Sunday, 27 November 2011

Tap into Pain

 A most interesting book came our way recently. It is called Pain: The Science of Suffering, and is written by Patrick Wall (London: Weidenfeld &Nicolson, 1999). An interesting chapter refers to pain thresholds. Making the point that pain thresholds are higher for experiences with which we are familiar, Wall says,

A very careful Canadian study [...] showed that women had a higher treshold for heat pain whereas men had a higher threshold for electric shocks. In our society, women have far more experience of handling hot plates with apparent impunity while men, with their enthusiastic fiddling with car engines and electrical gadgets, are usually familiar with tingling or stabbing electric shocks. (p. 68)

The dangers of separate taps are manifold
While we don't actually know any men who habitually fiddle with car engines or expose themselves to electric shocks, this resonated with us because we find that, since taking up residence in Britain, we have become far more tolerant to scalding hot water than we were formerly. The bewildering, inexplicable insistence on separate taps in this country means that one becomes used to doing the dishes or washing one's hands under the hot water tap, scalding oneself in the process. This is all the more frustrating because we have noticed that disabled toilets usually have mixer taps, often even functioning ones. How come it's possible to install mixer taps (often functioning) in disabled toilets, but not in ordinary bathrooms and kitchens?

An old favourite: the mixer tap in the disabled toilet at Catterick Garrison; read more about it here
 To calm ourselves down and stop ourselves from frothing at the mouth with frustration, we add a calming picture of Crown Prince Frederik and  Crown Princess Mary of Denmark enjoying some art. Mixer-tap art.

At the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition in Sydney.
(If you like this, you might enjoy our other toilet-related royals; see them here and here.)
Related Reading
A Note on Desperate Measures 
Mixer Taps - The Great Controversy, or, When Will Britain Enter the 21st Century?, or, You Are Not Alone! 
Are You British? Does Tap Sanity Elude You?
The History of Plumbing: A Recap 
Terminator Toilet

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