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  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:54 pm on November 11, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , experimental high tech bathrooms, , Public toilets, , , Toilets, Tower Records, , Urinal   

    Crouching Tourist, Hidden Bathroom 

    One of the most annoying things about New York and many other American cities is the lack of pubic bathrooms. There are no paid privately ran WCs like in Europe, so tourists mostly rely on McDonalds and Starbucks stores for bathroomage (if it’s not a word, we have the technology to make it one).

    There are a few other esoteric choices like subway bathrooms – despite the popular wisdom that there are none, most terminal stations and big hubs have open bathrooms, which are scary and extremely dirty, but are sometimes functioning. In all of my years in NYC I wasn’t brave enough to actually use one. I have seen a few experimental high tech bathrooms, sort of 24th century port-o-johns around the city. The one that I used once had a five minute time limit after which the doors opened and the floor was automatically cleaned.

    But if you are to experience the NYC’s ultimate hidden, but public bathroom, you need to visit the Trump Tower (725 Fifth Avenue at 56th Street ). There is a doorman next to a set of doors that you can see swung open when an unlucky Apprentice is being expelled, but it’s not going to open for you. You need to enter through revolving doors reserved for regular shmoes. But inside you’ll find a huge pink marble lobby housing a public mall, complete with a multistoried lighted waterfall, Starbucks, Tower Records, a small booth hawking “You are fired” t-shirs and mugs, a bunch of luxury stores, a deli counter and – you guessed it – one of New York’s best public restrooms.

    Almost everything in the building is adorned with a “T” or with Turmp’s “family crest”. I was expected to see it on trashcans and urinals, but I guess The Donald did not want to go that far with branding. Men’s bathroom has grey marble surfaces and is well maintained. I expected it to be more lavish, but it is still better than the rest.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:13 pm on April 21, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Dan Rather, , , Howard Stern, , Rock music, , , Toilets, Toto, Toto Ltd., Washlet   

    Rise of The Machine or Deadprogrammer’s Throne 

    Remember I was lamenting the lack of robots in my household? Well, I went ahead and did something about that. I am a proud owner of a butt washing robot.

    Yep, I purchased a top of the line Toto S300 Washlet (Jasmin). It looks kind of like that, except I have a different model toilet, different mosaic tile on the floor and walls and an orchid that I bought at the Rockefeller Center Orchid show instead of the vase with a lily. But the idea is the same.

    Now, think about the question that Howard Stern’s co-host asked Dan Rather. “Do you check after you’re done wiping?” And how many times do you have to check before you are satisfied with results? Toto washlet seat does an amazingly good job of washing your ass. I mean, squeaky clean. Really.

    Being top of the line, Jasmine seat comes with really amazing features. Believe it or not, it forces air through a deodorizing filter while you do your duty. And the dryer works much better than I expected. Yes, you have to wait a minute or two, so you should keep some toilet paper around if you need to dry yourself in a hurry.

    The machine is so smart that it remembers when you usually use it and turns itself off to preserve energy during “off peak” hours. Still, even when it enters “sleep mode” water heats up instantly and is always at the temperature that you set it. Well, almost, maybe the first couple of seconds it’s a bit colder, but not freezing cold.

    The remote control is very, very usable. I like how they hid rarely used buttons under the top cover. Cleaning is a snap.

    The only thing that is not so cool is a big fat wire loop that you can’t see on the pictures on Toto’s website. It’s located on the right side of the seat and I got to tell you, it look like that wire on the side of Borg’s head.

    I guess it’s there to remind us about the dark side of technology.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:29 am on May 27, 2002 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Space toilet, Toilets,   

    Mom, I wanna be an astronaut 

    According to How To Become an Astronaut FAQ I need to do the following:

    • If you aren’t a US citizen, become one; that is a must. — Check
    • Forget computer programming entirely; it will be done from the ground for the foreseeable future. — — Wait a minute. Forgetting, forgetting, OK, done.
    • Practice public speaking, and be conservative and conformist in appearance and actions; — Does Live Journal Count?
    • Get a Ph.D —Nah, too lazy.
    • Be in good physical condition, with good eyesight. — Mmmm, that’s tough
    • The image you want is squeaky-clean workaholic yuppie. — Yuppies in Space, now that’s interesting

    But I am applying anyway, even if just to get a rejection letter.

    Maybe I am never going to get to use a space toilet, but I am buying these for long fishing trips.

    Now, this is disturbing.

     
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