Book showcases?world’s best toilets

A new book called Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide showcases some of the best places to go around the world.

Restrooms with a view include an outhouse in the Swiss Alps, a campsite toilet in Iceland and a hut located 12 miles from Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park. For high-tech toilets, head to Tokyo, where buttons on the loo include spray, bidet and warm seat.

Artsy bathrooms range from a restroom made from steel plates in a spiraling pattern along the Lady Bird Lake Trail in Austin, Texas, to a spaceship-shaped structure designed by architect I.M. Pei hovering above restrooms in a park outside the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. A circular design of black-and-white stripes surrounds a toilet at the Standard Grill in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

In Foshan, China, there’s a bathroom-themed art installation, consisting of 10,000 toilets, sinks and urinals made in local ceramics factories, comprising a flushing fountain in Shiwan Park.

— Beth J. Harpaz

Associated Press

Hints from Heloise:

Muffin cups keep?car holders clean

Evelyn R. writes via email: To keep my car cup holders clean and avoid tedious cleaning, I keep cupcake or muffin paper/foil cups in each compartment. I take one out and replace it, or stack a few so that there is always a fresh one.

Phyllis F. writes via email: If you are carrying a cake or casserole in the car, place it on a piece of nonslip carpet to keep it from sliding around.

— King Features

White, middle-aged?suicide rate grows

Middle-aged white people now account for a third of all suicides in the U.S., a new government report shows.

Suicide is the nation’s 10th leading cause of death, and the overall rate rose 24 percent in 15 years, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were nearly 43,000 U.S. suicides in 2014. Suicides have long been most common among white people — particularly older white males. But most striking in the new report is the growth in whites ages 45 to 64. They were a third of suicide deaths in 2014, up from about a quarter in 1999.

The report doesn’t try to answer why. Other experts have speculated that middle age can be particularly hard for whites, who — compared to some other racial and ethnic groups — commonly don’t have as many supportive relationships with friends, family, or religious communities. Money may be a factor, too, with the recent recession and its lingering effects.

— Mike Stobbe

Associated Press