Top Twelve Unique Urinals

What is it about the urinal that inspires so much creativity? The public fascination may have started in 1917, when Marcel Duchamp revolutionized the art world with a signed urinal on its side he named, “Fountain”.

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Since then, the humble urinal has taken about every form imaginable; from ornate, to innovative, to downright scary.  Here’s a list of the twelve most unique urinals we’ve seen over the years, and as plumbers, we’ve seen our share:

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#12: Guitar Urinal

This electric guitar urinal, commissioned by Billboard Music Brasil,  is hard to top. The pressure-sensitive strings play music while you go, and you can even download an “M-Pee-3” of your urinal masterpiece online afterwards.

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#11: Horn Urinal

Encore! Here’s another music-inspired urinal out of a pub in Freiburg, Germany. These urinals were crafted from old tenor horns, but good luck getting a concerto out of them. The design has drawn a few complaints from music lovers, but we appreciate the humor and creativity.

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#10: Ceramic Art Urinal

The Kohler Art Center out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin has some of the most beautiful urinals on Earth, but this one from artist Ann Agee takes the cake. Painted to look like ceramic dishware, this urinal is an ode to all things water.

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#9: Guillotine Urinal

Here’s a urinal that will make you think twice before stepping up to it, let alone flushing. This foreboding guillotine urinal is located in Rheinfels Castle, Germany. As if you weren’t vulnerable enough in public restrooms…

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#8: Shark Urinal

On the subject of scary but unique urinals, we give you the Shark urinal from the tourist pirate ship in sunny Puerto Vallarta!

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#7: Venus Fly Trap Urinal

One more for the scary urinal files,  behold the Venus Fly Trap urinal! This fully-functional beauty was crafted by San Francisco artist Clark Sorensen. With its sharps spikes and an asking price of $11,500, we sincerely hope this urinal is only used for decoration.

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#6: Flower Urinals

You know, Clark Sorensen’s work is just too amazing for one entry. His company, Clarkmade, makes some of the most whimsical urinals in existence, and they’re all one-of-a-kind. On his work Clark says, “The contradiction of taking an unsightly urinal and transforming it into a graceful object like a flower or shell is a potent combination.”

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#5: Planter Urinal

Another combination of nature and urinal, this photograph, titled “pisspots”, was taken by Alana Mandel at a university in Austin, Texas. Apparently this bathroom was converted from boy’s to girl’s, so instead of costly renovations, they turned the urinals into planters. Brilliant!

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#4: Tree Urinals

We can’t find much information on this unique set of tree urinals except the location: a Hello Kitty theme park in (where else?) Tokyo, Japan. Personally, I find these guys creepier than the guillotine.

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#3: Super Nintendo Urinal

This fully-functional, fantastically nerdy urinal is made entirely of old SNES game cartridges. If you wanted to make one yourself, the guys who thought it up have in-depth instructions on their blog.

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#2: Glow-in-the-dark Urinal

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, a urinal that glows in the dark. This polyethylene beauty, called “illuminating gloo” was designed by Philip Watts and lit with LEDs. Check out their website for other styles and pricing.

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#1: Color-changing Urinal

Our last entry is a bit of a mystery; what’s been dubbed the “Thermochromatic” urinal. Based on the image, it seems these urinals are covered with heat-sensitive panels that change colors as you go. But it seems impossible to find any other pictures or information regarding this urinal online, so it may not even exist. Even if it’s only legend, this urinal really gets the imagination…flowing.

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Honorable Mentions:

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Any urinals we missed? Leave a reply!

www.morganmillerplumbing.com

Top 10 Toilets on Planet Earth

Behold, ladies and gentlemen! Without further ado, here are the ten greatest toilets on the planet as of March 15, 2013:

#10: Aquarium Toilet

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Looking to add some life to your bathroom? The Fish N’ Flush Toilet is perfect for you! With a 2.2 gallon detchable aquarium piece, this toilet can hold all your fishy friends: and don’t worry about accidentally flushing Nemo, the toilet is separate from the aquarium.

#9: Pipe Toilet


This lime green futuristic toilet was designed by 2-B-2 Architecture with a water droplet in mind, but it’s hard not to notice the resemblance to a smoking pipe. Speaking of smoking…

#8: Incinerating Toilet


This incinerating toilet is produced by Incinolet who say it  “uses electric heat to reduce human waste to a clean, non-polluting ash…uses no water and drains nothing out.” Looks incredible, and sounds great if there’s little water nearby. But how much gas does thing need? And I can’t help imagining it malfunctioning when I sit down…

#7: Golden Toilet


Valued at 5 million dollars, this is the most expensive toilet in existence outside of a spaceship. Why? It’s made entirely out of 24 karat solid gold. Talk about a throne!

#6: Disappearing Toilet


From the flashiest toilet on earth to the most concealed; designed for late night party-goers in London, this public toilet goes underground during the day and lifted hydraulically at night. Manufactured by Urilift.

#5: Green Toilet


This Loowatt toilet recently earned a $100,000 grant from the The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meant to find affordable plumbing solutions for developing nations. This revolutionary toilet is waterless, chemical free, and most impressively, collects your waste for fertilizer and fuel.

#4: Tech Toilet

pimped out john The Geekiest Toilet Ever : Souped Up John
For those with way too much expendable income,  here’s the ‘Souped Up John’ toilet. It features a TV, TiVo, DVD, XBox, laptop, refrigerator, megaphone and Ipod dock. And a toilet paper holder, if you need that sort of thing for a toilet.

#3: Instrumental Toilet

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Here’s a toilet that earns its spot based on sheer creativity. A tuba for a bowl, a cymbal & music book for a tank cover? Even if this toilet isn’t functional or even real, it’s just that cool.

#2: Egg Toilet

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Here’s another toilet that seems to jump straight off the set of a Sci-Fi movie. Located at Sketch in London, these toilets are contained in a series of futuristic, LED-lit pods which hold their own separate bathroom areas. Eggstraordinary!

#1: Transformer Toilet


And our winner? The greatest toilet on Earth is The Ultimate Clean Toilet by Young Sang Eun. As if the innovative Jetsons-like design wasn’t enough, what puts this toilet at #1 is its ability to transform from a standard toilet to a functional urinal with the press of a button.

 

Disagree with any of our choices? Have your own? Leave a reply and let us know!

What About The Children?

DISCLAIMER: The blog entry you are about to read may lead you to believe that raising children is a breeze, please know that is not the case. They cause you to pour an extra drink at night, cover-up the gray hairs you slowly start to notice, and in some cases, use range in your voice you never knew you had. But really, children are great.

More times than often thoughts of what my journey would of been like without the two children I helped raise enters my heart. Would my wife and myself been able to fill the last 30 years? Would we have survived all of the trials and tribulations that life can throw at each and every one of us? What would of my moral compass been calibrated to if not for wondering what was best for the children? Funny how decisions made nearly 30 years ago shaped my entire being, my entire life really. It’s almost as if the first twenty something years on this planet were in someone else’s body.

Once the decision was made to bring children into this world my thought pattern changed forevermore. Certainly this isn’t the case for all young men and women today, but for me, everything changed. I had to actually be an adult myself. I have said that once you’ve raised children you will not have a selfish bone left in your body. I mean realistically how could you? Once the children have made their way into the equation of one’s life and even to this very day, for me, some 28 years later, I still find each day starting with “what about the children.” Sure, it is not as consuming as it once was yet, still you worry and hope all is well with them and their loved ones.

Not being able to know what or how my life would have turned out without them, I can only imagine how things might of been. One thing I know for a fact is that there is no way, no how I would have stayed so focused and so determined without them constantly on my mind. For that I am truly thankful to the both of them, and now to both of their loved ones.

Being responsible for something so, so delicate can be overwhelming to many. Too challenging for some. Too troublesome for others. For me helping raise our children has been a constant education on life. Playing kid games, driving them to the movies, watching them grasp for adulthood… Every bit of that has been a constant movie of the week in my eyes. Yeah I have made more mistakes than I care to even remember. There is not a “fail safe” brochure for this adventure (I would have paid big money if there was one). Yet through all of those mistakes, through all of the good and bad, I have always been there (with my wife, OF COURSE) and always shall be, as long as this giant floating ball will have me as a guest. It’s the simplest of promises but also the hardest of all to keep.

I am a lucky man, I know that. Had relatively good health, had a darn good time trying to grow up. I have a wife who has always remained by my side for nearly 30 million years now. I have 2 grown children who are also very dear friends of mine. And if I were to stop breathing at this very moment it would be okay, I’ve seen a lot, done a lot, and don’t remember most of it. Wait a minute… If I were to leave this earth today what about the children… See it really never ends.

My delicious family


Oh the women in my life.

Being aware of what makes us successful is very important. It allows us to concentrate on the positives in our daily lives which ultimately leads to more success. In my case it’s fairly simple to give credit to the women surrounding my life. The advise and criticism keeps me in perspective. Stopping me when I have gone too far, encouraging me when I need to keep going, motivating me when times get tough.

My wife of 30 million years comes to mind pretty quick when thinking about the most influential lady in my life (naturally, right?). She has stood by me throughout my entire working career, she is always there to help and support me without being judgemental. Listening to my father before he passed about not letting this one get away was probably the smartest thing I have ever done… Thanks for that, Dad! My beautiful best friend and wife, Kelly… 

Nearly 10 years ago another women stepped into my life (No, I don’t practice polygamy) and once again as luck would have it she has been with me through thick and thin from day one. She is our office controller, the base that holds all of us crazy plumbers up. She is never one to sugar coat anything. It is easy to see how our company would not exist without her expertise. My office wife, Stella.

Recently we hired a young women who is completing her communications degree and watching her go to work on our marketing efforts has been a thing of true joy. I can see that our company will always be strong with her fresh and innovative ideas flowing into our culture.

Top of my mind I can think of several other women who have kept me running long and strong. Concentrating about this subject has been very enlightening indeed and perhaps an exercise that each of us, men that is, can find helpful in our everyday lives.

Oh, before we close on this subject it would be remiss of me not to include my mother. I was one of the lucky ones there too. She fought for me like no other. Defended me right or wrong to the end. Believe me, there were just a FEW times when I was wrong, we both knew it, yet she still defended me as she liked to put it, “come hell or high water.” Although she left this world when I was a young lad, I’ve always had the sense that she was looking out for me. Perhaps she has been my moral compass throughout my days, perhaps by keeping her in my mind I have tried to make her proud? Who knows, either way when it all comes down to it I know this… Without the women in my life I would be toast. I’m glad, proud, and honored to admit that fact forever and always!

Scrape your Plate!

When your kitchen sink backs up during the holidays, our Morgan Miller techs have mixed emotions. Of course we want to help you, yet like you, we’d also love to be with our families at this time. It is in this vein that we write this message to you, trying to save you some trouble, money, and perhaps allowing us to finish a whole Thanksgiving dinner. Of course I’ve had some mighty fine turkey snacks at some of of our customer’s homes over the years, so if you need us, we’ll always be there. Our doors haven’t closed in 15 years and we aren’t starting now.

So here’s a no-brainer: keep a large kitchen trash can right next to your kitchen sink as you do your Thanksgiving dishes. Then simply scrape your pots, pans, trap and plates before they ever hit the water. Just because you have a garbage disposal, doesn’t mean you should be using it at every rinsing. If your pipes are old, putting food down your sink is especially damaging. Like a clogged artery, all it takes is a little bad stuff to block you up as bad as before. Using this strategy has saved our customers countless thousands over the years.

Perhaps we aren’t as busy as we could be during the holidays…but that’s because our customers are saving money, while our plumbers get to spend some much-needed time with family. Win-win….plus turkey!

 

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Water is Power

One of the most underrated, taken-for-granted “basic” inventions must be indoor plumbing. Along with the printing press and electricity,  plumbing is consistently ranked one of the greatest inventions of all time. Yet most would laugh at this fact.

Along with the invention of penicillin, indoor plumbing is also given the distinction of being the most life-saving invention in human history, and given accessibility, is often ranked more beneficial to human health than vaccines. Though figures are unknown, millions died of cholera and dysentery without plumbing, and continue to do so today.

So what’s the point? We get calls every day from irate customers who don’t expect to pay over $10 for their service work. This not only shows naivete & excessive frugality, but more importantly, privilege. A running faucet, toilet, shower, is expected by most,  and for some, around the cost of some songs on iTunes. Our point is what’s called a “basic service” here is a life-saving luxury most places in the world. If nothing else, at least appreciate your privelege.

Now go take the greatest shower in your life.

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Firepits: Great or Greatest?

Firepits are the bomb: make sure yours doesn’t act like one.

So nice!

Increasingly we see interest in the installation of outdoor fire pits. They can add great value to your home and life. Nothing like a homemade marshmallow roast at a moments notice, any season, surrounded with friends. Life rarely gets better.

We also see many fire pits installed with natural gas. These are even more impressive: within seconds, your fire is roasting without the health hassles of smoke and ash. So nice!

Just one thing: Make sure the installer is licensed and knows how to install your new system correctly, start to finish. Natural gas is nothing for an amateur to practice with near your home. This new trend is an exciting lifestyle choice, but remember don’t take risky shortcuts whilst playing with fire.

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