Who says that physics is not practical?

One of the perennial problems that men face is that of back splash when using urinals. A group of physicists have tackled this problem and studied how to do it so that there is minimal splashing. Using high-speed cameras and nozzles to mimic various angles and speeds, they have found the optimum method. They have now presented their results.

The physicists suggest that the best thing to do is to aim for the back wall and not the floor, stand as close to the urinal as possible so that the stream does not break up into droplets before it hits the wall, and to have a small angle of impact with the wall. Of course, this assumes that men have good control and that is highly debatable, as many women who have to share bathrooms with men can attest.

Here’s the video of the experiments.

It turns out, though, that sitting on a toilet turns out to be the best way to avoid back splash, though some Christian pastors such as Steven L. Anderson object to this suggestion as yet another example of the wussification of men that seeks to dethrone him from his rightful place as head of the household, and in this sermon he warns that the Bible is strongly opposed to men sitting down to urinate. He warns that this trend has already taken root in Germany and is headed here.

But if you feel you must stand with pastor Anderson (ha!) and don’t want to contribute to the decline of manhood, take the advice of the physicists.


  1. Al Dente says

    Anderson is the same guy who thinks gays should be executed.

    The same God who instituted the death penalty for murderers is the same God who instituted the death penalty for rapists and for homosexuals – sodomites, queers!

  2. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Maybe I’m stating the obvious but if a man has reached adulthood without working out for himself how to use a urinal without splashing back, is a video really going to help him?

  3. John Morales says

    Yeah, this is one case where empirical experimentation is unavoidable.

    (As for sitting upon a toilet bowl, that’s much more work than merely unzipping and pissing; it’s sufficient to aim for the porcelain somewhat above the water level and to keep the pressure steady)

  4. Lofty says

    So when Jebus returns I am to be judged not just as an atheist and feminist but as a sitter-pissist? No wonder I laff at religious cranks.
    No splash marks and a handy dunny roll are non trivial reasons to sit to pee.

  5. wtfwhateverd00d says

    The problem of ‘back splash’ seems closely related to the problem of incoming aircraft and missiles on say, a Navy ship, which was adequately solved in the 70s by General Dynamics with the Phalanx system. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmUfiPRrbMw) and similarly re-solved as the laser mosquito killer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKm8FolQ7jw) developed to reduce malaria.

    I think it’s unreasonable not to ask why in 2013, we don’t have a CIWS consisting of a plethora of highly directable water drop sprayers mounted on the sides of every urinal, spotting the individual droplets of back splash, determining their trajectory, ignoring droplets that will fall within the urinal, and applying droplets to counter the momentum of any backsplash drop that is projected to fall outside the urinal basin.

  6. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Proof of concept can be found here: https://www.google.com/search?q=dancing+fountains

    My guess is that a stream of water, possibly infused with dust, can be given an applied charge and thus accelerated and redirected anywhere within the backsplash zone using simple electromagnetics.

    If we have inexpensive quadcopters than can play catch with a stick (https://www.google.com/search?q=quadcopter+balance+stick), then certainly we can have splashless active urinals.

  7. says

    Captain Obvious for the Ignobel, not FTW.

    I thought everyone knew to do this from experience. As for being a “man only” issue, it makes me think of the opening scene in “The Full Monty”, a woman using the male urinal in a bar.

    A similar story from an unrelated milieu: Soviet WWII pilot Ivan Chisov was shot down and bailed out of his plane. He passed out due to high altitude before he could pull his parachute. He survived because he landed on the slope of a mountain, not a direct vertical impact, and gradually rolled to a stop. A near vertical surface dissipated the energy.

  8. mobius says

    Sorry Mr. Anderson, but I figured out decades ago that sitting down was less messy. Plus you don’t have the problem of people of the female persuasion getting upset over the seat being left up. As far as I am concerned, that makes it a win-win situation.

    If the Bible insists that men should always go while standing, that is just one more point showing what a silly book it is.

  9. thewhollynone says

    Hee, hee, I haven’t laughed so much in a week! Such problems that men have! If only men had to clean around the toilets, this problem would have been solved eons ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *