Chas Jones, Ph.D.

Evolutionary theory 101: Toilets

Evolutionary theory 101: Toilets

In the time of our ancestors, it seemed mind-blowing when somebody started digging a hole before doing his/her business to realize several benefits: 1) Sanitation.  It was cleaner and you were less likely to get sick if you crapped into a hole in the ground and covered it up. 2) Odor control. With a little earthen cover, the eau de feces is much more pleasant. 3) Compost.  The whole mess even seems to go away if you just give it a few months under ground, so you can dig in that same spot once again and do your thing.

Then we decided to upgrade as we dug bigger holes over which we would place platforms unto which our buttocks would sit.  Technological advancement, but we lost some of the benefits of the simple hole covered in dirt.  Lets face it, this is an outhouse.  Many, if not most of my friends in Alaska, actually still use outhouses today because they live in cabins without running water.  1) Outhouses can be clean, but many don’t feel that way.  At least almost all of the stuff, ends up in the hole!  2) Odor control.  Yeah, you wish.  3) Composting?  Well kind of…  Maybe eventually when you bury that big festering pile of stuff, but I bet that you’ll never be brave enough to dig there again! 4) Water conservation!  Well that’s the reason that outhouses exist these days right?  They are typically found in areas that lack running water.

Sure there were various renditions on the outhouse, such as the “head” on historical sailing vessels that traversed the seas of the planet.  Historically, the head for the common sailor was found at the front or rear of the ship, where holes were strategically placed over  the water into which a man (or woman) could do her business.  Now, that was clean.  There was no odor.  It was all recycled by the sea and it required no water!  Not to mention that the impact in the open sea was either beneficial or nominal due to the vast volume and extent of the world’s seas.  What is it that is said about the world’s pollution problem?  The solution to pollution is dilution.

** This is contrast to the current situation where to worlds’ oceans have become a dumping ground for ships and nations world wide.  Our seas are drowning in plastic, toxic waste, and garbage.  Our food and livelihood comes from these waters people!  Once you devastate them, they are not going to be restored very easily!

Then came chamber pots and servants to dispose of them.  It was probably dumped into a nearby river, sea, or hole that would be filled until it was at capacity.

Then came water consuming toilets which eventually would evolve into the toilets that are commonplace in United States households. And then there are variations on those to conserve water (which is great), with low flow toilets, dual volume flushes (depending upon what type of business you have done). Please note that I do not want to suggest that these are the height of the recent evolution of toilets, because there are obviously several evolutionary tracks that toilets have taken.  In places around the world, they use holes in the floor that still utilize water to move the waste from the bathroom into the public sewer system or into a septic system (Italy, India, Japan, and China are places that I have encountered such systems).

Well, the Japanese have decided to push the envelope in terms of toilet innovation.  *Cue the bugles!* Enter the Washlet (by Toto). Its more than just a toilet seat, folks!  It is a Bum Pampering Appliance Extraordinaire!  Not only does it chop, mash, dice, and cube your favorite veggies (okay, not really), but its various forms will have many, if not most, of the following options:

  1. Bidet function for the rear (with pre-warmed water and adjustable pressure)
  2. Bidet function just for women (also with pre-warmed water and adjustable pressure)
  3. Heated toilet seat
  4. Massage function
  5. Automatic deoderizer (aka exhaust fan, with various speeds to maximize its deoderizing effectiveness)
  6. Music! (Yes, music which may include the option for the natural sound of running water, to cover up the sounds of any thing that you may wish to hide)
  7. Drying function (using heated air to dry anything that has gotten wet using the bidet)
  8. Anti-bacterial seat

Yes folks, we are talking EVOLUTION!  I introduce unto you, the Washlet by Toto!

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