What’s the Germiest Place in Your Bathroom?

Have you hovered over a toilet seat in a public restroom, desperate not to touch it?

Chances are good that you have. Americans are so grossed out by the thought of touching things in public bathrooms that 64% of people who use them flush the toilet with their feet, according to a 2013 survey, and 60% use paper towels to open bathroom doors. Several studies over the years have revealed that scary-sounding bacteria and viruses cover the surfaces of bathrooms.

But there’s a lot you don’t know about the germs that lurk in the bathroom. Here are four surprising facts about the germs you encounter in restrooms at and away from home.

The germiest spot isn’t the toilet

It’s actually the toothbrush holder. In a study in 2011 on household germs, conducted by the global public health and safety organization NSF International, researchers tested 30 surfaces—six of which were in the bathroom—in 22 homes for the presence of bacteria, yeast and mold. While 27% of toilet seats contained mold and yeast, 64% of toothbrush holders did. Of the toothbrush holders, 27% had coliform (an indicator of potential fecal contamination) and 14% had staph.

“The toothbrush holder often has many of the factors germs need,” says Lisa Yakas, a microbiologist at NSF International. “It is dark, damp and not cleaned as frequently as it should be.”

But that doesn’t mean you should freak out about your germy bathroom, says Sean Gibbons, an assistant professor at the Institute for Systems Biology, a nonprofit research institution in Seattle. Coliform tests detect fecal contamination, but coliforms are not usually pathogenic.

Bathrooms are full of viruses

In a 2014 study in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Gibbons and his colleagues tested different parts of two women’s and men’s bathrooms on a college campus—the toilet seats, soap dispensers and the floor around the toilets—to understand how the microbial community changes and develops over time. They found Staphylococcus, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpesvirus and E. Coli, among other bugs, in the public bathrooms.

Using data from home bathrooms in the Home Microbiome Project and past research, Gibbons and his colleagues were able to see the same general trends. “Most of the bugs on these surfaces are coming from humans. Almost all humans are carriers of HPV and herpes,” Gibbons says. Only about 15% of what they found was fecal bacteria.

There are health risks associated with these germs, and some of the germs could be pathogenic—but chances are you won’t catch anything, as previous research has indicated. Most gut bacteria don’t survive when they leave the body, so the fecal bacteria that show up in places like bathrooms are dead, Gibbons explains. “There is minimal to zero risk,” he says. “[Most people] are healthy enough to prevent it from hurting it us.”

Germs can spread all over the bathroom

Most bathroom germs predictably start in the toilet, but they can easily spread to other parts of the room (like a toothbrush holder).Over the

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This Oregon garden is designed for aging in place

As the mirror delights in telling me every morning, I’m not getting any younger.

But at least I have plenty of company.

By 2034, according to Danielle Arigoni, AARP’s director of livable communities (and a 1991 University of Oregon grad), there will be more people 65 and over than there are 18 and under for the first time in U.S. history.

Which is why aging in place — and how best to do it — is such a major issue now, one that will only become more important in the next several decades.

“It’s a massive demographic tipping point,” Arigoni says. A 2018 AARP survey found 75% of those 50 (what I call “those kids”) and over want to age in their own home, and the percentages grew even higher in older age groups.

Much has been written about what to do to make a residence’s interior best suited for homeowners as they age. (See AARP’s very informative — and very free — Home Fit guide.)

But less has been shared about how to make a private garden accessible as people age into their 70s, 80s and 90s. The American Society of Landscape Architects has addressed public spaces and gardens, but not private residences.

Which is where Jane Coombs, a retired landscape designer, comes in.

A few years ago, Jane and husband, Peter Dowse, knew it was time to move out of their beloved 1914 Craftsman in Sellwood. With stairs leading up to the entry, an upstairs master bedroom and a basement laundry room, the home was all the things aging-in-place experts don’t recommend.

So it was that they found themselves in a one-story house in Milwaukie and Jane, with 30-plus years of landscape design experience, had a 10,000-square-foot, relatively blank canvas to work with outdoors.

And in the process of designing her garden, she always kept in mind what would work best for her and her husband 10 years down the road.

“When I’m 90,” she explains, “I won’t be able to maintain the garden the way I can now.”

This thinking led Jane to incorporate aging-in-place design principles in her front and back gardens, many of which we’ve included in the tips.

They include flat, navigable surfaces for wheelchairs and walkers, a step-free entry from inside the house to the patio, easy-maintenance plants, plenty of seating and multiple hose bibs. A LOT of hose bibs. OK, eight, to be exact.

Marcia:

A very dear friend of mine from high school, Oklahoma State University assistant professor Emily Roberts, has her doctorate in environmental gerontology, a field that seeks to optimize the relationship between the elderly and their physical and social environment.

I learned from her that connection to the outdoors and nature can ease and prolong a person’s life, even if it’s just looking out the window from either a hospital bed or your own home. Having access physically or visually to nature is extremely beneficial to our well-being as we age.

The concept of biophilia, originally written

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In Connecticut, a House That Blurs the Boundaries of Time and Place

THE TEXTILE DESIGNER Nathalie Farman-Farma was a studious 16-year-old in 1984 when her French-born father’s new banking job in Manhattan required moving the family from the elegant western Parisian suburb of Le Vésinet to what might be its stateside equivalent: Greenwich, Conn. Her mother, Eleanor, who met her father, Jean-Paul, while they were students at Stanford University, had grown up in Northern California as a daughter of William Hewlett, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, and settled on their new town a bit randomly; she sent a letter to The New York Times asking where the best public schools could be found in America and received a list in response.

Greenwich was a bit sleepier then, says Farman-Farma, now 52. The town, a 30-mile drive northeast of Manhattan, was full of Federal-style homes Edith Wharton would have recognized, such as the 6,960-square-foot, three-story 1892 house into which Farman-Farma’s parents settled their four children. They kept the outside white and the shutters dark green, and while they brought in a few family antiques and a good rug or two, they never updated the house with the latest kitchen gadgetry or decorating trends. Kids and dogs were free to gambol through the large parlors and 11 modestly sized bedrooms upstairs, and there were lots of books to read on the pillared porch.

After studying classics in college, Farman-Farma worked as an editor at The New Yorker and, in 2000, married Amir Farman-Farma, now 56, a financier from a royal Iranian family. Today, the couple lives in London with their two teenage children, in a Chelsea townhouse from which she also runs the design studio of her five-year-old textile line, Décors Barbares. (Her first book, “Décors Barbares: The Enchanting Interiors of Nathalie Farman-Farma,” was published last month.) But her mother, now in her 70s (her father died in 2005), continues to live in the Greenwich house, as bulldozers raze neighboring properties of similar vintage to make way for vast neo-Norman compounds.

While the house, on a promontory that overlooks Long Island Sound, is hardly au courant, Farman-Farma has nonetheless helped it evolve: Over the years, she has reimagined the interiors as a reflection of her peripatetic personal history and her well-researched ethnographic obsessions. With references that careen from Russian fairy tales and Uzbek ceramics to the rustic cabins of the Sierra Nevada and the soignée interiors of the World War II-era Parisian decorator Madeleine Castaing, Farman-Farma’s aesthetic catholicism melds seamlessly with the house’s East Coast establishment origins. As she did with her mother’s family property on Lake Tahoe and her own early 19th-century London residence and office, she has created a living laboratory for her layered taste. In a design era that favors vast glass walls and near empty rooms, Farman-Farma’s ethos seems as anachronistic as the Greenwich house itself. “Obviously,” she says, on a late summer afternoon, perched in a crosshatched wicker armchair covered in her black-background Sarafane fabric beside an ottoman draped in an embroidered antique fabric from India, “I don’t have much

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Interior Ministry says 22 protest activities took place in Belarus on Sunday – World

MINSK, September 28. /TASS/. Twenty-two protest activities took place in Belarus on Sunday, the country’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Telegram.

“Twenty-two protest activities were recorded in Belarus on September 27,” the statement reads. “Over 350 people were taken into custody until administrative hearings are held,” the ministry added.

The ministry also said that police in the country’s capital of Minsk had received hundreds of complaints against participants in unauthorized protests.

“Unfortunately, many protests ignored calls to abide by laws and blocked traffic, endangering not only themselves but other people as well,” the Interior Ministry noted.

Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s data, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who garnered 10.12%, refused to recognize the election’s results and left Belarus. Protests erupted in the country’s capital of Minsk and several other cities following the presidential vote, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers. The opposition’s Coordination Council keeps calling on the country’s people to carry on with protests, while the authorities are emphasizing the need to put an end to unauthorized activities.

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Yarra Valley Garden Party | Your Place

Springtime is usually the time to hit the road, but this year we will have to delay travelling to places like the Yarra Valley until later in the season. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the warmer weather among the vines, as the Yarra Valley is hosting a virtual garden party, and everyone is invited.

The free garden party will be held between October 2-4, and it will include things like virtual cooking classes, live yoga, virtual tours, garden workshops, wedding suggestions, cocktail classes, wine tastings, gardening tips and more. The events will all be virtual, but they’re brought to you from the makers, innovators and creators of the Yarra Valley, who will showcase their businesses and their knowhow. 

Virtual is great and all, but how do you get your mitts on real-life Yarra Valley wine, perfect for spring? You can buy a Garden Party Pack, filled with six Yarra Valley wines, recipes, seeds for planting, flowers for decorating and other goodies. You can enjoy the virtual garden party without buying the pack, but everything’s better with wine, isn’t it?

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‘A place to get away’: Huge water feature coming to Tulsa Botanic Garden | News

The water garden’s name comes from John and Mary Ann Bumgarner of the Bumgarner Family Charitable Foundation, which made the “major gift” to make the project possible.

At Wednesday’s announcement, John Bumgarner said he is excited to see the garden develop further and thrilled to forever be a part of it.

“This garden’s special to Tulsa,” Bumgarner said. “It’s growing, as most gardens do, and it’s expanding and it’s future is going to be very bright.

“It’s a good effort, a good project, and we’re most happy to support it.”

A spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden said that while the Bumgarners declined to announce the exact amount of their donation, the entire project cost is about $1.25 million.

To make the water garden, crews will raise the pool at the seven-acre lake’s north end 18 inches to create a waterfall at the southern end. Opposite this feature at the Sunrise Bridge, water will flow into the garden over natural rock with a view to the floating gardens on both sides of the pool.

Those floating gardens will include water-loving plants like iris and hibiscus while the lilies take up the standing water in between on the southern end. The walking path will take visitors past the overlooks on the pool’s eastern side, with each platform offering a closer view at the lilies and floating gardens below beneath the cypress trees’ shade.

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Mews House With Fireplaces, Garden on Cobble Hill’s Verandah Place Asks $10,500 a Month

Verandah Place must be one of the most photographed little streets of Cobble Hill, and the 19th century brick homes that line it are a huge part of its charm, along with its position overlooking Cobble Hill Park. One of those little houses, No. 6, is up for rent. While the total monthly nut is not exactly modest (though there is some room for negotiation, we hear), it does include four floors of living space.

Not all of the houses on this scenic stretch in the Cobble Hill Historic District were built as stables; some were originally single-family homes, as is the case here. This particular pre-Civil War house belongs to journalist Cara Greenberg, who pens Brownstoner’s Insider column.


Save this listing on Brownstoner Real Estate to get price, availability and open house updates as they happen >>


In addition to the 19th century features, such as marble mantels and two wood-burning fireplaces, there are some nice design touches in the kitchen and baths, as befits an interior-design writer.

The house is set up with living room and study on the parlor level; kitchen, dining, full bath with washer/dryer and bedroom above; and three more bedrooms and another full bath on the top floor. The garden level has a third full bath and two rooms that could be used as work space or more bedrooms as needed.

The kitchen has custom maple cabinets, granite counters, an apron-front sink and bright green tile backsplash. The one bath pictured is on the skylit top floor, and it has green mosaic tile work and white fixtures.

There’s also some outdoor space: A stone-paved rear garden includes planting beds and room for outdoor dining.

Listed by Zoe N Saaf, Cara Sadownick and Cheryl Nielsen-Saaf of Corcoran, the house is renting for $10,500 a month. What do you think?

[Listing: 6 Verandah Place | Broker: Corcoran] GMAP

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‘A place to get away’: Huge water feature coming to Tulsa Botanic Garden | Local News

The water garden’s name comes from John and Mary Ann Bumgarner of the Bumgarner Family Charitable Foundation, which made the “major gift” to make the project possible.

At Wednesday’s announcement, John Bumgarner said he is excited to see the garden develop further and thrilled to forever be a part of it.

“This garden’s special to Tulsa,” Bumgarner said. “It’s growing, as most gardens do, and it’s expanding and it’s future is going to be very bright.

“It’s a good effort, a good project, and we’re most happy to support it.”

A spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden said that while the Bumgarners declined to announce the exact amount of their donation, the entire project cost is about $1.25 million.

To make the water garden, crews will raise the pool at the seven-acre lake’s north end 18 inches to create a waterfall at the southern end. Opposite this feature at the Sunrise Bridge, water will flow into the garden over natural rock with a view to the floating gardens on both sides of the pool.

Those floating gardens will include water-loving plants like iris and hibiscus while the lilies take up the standing water in between on the southern end. The walking path will take visitors past the overlooks on the pool’s eastern side, with each platform offering a closer view at the lilies and floating gardens below beneath the cypress trees’ shade.

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New Tulsa Community Garden Intended As Safe Place To Grow

Tuesday, September 22nd 2020, 5:40 pm

By: Sawyer Buccy

TULSA, Okla. –

The pastor of a Tulsa church hopes a community garden will be a safe place for people to learn to grow.

The garden that Wesley Chapel has adopted doesn’t look like much yet, but it’s just the beginning.

The boxes full of seeds haven’t sprouted just yet and the plants are just barely budding right now but one day, hopefully not too far in the future, this space will flourish.

“We have built over 700 square feet of space to have a community garden in a food desert,” said Life’s Food Corporation founder Angela Landrum.

This garden is on Wesley Chapel property in Tulsa. It is being built entirely from community partnerships and the generosity of organizations and non-profits like Life’s Food Corporation and The Rotary Club of Bixby.

“We wanted to create a space that would last for years and years and years,” said Angela. “It is sustainability and empowerment. It is reducing the food insecurity that is currently running rampant.”

Wesley Chapel is adopting the garden and some of the people who go to the church will take over, helping the plants thrive. The community is also welcome to join.  

“The morning service is 100-150 folks who are mostly homeless,” said Wesley Chapel Pastor Chris Beach. “Most of the people we work with are on food stamps.”

Volunteers said they are hoping people can learn how to grow their own gardens at home from the skills they learn here.

Beach said they hope the work that happens in this garden, becomes one small piece of a much bigger puzzle.

“Honestly the more we serve and the more we keep open, the more we keep helping people, the more we keep empowering people to lead themselves, more keep coming in,” said Beach

The garden is in need of more plants and seeds. If you would like to help, you can drop them off at the church, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

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Proposed memorial garden would honor Roanoke homicide victims and provide a place of peace for families | Local News

Ryan Reilly described it as like ripples unfurling across water. The edges expand, flow, stretching outward on and on.

Grief is like that, he said. It shifts over time, changes, affecting more than you ever imagined.

“As it gets further and further out, it seemingly impacts people in all kinds of different ways,” he said.

“Unless you’ve been through something like it, I don’t know that anyone can really, truly understand what victims’ families go through,” he said. “But I do think that ripple effect and how it touches different people and how they can deal with it has a long-lasting effect, on a community as a whole.”

Reilly and his family found themselves plunged into grief in March when his cousin, Cassie Pizzi, 33, was killed in what would be the city’s fourth homicide case of the year.

Her death remains under investigation. Reilly, born in Roanoke but now living in Tennessee, described her loss as painfully tragic for those she left behind.

“It’s unfathomable,” he said in an interview. “Homicide takes a piece of people away when they lose that loved one.”

Reilly’s path through grief led him to a new idea, one that’s still taking shape but which he hopes can be a source of healing for families and the Star City itself.

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