Do you give a shit?

My fellow blogger ScienceLens tells us that today is World Toilet Day. You might like to check out that post, including the animation and the link about ‘stop making fun of World Toilet Day!’

As you know, infectious disease is close to my scientific heart. Infant mortality is falling in sub-Saharan Africa but there’s a long way still to go. Millions of kids are still dying for lack of a decent toilet. For adults too, proper sanitation would make a huge difference. So yes, I give a shit. Do you?

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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14 Responses to Do you give a shit?

  1. A possible solution is the composting toilet.

    • argylesock says:

      Yes I find those so fascinating. The ones at the Centre for Alternative Technologies at Machynlleth are great 🙂 Not feasible for me, sadly (boring reasons) but I’m glad other people build and use them. Do you have one?

  2. Purnimodo says:

    Ahw.. I feel a bit bad for finding your post absolutely wonderful given the serious nature. but yes I give a shit!

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  4. skezier says:

    Yep I too do give a shit;-) Mind its really made my day to read the mortality decline! No if they channelled some of the aid to basic sanitation it really would fall eh? x

    • argylesock says:

      Yes maybe it would. And as I mentioned in the post I linked to above, I’ve read that there’s good evidence that when kids don’t die so much, fewer kids get born. The demographic shift.

  5. skezier says:

    I wonder though…. If the mortality is high then you would become somehow hardened to it. I think (for me) that would be the only way to survive losing your child. The other thing is that they need their kids and if you know that so many will die you might have more… I know what I mean but may not have worded it too well.

    With less likely to die it makes sense they don’t have so many, it gives then a chance tio love without fear of loss so much if that makes sense? Hope your ok and got less rain than here x

    • argylesock says:

      What you say does make sense, in fact it’s a different take on what I meant to say. I’m close to somebody who did lose a child (in a car crash) many years ago and who is scarred for life by the horror. So I don’t know how people cope who lose child after child. Otoh in a famous novel – Moll Flanders I think it was – the central character calmly says that she has ‘7 children, 3 living’ or whatever the numbers are. For that character and perhaps for other women of her time, it was ordinary to lose some children.

  6. narf77 says:

    As someone living on one of the driest continents on earth I find it completely ludicrous that most of us are unable to install composting toilets because of legal issues. Surely the use of potable drinking water to flush toilets ad hoc should be made a criminal offence when composting toilets are the answer! I can only shake my head at a bureaucracy that is stubbornly propping up an archaic environmental model when water preservation and conservation is being pushed from all angles.

  7. Moth says:

    At the same time – this being one of my pet peeves – toilets in affluent states fill with high quality drinking water.. It never fails to annoy me that, in Australia, we have a hard time securing enough drinking water – going so far as to have a number of de-sal plants coming online – and yet we do our business in the purest water!

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