Friday, 14 March 2008

Toilet seat 400 times cleaner than desktop


March 12, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Which is cleaner, telephone receiver or toilet
seat?
A toilet seat is about 400 times cleaner than the desktop and several hundred times cleaner than the telephone receiver.
According to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, physician-surgeon and popular science author from Australia, in terms of bacteria per square inch, telephone receiver is the filthiest with 25,127 bacteria per sq. inch. This is followed by the desktop at 20,961, the computer key board at 3295 and the computer mouse at 1676. The least contaminated surface was the toilet seat with only 49 bacteria per square inch, making it about
400 times cleaner than the desktop.
"For bacteria the desk is really the laptop of luxury. They can feast all day from breakfast to lunch and even dinner. Your desk is the second `germiest' place in the office," he says.
Explaining why the toilet seat is always the cleanest site, Dr Karl, who is currently in Hyderabad to popularise science and clear "myth conceptions", said the toilet seat is too dry to provide a good home to a large population of bacteria. "If you went to the trouble of using their sponsor's antibacterial wipes in toilets, you could drop the bacteria count by about 99.9 per cent".
Referring to lie-detectors and truth serum tests, Dr Karl says an innocent person is at more risk of being caught by lie-detectors and truth serum than professional criminals and habitual liars. "There's no truth in truth serum and lie-detector is a great lie," he points out. Since these equipment work on the heart beat and breathing of a person being subjected to such tests, an innocent person develops anxiety and the results become positive, he said in an exclusive interview with this
correspondent.
One of the great summer myths is that a fan will cool a room. A fan cannot cool a room. It can only cool the people who are sitting in the room.
"Think about a day when the air is cooler than your skin. On average, your body generates about 100 watts of waste heat (about as much as a light bulb). If there's no wind, this heat creates a thin layer of warm air that sits next to your skin. Once this layer has warmed up to skin temperature, it becomes a very good heat barrier. Heat cannot pass into this layer from your skin, because heat cannot normally travel only from a hot place to a cooler place. As your skin temperature increases, you begin to feel uncomfortable. The only way out of this cycle is to
move around, or to sweat. But when a fan blows wind across your skin, it pushes away this warm layer of air and you will feel cooler."
He also clears the popular myth that people will lose eye sight if they look at the sun during eclipses. During eclipses the sun does not emit new and strange forms of damaging radiation but continues to squirt out what it always has.
"But many people when given the chance never enjoy the free cosmic thrill of a total solar eclipse, because they believe the myth that looking at a solar eclipse or even being outdoors when it happens, will make you go blind. In fact a total eclipse of the Sun can be pretty harmless.
However, a partial eclipse, however, is far more dangerous as the sun still emits 99 per cent of its light."
And what about the so-called diet soft drinks? Aspartame, the common sweetener in low-calorie diet drinks, has not had an easy run since the FDA approved it in 1981. Aspartame is produced by combining two amino acids. These amino acids are, like the other 18 or so common amino acids, found in the proteins we eat as part of our regular food intake.
Some studies show that diet drinks with artificial sweeteners can stimulate the appetite, thus defeating the whole purpose of the diet drink.

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