Foot Flush
FootFlush.com
The Foot Flush keeps your hands away from germs, but it's not clear if it comes with a "jiggle" function.
By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
updated 3/2/2006 11:24:38 PM ET 2006-03-03T04:24:38
COMMENTARY

With deadly viruses and other infectious germs seemingly proliferating all around us, it's no surprise many of us are developing Howard Hughes-like aversions to anything that even hints of being unsanitary. That's why a Connecticut musician/inventor has produced a novel way to answer our calls of nature  — the Foot Flush.

Singer/songwriter Eric Herbst — he says his songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash and B.B. King — came up with idea for the Foot Flush after performing in bars and nightclubs with dirty bathrooms. Herbst didn't want to touch the toilet handle, so he would flush with his foot. One day after a gig, he grabbed a bass drum pedal, some string, walked into his bathroom, and the rest is sanitation history.

Herbst says he spent two years perfecting the $29.95 Foot Flush into the "revolutionary" new product it is today. He says it hooks up to your home toilet in less than 2 minutes without tools. "It's not just a great idea anymore. It's a great product," Herbst said. "It's been tested to 800,000 flushes."

Herbst thinks there is a ready-made market for his gadget, as he points to a recent study that found more than 40 percent of Americans using restrooms flush with their feet rather than touch anything with their hands. But does that behavior extend to your home commode? We're guessing if you are as afraid of cleaning products as you are of germs, then the answer is undoubtedly yes.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • Some may think the combination fine art and commerce usually don't serve either very well, but we think that could be changing. Recently, a portrait of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan painted live on business-news network CNBC by an aspiring artist was sold on eBay for over $150,000 (the money went to charity). And now financial fanatics everywhere can have a musical muse with a new CD titled "Playing the Market" with compositions based on "patterns found in the stock market and economic data."

Based on source data such as stock returns, trading volume, interest rates, inflation, unemployment, government debt and consumer confidence indices, the resulting audio is "primarily conceptual, but can be surprisingly musical in many cases," according to producer Troy Curtis.

Curtis says a reviewer described Playing the Market as "a fine balance between ... orchestral pieces, a bit of sound collage and electro-acoustic music, all powered by this strange concept of whatever facts and figures the stock market has brought us. A most curious mixture."

Curious indeed. After listening to some sample clips on the Web — including "Irrational Exuberance/Great Depression" and "The Misery Index" — we're not sure if Greenspan would like it, but maybe his dog will.

  • Back in the bad old days of smoke-filled-room politics, an election could be secured with some cold, hard cash changing hands before a voter entered the polling booth, but the Internet seems to have turned that notion on its head. Instead of paying you to cast your ballot, PAYperVOTE.com asks you to buy into its online polls for only 99 cents each.

After charging you for the honor of taking their poll, PAYperVOTE.com president Karl Johnson says the company will send the results directly to our political leaders. We think it will be a great way for them to track the opinions of the truly stupid segment of the electorate.

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