Thebastidge: Not exactly high-tech
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    ********************Southwest Washington Surplus, your prepping supply store********************

    Saturday, May 19, 2007

    Not exactly high-tech

    Maybe this one should be a Partiot's Journey post, but I don't feel like waiting, and I'm sure I can find more significant Patriot posts to make, :)

    The building I work in had golden toilets when I got here. Not solid gold, but the ceramic had gold trace-work on it. I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but it's like the gold striping on some ceramic/China dishes.

    The funny thing is, they didn't work very well. We still have a little bit of this ceramic work in our 'facilities' but the main plumbing had to be replaced because it just didn't work. I've written and commented about the phenomena before, but it amazes me that such basic techology, well within the reach of any country in the world, still manages to fail to reach market in so much of the world. This is technology that can be created by hand, from basic materials, anywhere, and is mature technology- well over 100 years old. This is in what is essentially an annex to a freakin' Palace, where money was not an object, but the toilets didn't work.

    Most of the world cannot seem to make a toilet flush properly.

    We have new commodes now- the golden crappers are gone, the only reminder being the toilet paper holders and towel racks. The new toilets work much better, but still don't work quite right. For one thing, they break constantly. One of them, when it broke most recently, the guys replaced the flushing mechanism with some odd vacuum-pumped cock-ball mechanism. Even more strange, it has a little vent hole in the top, so you not only have to pump the button to generate vacuum to flush the toilet, you have to make sure to cover the vent hole with your thumb or you end up pumping several times. Which makes a "courtesy flush" pretty much impossible, since this pump button is square in the middle of the water tank behind you and takes more than a single finger's pressure to depress.

    And for some reason, the concept of the P-trap, a cheap, easy solution to sewer gas smell, just seems impossible for most of the world to grasp.

    One of the things you notice about the Western World, but America in particular, when you spend time somewhere else, is that many minor, tiny, little elements of life just work well together. We engineer for lifestyle as well as basic function. The polished, well-integrated technology e use on a daily basis is not always flashy, but the subtle harmony in whihc it typically works is more impressive than the flashy stuff, when you get right down to it.


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