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Pere Renom

“We have given you, O Adam, no visage proper to yourself, nor endowment properly your own, in order that whatever place, whatever form, whatever gifts you may, with premeditation, select, these same you may have and possess through your own judgement and decision […] We have made you a creature neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal as the free and proud shaper of your own being, fashion yourself in the form you may prefer.”
Oration on the Dignity of Man – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

The caganer

published on 19.12.2019

The caganer is a traditional figure of the manger. He was born in Catalonia around the 17th century and was subsequently exported to the influence areas of Sicily, Naples and Provence. Its meaning is uncertain but it is believed that it could symbolize the life cycle, purification or satire. Originally it was depicted as a farmer with a barretina (a sort of cap), but now it has become a true icon and there are versions of about 500 different characters, including politicians, athletes, actors, scientists, writers, singers, etc. The stool expelled by the caganer is formed in the large intestine or colon. In the ascending section absorption occurs, and in the descending section takes place contractions for expulsion. On average throughout life a person spends about 50 days sitting in the toilet and produces between 4 and 5 t of poo. It also expels gases, whose basic chemical composition is: N2, O2, H2, CO2 and CH4. The stench comes from sulfur compounds that represent less than 1% of the volume of the fart. The place where we usually expel feces and gases is the toilet, a true work of hydraulic engineering. There are two types: the siphonic and the drag. The best way to defecate is squatting, as the pubo-rectal muscle, responsible for continence, relaxes.

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