Experts Agree: Squat Toilets Are Good For You

squat toilets
Sean McLachlan

Chances are your morning glory isn’t good for you.

In the Western world we’re second place when it comes to doing Number Two. A growing number of medical experts agree that our seat toilets aren’t nearly as good as squat toilets, which are what’s used on the majority of places in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

It all comes down to positioning.

The medical textbook Gastroenterology, the definitive reference to the subject and written by three MDs, states, “The ideal posture for defecation is the squatting position, with the thighs flexed upon the abdomen. In this way the capacity of the abdominal cavity is greatly diminished and intra-abdominal pressure increased, thus encouraging expulsion …”

In plain English, squatting releases pressure on your rectum and makes it easier to poop. Sitting in a Western style toilet is means you’re pushing against your own muscles. Many doctors say that using squat toilets reduce the chances of constipation, hemorrhoids, even bowel cancer.
Neuroscientist Daniel Lametti writes that wile there haven’t been any smoking gun statistics for cancer, it makes intuitive sense that people would be less constipated if they squat and less likely to put strain on their anus that would cause hemorrhoids.

Having spent a great deal of time in countries where squat toilets were the only option, I can testify that squatting is easier on the bum, if not the thighs. You get through your business quicker, and it does feel easier and more natural. It’s how we’re built, after all. Interested in learning more? Check out this article on how to use squat toilets.

Does Nessie’s Norwegian Cousin Lurk In Europe’s Deepest lake?

Nessie, sea serpent
Hornindalsvatnet in Norway is Europe’s deepest lake. So deep, in fact, that’s it’s never been properly explored. Nobody is even sure exactly how deep it is, with the official depth of 514 meters (1,686 feet) being challenged.

Now it appears the unexplored waters may hold a creature unknown to science. A photo has been published in the local newspaper Fjordingen showing what appears to be a serpentine critter undulating along the surface of the lake. Click on the link to see the picture. Although the image has been pirated by pretty much every paranormal website on the Net, we respect copyright here at Gadling. Instead you get this public domain image from Wikimedia Commons of a sea serpent spotted off Cape Anne, Massachusetts, in 1639. They do look similar.

The monster was spotted and photographed by three men on the shore. They say they took their boat out to get a better look but the creature had already disappeared. Their photo appears to show a serpent-like creature in the water. Two and perhaps three loops of its body are visible above the surface of the water, along with a disturbance in the water and a wake. Another disturbance in the water is visible below and to the left.

Could this be a Norwegian Nessie? Will Hornindalsvatnet become a tourist destination for curiosity seekers like Loch Ness? Also, what do you think of this photograph? Real or fake? Tell us what you think in the comments section!

Stonehenge Replicas Pop Up Everywhere!

Stonehenge replicas, Snowhenge
Is this Stonehenge? No, it’s Snowhenge! It’s a 1/3-scale replica built at the MacKay Jaycees Family Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While it certainly wasn’t as hard to build as the original megalithic stone circle in England, it still involved working 1000 cubic feet of packed snow to make a circle more than six feet tall and thirty feet in diameter. The builders did such an accurate job that they preserved the original monument’s astronomical alignments.

Stonehenge is endlessly fascinating and has inspired people all over the world to create replicas. The most realistic looking is Foamhenge at Natural Bridge, Virginia. The “stones” are made out of painted styrofoam that have been sculpted in the exact shapes of the real Stonehenge.

There’s also the Maryhill Stonehenge, a full-sized concrete recreation of what Stonehenge used to look like in its heyday rather than the ruins we have now. Located in Maryhill, Washington, it was built as a monument to the dead of World War I. In Rolla, Missouri, students at the Missouri University of Science and Technology used water jets to sculpt a Stonehenge out of some 160 tons of granite. It was named one of the year’s Ten Outstanding Engineering Achievements by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1985. Then there’s Carhenge, near Alliance, Nebraska, which is made out of, well. . .you know.

%Gallery-153665%Americans aren’t the only people making new Stonehenges. Despite having the original, the British have built numerous replicas. Even as far back as the early 19th century, gentlemen with too much money and not enough to do were building Stonehenges on their country estates. Contemporary British Artist Jeremy Deller has put a modern twist on an old tradition with his inflatable bouncy Stonehenge in honor of the 2012 Olympics. And then there’s Stonehenge Aotearoa in New Zealand, which has similar astronomical alignments to Stonehenge (solstices, equinoxes, etc.) but aligned for the Southern hemisphere.

For all the latest on Stonehenge replicas, check out Clonehenge, a blog dedicated to them. They have info about Citrus-henge, Woolhenge, and my personal favorite: Spamhenge! If you make your own replica, send them a photo and they’ll post it online with a rating of one to ten druids. And yes, they know the druids didn’t build Stonehenge.

This isn’t just a quirky blog, but a serious research project. Well, maybe not serious, but pretty meticulous in any case. They’ve documented 72 large permanent Stonehenge replicas from all over the world in addition to the ones made with cake, jelly, glass and medicine bottles.

[Photo courtesy MichiganArchaeologist]

Portland’s International Cryptozoology Museum to get a bigger home

cryptozoology, Mothman
One of Maine’s most offbeat attractions is about to get five times the space.

The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland will be moving from its current home in the back of the Green Hand Bookshop at 661 Congress St over to 11 Avon Street, where it will have much more room to show off its collection of Bigfoot print casts, monster photos, movie props, and thousands of other strange items. The move, according to the Portland Daily Sun, is to give the museum a more visible location and attract more visitors.

Cryptozoology is the study of animals thought by science not to exist. The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and the Mothman all qualify. Sometimes animals thought extinct, like the coelacanth, turn out to be still alive and move from cryptozoology into mainstream biology.

Museum founder Loren Coleman hopes this success will be repeated with other monsters. Coleman was born in 1947 (the same year the term “flying saucer” was coined) and has dedicated much of his life to studying strange sightings of things that shouldn’t exist. His books show a skeptical eye, an open mind, and most importantly a sense of humor. He probably wouldn’t be impressed by this purported photo of the Mothman. Considering that it was uploaded by someone whose Wikimedia Commons handle is Mostlymade, I have to say I’m skeptical too.

Despite being a skeptic I love museums like this. Once while hiking in the Himalayas I found some Yeti footprints that turned out to be from a normal animal, but I have had a strange experience with the legendary Thunderbird.

The museum’s “Grand Monster Reopening” is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. on October 30.

Fish farmer snaps photo of Nessie

NessieLoch Ness has been getting into the news a lot lately. There’s been a rise in sightings this year, Nessie was photographed in July, and a UFO was spotted over Loch Ness last month.

Now a new photo of Nessie has emerged. You’ll have to go to the link to see it because we don’t get a photo budget here at Gadling and Nessie photos don’t come cheap. Instead you get to marvel at this fine Lego Nessie photographed by David R. Tribble. At least it’s exactly what it looks like.

The “real” monster was snapped by commercial fish farmer Jon Rowe when he got out his camera to take a picture of a rainbow over Loch Ness. Rowe says he, “noticed this really large dark shape in the loch with two humps that were barely out of the water. . .Almost as soon as I took the shot the shape disappeared under the water and out of sight.”

Personally I’m skeptical, and so are the experts. The leading cryptozoology website Cryptomundo opines that the image shows a pair of water birds diving for prey. Adrian Shine of the Loch Ness Project says the same thing.

Rowe insists that they weren’t birds, however, so the mystery continues.

At least all this activity is putting to rest the idea that Nessie is extinct.