On the blog

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Beauty and the bog

Vital though toilets are, they’re not generally considered works of art or a natural subject for photography.

We’d like you to reconsider and view the loos you visit with an artistic eye, after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Our friends at Site Equip and Loos R Us have launched a photo competition to create a 2012 Toilet calendar supporting Toilet Twinning.

While there are many weird and wonderful toilets out there, don’t feel that you need to find the world’s most unusual toilet (although we’ll certainly want to hear from you if you do). The challenge is to look beyond the ordinary, to find images that give a different take on toilets. Site Equip and Loos R Us are looking for “scenes that are funny, inventive, poignant or exciting”.

If you’re in need of inspiration, or feel that this is all a bit amateur, why not take a look at professional photographer Richard Hanson’s collection of striking pictures (look for P*ssed off, under Projects).

Of course, some might say that you can’t beat a good framed certificate of a latrine in Burundi, but they might be biased.

The top 12 images will be published in the 2012 calendar and the overall winner will also receive a canvas print (of any of their photos – not necessarily a loo!).

All entries must be submitted digitally via email or on a CD. For more information on how to enter, what the judges will be looking for and all the t&c’s, visit the competition page.

You have until the 23rd November to submit your best shot. Good luck and happy snapping!

Photos courtesy of & copyright Richard Hanson, www.hansonphoto.co.uk. Top left – Mongolia; Middle – Brazil.

Friday, 5 August 2011

A brief history of toilet humour

Today is the launch of the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And as the festival has a history of linking laughs with loos (at the 2009 Festival, the tragicomedy ‘Waiting for Godot’ was performed in the St James public loos) we thought it only appropriate we devote today’s On The Blog to toilet humour.

According to Johnny Foreigner’s Guide to British Humour, humour was invented by John Cleese in 1066. Potty, or ‘toilet’ humour Mr Foreigner claims, is at once the best, worst and possibly the funniest kind.

Here is John Cleese explaining his recent discovery at the Science Symposium held in Brussels early that year:

Not ones to pooh-pooh the opportunity for a wee giggle, here at Toilet Twinning we’re quite fond of the odd pun. According to Mr Foreigner, “the pun is a rare and elusive creature outside of the UK”. Here it is in its natural habitat:

Those of you who follow us on Twitter will be used to our absolootely shameless use of puns in our, ahem, t[wee]ts. But it’s with good cause! It’s because we think it’s out of order that 40% of the world’s population doesn’t have somewhere decent to go to the loo. And this is just one of many shocking stats on sanitation.

So go on then, hit us with your best – and most hygienic – toilet jokes. Puns especially welcome. Leave them in the comments section beloo. And finally, we leave you with these words of blessing:

May your life be like a roll of toilet paper, long and useful.

John Cleese The Scientist from John Cleese Podcast #32 The Scientists