Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast)

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(photo: Giuseppe Milo)

(Photo: Giuseppe Milo)

Season 6, Episode 12

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio, first: we’re not asking that using a public restroom be a pleasant experience, but are there ways to make it less miserable? And then: how did the belt, an organ-squeezing belly tourniquet, become part of our everyday wardrobe and what other sub-optimal solutions do we routinely put up with?

The gist: public bathrooms — when you can find one — are often noisy and poorly designed. In this episode, we explore the history of the public restroom, the taboos that accompany it, and the public-health risks of paying too little attention to the lowly toilet.

We also look into how wearing suspenders fell out of favor — and the health, economic, and aesthetic implications of wearing a belt.

To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Time to Take Back the Toilet” and “How Did the Belt Win?

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