Posts tagged “toilet paper”

Out and About: Steve in Lisbon (1 of 2)

Last week I went to Lisbon to speak at UX Lx (you can see my presentations and more here). We had a great time exploring the city on our own, and courtesy of our kindly hosts. I’ve got some images and observations here, and some more to come tomorrow.

This sign is advertising one of those small bright yellow cars that tourists drive around while a recording guides them from place to place. But here the promotional message is rather ribald. Is this reflective of the local culture and how English is used, or is it an attempt to adapt to visitor norms? My other triangulation point was the frequent t-shirts with rather forward sayings in English, worn by people that maybe didn’t know what they meant? I saw a slender woman jogging with a “Chubby Girls Cuddle Better.” A late-middle-aged man on the subway wore a shirt reading “Rock Out With Your Cock Out.” There was just something off about the wearer and the message, seeing my own culture coming back at me in a completely different way. Was this like Engrish, or something else?

Same idea. This is an advertisement for learning English, from the prestigious-sounding “Wall Street Institute” presumably targeting people who want to improve their careers. But FUCK (and the other side, SHIT) are the reference points for learning English. For sure, these are important words in business 🙂

The reliefs in the base of the statue of St. Anthony.

Friendly key dudes.

Do they sell each of those animals as meat?

Is this frog flashing a gang sign, or suggesting his availability for romance?

Funiculars traverse the steep hills.

Stunning architecture of the Oriente train station.

Nothing says sexy like toilet paper.

At the Vasco de Gama mall, this staircase used the same handrail as the escalator. As you approached it, you’d assume you were about to get on an escalator. But no, it’s stairs. Did some architect insist on symmetry with the design of the adjacent escalator?

Rossio train station.

Global standards and interoperability

Top: Toilet paper (US)
Bottom: Toilet paper (Netherlands)

A research respondent recently described their challenges in redistributing goods from abroad, since it turns out that a “standard” shipping palette is actually a different size in the US and in Europe. Do conflicting standards necessarily inhibit interoperability? Would North American toilet paper operate properly in a Dutch dispenser? And what do those different standards say about our history, perspective, or values? Is the gestural usage different? Are hands or bottoms in different relative proportions here or there? Is there a different tradeoff around cost and (perceived?) cleanliness?

See my Amsterdam pictures here (Note that as of this writing, only a few have been uploaded, but there are plenty more to come in the next few weeks).

Cottonelle dumps

Spotted on BoingBoing is this special toilet paper just for kids. It’s printed with a puppy paw path that spans five sheets (and then begins again). It’s portion control for toilet paper, presumably there is a need to have kids learn how much to use? I’m a bit confused as to the actual need, and how this solves it. Wouldn’t the amount needed depend on what is being wiped? And who is being wiped?

I’d guess you’d want to teach kids to wipe until they are done – to pay attention to the bodily and other cues (visual?) to ensure that the hygiene need has been handled. Making it such an inflexible system doesn’t teach anyone anything!

And if you use a different amount than five sheets, ever, then the system breaks until you sync up back to sheet zero with the happy puppy. A training system that is intolerant of (highly likely) user error is not a good training system.

You must always use five and only five sheets. Regardless of what’s going on with your po-po! Cottonelle has forgotten that they work for us, not the other way around.

And their site includes this lovely FAQ (which is such as misnomer, since these are not likely to be frequently-asked-questions, but rather info they wish to convey) that suggests some product problems besides the obvious usability failures.

Why is my toilet paper printed on the inside? How do I fix this?

The good news is that this is an easy fix. The toilet paper isn’t actually printed on the inside. What’s happened is that the two plies have become separated, and the inside ply is wrapped around the outside of your roll (you’ll probably also notice that the perforations on the two plies don’t line up). To fix, first make sure your toilet paper is positioned so that it unrolls from the spindle with the sheets coming over the top. Next, steady the roll so it does not move in the spindle. Take the top ply (make sure you are only handling one ply) and unwrap it behind the roll. The print should now appear on the outside, as intended, and the bottom ply should now be longer that the top ply. Tear off the excess bottom plies (approximately 3) and you are ready to go.

and When I tear the toilet paper, the perforations on the two plies do not line up? How do I fix this? which offers the identical answer.

Now we’re taking on toilet paper maintenance tasks? Who the hell wants to fix their toilet paper? This is way too much work and this company hasn’t a clue about addressing real people’s needs.

Premium TP

Radar Magazine does a great piece on the growth – elsewhere in the world – of the market for premium toilet paper. Led me to Renova.

Renova Black


Discover today which tissue product is more Fashionable & Unique, just right for your sensual needs.
The very best in luxury bath tissue has a name: Renova Black
Fashionable, Sensual, Sophisticated, Fun, Unique!

and Fracheur

Renova Fracheur is a pioneer generation of toilet paper thanks to its active softness. Tiny drops of rich cream envelop the fibres of this tissue paper, enriching its structure with moisturising compounds.
Soft fibres start off the process, by cleaning your skin, causing this contact to release a soft moisturising cream.
Renova Fracheur, for superior hygiene.

That last one sounds like a delicious chocolate surprise of some sort.

And this ad

Is she going to wipe him once she finishes getting his underpants off?


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