Over the past 2½ months, Eric has generated 10.6 pounds of poop over 29 visits. [...] To donate, Eric had to pass a 109-point clinical assessment. There is a laundry list of factors that would disqualify a donor: obesity, illicit drug use, antibiotic use, travel to regions with high risk of contracting diseases, even recent tattoos. His stools and blood also had to clear a battery of laboratory screenings to make sure he didn't have any infections.
After all that screening, only 3% of prospective donors are healthy enough to give. "I had no idea," he says about his poop. "It turns out that it's fairly close to perfect."
And that, unlike most people's poop, makes Eric's worth money. OpenBiome pays its 22 active donors $40 per sample. They're encouraged to donate often, every day if they can. Eric has earned about $1,000. [...]
The perfect poop is type three, which is "like a sausage but with cracks on its surface;" type four, which is "like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft;" or type five, "soft blobs with clear-cut edges (passed easily)." [...]
With a pipette, Kim transfers the watery remnants of Eric's poop into 250 ml plastic bottles. On average, one stool donation fills four, but today Eric's impressive half-pound sample fills seven. One bottle equals one treatment. [...]
Cool air blasts his face as Kim opens the freezer. His jaw drops at the sight of his icy brown bottles, which look like frozen chocolate milkshakes. The bacteria inside them is still alive, cryogenically preserved at -112°F.
I guess VMware decided that the way to improve a perfectly good park was to cover it with tables and literally-astroturfed benches. I feel like this is a pun that I haven't gotten yet. Maybe they can do this to Dolores next!
That was too horrible to contemplate, so instead I sat up top by the seagull lake, where it was very windy, meaning every few minutes my face and lunch got covered with a rain of aerosolized birdshit. But I guess pink eye is better than having to overhear wet dreams of content gamification.
"And then I want to create this like, gamified system? Where users can create their own content? With like tips? And blogs?"
I may have actually choke-laugh-snorted out loud while waiting for the red light. I may have.