(Roughly) Daily

Proving the obvious…

From Scientific American, “Duh! 11 Obvious Science Findings of 2011“… including such gems as:

Image: Flickr/Judy van der Velden

Pigs love mud
Turns out pigs aren’t just putting on a show when they haul butt around their muddy quarters, diving into the muck. They actually like it. While mud baths keep pigs cool, a review of research reported in 2011 found wallowing may also be a swine sign of well-being. While the review found the strongest reason noted in the past studies for wallowing was to keep cool, the pigs kept it up through winter months.

See them all– smoking pot and driving isn’t safe!  unsafe sex is more likely after drinking!  plus another eight– here.  (And then check out “Doh! Top Science Journal Retractions of 2011“… turns out, for instance, that the MMR vaccine [for measles, mumps and rubella] wasn’t linked to autism after all, and that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome wasn’t demonstrated to be the result of a retrovirus…)

As we polish our paradigms, we might recall that it was on this date in 1863 that Thomas Crapper demonstrated the one-piece pedestal flushing toilet that still bears his name in many parts of the English-speaking world.

The flushing toilet was invented by John Harrington in 1596; Joseph Bramah patented the first practical water closet in England in 1778; then in 1852, George Jennings received a patent for the flush-out toilet.  Crapper’s  contribution was promotional:  In a time when bathroom fixtures were barely mentionable, Crapper, who was trained as a plumber, set himself up as a “sanitary engineer”; he heavily promoted “sanitary” plumbing and pioneered the concept of the bathroom fittings showroom.  His efforts were hugely successful; he scored a series of Royal Warrants (providing lavatories for Prince, then King Edward, and for George V) and enjoyed huge commercial success.

source (book available here)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

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