WARNING: As you might expect, this chapter contains frequent references to a certain bodily function.
WHERE SCIENCE AND POOP MEET
If electricity is the magical part of addition building, then plumbing is the unglamorous, slimy part. Where electricity conveys electrons (musically intoned), plumbing, specifically the waste drain, conveys something more insidious and all too corporeal. It disposes of the basest fact of human existence, the true indicator of man's mortality, the foul-smelling, ugly, reviled, even feared, byproduct of human existence...poop.
Though plumbing performs this vital service, it does not get its share of recognition. Historical studies show that plumbing was an essential ingredient in the progress of civilization. Imagine the world if there were no toilets. The odor and depressing effects of offal would stifle creative genius and discourage the building of cities. Man could not prosper.
The best minds of the Romans were applied to getting rid of poop, and it was their efforts that led to the discovery of plumbing and consequently the founding of a great empire. The word plumbing is derived from Latin. It comes from the Roman word for lead because the Romans built their pipe from this malleable metal.