Cruise ships dump a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean every year

Cruise ships are not the most environmentally friendly vacation destinations on the planet. In fact, according to the latest Cruise Ship Report Card by Friends of the Earth, they might be about the worst. These floating resorts dump over a billion gallons of sewage into the open ocean every year. In a sense, every… » 12/09/14 12:04pm 12/09/14 12:04pm

Poop, Giant Snails, Men's Legs: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Mapping human poo in San Francisco. Tracking stinky snails in Florida. And coming up with a way to tell men that if they could just learn to close their legs, please, the NYC subway would suck so much less for everyone. Be forewarned, it's kind of a gross edition of What's Ruining Our Cities. » 11/23/14 2:00pm 11/23/14 2:00pm

Kohler Is Manufacturing a Solar-Powered Toilet With The Gates Foundation

Globally, about 2.5 billion people don't have access to basic sanitation facilities. One of the biggest initiatives to improve this statistic comes from the Gates Foundation, which sponsors an annual challenge to reinvent the toilet. Now big-time bathroom manufacturer Kohler is making one of the winning ideas a… » 11/20/14 12:42pm 11/20/14 12:42pm

Paris unclogs its sewers with giant balls of iron

Though it's been around since the Middle Ages, the sewer system beneath Paris won fame in the 19th century, when the city offered boat tours through the tunnels. This is also when an ingenious method for cleaning clogged tunnels was devised. It involves giant balls of iron and a lot of velocity. » 9/22/14 4:44pm 9/22/14 4:44pm

The Evolution of Potty Training Tech

At some point between the terrible twos and terrifying threes, most of us embarked on a pilgrimage to the great ceramic bowl in the sky. It was a long journey, which left in its wake frustrated parents, soiled sheets, and tiny mounds of ill-timed poop. But over time, with practice and patience, we collectively… » 9/17/14 5:15pm 9/17/14 5:15pm

This Custom Poop-Chute Dispenses Droppings for Lions to Play With

There's a lion in the San Francisco Zoo that absolutely adores rhino dung: loves smelling it; loves rolling in it. A team of Stanford students found this out during a design-build course, and you know what they did? Those undergrads developed a custom three-pronged poop-chute for the lion lair. » 9/16/14 3:25pm 9/16/14 3:25pm

How a Cat Poop Parasite Could Help Scientists Beat Cancer

This week, a team of researchers at Dartmouth announced an exciting, if terribly disgusting, medical discovery. A single-celled parasite usually found in cats' intestines—and later in their poop—shows unique promise as a cancer treatment. The researchers even think the parasite could enable them to create personalized… » 7/17/14 7:11pm 7/17/14 7:11pm

Did A "Field of Human Excrement" By The White House Kill A President?

If you remember President William Henry Harrison from U.S. history class at all, then you probably remember him as the poor fellow who died from pneumonia a month after delivering his inaugural address in freezing rain. Except was it really pneumonia after all? A New York Times article suggests a different theory, and… » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

These Solar-Thermal Toilets Are Carbon-Sequestering Charcoal Factories

More than a quarter of all people—some 2.5 billion humans—still lack access to basic sanitation services. But thanks to this revolutionary solar-powered toilet, even the most remote throws of civilization will be granted both a safe place to poop and a means of turning their business into brown gold. » 3/16/14 4:00pm 3/16/14 4:00pm

Need a Fecal Transplant? There's a Poop Bank For That

By now, you've probably heard of the miracle that is the fecal transplant. When antibiotics become useless against infections by the nasty bacterium Clostrium difficile, a slurry of human feces—full of "good" bacteria—piped into the gut can fix things up quick and cheap. The problem has always been a reliable source… » 2/13/14 9:40am 2/13/14 9:40am

Exploding Hog-Manure Foam Is Costing Farmers Millions

Hog farmers across the country are dealing with a pretty shitty problem. A mysterious fecal foam has begun bubbling up from beneath barn floors, down in the darkness where pig manure falls, burping dangerous quantities of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Sometimes, though, it ignites, blowing up not just the barn but all… » 12/02/13 5:30pm 12/02/13 5:30pm

This Fake Poop Is Helping Designers Test the Toilet of the Future

Toilet tech is no longer the oft-overlooked subject it once was, and much of that is thanks to the Gates Foundation, which has made helping the 3.5 billion people lacking access to clean toilets one of its main missions. But how does one test the durability of potential cost-effective commodes? By using fake poop, of… » 11/19/13 1:20pm 11/19/13 1:20pm