Bill gates reinventing the toilet?!?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Chad Schloss, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2012
  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    An awful lot of people in the world do not have access to sanitary toilet conditions.
  3. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    so he is looking to sell toilets to people who couldn't afford them anyways?

    "In other words, "Reinventing the Toilet" was no job for a plumber."

    I would think that a plumber would have way more knowledge than anyone in this department. His ego far exceeds him.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Well, maybe but I don't see the harm in trying to improve things. If I read this correctly he is trying to come up with a toilet that does not require water which is a rare and precious resource in most of the world. What's the harm that can come from trying?
  5. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

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    And what have You done for Your fellow Man Lately ?
  6. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    we already have composting toilets if people wanted them. is he going to give these away to the 3rd world countries that can't figure out not to deficate in the very waters that they drink from? they certanly can't afford them..
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    I don't know. Ask him
  8. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

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    I'm with Tom Sawyer on this one.

    I think it's upstanding of Bill to do what he can to develop a toilet that's practical for a place like Africa where they don't have running water and need the fertilizer for their fields. But, that's not the only reason...

    It's solving practical problems like that that motivated NASA to build the first cordless tools for use in outer space. And look how far that technology has gone.

    With nearly half of all new discoveries being made completely by accident, you never know where a great idea will come from. Via-gra started off as a drug for heart disease, but the people using it noticed it had an amazing side effect. Formica was originally intended to replace the mica shims in electric motors until a waitress in a cafe suggested it would make a good material for restaurant counters and table tops. Teflon was discovered when some lab scientists noticed that tanks of flouride gas weighed the same as when they were received from the supplier, but didn't have any pressure in them. They cut the tanks open and found a previously unknown material inside. At the time, no one would have guessed that plumbers would make use of that material for sealing threaded joints or that it would prevent eggs from sticking to frying pans.

    I applaud Bill Gates for spending money on researching a new toilet since there's no telling where the knowledge gained from that venture will eventually be used. As long as you spend the money doing the research, you WILL find answers. It's just that you never know what problems those answers will solve. The results of this venture could be anything from "nothing at all" to a whole new technology involving a new kind of bacteria, to just a toilet that's practical to use in Africa, to a new way of tuning pianos. There's just no predicting that kind of stuff. But, if it's an answer, someone somewhere will use it for something, and that's how we make progress.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I think Bill and Melinda are doing the world a lot of good. If you have only been in the US, it's hard to realize how good we have it. I think anyone that hasn't traveled third world should try it sometime. It's a real eye opener.
  10. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

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    I would go a lot more, if I didn't get really sick every time...
  11. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Bill Gates betting on a solar-powered toilet
    On Tuesday, August 14, Bill Gates awarded $100,000 to the California Institute of Technology for its creation of a solar-powered toilet. The team created a toilet that recycles water and breaks down waste into storable energy. Click the link above for more information from Reuters
  12. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

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    That's wonderful! These folks have done so much good in many ways. Why the sour grapes from layabouts ?
  13. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

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    Is it because of all the pain and suffering he has caused in the computer industry? I had to deal with him once back in 1980 or so, and he made me so mad that I turned down a job offer a couple of years later. Bad, bad, bad...

    However, he genuinely seems to be trying to do nothing but good now, and is pouring a lot of money into causes he believes in.
  14. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    I only hope that you can use the solar powered toilet on rainy days
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    I wish Bill would put more of his money at home. Parts of this country make Somalia look good.

    If he gives these toilets away, I hope it comes with a birth control implant. Those countries are birthing themselves into oblivion.

    And Bill, lets make these in some closed American woodworking or auto factory, and give us a piece of the action.
  16. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

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    we couldn't sell these to China let alone ethopia/africa/thailand/borneo/insert diseased country here.. it's a waste of money. go dig them some wells, that way they won't have to poop in the water they drink out of. we already have composting toilets.. how come Mr. Bill didn't look into those? why didn't he just buy 100k worth of those composting toilets and give them away? he's trying to make a dollar off of every dollar he 'gives' away...
  17. hagakure

    hagakure New Member

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    I don't see why they wouldn't just dig a hole or find an empty space instead of crapping in their drinking water.

    Is that even what they're doing? Do they have no toilets, or are they directing the waste lines into their water supply?

    Just giving people things doesn't work. You have to teach them. If they aren't advanced enough to understand on their own then it needs to be explained to them. If they still don't understand, then good luck and goodbye.

    When the French left Haiti, they left them with roads, modern (for their time) buildings and systems in place that they merely had to continue to follow. They were incapable and now live in hell.
  18. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    They are already doing that. What they are trying to do, is to provide a set place for body functions, in a place that is not out in the open and near a ground water supply. Here if you have a septic system, you have to locate it a good distance away from a well. And of course, if we let our kids wander off and find an "open space" near the well, then you still wind up with undrinkable water. It's as much to do with changing the habit as it is the containment. Where I live, we wouldn't wonder off to the neighbors and find an "open spot". My neighbors dogs do that sometimes. The nice ones bring along an owner with a pooper scooper bag.
  19. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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