I have to say, I bet if you made some kind of vitamin-water drink called "Astronaut Pee" you would probably do brisk business among both the kids who like edgy/gross things demographic and those who are easily susceptible to claims about "ions" and "osmosis" and "Science." Given NASA's crash for cash right now it seems like it might be something worth looking into.
So what are THE SMELLS? Take it away, Science! Working with a standard set of data, Andrew Dravniek's 1985 Atlas of Odor Character Profiles, the researchers applied a mathematical method to simplify the olfactory information into coherent categories, similar to the way compressing a digital audio or image file reduces the file's size without, ideally, compromising its usefulness. The team identified 10 basic odor qualities: fragrant, woody/resinous, fruity (non-citrus), chemical, minty/peppermint, sweet, popcorn, lemon and two kinds of sickening odors: pungent and decayed.
"So if the idea of washing your hands over the urinal you’ve just used grosses you out, just remember: you probably weren’t even going to wash them in the first place, and that would be even ickier."
You can tell spring has arrived because it's a whole new season for explainers about why asparagus makes your pee smell that way.
I will not attempt to come up with a better title for an article about how scientists are making brain cells out of urine than Scientific American did here, with "Brain Cells Made From Urine."
"While it did not exhaustively look into the reasons behind why people think they can urinate in a public pool, the survey suggests that it is easy and anonymous." —Also, "Human Slurry" would be a good name for a band.
"Analysis of swimming pool water samples, combined with the results of experiments involving chlorination of uric acid, and chlorination of body fluid analog mixtures, indicated that uric acid chlorination may account for a large fraction of CNCl formation in swimming pools. Moreover, given that uric acid introduction to pools is attributable to urination, a voluntary action for most swimmers, these findings indicate important benefits to pool water and air chemistry that could result from improved hygiene habits on the part of swimmers," says Science, but we should note that this study was partially funded by the National Swimming Pool Foundation, [...]
"'You know,' he said, 'when you get to my age you have to pee a lot. And there is no distance at all between knowing you want to pee and then just peeing. I was at Plimpton’s funeral in St John the Divine not long ago, and they sat me near the front, you know. Suddenly, I had to go. I knew I wasn’t gonna make it all the way down the aisle so I spotted a little side door and I got the canes and nipped in there. Halfway down the corridor, I was looking for a john and who do I see but Philip Roth. 'Hey, Philip, what [...]
I admire the depth of Christine Smallwood’s impressive research into bed-wetting therapies ['Are You Sleeping?,' Forum, August]. One treatment she neglected to mention, however, was the method my mother used: she brought me in from playing outdoors, stood me before my bed, forced my head down, and rubbed my face in the soiled sheet. I’ll bet her 'cure' was not an uncommon practice back in the 1940s. And while I did later have occasional incontinence issues on the playground, I never again wet the bed. Success — except for the sad memories.
Noreen Ayres Henryville, Pa."
"Human urine has been used to charge a mobile phone in a major breakthrough for researchers. Just half a litre of waste generated enough power to make a six-minute phone call and to send several text messages."
"With the warmer weather coming, Caribou Baby’s owner Adriane Stare — who held her bare-bottomed baby Loren atop a cloth diaper as she whispered 'sissss' to him to cue a pee during the discussion — told the group she’d soon open the center's backyard to let babies roam diaper-free outside."
"It smells up the block. It's been noticeably worse since the arena opened. It was just totally disgusting. In New York City you don't accept that kind of uncivilized behavior." —A Brooklyn resident who seems, let's say, a little naive on what kind of uncivilized behavior New York City will accept, is one of the many people registering his displeasure over the fact that "patrons at the newly opened Barclays Center are using local sidewalks as urinals, even peeing on a community garden across from the new arena."
"In analyzing their results, the researchers found that sitting on a toilet, as most men well know, results in the least amount of splash-back (the contact point is much closer). They also discovered something likely few men have considered—that urine follows what is known as the Plateau-Rayleigh instability—where a pee stream breaks up into drops before striking something else. That's the worst thing that can happen, the team reports, because each drop creates splash-back. To avoid that, men should stand as close to the urinal as possible they advise. Also helpful is directing the stream to hit the back of the urinal at a downward angle. That creates less splash-back [...]
"Scientists have discovered that all mammals urinate for roughly the same amount of time, regardless of their size. A study carried out by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta found that animals of various sizes – from an elephant to a rat – take around 21 seconds to relieve themselves. The team, who collated their findings using videos of animals going to toilet and combining them with data on mass, bladder pressure and urethra size, were able to come up with what they are calling the 'law of urination'." [...]
"Story of brave dog that extinguished Nazi incendiary bomb during Blitz by urinating on it is uncovered after bravery medal awarded to the animal is discovered," is a sentence that appeared in a newspaper today.
New York's "what's that smell?" season has officially begun.
— Paul Werdel (@prwerdel) May 30, 2013
[Spoiler: It's piss.]
"It’s around the third beer when it hits you. Your bladder feels full and you gotta go — like, now. You head to the restroom, and as you leave, your friend jokes that you're risking 'breaking the seal': You urinate once while drinking and after that, you’ll have to get up every five minutes to pee. It's an urban myth that even urologists wonder about, as it turns out. " — Is 'breaking the seal' a real thing?