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Discussion Starter #1
<p>Ds (my 6yo analytical type) wants to know all about toilets, what happens when you flush, etc.  Last time he picked a topic like this (electricity) it took several months and we had to cover just about every facet that I could think of.  He loved it and I'd like to try to do the same.</p>
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<p>I'm thinking we could probably cover a lot of science and history here including environmental issues so I'm trying to gather together some books and videos.  Has anyone out there gone on a similar journey?  I figured we'd look at the toilet (it's history and how it works), the wastewater treatment plant, septic tanks (history and how they work), grey water issues (I'm thinking here perhaps grey water systems either institutional or family based where we could learn how others reuse it), and humanure.</p>
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<p>Video-wise I thought maybe I could find a "Dirty Jobs" video or two.  I know there was one where he worked with a Septic Tank person and one where he was at the sewage treatment plant.</p>
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<p>I've found a few children's books, but figured I could also include a few books aimed at adults if there were some pictures or diagrams that he might take interest in.</p>
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<p>Any other ideas?  </p>
 

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<p>Everything (or nearly, there might be a drain you don't want to touch) inside your toilet tank can be taken out and put back in without harming the toilet or yourself so you can do more hands on stuff than you did with electricity.</p>
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<p>You could also look at things like composting toilets, and different shapes of toilets around the world.</p>
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<p>And I have no idea how you'd arrange this as a parent, but I toured a wastewater treatment facility in high school (Portland, OR) and for a college course (Lafayette, IN). I think they may have had videos about the plants as well if you don't think your ds would be up for going on a guided tour.</p>
 

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<p>We like the book, <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Underground</span>, by the guy who did <span style="text-decoration:underline;">How Things Work</span>.  It shows the sewer system and everything else that's underground.  It has good illustrations. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2F0395340659%2Fref%3Drdr_ext_sb_ti_sims_2" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/dp/0395340659/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_sims_2</a></p>
 

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<p><strong>sapphire_chan</strong> - You're right, a tour would be awesome...if I could figure out how to set that one up.</p>
<p><strong>4evermom</strong> - Both of those are fantastic books.  My ds enjoyed reading them when we were going over everything electricity related and was absolutely fascinated with where all the wires ran.</p>
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<p>I think I ended up with something rather respectable and I'll share here just in case anyone else ends up looking for something similar.  There are lots of videos on YouTube including several by gov't agencies.  Our favorite so far is this one <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=az9Dl-WUcy4" target="_blank">on how toilets work</a>.  It was super cute and ds got such a kick out of it.  I came up with several children's books including: “Flush!  The Scoop on Poop Through Out the Ages” by Charice Mericle Harper, “Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi (for my younger two), “The Truth About Poop” by Susan E. Goodman, “Toilets, Bathtubs, Sinks, and Sewers: A History of the Bathroom” by Penny Colman, “Wastewater (Dealing with Waste)” by Sally Morgan, and “Flush!: Treating Wastewater” by Karen Mueller Coombs.</p>
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<p>I also picked up a few books for myself in hopes of being a bit more informed so that I can better answer his questions.  I found “Goodbye to the Flush Toilet: Water-Saving Alternatives to Cesspools, Septic Tanks, and Sewers” by Carol Hupping Stoner, “The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water” by  Sim Van der Ryn, “What Did We Use Before Toilet Paper?:  200 Curious Questions and Intriguing Answers” by Andrew Thompson, “The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters” by Rose George, “Toilets of the World” by Morna E. Gregory (this one if I can get my hands on a copy I think might be interesting for us all to sit and work through), “The Porcelain God: A Social History of the Toilet” by L. Julie Horn, and “Flushed:  How the Plumber Saved Civilization” by W. Hodding Carter.</p>
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<p>I'm planning on coming up with some sort of service project that we can do as a family to either support worldwide access to clean water or sanitation.  From what I can tell the numbers are pretty staggering on both fronts and it might be a good way to tie in something tangible as it were.  Oh, and I'm definitely not discounting the suggestion made for taking apart some portion of the toilet and putting it back together.  I think he'd get a kick out of that (especially since they don't have a Snap Circuits type equivalent in the toilet world).  :0)</p>
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<p>So far on all accounts it's been rather eye opening!</p>
 
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