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The Quandary of the Waterless Urinal
Nate Ricci - April 22, 2007

Today, I attended the New England Programming Languages And Systems Series ( Many of the talks were quite interesting. (I especially liked Gene Novark's talk on automatic memory correction.) However, today, I'm not going to discuss any of the topics presented -- although I'm sure there is burning interest in the audience. Instead, I intend to discuss the venue, Tufts University's Sophia Gordon Hall.

Sophia Gordon Hall is part of a new craze in so called "green" academic buildings. Amongst other energy efficient features it has both passive-and-active heating, solar panels, and a large ever-on plasma TV espousing the building's efficiency in an endless video loop. It tries to be conservative with its other resources as well, including water.

Thus, we come upon my ultimate topic: the waterless urinal. As is implied, it is a urinal that employs no water. This is technologically interesting, but even more interesting were the directions on a sign above the urinal which read "This is Tufts's first waterless urinal. Please treat it with care." Treat it with care? Is that not contrary to the very purpose of a urinal?

So, in conclusion, I went across the street to find a urinal able to take the abuse that is its proper place in life.

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