Talk:Slippery business: Materials scientists invent new coating for self-cleaning, water-efficient toilets

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Note from reporter[edit]

Letting the article sit. As always, if anyone else thinks it's ready and wants to hit the button for review, no objection from me. Issues: I think "Penn State" does not require explanation as another and actually the more common name for Pennsylvania State University. If we add anything I think it should be information on water scarcity. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:09, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Review of revision 4529171 [Not ready][edit]

Good to see you back, Gryllida.

  1. "It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it" is a common expression in English [1]. I was having a bit of fun, a la the "full moon" werewolf reference in this article: [2] I have removed the line for now, but if this explanation satisfies you by all means put it back.
  2. The invention is not a toilet cleaning liquid. It's not something sprayed into a wet toilet to act like soap like Pine Sol or Windex or bleach. It is something sprayed onto a dry toilet like paint or part of the ceramic finish. The source articles do not offer any information on pricing. Since the expert quoted in The Guardian was talking about why the product was not feasible for use in developing countries (the spray must be reapplied), he probably would have mentioned costs as well if he had anything to say. My own impression is that it's too early in the product development process for that information to exist or be released to the public if it did. I was able to make one comparison, "this agent takes five minutes to dry while previous inventions took hours," and that's already in there. It is likely that those inventions are not commercially available and therefore have no pricing information. I did a two-second Google search for "toilet nonstick spray" and got Reddit articles about using Pam (cooking spray) in toilets, lots of references to the current invention, and this, which is not a reliable source. Basically, adding something like what you're asking for may or may not be possible because the information may or may not exist, may be proprietary or may just take so much time to find that the article would go stale.
  3. If something sticks to a surface, it takes more water to rinse it away. I believe most of our readers will have washed dinner dishes at some point and will know this from their own experience. For now, I have spelled out "As anyone who's had to clean the dinner dishes knows, the less a substance sticks to a surface, the less water it takes to rinse it off." Feel free to remove this line if you are satisfied without it.
  4. It does say when the say the study was published: "findings reported today." I have updated this to "Monday." I have also added the line "by rendering its surface too slippery for anything to remain attached for long." Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:03, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
I do get what the first sentence was meant to do, yes. It doesn't belong in a news article though. Informal, and doesn't actually contain information about the news event. --Pi zero (talk) 15:34, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Like I said, I was having fun. So were these guys from the Guardian, Phys.org, the Chicago Sun Times, and the Washington Examiner. This is the sort of thing that shows up in news articles across many levels of formality, including here on Wikinews. If anyone doesn't think this particular line earns the space it takes up in this particular article, then sure, take it out, but the practice itself is good to go. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:42, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
It's spectacularly inappropriate in this context. --Pi zero (talk) 17:15, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Darkfrog24. Regarding #2 I already understand the new invention is not a liquid but an explanation of how this frequency of re-application compares with the frequency of application of the commonly used fluids would be good to know. Regarding #3 it would be great to know how in the new invention the reduced stickiness has been achieved. Also in stories like this it helps to include any facts, so if they published numbers about the extent to which it is less sticky then this would be relevant to include again in comparison with the existing situations. I hope this all can be added. I also hope you can contact the inventors and ask them about the missing information about the costs as I believe they would have done a preliminary cost assessment by now. I really appreciate your clarification about the date which I didn't notice and also your clarifications about the first sentence and its removal. Best regards. --Gryllida (talk) 18:23, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Review of revision 4529198 [Not ready][edit]

I will respond to your comment in the last thread here. To the best of my immediate knowledge, Gryllida, there aren't any other "commonly used fluids" of the kind you describe. If there were, the source almost certainly would have mentioned them. As I said earlier, a quick web search for possible competing products came up with nothing but Pam. This appears to be a new invention. It does not have predecessors to outperform. The other treatments alluded to in Eurekalert sound like laboratory inventions that were never used in the real world, and it's possible that their longevity was never assessed.
The article already says how the reduced stickiness was achieved: polymers + silicone lubricant coating, paragraph three.
Gryllida, I'm afraid you are asking for a very great deal of extra research work, what feels like a minimum of six hours but more likely days, all in search of information that is not likely to be available in the way we'd need for review and possibly not at all. For example, while the abstract to the original paper appears to be available [3], the paper itself is behind a paywall. We might be able to use this to address your significance claim, which I don't agree with but don't consider impossible either.
I will not be doing a big research project on this, but if anyone else feels like doing some original reporting, go ahead. The corresponding author's information is in the Eurekalert source, top right corner. This could be an opportunity for a funny and engaging article. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:30, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Seems like the criticism might be taken more flexibly as asking for comparative information. Which goes to one of the basic functions of the lede, to explain the significance of the focal event. It does say this would reduce x y and z, but that's a claim for which more particular information seems reasonably central to the significance. There's one paragraph that amplifies a bit on the claim, but it's way down near the bottom of the inverted pyramid (second to last paragraph), and still doesn't talk about alternatives. What form 'information about alternatives' would take depends on the source material, really. --Pi zero (talk) 22:14, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
We've got a disconnect. Neither Gryllida's last comment nor this review mentions the lede. It sounds like you're saying, "When G asks for a specific comparison that happens to be impossible/impractical, just make sure the article has a comparison at all." The article already has such a comparison: the drying time.
Since G appears interested in re-reviewing this article, you could make whatever changes you want to it without disqualifying said article from publication. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:38, 19 November 2019 (UTC)
That's a disconnect, yes. What's needed from you is a helpful response to a review that moves the reviewed article toward publication. I offered a comment to help with how to do that, but apparently my comment got as lost-in-translation as the reviewer comment it was meant to suggest how to deal with. --Pi zero (talk) 00:38, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Could we please not pretend this is something it isn't, Pi zero? The extra information that G asked for is not necessary for publication, and G didn't know that when G asked for it. It happens and it's not that big of a deal. No one needs to save face. No one needs to be rescued. I'm not really sure I can be clearer without putting Gryllida on the spot, and that strikes me as unnecessary.
I realize on much of the Internet, people go for the throat whenever anyone even slightly admits to any imperfection, but we are a small community and we just don't have to be like that if we don't want to.
I'm going to see if there are any small changes I can make with the sources I've already found, but there is the edit button. If you think the article should have anything else, you are completely free to edit it yourself. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:22, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
You seem to think I would lie to defend Gryllida. If you think that, you've deeply misjudged what sort of person I am (a theory well supported by other things you've accused me of, over time). You also appear to not understand where Gryllida was coming from, and to not understand how best to deal either with the sort of review you got or the sort of review you apparently think you got. Your supposition that I could go ahead and just change stuff suggests contempt for the review process. --Pi zero (talk) 02:03, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Without a clear comment on how this compares against things like [4], the significance of the report is unclear. Indeed it is a "new coating", but when it says it uses "less water", perhaps it is only 1% less? Omitting the number creates "bias through ambiguity", as the readers will assume the number is quite big. Gryllida (talk) 23:26, 20 November 2019 (UTC)
Gryllida, if Google Translate serves, the link you provide shows a cleaning product, not an industrial coating, so they cannot be compared in the way you seem to want.
Not lying exactly, Pi zero. I think you change your mind a lot and you're heavily influenced by your goals for this site's social dynamics. I think this article would have looked just fine to you if you hadn't noticed that I corrected Gryllida. You've cheerfully approved similar articles before. When you jump in and take sides like this, you put both Gryllida and myself on the spot. I have to explain to you why I think Gryllida made a mistake, which then makes Gryllida feel they have to defend themselves from that.
See? You're accusing me of showing contempt for the review process. That makes me feel like I have to defend myself. YOU are starting a fight.
No, Pi zero, you can jump in and change whatever you want in this article. No Wikinews policy or custom stops you. It is perfectly valid, however, for you to just not want to spend your time scouring the internet for information that probably isn't there. But then accept that it's valid for me not to want to do that either. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:38, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
@Gryllida: Like I said, the duckling product appears to be a cleaning solution, not an industrial coating. But the "how much" figure can be added [5]. I am rejecting an IDEA, not YOU AS A PERSON or other ideas you may happen to have. Think we can get this one in under the wire? Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:59, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
I've been rushing through my morning routine, hoping to get to this before lunch. We'll see how that goes.

You've made very clear, repeatedly, that you hate to hear claims there's a mismatch between the way you think and the way most of us here think; but I suspect your troubles at Wikipedia may also be due ultimately to the same cause — a key difference being that we continue to try to work with you. (Yet ostensibly they have AGF and we don't. Is that meta-irony?) I could try to say more on that theme, but past experience suggests I'd fail to communicate and we'd all just get even more frustrated. I haven't yet reckoned an effective way around this. But meanwhile, I'll take a look at this article and see what I can do. --Pi zero (talk) 14:37, 21 November 2019 (UTC)

I have noticed a similarity between Wikinews and Wikipedia with respect to the troubles there. The key difference, though, is that, on Wikipedia, someone lied about me, making wild and highly personal accusations that were in no way true. Unless you're planning to claim that there is no such thing as a toilet, that I just made them up to make trouble and that I was gaslighting Gryllida by saying "good to see you back," then perhaps the comparison.
The one thing that is similar is that on both Wikinews and Wikipedia I've run into someone saying, "Don't believe the sources/what you see; believe me instead!" and responded "No." Except on Wikipedia it got to the point of, "You are a liar if I say you are. How DARE you say 'No I'm not; here's the source I used!' You have to be PUNISHED!! SMcCandlish gets to do whatever he wants to you and we'll punish YOU if you ask for it to stop!!" It is very painful and constantly in my face. I keep getting told that the punishment will end if I meet certain conditions, which I then meet, and then they punish me more. Finding out the admins were willing to violate policy to give me more punishments was a particularly disheartening point. But the only way out is through. Wikinews has been frustrating, but not nearly so violently toxic.
I appreciate it Pi zero. The more people work on an article the better it usually becomes. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:43, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
I think it has to do with misconceptions about hierarchy. In the West, most of us go through the K-12 system, in which many of the participants are brainwashed into thinking "Teachers are always right and students are always wrong and any contradiction is disrespect that must be punished." But that is because the teachers are adults and the students are children. They are almost always right. Some people carry that into their adult lives by thinking "[any authority figure] is always right," which doesn't work in all-adult situations. Also, teachers know more than little children about almost everything and in the adult world, that's rarely the case.
So a Wikipedia admin could say, "I'm an admin so my interpretation of what counts as WP:BATTLEGROUNDING matters more than yours; it doesn't matter that you don't think you were battlegrounding. I say you were and you must be punished, so you were and you must be punished. You must accept that you are a battlegrounder." That might not be great, but it's not insane. The problem is that admins have been saying, "I'm an admin, so my interpretation of what you were thinking and feeling matters more than yours. It doesn't matter that you don't think you were lying. Not only can I read your mind, but you cannot read your own mind. If I say you are a liar, then you are. You must accept that you are a liar." That's not valid at all and has real-world consequences for me. I think the people involved are just not used to the kinds of accusations that were made in my case and have forgotten where their authority ends. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:55, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
I suspect the perception mismatch tends to produce phantom images on both sides of the divide, making misunderstandings easy all around. For example, the hierarchy thing is likely a phantom; the bad faith I gather you've been accused of on en.wp would surely be a phantom. However, for the record, I do believe in toilets. --Pi zero (talk) 16:15, 21 November 2019 (UTC)
On both sides? Oh that's quite possible. But if enough people believe in toilets, perhaps we can get rid of all the crap! 'Tis a flushumation devoutly to be wished. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:04, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

Review of revision 4529519 [Passed][edit]

I had considered including the Africa figure but I was concerned about copyright/plagiarism issues.
Africa has about as many people in Europe but is three times the size. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:06, 22 November 2019 (UTC)