Dr. Toilet

We’re used to “smart” devices these days.  Smartphones, of course.  Smart TVs.  Smart security systems.  Even smart refrigerators.

So, is it really a surprise that people have been working on the “smart” toilet?

eut3628s__98071.1512066915An Asian company has created a toilet that has built-in sensors that can detect, collect, and analyze waste samples.  The test results are then transmitted to an app on your phone, which gives you health advice based on the test results.  This particular smart toilet is supposed to be able to monitor heart disease and also to evaluate urine samples for symptoms of cancer and heart disease.

Health advice and real-time test results, directly from your toilet to your phone?  We must be living in the 21st century!

But that toilet is not the only “smart” stuff that will soon be available to increase the IQ of your bathroom.  Other powder room devices that have been exhibited or developed include a toilet and bathroom mirror that use the Alexa voice assistant (although exactly how Alexa helps in this particular area isn’t clear), a pressure sensor toilet that measures heart and blood vessel information, a toilet seat that checks blood pressure, and toilets that are linked to wi-fi, analyze out sugars and proteins that appear in your deposits, and also evaluate your body-mass index.  And some of the new devices even helpfully have LED night lights built in to the toilet lid.

In short, we may be on the cusp of the next great advance in toilet technology, when your home bathroom turns into a laboratory of devices that collect and analyze number one and number two, evaluate the blood flow in your cheeks, and consider God knows what else in order to provide you with a detailed, up-to-the-minute report on your personal health status — all of which will be transmitted and stored somewhere.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

A New Sign Of The Approaching Apocalypse: Melt-Resistant Ice Cream

We’re in the midst of an era of profound technological change, with advancements in “smart” technology, robots, self-driving cars, designer plant and animal breeds, and countless other developments that all have one overarching goal — to allow lazy, pampered human beings to move and do as little as possible while being amply fed, tracked, and tended.

thebslaproteAnd now there’s been a development that is the latest sign of the approaching apocalypse:  scientists have developed melt-resistant ice cream.  The scientists determined that “banana plant waste,” in the form of tiny fibers from the banana plant stem, can be mixed into ice cream compounds and significantly slow the rate of melting.  The resulting mixture also is supposed to be creamier and potentially healthier, because . . . . well, because banana stem fibers are bound to be healthier than the combination of sugar, cream, chocolate, and other totally empty calories that make ice cream so delectable in the first place.

Some might argue, as the article linked above does, that this is a significant positive development that won’t leave ice cream consumers with “sticky hands” and “stained pants.”  I think the exact opposite is true.  The meltiness of ice cream on a hot day is part of the fun, requiring inventive ice cream fans to develop highly technical strategies on how to approach their cones in a way that minimizes melt loss and maximizes actual consumption of ice cream, like regular use of the “around the top of the cone” lick, careful attention to telltale signs that parts of the ice cream scoop might be liquefying, and properly timing the decision to bite into the bottom of the cone itself to allow all of the cool, already melted ice cream to run into your happy, waiting mouth.

Now, thanks to banana fiber technology, we won’t have to worry about such things and instead will be able to take desultory licks of our cones without thought or fear of consequences.  Is that really something to be hailed as a profound advancement in the history of homo sapiens?

You’ll be surprised to learn that I’m not a fan of self-driving cars, either.