Monday, March 27, 2017

Bring Your Own TP or Submit to an Eye Scan to Get a Few Sheets

Imagine that!  Use a public restroom, but toilet paper is NOT provided. You have to bring your own. This is the situation in China. Now, due to the increase of public toilets due to tourism, public restrooms have installed eye scanners before dispensing toilet paper so that the precious resources are not stolen.  Read the full article here.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Triclosan Ban

In some previous posts I discussed the banning of Triclosan which is used in anti-bacterial soaps and other products.  In the March, 2017 edition of, there is an entire article dedicated to this ban and more information regarding it.  You'll find the information interesting and eye-opening, especially since custodial staff may be responsible for making sure that products containing Triclosan are not used after September 6, 2017.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Robotic HVAC Cleaning Units

Here's a nifty way to clean your ductwork.  Use robots!

Students in India took six months to design an HVAC duct cleaning robot system that inspects and cleans the ductwork.  The following link will take you to the article from the India Times.

Robot Cleaners

Friday, February 10, 2017

What's the Best Way to Use A Public Toilet?

Here's some interesting points on the best way to use a public toilet. You'll find this interesting and insightful.

Toilet Usage

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Exhale. Detect. Prevent.

Yesterday I posted an article dealing with the Microsoft Cloud and the ability to detect a potential outbreak of disease before it happens.

Today, there is an article dealing with a device much like a breathalyzer that has been invented that allows the user to simply exhale into it and detection of the flu or other diseases like Ebola could easily be detected.  This would be a great boon to preventing or limiting sickness.  Here's the link to this intriguing article from the University of Texas.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Microsoft, Mosquitoes and Mammals

When you think of Microsoft you think computer software. But how about Microsoft and the possible prevention of disease? Really?

Yes!  Below is an article by Microsoft on how they are using mosquitoes and the Microsoft Cloud to study and possibly limit or eliminate disease outbreaks.  Fascinating stuff!

Many disease outbreaks start from viruses found in animals – but viruses in animals are very difficult to study. A Microsoft research project called Project Premonition aims to monitor these viruses using mosquitoes as natural field biologists that collect blood samples from animals.

It works like this: When mosquitoes bite animals, they obtain a small amount of blood containing genetic information about the animals that were bitten and viruses present. That information could be used to detect pathogens before they cause outbreaks.

Microsoft and its partners aim to utilize these insects’ work to identify where diseases come from and how they spread – and ultimately prevent outbreaks of new viruses – by using smart traps, drones and gene sequencing to capture mosquitoes and study the DNA they’ve collected.

To efficiently find and capture mosquitoes, the Project Premonition team has designed smart mosquito traps that use machine learning to selectively capture important species based on distinguishing wing-beat patterns. The traps also record environmental factors such as light, temperature and humidity – data that could be important in understanding how viruses are spreading. The team is applying drone technology to find mosquito hot spots and guide the placement of traps.
The system provides “a plethora of data we never had before about the behavior of the insects,” said Ethan Jackson, the Microsoft researcher who is leading Project Premonition.

The captured mosquitoes are turned into data by gene sequencing, producing more than 100 million pieces of small DNA sequences. These sequences are compared against the genomes of hundreds of thousands of organisms, from viruses and bacteria to reptiles and mammals.

This requires trillions of genetic comparisons, which can now be completed in just 12 hours using the computing power of the Microsoft Cloud. In the past, that data analysis took 30 days. The time savings of the Project Premonition system could help researchers detect new infectious diseases before they spread, enabling healthcare workers to get ahead of the curve in preparing responses.
The project benefits from recent developments in gene sequencing and computational biology that allow researchers to quickly search through samples for possible viruses, including specific diseases such as Zika, as well as ones that haven’t been discovered yet. It also helps researchers figure out which animals may be the sources and carriers of diseases.

“If we can detect these new viruses before they spread,” Jackson said, “we may someday prevent outbreaks before they begin.”


JOTY 2017

Here we go again!  This is the fourth year in a row that Cintas Corporation has sponsored the Janitor of the Year contest.  Essay's nominating this year's janitors/custodians needs to be submitted by March 1.

Click here to read details and nominate your favorite janitor.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

How Bad Do You Have to Go?

It's bad enough using an outhouse or pit toilet knowing there is a huge hole underneath your tush. But how about sitting over an old elevator shaft 15 stories deep?  And it has a glass floor.  And it's lit. Now would you go?

Check out this article from just such a toilet in Mexico and scroll through the pictures that accompany the article.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

China's Toilet Chiefs

According to the Shanghai Daily website, China is in the middle of a toilet revolution.  While increasing the number of toilets in the country, they are also going to be inspecting toilets for cleanliness and to attract more tourists.  This short article gives the interesting details of this endeavor.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hand Towels, Cell Phones and Kitchen Sponges - Oh My!

So what do you consider to be dirty?  Toilet seats? Counter tops?  The floor?

You might be surprised at what items around you are really found to be the dirtiest of all.  Cell phones contaminated with fecal matter, toothbrush holders housing the bacteria Coliform and more top the list.

Time magazine published an article dealing with the top five dirtiest items we touch everyday.  Here's the article for your perusal.  Makes you think twice!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One Pound!

Our poll question asked "how much dirt can be hidden in one square foot of carpeting."  The answer, surprisingly, is one pound!  That's right.  One full pound.

Carpets are designed to hide soil.  Thus, the admonition from carpet manufacturers to vacuum your carpet regularly is no joke.  Carpets should be vacuumed daily, if not more to keep the soil from building up and damaging the fibers and backing.

Although most of us don't vacuum that regularly, it is impressive that carpets are designed to hide that amount of soil and keep our homes and businesses still looking relatively clean.

Note:  Here's a link to a You Tube video showing that a pound of soil can indeed be hidden in a square foot of carpet and the reasons for regular vacuuming.

Hidden Soil

Regular Vacuuming