Friday, November 21, 2008

Bad plumbing at the space station

This image from Wikipedia illustrates a typical squat toilet, that Americans call a "French" toilet with good reason because it is common in France, but the French call it "Turkish."

I read the announcement that the "Space station's new urine recycler has glitches" with glee.
I am not surprised. In close to three quarters of a century, I have never seen decent plumbing anywhere. I am left to admire what the Romans did over 2000 years ago. It is frustrating that we made such progress in quantum physics, in the understanding of the universe, with the new world communication, and I still cant find a competent plumber.

Well, it is not quite true. Years ago, I was waiting for a colleague at Orly airport and the plane was late, so I got to talk with a guy who was waiting for the same plane. I expected a chemist, he expected a plumber.
-"We just finished a new bathroom for a sheik", the man said. I was horrified:
- "Are you telling me that we export French plumbing?" I asked somewhat bluntly.
-"We are the best in the world, the man said, nobody equals us in solid gold plumbing."

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