110320091025 Here’s something half-baked: In the UK, urinals in the gents (God, I can’t wait to be home and to stop having to ask for the mens room or restroom!) flush themselves on a timing mechanism so that (as long as it’s working) it gets washed out every few minutes. Here in the US, there are two types of flush that I’ve seen: a manual knob (as in the picture) or else an automatic one based on a sensor which causes it to flush when you walk away.

I don’t know what this says about our respective cultures, if anything at all, or what point you could use it to make, but I thought it might live in the analogy library until someone could work out how to use it for good or for evil.

And don’t get me started on the lack of soundproofing in the sit down loos or the ones that flush as soon as you stand up.

more random notes from Austin

#kebab was interesting in what it brought out in people when they were given the opportunity to run something themselves. It certainly showed the appetite, particularly among the British contingent to do something different – the only problem was that everyone wanted a different sort of different. It also showed up the difference between UK & US cultures – one I want to explore more, I think there’s something to do to try and build bridges.

The Texas Tuttle went well on Sunday , lots of people packed onto the stand and I got to meet some new people plus Justin Souter who I’d only chatted to on the phone before. Big thanks to Sam and Emily for making us so welcome and arranging the catering. Which reminds me that I need to give a special Tuttle merit badge to Dougald for courage in the face of US customs, risking a full body search by entering the States with PG Tips in his luggage.

The regional whuffie panel put an interesting perspective on coworking and social capital building as a means to raise the social capital of a city or location as well as to that of individuals. junto.org looks an interesting event. Tony Bacigalupo put together this list of links to all the people on the panel and their various activities and endeavours. I came out able to say the word whuffie without dying of embarrassment. The single most important thing I’ve got from attending SXSWi has been the inspiration and motivation to pick up the coworking element of Tuttle again and make sure that we’ve got something to talk about with these folks, this time next year.