feeling self-important


If you askjeeves the following question: what is guilt and internalization, my blog entry from 04/04/06 comes up as the fourth result. It’s one of the first times that a more scholastic post of mine has ever been picked up by a search engine and someone arrived here. I get a lot of visitors with regards to the post on incest (who woulda thunked it?).

As one of the last posts that i will get from reading anything non-scholastic, because i have neither the time nor the money to read newspapers and magazines even though i love them, i will share this Canadian-tidbit with you:

Saturday November 25th, 2006’s Montreal Gazette, by Misty Harris:

Canadian outhouse is ranked among Top 10 in world: Tourism is in the toilet, experts agree;

A Canadian outhouse has been named “one of the world’s most memorable bathrooms” by USA Today in a Top-10 list that includes 24- carat gold toilets from Hong Kong and an International Space Station toilet that defies gravity.

The humble commode, situated outside the Terratima Lodge in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, is a rustic A-frame wonder resembling a wood teepee with no door. Privacy is granted only by the surrounding trees, leaving those who are “doing their business” free to take in the view of the valley below.

Though it may sound absurd, experts say experiential toilets such as the one at Terratima are an increasingly important part of any tourism infrastructure.

According to a study out of Singapore, conducted in co-operation with the World Toilet Association, public restrooms not only influence visitors’ impression of a country, they also draw people to an area and support surrounding services.

You might think of it as the theory of toilet tourism: if you install them, travellers will come.

“What a Visitors Welcome Centre is, essentially, is a toilet stop surrounded by revenue-generating opportunities. That’s what makes them economically viable,” says Richard Chisnell, founding member of the WTA.

Urban tourism officials are getting the message.

This month, Victoria debuted “pop-up” night urinals designed to curb public urination on city streets between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Nocturinals, if you will.

Vancouver city officials, meanwhile, are awaiting the arrival of eight fully automated, high-tech public toilets that self-sanitize as well as monitor the length of time a user is in the restroom to minimize crime.

The Australian government has funded a national toilet map that directs the full-bladdered to one of 14,000 public and private toilets across the country, with online users able to download the loo lowdown onto a Global Positioning System device.

And in Beijing, where more than 10 per cent of visitor complaints are related to restroom facilities, authorities are spending more than $50 million renovating and installing thousands of five-star “tourism toilets” in advance of the 2008 Olympics.

“Toilets have a big impact on tourism,” says Chisnell, who notes places known for having poor public restrooms often lack foot traffic as a result.

Claire Kennedy, who has run the Terratima Lodge for more than 30 years, says she “can’t imagine” why anyone would document the best places to go when you have to go. But she’s tickled at the international interest. “When they phoned from USA Today, I just couldn’t believe it,” she says.

The book is available at amazon.com for about $12. it could be an interesting christmas present for the person who has everything.


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