Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

The No-Splash Urinal—How About It, Science?

December 17, 2012 4 comments

Here’s a brief history lesson:

Isaac Newton

This is how Isaac Newton invented gravity. One night, while working in the Swiss Patent Office, he found himself drawing out some equations that would later become the theory of special relativity. He took a break to peer through his telescope, inadvertently discovered Earth’s moon, and in his excitement knocked an apple off of a table. It fell to the floor, and rolled under a desk, where it came to rest next to a moldy piece of bread. Newton thought about how the bread had been sitting on the ground, and not floating around the room, for weeks. A light bulb, which he later patented, lit up over his head. This moldy piece of bread had led to the invention of gravity. Out of scientific curiosity, he took a bite of the bread. Later on, while urinating, he noticed that the burning sensation that he normally experienced had went away. “Well slap my ass and call me Sally,” he thought, “I’ve just discovered penicillin.” As Sally walked into the office of his immediate superior to tell of the history that was being made, he was not greeted with “Congrats,” “Way to go,” or even a hug. What his boss said was, “Why is there urine all over the front of your clothes?”

It was a fair question. Newton was notorious for having an abnormally powerful flow, and bathrooms back then were very cramped. Imagine shooting a fire hose at a brick wall from a foot away, and you will get a glimpse of what life was like for this man. Surprisingly, he never went on to solve the problem of the splatter effect so conducive to the public urinal. Many posit that this odd shortcoming in his influential career was due to his obsession, in later years, with finding a socially acceptable way to seduce the sheep, Dolly, that he had cloned. All hope was lost a short time later, when he became a complete recluse after publishing The Catcher In The Rye.

So, if somebody could pick up where Newton fell short and make a urinal that entirely eliminates any sort of splash and splatter, we would all owe you a great debt of gratitude. Yet if Frank Urinal, the inventor of the urinal, couldn’t figure it out, we may be doomed.

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