Ridding oneself of waste is not only one of the most consistently productive pastimes (well, mostly), it’s also our most universal. Thus, it’s surprising that there aren’t more sites around the world paying tribute to the pragmatic elegance of the toilet. Thankfully, in the Japanese city of Oita, the city council has organized an art festival in which artists make installations in particularly high-tech public restrooms — it’s rather cleverly called the Toienniale. It’s an especially good time for such a thing to exist, given that there is now an app called (here comes another clever one!) Poopfiction, which collects short fiction on Project Gutenberg to accompany your defecation. (Somehow I wonder what all the dead authors on Project Gutenberg would think knowing that their work were being funneled through a tiny device that deems it, after all these years, poop-worthy.)
In other news of silly things, you can now own a house in Northern California that’s known as the “Flinstones House”… because it looks like the Flinstones’ house. Unfortunately, living like a cartoon will cost you $4.2 million, though what it’ll get you is, as The Creators Project describes it, an “organic structure…favored among the growing number of monolithic dome enthusiasts globally.” So, if your goal is to become popular among the “growing number of monolithic dome enthusiasts,” do get that $4.2 million ready. Another silly thing: the trailer for Neil Patrick Harris’ upcoming NBC variety show, Best Time Ever, which looks pretty… silly.
Speaking of NBC, David Alan Grier will be playing the Cowardly Lion in their live televised version of The Wiz (within an extremely impressive ensemble). Vulture spoke to Grier, who’d just had an elaborate fitting for the role; in the interview, he discusses his excitement about being a part of The Wiz, as it was the first Broadway show he’d ever seen. He gushes about how much he likes the Lion, as well, saying, “Every time I hear ‘Be a Lion,’ it makes me cry because it’s so sweet and moving. So I love my songs. They’re better than all the other characters’ songs. Don’t let them bullshit you.” And if that got you in an interview-reading mood, check out The Verge’s Q&A with Alex Gibney, director of the documentary Steve Jobs: The Man and the Machine.