagram” (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing.
Source Wikipedia

Mr. Toilet founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001.  As Judy’s article says:

It’s a nonprofit coalition of leaders from more than 40 countries who try to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the world’s sanitation and water problems.

Together these loo lovers started the World Toilet College and SaniShop, initiatives that train entrepreneurs not only to make household toilets but also to maintain them and market them in the developing world. More than 4,000 people have been trained since 2005; the WTO says that up to 10,000 toilets were assembled in 2010 alone.

But it’s the way Mr. Toilet wants to go about increasing toilets that hit me where I live.

So first you have to make owning a toilet not just rational but aspirational. You have to make a toilet come with bragging rights, like a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Aspiration is important, as you can see even rich people have really nice toilets — they go for the highest level all the time. So this is the same as the poor people. They aspire to own products that have bragging rights, like a cellphone or television. The psychology is exactly the same.

He wants to first make owning and using a toilet funny, then sexy, and then normal.  He wants to remove the taboo on poo.  He wants people to laugh about, talk about and sing about toilets.

Here.  I’ll help.

Who knew that World Toilet Day would lead me to find the theme song for my life.

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Hallelujah(?)

Like many of you, I still wake in the night with a knot in my stomach.  It’s Donald Trump, of course.  He’s making me sick.  He’s making me anxious.  He’s making me unusually serious.

But of course, we are all here in this country — although I think all of us want to pack our bags and leave a country that just elected such a seriously flawed man.  A man who cheats, and lies and treats all non-white men as if they are less than human.

This video has helped me.  It reminded me that I’m part of the loyal opposition — loyal to the system of government as it should act under the Constitution.  That I’m an American and I value my institutions and I will fight against tyranny. That I am descended from immigrants who helped build our country.

That I have to be part of the solution.  Whatever that may be.

Oh and that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2 million votes, at last count.

Hallelujah.

 

 

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Not Me. Really

It’s true.  I’m a dog person.

But I do like other animals.  Most other animals in fact.  And just because I’m a dog person doesn’t mean I don’t like cats.  I do!

And I do talk about poop a lot.  So I understand why you might be thinking that this is me, that I made this video.

But it’s not.  I didn’t.

In fact, I wouldn’t have found it except that I was reading a post over at The Bloggess. 

Jenny was using Google’s auto-complete function to see what would happen if she typed in “Jenny likes”.  I thought it would be fun to see what Elyse likes.

It turns out I like to poop on cats.

 

I never knew.

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I Really Don’t Look for this Shit

Yeah, I know you don’t believe me. But I don’t go looking for this shit.  Really.

It’s just that, well, I spend a lot of time reading the news.  Because after all, you depend on me to let you know which way is up.  Or which way is down.  Or maybe just getting flush with it.

Because you see, a new museum has opened up, and we all need to get our asses over there.  — Mark, are you paying attention????

National Poo Museum opens doors on Isle of Wight

Just in time for you to plan your summer vacation! Can you imagine a better reward for your children, who suffered through the British Museum, the Tower of London and Madam Tussaud’s,  than the prize at the end of the tunnel than the National Poo Mueum?  The National Poo Museum, you will not be surprised to learn, is a museum dedicated to excrement, with examples from the animal and human world.

And it’s just opened up!

There are 20 kinds of poo captured in resin — who needs to bury or flush?

Poo Museum 1BBC Photo.  Because who else would claim this picture?

Because I couldn’t possibly make this up, I will just let you know exactly what they are producing at this museum:

The exhibition at the Isle of Wight Zoo features faeces from animals such as elks and lions as well as a human baby.

The National Poo Museum has been created by members of the artist collective Eccleston George.

“Poo is all around us and inside us, but we ignore it,” said co-curator Daniel Roberts.

Twenty illuminated resin spheres show off the different types of faeces with facts hidden behind toilet lids on the museum walls.

Poo Museum 2

They have handsome men offering fun activities.  Look!  Weigh your poo!  (But I promise you, this is a contest I would win.)

There is old poo and new poo.  Dino poo.  Seriously, if you have ever dreamed of dinosaur poo, this is your golden opportunity to see it.  Well, it’s probably more like black gold (Texas tea).

And I truly believe that what they say about poop is true:

“Small children naturally delight in it but later we learn to avoid this yucky, disease-carrying stuff, and that even talking about poo is bad,” he said.

“But for most of us, under the layers of disgust and taboo, we’re still fascinated by it.”

This is why I blog.

 

 

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More Than Three Wishes– Updated with Video

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wished on stars. And based on the fact that I’ve had a pretty good life, I’m quite certain that many of my wishes have come true.

However, there is a long list of things I’ve been wishing for for a while now, that just haven’t quite materialized.

For example:

An end to war, poverty, disease and hunger.

Reversal of global climate change so that our planet doesn’t die

Return of the collective brains of the GOP

What the fuck happened to those wishes, I wonder.

Until today, I just figured I hadn’t had enough opportunities to wish for the important things. Because it often takes more than one wish to achieve those things.

I realized that in order to fulfill my deepest desires, I need to get more wishes.  I need to see more shooting stars.

And now I know how.

You see, I just read this morning that there is a modern day source for many of the shooting stars we see.

Poop

Astronaut Poop to be exact.

It’s true.  I read the news today, oh boy.  Only, sadly I can’t get this video  to embed.  So you need to click on that link.  Or this one.  It’s the same link.

And I learned that when it is, ummmmmm, flushed, well, astronaut poop becomes a shooting star.

Updated — with VIDEO!

So, in order to get all my wishes to come true, and you will agree, they are completely selfless, wonderful wishes, well, the answer is simple.

If I were to go up in space, with my Crohn’s Disease in full, well, flush, we could even get Donald Trump to shut up.

You’re welcome!

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