Posts Tagged ‘toilets’

Disturbing video has emerged of police in the US reportedly removing a lesbian woman from a ladies’ room because they ‘didn’t believe she was a woman’.

The video, which was posted on Facebook, begins with police officers approaching the woman in the bathroom line and asking her to leave the facility.

She responds to their requests: “I’m a f—ing female. Do I have to tell you again?”

One of the officers answers, asking her if she has ID.

 

The officers can be heard in the video asking the woman to “get out” a number of times because she doesn’t have ID. Source: Tamara McDaniel Facebook.

Another woman in the bathroom can be heard saying ‘she’s a girl’ as the same officer repeatedly asks her to leave, telling her:

“If you’ve got no ID, get out.”

It appears that at least one of the officers places their hands on the woman as she’s being moved, before they all come to a stop in the hallway where the officers point towards the door as they again tell her to leave.

At least one of the officers appears to put his hands on the woman. Source: Tamara McDaniel Facebook

Another woman can be heard in the background saying: “So you’re saying you have to have ID to go to the bathroom?” Which seems a legitimate question, and one that authorities in America might care to answer.

Blogger Tamara McDaniel posted the video to Facebook about a week ago.

 

The video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times. Souce: Tamara McDaniel Facebook

It has the caption: “Lesbian harassed and forced to leave a public restroom because the police insist she’s a man. Is this what ‘Make America Great Again’ means? This makes me very sad and I want no part of this irrational fear.”

The video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times and has more than 6,000 likes. Quite what male policemen were doing in a Ladies toilet is less clear. They also insist on calling her “sir,” which just seems like deliberate dickishness.

Meanwhile another lesbian who was ejected from the ladies’ room at the Caliente Cab Co. in Greenwich Village filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the Mexican restaurant Tuesday.

Khadijah Farmer, her girlfriend and a pal dropped by the Seventh Ave. South eatery on June 24, after attending the city’s gay pride parade.

But the visit was cut short when a bouncer allegedly told Farmer while she was on the toilet that a customer had complained about a man in the ladies’ room.

“I don’t go out of my way to wear pearls and pink dresses,” Farmer said. “However, I shouldn’t have to.”

Farmer admitted she’s not “the most effeminate woman in the world,” but remains outraged that she was mistaken for a man. She said the bouncer refused to look at an identification card that identifies her as a female.

“Men and women come in all shapes and sizes,” said Farmer, 28. “I should not have been thrown out of the Caliente Cab Co.”

Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said the restaurant didn’t show Farmer much sympathy when she complained about the incident.

“Their response was that Khadijah can have a free meal, which is the equivalent of flipping us the bird,” Silverman said.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court demands that Caliente Cab Co. provide sensitivity training for its workers and seeks an unspecified amount of money.

Caliente Cab Co. fired back with a statement that denies wrongdoing and accuses Farmer of being out for money. “[Farmer] is not interested at all in getting at the truth here,” the statement said, noting that Farmer was “threatening continuous weekly protests of our business rather than expose the facts to the light of day in an appropriate forum.”

So. Yeah. If you want to take a pee in today’s USA, remember your papers.

OCD-AlphaOrderOnce upon a time, as we have described before, we went down with a bad dose of OCD. That’s the illness caused by f***** up brain chemicals that makes people do things over and over again … tap their feet a certain number of times, never say the letter P, or, most commonly, check that they’ve turned the gas cooker off thirty times or wash their hands repeatedly in very hot water with lots of soap.

We got the germy version. Big time. So we will confess to being 100% more aware of hygiene issues than  the average poor sap, even if that is about 10,000 times less aware of it than we used to be, as we are largely recovered from the illness, thank the Lord.

But being a bit germ aware does actually make some sense in today’s very busy and rushed world. We often take shortcuts with personal hygiene nowadays, or lay ourselves open to risk simply by being unaware, and there are some really nasty bugs around. Anti-biotic resistant staph we know about, and the world is positively swimming in E.coli (literally, often) which can make us very unwell, not to mention salmonella, which can hospitalise or kill you. (We have had members of our family go down with it – mythology it ain’t.)

Er, no thanks,

Er, no thanks,

So here’s today’s list of ten things you really need to think about. Even if you haven’t got OCD.

Unless you/re eating in this toilet-themed restaurant in China you wouldn’t eat off your toilet. But you might be surprised at the items that are dirtier in your world.

So 1. Your cell phone.

Your cellphone is disgusting. Trust me. It is an absolute holiday resort for germs.

If you don’t believe me, go here, where you can actually find out how many germs are living on your trusted companion right now.

germs on cell phoneWe are actually quite careful about our phone’s hygiene level, and we got the result that currently, there are 674,100 germs living on our cell phone: that’s the equivalent of 135 toilet seats!

Not that we’re paranoid, or nuffink. But seriously, who washes their hands after using their cell phone?

No 2. Your BBQ grill

Now we know you would never glance at the BBQ and say “I’ll clean it after”, right? Not even once.

You will always rigorously clean your grill immediately after cooking on it, even if you’re sitting down by the pool with a belly full of Vic Bitter and sausages with the biggest food coma of all time on the horizon.

dirty bbqOr even if you did leave it till next time, just that once, you would never hope for the best and stick a steak on top of the charred leavings of last time, on the basis that all the new fire you’re about to crank up is bound to clean up anything that’s grown there since last time? Eh?

Yeah, We hear you.

Just be aware that any food left on your grill immediately becomes a five star Michelin restaurant for nasty bugs of all kinds just floating around merrily in the sunshine.

Cooking on an unclean grill is seriously risking a tummy upset for you and the crowd, at the very least.

3. Your “clean” laundry

clean laundryNot to put too fine a point on it, crap clings to your underwear, whether you can see it or not. When you throw your undies in tub, you transfer about 500 million E. coli bacteria to the machine.

On top of that, water tends to settle in the bottom of front-loading machines, making it a breeding ground for germs. Then you wash your clothes in that mess.

To make sure your clean clothes come out actually clean, do a load of whites first so you can use chlorine bleach to sanitise the machine.

Or dedicate a cycle to underwear and use the hottest water the undies will bear without shrinking with a color-safe bleach substitute.

Also, run an empty cycle with bleach once every month to keep your washer free of bacteria. Easey-peasey.

4. Your toothbrush

Careful. They bite back.

Careful. They bite back.

When you flush your toilet, it can spray aerosolised droplets over six metres, says Dr Philip Tierno Jr, director of microbiology and immunology at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and the author of The Secret Life of Germs. It’s called a “plume”. Such a pretty name for such a horrid thought.

One option is to put the lid of the loo down before flushing. But it’s only a partial solution because it usually isn’t a perfect seal.

So if you leave your toothbrush out on the bathroom sink, it will almost certainly be showered with tiny drops of whatever you just flushed.

Stowing your toothbrush in a cabinet away from the flying faeces might be a good idea. Running it through the dishwasher will also eliminate germs, according to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Dentistry.

As a minimum, run it under a hot tap before using, or an even easier option would be to soak your toothbrush in a mouthwash that contains cetylpyridinium chloride, like Listerine, for 20 minutes.

5. Your kitchen sponge

Your dish or surface sponge is probably the nastiest thing in your kitchen. It’s just out to get you, we tells ya’allkeep-kitchen-sponges-clean-1!

It’s damp and constantly in contact with bacteria, making it a prime place for germs to proliferate.

Rather terrifyingly, there’s a one in three chance your kitchen sponge has staph just sitting on it, according to a Simmons College study. (That’s twice the contamination rate of your toilet.) And it could be harbouring up 10 million bacteria per square inch.

What can you do? Watch it in very hot soapy water or even in a light solution of disinfectant before using. If that seems a step too far, then vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so try dousing it in that, rinse it out with clean hot water, then do the dishes. Throw old sponges and cloths away more often, and use new ones.

6. The buttons in an elevator

5Going up? That elevator button could be crawling with more bacteria than a toilet, a new study from the University of Toronto found. Up to 40 times more.

And another large study from Saudi Arabia found that 97 per cent of elevator buttons in offices and residential buildings are contaminated. One in 10 had germs that could cause food poisoning or sinus infections.

Using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after you press the “up” button should kill any bacteria you picked up, the researchers say. And for elevator button read … door handles, stair handrails … etc.

Sure, it’s not healthy to be constantly using hand sanitiser all day long, but before you touch food that you’re going to put in your mouth? That’s actually a smart idea.

7. Your computer

keyboardHow often do you chow down a sandwich at your desk while tapping away at your computer? Those keys, and now your hands, are swarming in potentially harmful bugs. Especially if more than one person use the computer.

Your hands, the keyboard. Your hands, the sandwich. The sandwich, your mouth. Your mouth, your gut. You get the picture.

But it’s not just your keyboard. It’s other people’s keyboards. And their mice. And other people’s tablets. It’s all because too many people don’t wash their hands thoroughly after visiting the loo despite health experts warning that rushed or ignored hand washing can lead to diarrhoea,vomiting, food poisoning, flu and the spread of MRSA.

Stop it already!

Stop it already!

There’s a new problem looming. British media regulator Ofcom suggest that consumers are so addicted to smartphones and tablet computers that over one in ten – 11%, in fact – now view video content on a device such as the iPad in the bathroom. It’s estimated that around 20% of 18-24 year-olds do so on a regular basis.

And if they’re not washing their hands, you can be damn sure they’re not washing their bloody iPhones and iPads.

8. Your ATM

atm-germsSwab tests recently conducted of public surfaces in six major cities revealed that ATMs are among the worst carriers of illness-causing germs. Starting to get the picture? Anything that is touched regularly by lots of people is a potential source of infection. The problem is very simple – bank staff don’t head outside to clean the keypads on their ATM with anti-bacterial or disinfectant wipes.

The tests showed that 41% of automated teller machine keypads carry germs that can cause colds and the flu.

Washing your hands afterwards or a hand sanitiser after using an ATM will help you in only picking up cold hard cash, and not a cold along with it.

9. The petrol pump.

everything bathroomYour hands could actually be germier after washing them than they were before.

That’s no exaggeration: one 2011 study from the University of Arizona found that one in four refillable soap dispensers in public bathrooms was contaminated and pumped out bacteria.

Another study tested whether those potentially disease-causing germs could be left on your hands after washing.

The short answer: yup.

Hot air dryers can also blow up to 45 per cent more bacteria onto your hands, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

If you have a choice, use soap dispensers that have bags of soap in them that are replaced, rather than those that are refilled by pouring more soap into them.

It might sound nuts, but you can wash the taps (faucet) before you use them, and after washing your hands, use paper towels to dry off, and then use them to turn off the taps and open the door as you leave.

Better momentary embarrassment because someone looks at you strangely than a handful of gut-wrenching oooby-goobries.

So, feel better now? Yeah, us too. Remember these simple rules to drastically reduce the risk to yourself and others.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after going to the toilet.
  • Always wash your hands before eating.

It’s a warzone. Good luck out there.

We know a bit about weird places to put toilets in Australia. Like this one at the junction of Windorah/Bedourie Rd, on the Birdsville Track – at least an hour from the nearest settlement. Why was it there? Who would go all this way just to visit the conveniences? We may never know. Toilets in general though are a more serious, er, issue.

Well, today is World Toilet Day and when you’ve finished sniggering it is important to remember that 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.

Why? Try a few of these stats.

One in three women across the world risks shame, disease, harassment and even attack because they do not have a safe place to go to the toilet. This is unthinkable in the West, but a horrible reality in the developing world and the impact is devastating.

Diarrheal diseases (such as cholera) kill more children than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined, making it the second leading cause of death among children under five.

Plus, absence of clean toilets and inadequate sanitation facilities are key causes of diarrhoeal disease, the second largest killer of children worldwide, causing around 760,000 child deaths every year.

Diarrhoeal disease is also a contributing factor to malnutrition, which in turn can lead to stunted growth and impede cognitive development.

This is a desperate situation. Diarrhoeal disease and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) need to be at the heart of a developed country’s foreign policy and aid efforts.

The UK Liberal Democrat’s party policy on preventing disease and improving health would be a good start for any developed country, aiming to:

  • Ensure 15 million more people have access to safe, clean water
  • Ensure 25 million people have access to proper sanitation facilities

Great progress is being made on this most basic of needs. Diarrhoea-related deaths around the world having declined from 12 million to 7 million in the past two decades. But more needs to be done to ensure that we meet the world’s commitments to Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

Glass of water, anyone?

Leading NGOs such as PATH, Tearfund and WaterAid are working hard to support the development of safe, healthy and productive communities and providing clean drinking water is a key step in freeing people from the misery of diarrhoeal (and many other) diseases.

OK, now this organisation (see below) is one of my favourites. Why not click and find out more? Right now, while you think about it?

Give clean water as a gift. It makes a great Christmas present for anyone you know who (a) will appreciate the gesture because they care about the little people, or (b) needs to appreciate the gesture because they should care more about the little people.

http://www.charitywater.org/

And you can tell all your friends you did something meaningful – splashed out a little? – to celebrate World Toilet Day.

(*OK, only one little sniggery joke. Maybe one and a half. That was pretty good, really.)