THE FLY IN THE URINAL. Ralph Gardner had an article in his always interesting column in the Wall Street Journal (April 23) about the flies on the urinal walls in the terminals at JFK Airport. He tells about how he had trouble figuring out the purpose of the flies and had to do research to find out. The purpose is to provide a target and thereby reduce spillage; the flies are estimated to reduce spillage by about 80%. Ironically, I think the Wall Street Journal archives could have given him the answer. I recall an article in the Journal from a few years ago that told how JFK was following Schiphol airport in the Netherlands in adopting the flies. Schiphol is usually credited with pioneering the use of the flies, and I recall seeing them there some 20 years ago. Apparently there are those who think that photographs of the flies are a hoax. This post in the Urban Legends section of the site gives some background.

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