Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Technological Progress

I have been diligently trying to learn to spin with a hand spindle, and I am amazingly making some progress. My dh is becoming interested in the process. Yesterday, he saw on the internet a photograph made in Afghanistan of some women who are participating in a cottage industry project. One was spinning on a spindle and the other one was "knitting or something." If he can find the link again, I will post it.

Thinking about technology old and new has inspired me to tell you about the experiences with bathroom updates in our teachers' restroom. Our women's bathroom consists of a long narrow room about 5 x 10, with the vanity/lavatory at the far end on the left and the door to a tiny separate room for the toilet on the right. We generally do not enter the outer room unless we are sure no one else is in there because it gets crowded at the far end. The way we know the room is empty is if the light and fan (on the same switch) are off. We have just had some updates. The first update was a paper towel dispenser that rolls out a paper towel when you wave at it. Cool! The latest improvement was a retrofit of the toilet with one of those automatic flushing photoelectric valves. The first day, the valve flushed 3 times per customer--about 20 seconds after someone sat down, at the proper time, and just about the time you got to the sink to wash your hands. That afternoon, I spoke with maintenance, and they adjusted the "sensitivity"--they seemed to find this amusing. Then the really weird things started happening! I have no problem--everything is working fine when I go in there. The teacher next door has to push the button to flush manually because it will not work for her. The teacher in the next room is still getting the "bidet effect." And, the next teacher down the hall is not only getting the occasional "bidet effect," but paper towels that dispense when she walks past the dispenser. We don't know whether complain to maintenance or hold an exorcism!

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