Photo by htomas for iStock

When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,


I couldn’t help but think of you when I saw the photo of a robot cleaning a toilet at the recent World Artificial Intelligence Conference. Growing up, I may have been “punished” with a budget, but it is good that you were such an obedient child, as Mom would have hated punishing you by taking away your toilet cleaning privileges.

Of course, Black doesn’t have children, so I’m not sure that she appreciates some of the best childhood memories include simple activities – no technology necessary. (For all the parents out there, how many of you have experienced a Christmas or Chanukah where the kids enjoy the box and/or plastic bubble wrap more than the gift?) There’s even a current TV commercial about a kid fishing in the toilet bowl using a sock as bait. Bottomline: the only “requirement” is a desire to have fun and maybe use some imagination.

And for those of us of a certain age … doesn’t this describe pretty much everything we did as kids growing up? Even Black’s admitted to her love of watermelon seed spitting (although I think she’d enjoy doing it even more now that she lives in a high-dollar high-rise).

Now, don’t get me wrong. Love it or hate it, technology has its place in almost all our lives (and what kid doesn’t want the latest and greatest “gizmo”), but not everything has to be powered by technology,

A computerized toilet cleaner is a marvel of technology, but can it beat the smiles and laughter of a child sloshing a brush around a toilet, especially when you can’t tell if they’re having more fun with the bubbles or the mess that they’re making?
Photo by Rabbitti for iStock

It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Yes.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Well, it’s been a week since Election Day, and although it was only the mid-terms, I felt like in the weeks running up to it, it received almost as much media coverage and attention as a presidential election.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

That is because so much was on the line. The “hype” was that there would be a “red wave” and the Republicans would dominate. And, easily take control of Congress. It never happened.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

It certainly proved not to count your chickens before they hatch, that it’s not over until the fat lady sings, oh, I could go on and on.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

You can stop with the idioms, especially since I am not sure the “fat lady” one is PC (politically correct). But, the results show that voters were much more levelheaded than the media gave them credit for being.
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