School’s out around the country — no one is happier than my wife the math teacher — so I feel it is the perfect time to empty out the reporter’s notebook.

Here are a couple items I wanted to share with you.

On the road again

This latest trip got off to inauspicious start, but when it was over it was one I would not forget.

I arrived to O’Hare International Airport quite early to mentally prepare for my 13-plus-hour flight to Beijing for the 2015 ISH China & CIHE trade show. For full coverage of the 2015 ISH China & CIHE event, flip to page 20 of this edition of pme.

This was my first opportunity to visit China and I was nervous if only because I was travelling on my own. Beijing is a fascinating city where the cab and shuttle bus drivers have either incredible confidence or a death wish. I take taxis and Uber rides here in Chicago all the time and the Beijing drivers run circles around my local brethren.

For a first-timer, I thought the ISH China event was a big hit. The show producer, Messe Frankfurt, reported record-breaking attendance numbers and I spoke with a number of manufacturers that are excited about China’s continued push to evolve its heating and cooling processes.

There always will be differences between nations and cultures regarding system design and product use, but the more people we have living and working with universally accepted products the better. Advancements will be made faster with more people living, working and thinking about how to evolve these technologies.


Understanding bathroom behavior

Let’s talk about science.

I am willing to bet a portion of readers shook their heads after reading that sentence. Trust me; I remember some of the comments that filled my email inbox after a couple columns I wrote regarding the topic of climate change.

I promise this time around will be more fun. Let’s talk about science in bathroom behavior. While I was putting together the May 28 edition of the pme eNewsletter – sign up here – I found a posting at New York Magazine’s “Science of Us” blog that laid out myriad interesting statistics about human behavior in public restrooms.

If presented with three empty stalls, men:

  • Go left 28% of the time;
  • Go straight 40% of the time; and
  • Go to the right 32% of the time.

Presented with the same options, women:

  • Go left 34% of the time;
  • Go straight 29% of the time; and
  • Go to the right 37% of the time.

If the left stall is occupied, men:

  •  Will head to the far right stall 73% of the time.

Women, under the same circumstances:

  • Will head to the far right stall 65% of the time.

I don’t know if these stats can truly help you with your designs, but they are interesting. And, I can confirm the men’s room stats are incredibly accurate.

That clears out my notebook for the month, but it is quickly filling up again with trips to exciting industry events.


This article was originally titled “Musings from the other side of the world” in the July 2015 print edition of PME.