A news dump, about taking a dump: The Stool Stool

Alex Blasdel, writing in The Guardian, waxes eloquent about methods old and new: “Bowel movement: the push to change the way you poo— Are you sitting comfortably? Many people are not – and they insist that the way we’ve been going to the toilet is all wrong.” Blasdel describes in depth the commercial rise of a simple product:

The Squatty Potty is a wildly popular seven-inch-high plastic stool, designed by a devout Mormon and her son, which curves around the base of your loo. By propping your feet on it while you crap, you raise your knees above your hips. From this semi-squat position, the centuries-old seated toilet is transformed into something more primordial, like a hole in the ground.

The Blonsky centrifugal birthing device

The family that makes the Squatty Potty says this posture unfurls your colon and gives your faecal matter a clear run from your gut to the bowl, reducing bloating, constipation and the straining that causes haemorrhoids.

The logic behind this invention—the inventor named it the “Squatty Potty”, but let’s call it “the Stool Stool”—is reminiscent of the logic that led to the Blonsky centrifugal birthing device. The idea, in each case, is that:

  1. ancient people learned a biologically-best way; but, but, butt…
  2. civilized, modern people have forgotten what works optimally, and now do things unnaturally.

Blasdel’s essay celebrates not only the stool stool, but especially the video ad that popularized the product:

BONUS (only tangentially related): The power of a name: Dr. Shit Fun Chew. Related to this is what may be the quintessential Twitter tweet.

BONUS (not even tangentially related): The four-legged Periodic Table Table