Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

Dustbin of History: The Green Book

green book

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Here’s a piece of recent American history that most people have never heard of. It involves many of the elements we associate with modern life—cars, travel, eating, entrepreneurship…and discrimination. Here’s the story of the Green Book. ROAD TRIP! For as long as automobiles have been around, they have symbolized freedom […]

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That Time the U.S. was Going to Build a Massive Military Base on the Moon to Keep the Communists Off It

project-horizon

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Believe it or not, in the 1950s the U.S. seriously considered building a military base on the Moon. Why? As Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson later put it, so that Americans would never have to go to bed “by the light of a Communist Moon.” LOOK—UP IN THE SKY! Just […]

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The $2 Million Treasure Chest Currently Hidden in the Rockies

compass

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, there’s an 800-year-old chest filled with $2 million in treasure. Want to find it? Here’s the story of the man who hid it and the clues he’s given to help you find it. THE COLLECTOR Forrest Fenn was a kid […]

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Who Really Invented Calculus

leibniz-and-newton

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Calculus involves the study of limits. By the time they were done arguing about who had invented it, Isaac Newton and G. W. Leibniz had probably both reached their limit as well. Science has seen a number of simultaneous discoveries. Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry independently discovered electromagnetic induction. Charles […]

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The Fascinating History of One of the Most Popular Sports Cars of All Time

race-steering-wheel

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader One measure of the desirability of a sports car is whether or not it has teenagers drooling over it before they’re even old enough to drive. Here’s the story of one of the most drool-worthy cars in auto history. (See how long it takes you to guess which car we’re […]

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That Surprisingly Recent Time in British History When Husbands Sold Their Wives at Market

wife-selling

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Let’s say you’re an 18th-century British peasant, and you and your wife just aren’t getting along anymore. What do you do? Divorce her? Too expensive. Kill her? Too risky. Oh, well, looks like you’ll have to auction her off. Welcome to the wacky world of wife selling! HARDY HAR-HAR Hands […]

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The Plot Against President Franklin D. Roosevelt

fdr-april-11-1945

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Conspiracy theories can be amusing to read because they’re usually so bizarre and far-reaching that they couldn’t possibly be true. What’s even more fun is a conspiracy that’s not a theory at all. Here’s one that actually happened. ALL THE RAGE IN EUROPE In the 1930s, many Western countries suffered […]

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The Curious Case of the American Accent

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Hey, youz! Whah do ‘mericuns have all differnt aks-ay-ents? It’s, like, totally confusing and somewhat bizzahh, dontcha know. TALK THIS WAY An accent is “a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.” That’s not to be confused with a dialect, which is a specific form of […]

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How the Freedom of Information Act Came About

john-e-moss

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1966—and it was the very first law in American history that gave regular citizens the legal footing to compel the government to release internal documents. Before that—not for you! Getting it passed was a long, tough battle. (And it’s still going on.) […]

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The Futurists

robot-future

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader What do today’s top forecasters see looming on the horizon? That simple question introduced us to the fascinating field of “futures studies”—its checkered past, muddled present, and uncertain tomorrow(s). NOSTRA-DUMB*SS For most of human history, professional prognosticators could only guess what the future would bring. If you sought advice from […]

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The Hit Man

otis-blackwell

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Even if you’ve never heard of Otis Blackwell, you’ve almost certainly heard his music—he was one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. Here’s the story of the most famous songwriter most people have never heard of. TIGHT CHRISTMAS In the mid 1950s, Otis Blackwell was a struggling […]

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