GOOD

World Toilet Day: Noble Fecophiliacs Break Taboos to Save Lives

Toilet taboos are literally killing people around the world. So find an artsy/activist event in your neighborhood to save lives with potty talk.


World Toilet Day is almost here, November 19. What's that, you ask? An international day of education, activism and downright bizarre behavior to support global health. Did you know that 2.5 billion people currently live without access to adequate sanitation? Well now, because of World Toilet Day, and the Singapore-based World Toilet Organization, you do.

Not only does lack of sanitation mean residents have to live in filth in many cases, it is the number one cause of infections around the world, spreading disease, killing 1.8 million people, mostly children, each year. The tragedy, is that all of those deaths are completely preventable. That's the power of a working toilet. The United Nations made clean sanitation and access to clean water Millennium Development Goal Number Seven.


So World Toilet Day is like most other cause days, it just happens to have, at its very core, a message that offends people. Not because of the mission, but because of the language you have to use to talk frankly about the topic of feces, filth and infection.


Mostly it's earnest advocacy, but the blunt, and borderline crass language around some of the event is mission-message too. A call to action like "be a part of the big squat" is going to catch more eyes and garner more clicks from the unconverted than "support sanitation, it matters, really it does."

For example, Shawn Shafner is hosting an event on WTD. He deliberately chose a shocking name for his organization: The People’s Own Organic Power Project—yes, that shortens to the POOP Project. He says, taboos around his topic are part of the problem. "In linguistic and cultural terms, that stuff that comes out of our bottoms is unmentionable, which means it's impossible to avoid breaking a taboo if you want mention it," he told me. His organization is hosting an event in New York where, in addition to learning about sanitation, you can record a “commode confessional,” write on a stall wall, and dabble in other potty and health-themed interactive features. He wants to get people talking about sanitation and says, "as long as people are shy to talk about the bathroom, however, I don't believe we'll have these conversations."

There are events around the world, ranging from lectures at schools in Nigeria, to documentary screenings and "potty parties," across America. You can take in stand-up comedy or take up a chance to meet "celebrities" of sanitation like the author of the Super Toilet.

Host an event or find one in your area through the World Toilet Organization.

Articles
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture