Category Archives: History

The First Joke

David N. asks: What is the first joke ever told? Born from cultures we can only read about and making fun of customs we don’t always understand, many of the world’s oldest jokes, to a modern audience, simply aren’t that funny. That said, humans being humans, with the oldest joke that has survived through today, it would appear little has […]

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The Space Shuttle Discovery and Its Toilet

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

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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That Time the Citizens of Prague Literally Threw Their Politicians Out of Office (From the Upper Floors)

Providing a unique wrinkle to the phrase, “throw the bums out of office,” twice, first in 1419 and again in 1618, frustrated citizens of Prague (today in the Czech Republic) literally threw their leaders out of the upper story windows of their public buildings. The word for throwing someone or something out of a window, defenestration, is also sometimes used […]

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The True Story of the Ides of March

In William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar,” Caesar mocks the soothsayer’s earlier prediction to “Beware the Ides of March.” Later, Caesar says, “The Ides of March have come” to point out the supposed dreaded day did not bring disaster. The soothsayer responds with a prophetic point, “Ay, Caesar; but not gone.” Shortly thereafter, Caesar is stabbed many times over by conspirators […]

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Forgotten History: The M247 Sergeant York and Its Propensity to Lock Onto Latrines Instead of Enemy Aircraft

The M247 Sergeant York was officially designated as a “self-propelled anti-aircraft gun” but was for all intents and purposes a tank chassis with anti-aircraft guns attached to the top. The vehicle was named for one Alvin York, a famous and highly decorated WW1 hero who captured over 100 German soldiers pretty much single handedly. Unfortunately for the U.S. tax payers […]

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Dustbin of History: The Ground Observer Corps

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader SHOCK WAVE In September 1949, a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane flying over the North Pacific from Japan to Alaska detected levels of radioactivity in the atmosphere at least 20 times above normal. Other planes in the Pacific reported similar observations in the days that followed; elevated radiation levels were […]

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