Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

The Space Shuttle Discovery and Its Toilet

shuttle-launch

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader A while back we told you the story of the WWII submarine that was lost due to a malfunctioning toilet. It turns out that a similar incident threatened the space shuttle Discovery in 1989… TOP SECRET On November 22, 1989, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from the launchpad at […]

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Discovering the Caves of Xanadu

caves

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader THE SCENE One Saturday in 1974, two young men affiliated with Southern Arizona Grotto, a spelunking, or “caving,” group based in Tuscon, Arizona, were out exploring, looking for new caves near the Whetsone Mountains. Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen traveled about an hour outside of Tucson, where they were roommates […]

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The Two Graves of Mad Anthony Wayne

Gen._Anthony_Wayne

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Historians tell many stories about heroes who are so beloved that everyone wants a piece of them. In the case of this man, they mean it literally. WHAT’S IN A NAME Great generals frequently earn descriptive nicknames: “Blood and Guts” Patton, “Black Jack” Pershing, and “Stonewall” Jackson, to name a […]

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Chanel No. 1

chanel no 5

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader You’ve heard that clothes make the man? Meet the suit that made the woman. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born in Samur, France, in 1883. Her life got off to a rocky start. Her mother died shortly after Gabrielle’s birth, and her father took off, abandoning the five Chanel children. Gabrielle […]

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The CIA’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test That Went Horribly Wrong

LSD

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader For decades rumors have swirled around the CIA’s testing of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the 1960s. In seeking a knockout drug weapon, did the CIA slip substances to unsuspecting patsies? The answer is yes. And Frank Olson was the man who paid the heaviest price. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS The […]

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Stranger than Fiction

enema statue

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE… In 2008 a health spa in Zneleznovodsk, Russia, dedicated a statue to an important member of its team: the enema. “We administer enemas nearly every day,” said spa administrator Alexander Kharchenko. “So I thought, why not give it a monument?” They commissioned local artist Svetlana Avakina […]

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The Curious Case of Taiwan’s #2 Restaurant

poop

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader POO-BOT You’ve probably never heard of the Japanese comic-book character Arale Norimaki. She’s a purple-haired robot teenager whose favorite hobby is “poking poop with a stick.” Arale Norimaki has a huge following not just in Japan, but in other parts of Asia as well, including Taiwan. That’s where, in 2004, […]

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Behind the Hits: Soundtrack Cuts

grammy

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Movie soundtracks have long generated popular songs, from “Stayin’ Alive” to “Whistle While You Work,” to “Goldfinger” and hundreds more. Here are the origins of a few more soundtrack hits. Movie: Titanic Song: “My Heart Will Go On” Story: While making his $200-million movie in the mid-1990s, director James Cameron […]

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The Moon Trees

Bicentennial_moon_tree

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader “Scattered around our planet are hundreds of creatures that have been to the Moon and back again. None of them are human.”—NASA ORBITAL ORCHARD On January 31, 1971, Apollo 14 lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, launching astronauts Edgar Mitchell, Alan Shepard, and Stuart Roosa to the moon. Roosa, an […]

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Wizards of War

DummyShermanTank

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader To help win World War II, the Allies used every skill they could come up with—including illusion, trickery…and magic. WIZARD SCHOOL In 1940 Britain’s Ministry of Home Security created a military unit dedicated to “civil camouflage.” Their job would be to provide safety through “seriously ridiculous deception.” The unit of […]

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Mr. Toilet

toilet house

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sim Jae-duck is probably the only person in history who was born in a toilet, lived in a toilet, and died in one, too. Here’s his fascinating story. HELLO, WORLD In 1996, FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, awarded the 2002 World Cup to co-hosts South Korea and Japan. It had […]

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