0986: "Drinking Fountains"

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madjo
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby madjo » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

This comic reminds me just how much a human being produces waste.
Excrement and urine, and a lot of hot air.
:)

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:36 pm UTC

songster wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:that's true I suppose, although I would have thought the constant flow of urine out would help prevent bacteria getting up the urethra into the kidneys.

Also biology was always quite good with developing valves, a series of biological valve would possible prevent infections better than a bladder.


Um, the bladder sphincter IS a biological valve, that's the whole point. A constant flow is useless if it's slow enough for the bacteria to swim "upstream", or crawl along the mucosal surfaces. Solution: store the urine for a while and release it under higher pressure, to flush the pipes clean.


Good point.

what if urine was secreted through a semi permeable membrane somewhere?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby radtea » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:what if urine was secreted through a semi permeable membrane somewhere?


At least some sharks do this: http://www.sharkiologist.com/article_sharkphysiology.html

More details on osomoregulation here: http://www2.uic.edu/~bcatal1/bios/bios245/learn/osmoregulation.pdf

For land animals I'm pretty sure continuously dripping urine would be useful for predators to track an individual, which might result in selection against such a mechanism.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Gantt42 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:52 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:I've often wondered why animals need bladders and would it make more sense to just continually "seep" urine.

I'd always thought that it had to do with predator/prey interactions. It seems to me that continually seeping urine would leave an easy to follow trail to where ever you are.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:59 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:what if urine was secreted through a semi permeable membrane somewhere?


At least some sharks do this: http://www.sharkiologist.com/article_sharkphysiology.html

More details on osomoregulation here: http://www2.uic.edu/~bcatal1/bios/bios245/learn/osmoregulation.pdf

For land animals I'm pretty sure continuously dripping urine would be useful for predators to track an individual, which might result in selection against such a mechanism.


yeah that hadn't occurred to me, but it makes sense.

Another thought is why is urine excreted separately to faeces? if urine was excreted directly into the intestines, some water could be reclaimed, and it might be a more efficient system, but then I guess it's also possible the the bowels would reabsorb substances that were specifically excreted via urine so that is possibly a count against that method, although IIRC birds excrete urine and faeces together. :?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Mortomes » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

A not so delicious cycle.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby StonyRiverDave » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:17 pm UTC

BPH? (One who knows!)

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

I'm not quite sure, really, but this might be the worst xkcd ever.




WATER

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby gingermrkettle » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

radtea wrote:For land animals I'm pretty sure continuously dripping urine would be useful for predators to track an individual, which might result in selection against such a mechanism.


I thought that was the case for quite a few rodents, and that some birds of prey had the ability to see the ultraviolet traces left through any undergrowth in order to find them. *citation needed*

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby BentFranklin » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:22 pm UTC

Here is how it's done:

Matrix.jpg
Matrix.jpg (19.31 KiB) Viewed 4900 times

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby ribblefizz » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

I worked in a dental office that had a water dispenser (the kind you dump a 5-gallon water jug upside down onto) directly outside the bathroom door; the bathroom was located inside the room that served as my office. My boss would come in four or five times a day, between patients, and get himself two or three cups of water, then go in to pee, and then get another cup or two on the way out. It always amused me a little bit (as well as grossing me out a little bit; the walls were paper thin, so I'd be on the phone with patients or suppliers and they'd pause when they heard him start peeing and I always wanted to yell, "IT'S NOT ME"), but he never saw the humor in it.

As a side note, my water main backed up or burst or something last night. I'm waiting for the plumbers to arrive. I've been up all night to catch up on work before they get here, taking caffeine pills to help keep me going. I have to pee SO BAD right now; this comic (and thread) is the worst possible timing for me. It's a whole different type of "get out of my head" moment, and the least pleasant one I've had out of all the XKCDs thus far.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

Nope. Still no improvement. I had hoped that a comic like this would inspire SirMustapha to greater heights, to bring his obviously considerable intellect to bear in a truly devastating tirade. Instead we get this minimalist statement that doesn't even have the saving grace of being a badly constructed haiku. Where is the wit? Where are the carefully chosen barbs of vitriol? I am disappointed in this criticism of today's comic.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby idearat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

solidxsnake wrote:The bathroom on my floor of the dorm I live in has a drinking fountain INSIDE the bathroom. Go figure.


Are you sure it's not a bidet?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby josephers » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

I saw this comic and smirked. Then I saw the XKCD store banner and laughed like a hyena. It felt like today's comic was outside the box.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
michaelsaunders77 wrote:The alt text is backwards. "drink FAST enough, and eliminate SLOWLY enough" would make more sense.
Although I'm pretty sure this isn't possible anyway. You would probably die of water intoxication before reaching a steady-state.

No it wouldn't. The idea is to be drinking continuously and also pissing continuously, which means you could only be drinking a relatively small stream of water.

If instead of water you drank body-temperature buffered saline, this might indeed be possible. I'm not sure how long it would take before you got too exhausted and sore to continue.

E: The water would need to contain several different ions in about the right concentration as well as glucose (or sucrose or galactose). Balance is everything. Too much and the kidneys are overloaded; not enough and you die.


For appropriate definitions of "continuously" you can do it. :P
srsly: unless your kidney/blatter/ureter system is hosed (haha), it is a noncontinuous flow anyway. You could put in a catheter, I suppose, and for good measure an IV line to a bottle of Ringer's , and get a more or less continuous system.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby cwthree » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:01 pm UTC

In my experience, it's entirely possible if you have a catheter in your bladder. Drink moderate quantities of water throughout the day, and your kidneys will be putting out urine pretty much continuously. With the catheter in place, the bladder sphincter doesn't hold the urine back, so you dribble (hope you remembered to hook up your bag!) at a variable rate all day and all night.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby lazer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:36 pm UTC

Long time lurker. First time poster. The curiosity is killing me. What's up with the "water" in the bottom left corner? Some people mentioned it earlier, but no one had any suggestions.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby lazer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:38 pm UTC

WolfieMario wrote:
gormster wrote:
Eutychus wrote:
WolfieMario wrote:The random "Water" next to the bathroom door
Yeah, about that... What's it doing there?

Yeah, that's.. not in the right place? What the hell is that doing there?

It's been an hour (?) and I still haven't figured out why it's there :roll:


Anyone care to share their $0.02 (not to be confused with 0.002c )?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Invisiblemoose » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:21 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:



WATER

Yeah what's the deal with that "water" label floating over in nowhere?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby bmonk » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
pareidolon wrote:You're not welcome here sherlip. This is an academic forum only for people with advanced degrees in the sciences and mathematics. Can't you tell by the professional content being discussed?
Now you're just taking the piss.


I think you missed his <sarcasm> code?
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby veritascs » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:This is one of the stupidest - if not the single stupidest - comic ever posted here.

It's not realistic enough to be a worthwhile thinking point, and it's not absurd enough to be funny. Just ... totally pointless.

i was waiting for this reply. SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. you should checkout beginners mind :)

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby JamusPsi » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:51 pm UTC

michaelsaunders77 wrote:Well from some quick reseach...
20ml/second is average. Once you approach a steady state, I would assume that the differential in water retention with intake adjustments becomes negligible. So ignoring the constant amount we retain and use, we would need to drink 4.8 250-ml glasses every minute.

Healthy kidneys can only go through 1000ml/hr approximately, so you would die of water intoxication before you got anywhere close.

So you would definitely need to pee slower to avoid death, and you would definitely need to drink faster to get the required rate.


This is why I love xkcd.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby RevengencerAlf » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

Funny, I avoid drinking fountains outside bathrooms (and really anywhere for that matter) because I'm afraid of getting sick. Call me silly but I just don't like the idea of someone's spit and sweat dripping all over the spout the water is coming from. There is also just the fact to consider that tap water just inherently tastes like crap without the right filtration.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby RevengencerAlf » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:10 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
radtea wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:what if urine was secreted through a semi permeable membrane somewhere?


At least some sharks do this: http://www.sharkiologist.com/article_sharkphysiology.html

More details on osomoregulation here: http://www2.uic.edu/~bcatal1/bios/bios245/learn/osmoregulation.pdf

For land animals I'm pretty sure continuously dripping urine would be useful for predators to track an individual, which might result in selection against such a mechanism.


yeah that hadn't occurred to me, but it makes sense.

Another thought is why is urine excreted separately to faeces? if urine was excreted directly into the intestines, some water could be reclaimed, and it might be a more efficient system, but then I guess it's also possible the the bowels would reabsorb substances that were specifically excreted via urine so that is possibly a count against that method, although IIRC birds excrete urine and faeces together. :?


If I had to guess, it would have something to do with the relative sterility of everything past the kidneys, and the extreme lack of sterility of the lower digestive tract. Considering how easy it is for the urinary tract and bladder to get infected under the right circumstances, I can see why mammals have to keep the processes separate. I suppose it could also just be a vestigial trait left over from species who for one reason or another dispose of their solid and liquid waste in different ways.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

veritascs wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:This is one of the stupidest - if not the single stupidest - comic ever posted here.

It's not realistic enough to be a worthwhile thinking point, and it's not absurd enough to be funny. Just ... totally pointless.

i was waiting for this reply. SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF.


I think he covered that with "not absurd enough to be funny". I guess that you're not referring to "suspension of disbelief", but to "suspension of good humour", which is, I guess, the only thing that can make today's xkcd anything close to funny. Or maybe you just have a default answer to every word of criticism you encounter -- as in "realistic -> SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF (IN CAPITALS)".

Red Hal wrote:Nope. Still no improvement. I had hoped that a comic like this would inspire SirMustapha to greater heights, to bring his obviously considerable intellect to bear in a truly devastating tirade. Instead we get this minimalist statement that doesn't even have the saving grace of being a badly constructed haiku. Where is the wit? Where are the carefully chosen barbs of vitriol? I am disappointed in this criticism of today's comic.


You just don't understand the finesse of it. Wit? Choice of words? Why, there is only one word that can properly describe this comic:






WATER

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby pbnjstowell » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

Now I have to pee again.

RevengencerAlf wrote:
AvatarIII wrote: Another thought is why is urine excreted separately to faeces? if urine was excreted directly into the intestines, some water could be reclaimed, and it might be a more efficient system, but then I guess it's also possible the the bowels would reabsorb substances that were specifically excreted via urine so that is possibly a count against that method, although IIRC birds excrete urine and faeces together. :?


If I had to guess, it would have something to do with the relative sterility of everything past the kidneys, and the extreme lack of sterility of the lower digestive tract. Considering how easy it is for the urinary tract and bladder to get infected under the right circumstances, I can see why mammals have to keep the processes separate. I suppose it could also just be a vestigial trait left over from species who for one reason or another dispose of their solid and liquid waste in different ways.


Also, look up 'cloaca' in the Wikipedia. Fascinating.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Kisama » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:WATER

Because moisture is the essence of wetness,
and wetness... is the essence of beauty.
cd880b726e0a0dbd4237f10d15da46f4

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Samik » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

Honestly, I don't think I even come here (the Individual Comic Threads, that is) anymore for the comics. I'm just here to see what SirMustapha has to say.

It's like performance art.


Except where the performer is like Jim Carrey in the Truman show and has no idea he is being watched.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Tyrannosaur » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

Mortomes wrote:A not so delicious cycle.


All I could think was "A delicious cycle..... gross."

SirMustapha wrote:I'm not quite sure, really, but this might be the worst xkcd ever.




WATER


And for once I actually agree.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Heylady » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

When attempting this or other dubious "experiments," the answer to "What are you doing?" is "Testing a hypothesis." No lying, no further explanation offered. Depending on the results, the published paper will explain...

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
Red Hal wrote:
pareidolon wrote:You're not welcome here sherlip. This is an academic forum only for people with advanced degrees in the sciences and mathematics. Can't you tell by the professional content being discussed?
Now you're just taking the piss.


I think you missed his <sarcasm> code?

Or maybe you missed mine!
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:39 pm UTC

So, I think this is like that "Milk" comic, where he puts up his most infantile, incomprehensible, and somewhat disgusting daydreams and people either are still hesitant to condemn the quality of the "comic", choose to deride others for not seeing his genius, or outright embrace the strip as "good" or "like what I think". And the whole point is that, when we each have to look at how corrupted our psyches have become from xkcd, he can still say that at least he gave us fair warning.
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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby aeschere » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

All that I know about bladders comes from the day my physics teacher decided to spend an entire class period on Tycho Brahe's death. With diagrams and all.

From his story and what I've read here it seems like this experiment would be a not-so-great idea. Another pertinent issue is being uncomfortable. Being in the same position, constantly doing the same thing, wouldn't one get quite tired after a while?

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby j1blb » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:49 pm UTC

You can simulate this feedback loop whilst drinking a glass of water at the same time as urinating. It's a curious sensation.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby Various Varieties » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:11 pm UTC

This comic's alt text reminded me of an interview with Guillermo del Toro that I read the other day, where he explained that the vampires of his novel The Strain feed like ticks, constantly excreting as they suck blood.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby dmm » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:20 pm UTC

idearat wrote:
solidxsnake wrote:The bathroom on my floor of the dorm I live in has a drinking fountain INSIDE the bathroom. Go figure.


Are you sure it's not a bidet?


Was once in a bathroom with a weird urinal. It was a big circle, with space for like 8 guys, and flushed with water from the top. Well, I did my business, then looked around for the sink....

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby project2051 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:55 am UTC

I'm staying away from this one, next thing you know you guys will be sewing people together.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby eaglewings51 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:14 am UTC

WolfieMario wrote:
xmillion wrote:The other possible loop could be the water itself; where the water fountain gets water from the bathroom... which is what I thought of before I read the alt-text (and is more gross).

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought that at first too. Actually, I updated my post at the top; now it basically shows how I thought the strip would originally pan out.


Yea, that's what I thought too when I first looked at it. lol, it would have been funnier if he'd put something like that as the alt text.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby jimhsu » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:53 am UTC

This comic reminds me to go back and study renal. Oh god, a comic directly relevant to my classwork ... horrors.

I concur with the opinion that this is only possible with a catheter. Normal urine production is something like 2L/day, though this can be increased to 18L/day or so with maximally dilute urine in a healthy subject (50 mOsm). Your kidneys are simply incapable of removing all electrolytes from filtrate (though they do a fine job with most of it) and you'll slowly (or rapidly depending on amount of intake) become hypoosmotic, leading to all sorts of fun things such as cerebral edema (hyponatremia), cardiac arrythmias (hypokalemia), etc. In fact, balancing urine output with fluid intake is what they do all day in the inpatient units -- just not something you can voluntarily control, purely based on how your urinary sphincters work. The only other possibility is urinary incontinence, but let's not go there.
Last edited by jimhsu on Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:58 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0986: "Drinking Fountains"

Postby jimhsu » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:56 am UTC

pbnjstowell wrote:Now I have to pee again.

RevengencerAlf wrote:
AvatarIII wrote: Another thought is why is urine excreted separately to faeces? if urine was excreted directly into the intestines, some water could be reclaimed, and it might be a more efficient system, but then I guess it's also possible the the bowels would reabsorb substances that were specifically excreted via urine so that is possibly a count against that method, although IIRC birds excrete urine and faeces together. :?


If I had to guess, it would have something to do with the relative sterility of everything past the kidneys, and the extreme lack of sterility of the lower digestive tract. Considering how easy it is for the urinary tract and bladder to get infected under the right circumstances, I can see why mammals have to keep the processes separate. I suppose it could also just be a vestigial trait left over from species who for one reason or another dispose of their solid and liquid waste in different ways.


Also, look up 'cloaca' in the Wikipedia. Fascinating.


Your body tries really, really hard to keep the urinary tract sterile. Read up on "vesicoureteral reflux" for starters, the role of the prostate, why females contract many more UTIs than males, etc etc.


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