Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How Has Adam Savage Customised His Toilet?

I've become about as obsessed with as a man can get without actually buying a subscription. Not that I wouldn't buy a subscription but life isn't exactly great at the moment and 'cash' and 'surplus' are words fitted with opposing neodymium magnets. I just can't get the little buggers to stick together.

Yet even as a non-premium member, I confess that I'm utterly addicted. Never before have I found a website which is so like an electrified needle pushed straight into my man-lobe, should there be one and I have no doubt that somewhere deep in my brainbox there is such a lobe controlling my love of manly things.

I have no idea how came into existence. My devote atheism denies a role for divine inspiration but, without that, I can't believe evolution would produce something so perfect. Tested is a place for makers (that is, people who make things). I'm not a maker myself in the sense that the things that I do make aren't anything other than digital, or occasionally, ink and paper. However, I'm fascinated by people who are.

I think it wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that if I had to name the greatest human being currently living on this great soggy globe of ours, I'd probably name Adam Savage. Savage, for those of you who haven't been enlightened, is the more talkative host of Mythbusters but he's also one of the stars (maybe *the* star) of He describes himself as 'a maker of things' but that really doesn't do him justice. He's really King Nerd, the guy the rest of the world should really look up to instead of all the grifting shysters and semi-evolved rappers. Savage lives his life in the zone that people like me just consider home.

Example the first: he's just build a replica of the maze that Jack Nicholson looks over at the Overlook Hotel in Kubrick's Shining. The videos that accompany that build are just manna for anybody like me who loves Kubrick. (Speaking of which, I highly recommend, if you can find it online, Jon Ronson's excellent documentary about Kubrick's boxes.)

Take, another example: Savage's current obsession with flying drones.

I've written before about my concerns about drones but I'll admit right now that the more I see what they can do, the more the bloody things excite me. I know now that I'll never own one or get to fly one but that doesn't mean I can't live vicariously through those people that do. But even my sheer excitement about new technology is different to the joy I get from watching Savage work. When body augmentation kicks in, I expect Savage to lead the field replacing his buttocks with something more functional and contain compartments to keep his wood glue. Until that day arrives, I'm satisfied watching him making all manner of things for his new toys. His 'One Day Builds' on Youtube are worthy of any TV station and, I'd say, are better than 95% of the stuff on the BBC. If they had a 9pm slot on BBC2, they'd become a worldwide hit. They're simply that good. They're an example of what intelligent people can do when given the resources and the freedom not to chase profit.

Whenever I complain about the degradation of society and culture, I should really parenthesise all that and say that in some ennobled places in the world, culture is still on the rise. Noe Valley in San Francisco seems to be one such place. It's where has its home and where Savage brings order to the chaos. His has to be some highly evolved form of autism: a delight in order and arrangement. Yet it's more than that. What excites me about is that the thing is so damn friendly. It makes you feel that human beings aren't so bad when they can work as a community to share a passion. I can't recommend it enough.

Having said all that, in his latest video, Savage and Norm (Norm's great) look at the tools and gadgets that help Adam fly his drone. Just the attention to detail is something I admire. Yet the attention to detail didn't go so far as shutting the bathroom door behind them.

First thing to note: Savage keeps his toilet seat up. Of course, that's the way to go from a practical point of view but perhaps this is a small detail which distinguishes the amateur operation from the seriously professional. However, in the absence of Jeremy Clarkson from our TV screens, this is the next best thing men are going to get to 'manly TV' for a little while. I tried not to look into the bathroom but I did begin to wonder about what is in there. If Adam Savage likes to customise everything in his life, how the hell might he have customised his toilet?

I've been giving this far too much thought and I now believe that the first thing I'd do is to counter-weight the toilet seat. I've often wondered about that before today. Why should it be the obligation of men to put the seat down? Shouldn't it be the obligation of women to leave the seat up? Or solve the problem entirely with a simple weighted solution to make toilet seats like seats you find in a cinema.

But knowing Savage, I suspect a counter-weighted toilet seat wouldn't be enough. I can only conclude that he has magnets on his flies and that there's some kind of floating truss in there which connects quickly to his lower regions. The truss takes care of the handling leaving his hands free to do more valuable things such as spray paint a model or drill some MDF. I thought I also spied a foot mechanism to control the flush but I might be wrong. All I know is that the possibilities are endless. Perhaps it will be a future video. If so, I'll be hooked. In the meantime: feed your inner nerd and check out

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