That half of the population that pees standing up knows of the ages-long struggle to find the perfect position for avoiding urinal splashback. But worry no more: a group of physicists at BYU has dedicated time, energy, and specially-calibrated nozzles to solving the problem, and they believe they've finally done it. (And, yes, they probably did get grant money for this.)
The team of four scientists, who dub themselves "whizz-kids" (presumably while giggling and high-fiving each other), set up a water tank and several nozzles to spray colored water from different positions, mimicking a variety of urinal-standing and toilet-sitting pee techniques. Using high-speed cameras, they filmed the sweet splashback action and analyzed the results, which they'll be presenting next month.
But we know you only came here to perfect your public-restroom technique, so here are the results: the position resulting in least splashback is, unsurprisingly, sitting on the toilet. To account for times when there's only a urinal handy, the physicists delved deep into fluid dynamics and something called the Plateau-Rayleigh instability:
To avoid that, men should stand as close to the urinal as possible they advise. Also helpful is directing the stream to hit the back of the urinal at a downward angle. That creates less splash-back and the drops that do bounce, head downwards into the urinal drain. Conversely, to prevent messing one's trousers (or angering neighbors) they suggest men not spray directly into the urinal or into the pool that forms at the bottom of the urinal, both cause a lot of splash-back.
You heard it here first, folks. Now go pee like like you've never peed before.
[image, of 2009's Best Restroom in America, via AP]