The Golden Poo Awards. Really.

Toilet humor (humour) has moved out of the school yard and into the studios of some of the UK’s most creative animators. I thought I was good at the potty puns and chuckles, but the threshold has been raised to astounding heights with the winners of the short film “Golden Poo Awards” announced October 15th. In fact, it’s so over the top, I spent a few minutes pondering if it could be some sort of prank!

PooP Creative (really!) and The London International Animation Festival (LIAF) jointly promoted the competition to tackle the serious issues of sanitation and hygiene in an edgy, irreverent and humorous way.

And “the issues” aren’t limited to the poorer, less developed regions of the world. According to the site,

How Dirty Are YOU? More than 1 in four people have faecal matter on their hands! Britain’s 12M cases of norovirus, gastroenteritis, MRSA, E-Coli and now Swine Flu infections are mainly down to dirty hands. (Dirty Hands Study via London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

I think they succeeded splendidly…the films are creative, funny, engaging, expressive and memorable. Following the top 2 entries, see more here at the Golden Poo Awards site.

First Place: Dancing In The Loo by Delphine Mandin

Second Place: A Film About Poo by Emily Howells & Anne Wilkins

In Full Surround! L.A. Mass Freak-Out over Rain

It almost never rains in Southern California, but when it does… “We’re going to have a mass panic on our hands.” Comedian Mark Iverson’s movie parody, Rain: H2O…NO pulls out every widescreen cliche you can think of for this hysterical “trailer” that captures the high drama of Los Angelenos freaking out as the storm clouds gather.

This was posted to YouTube last May, but we missed it until, thankfully, the L.A. Now Blog at latimes.com brought it onto our Doppler radar.

When Protozoa Came to the Big Screen

Fierce and cannibalistic! The battle to the death will be primitive and unmerciful! This is not a sensational film coming to your local multiplex, but a way-back look back at 76-year old street science.

These days, we can watch protozoa battling on screen whenever we’re online, but in 1933 this was shocking, amazing stuff! The article from the February, 1933 issue of Modern Mechanix covers the jaw-dropping marvel that awaited visitors to that year’s World’s Fair Hall of Science…a protozoa death-match unfolding in a single drop of water. (Side note: deflation! Was 25¢, now 15¢!) The article in its entirety:

Screening Fierce Battle in Drop of Water

YOU might not believe it, but ferocious and cannibalistic battles are staged every moment of the day in the drops of water that make up the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world.

A few of these battles are to be brought to the screen for the amusement and amazement of visitors to the Hall of Science at the 1933 World’s Fair. What will make this feat possible is a special projector which throws on the screen in a greatly magnified scale what is seen at the eyepiece of a powerful microscope.

Drops of water containing various species of unfriendly protozoa will be joined on the slide under the microscope connected with the projector. The battle to the death will be primitive and unmerciful, for protozoa are hungry and they ask no quarter and give no quarter. The artist’s drawing above shows how the projector and screen will be rigged up for the show.

And looking closer, the devil really is in the details! What are these creatures doing battle? Are there any microbiologists out there who can identify these “unfriendly protozoa?

Detail: Two unfriendly, unidentified protozoans

Not having any microbiology reference works available, our “research department” turned to a freely available tool, the Tin Eye reverse image search engine, which diligently checked 1.12 billion images but failed to find anything quite like it across the wild, wide expanse of the Internet.

All the Hip Toilets are Wearing These

If you think there’s not much you can do with the bland look of white porcelain, the cooler-than-us people at Hu2 Design have come up with something affordable, impermanent and way, way out there. Their “Smart Vinyl Laboratory” features vinyl stickers can be applied to any smooth surface…like this one! And renters, note, they are completely removable.

A bargain at £20, given the huge amount of attention you can expect to get from any guests who may use your facilities!

The Visual Water Dictionary: Slurry

The Visual Water Dictionary attempts to cut confusion on ambiguous water terminology with easy visual references.

Today’s term: Slurry

Slurry is a liquid mixture of insoluble matter resulting from some pollution control techniques, such as the water used to remove impurities from coal. Slurry has been known to pollute local drinking water supplies by seeping into groundwater, lakes or streams.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: F
(Massive points deducted for creepy moniker and filthy constitution.)

Coal slurry water in a West Virginia lagoon. Photo © The New York Times

Often confused with Surrey

A Surrey is a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with 2 or 4 seats. The most popular models are shiny and little with fringe on the top. Surreys have been known to pollute transportation corridors with large malodorous deposits of equine waste.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: B
(Points deducted for low speed, rough handling and manure byproducts.)

A shiny little fringe-topped Surrey. Photo: BowmanCarriage.com

Often confused with…Slurpee

Slurpee is a semi-frozen, carbonated drink sold by 7-Eleven stores (originally sold as Icees). Slurpee drinks are served fountain-style at a frosty 28 degrees. Slurpees have been known to pollute automobiles by seeping between seats into upholstery and floor mats.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: A-
(Minor points deducted for obesity-inducing sugar content and the lack of drive-through purchase option.)

A typical 7-11 Slurpee dispenser

Previous entries in the Visual Water Dictionary:
Cake
Mixed Liquor
Oasis

10 Weird Water Items Available Now on Ebay

It’s the Thirsty in Suburbia Super Water Flea! Following are 10 hand-picked examples of rare, unusual and weird water-related merch just waiting for your winning bid. (We count the purchase of vintage items towards your recycling/reuse do-gooder ranking!)

1. Brass Dowsing Rods Finds water! Plus treasure and lost items, too! These rods are made of brass with copper handles. The handle/sleeves give the rods plenty of room to move and any dent or bend won’t affect the rods. Get your shovel ready, your new well is on the way! Starting bid $9.99

2. Drive someone slowly, excruciatingly mad with the  New Dripping Tap Noise Maker Joke $5.99 Hide this little item and when the lights are out It it makes a noise like a dripping tap. When the lights go on, it stops…so the victim never finds its.

3. For $299 a Vintage Retro 2-head porcelain water fountain. Made in the USA, too! Seller notes it would be an interesting detail to a home or business. I’ll say! (You pick it up in central New York…will not fit in a flat-rate box.) Don’t laugh… remember the fab thing that Katie made from an old tub?)

4. Jack and Jill Water Carrier vintage pins/fur clips Their little moonglow stone bodies, cute buckets of blue stones and pave rhinestone outfits make toting heavy water buckets seem glamorous! Lobbyists, these would be awesome to wear when you’re power-tripping up “The Hill” to fetch some support for your water issue! Get the set for $139.99.

5. Vintage desert water bag “Imported flax” water bag is in “very good condition with a few small water spots as you would expect.” This is what your Grandpa would have on hand should his automobile overheat over while motoring through the desert miles from civilization. Now? Might make jaunty decor for a Santa Fe TGI Fridays.

6. Filter, schmilter. The bidding starts at $3.50 for this 10 oz. box of Old Settler Water Clear. It was made in Findlay Ohio and has the price of 13 cents stamped on the top of the box. The box includes directions on how to use the product to clear dirty water. (Better jump on this… it’s no longer “Sold by All Grocers.”)

7. For $4.95, buy a Rain of Las Vegas Nevada Water Treatment Patch. Original purpose and origin not known. Why buy such a thing? Because then you would have it. Simple as that.

8. $9.95 Bottled Water from Sheri’s Ranch, the “world famous brothel” in Pahrump, Nevada. I can’t decide whether it is sensible or senseless to buy bottled water at a brothel. Buy with confidence, I’m told “the government” regulates both of them.

9. Black Water Clear Water Magic Trick Amaze your friends and enemies by turning ordinary water an eerie dark black and then clear again! $17.50 (This item Involves mysterious unidentified chemicals.) Water treatment professionals: try this stunt at your next public forum and I’ll bet you win unanimous support for your proposal!

10. Vintage Ohio Art Tin Litho Water Pump featuring Jack and Jill! 10″ tall antique toy in very good condition. A nostalgic throwback to the old days, when children played outside and running water was a workout. Two bidders already in, $20.49 at this writing.

Riches, Chicks, Eternal Life…I’m on a Boat!

Owning a boat from Water Werks will make you a real man! (Some restrictions apply.) Yes, this is a real ad and not a parody. If humor sells, this Illinois boat dealer should brace for a flood of new business. The hilarious commercial revels in it’s krazy, low-brow, bad-production-value approach… and succeeds gloriously.

And it reminds me, in broad concept anyway, of this infectious Saturday Night Live clip, “I’m on a Boat.” (Warning: contains a boat-load of explicit lyrics.)
I’m on a Boat (feat. T-Pain).

The Visual Water Dictionary: Cake

The Visual Water Dictionary attempts to cut confusion on ambiguous water terminology with easy visual references. (Thanks to Nancy Swartz for suggesting today’s entry!)

Today’s term: Cake

1. In the final stages of wastewater treatment, Cake is the dried material produced when sludge is de-watered. It is usually used as a fertilizer or transported to a landfill.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: C-
(points deducted for vile odor and uneasiness about the health implications of land application.)

Dry cake produced from wastewater sludge (Photo: www.eocp.org)

Often confused with…
2. Cake is a moist and delicious material produced when certain ingredients (including water) are mixed and baked. It is often used in celebrations. Packaging and broken-down ingredients usually end up in landfill.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: B-
(Points deducted for caloric count; unlike wastewater cake, this type is less desirable when dry.)

A slice of cake, birthday celebratory type

A slice of cake, birthday celebratory type

 Often confused with…
3. Cake is band from Sacramento, California noted for their dry humor and droll lyrics. This Cake is usually used at parties or on individual iPod players.

Thirsty in Suburbia desirability grade: A
(1994, Cake recorded a song titled You Part the Waters; Cake’s recording studio is solar powered. )

The band Cake

The band Cake

Past entries in the Visual Water Dictionary:
Mixed Liquor
Oasis