Category Archives: Misc.

Hold My Beer- The Story of Tommy Fitz’ and His Drunken Bet

plane

Thomas Fitzpatrick, known to his friends as Tommy Fitz, was a native of Washington Heights, Manhattan, who, although he had moved to New Jersey, still hung out with his old friends from the neighborhood. A “wild bunch,” Tommy’s crew were adventurous and enjoyed frequenting area bars. Late in evening (or rather early in the morning) of September 30, 1956, as […]

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How the Rumor That Paul McCartney Died in 1966 and Was Secretly Replaced by a Look-Alike Got Started

paul-mccartney

For a couple of months in the fall of 1969, a persistent rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed two years earlier and replaced with a look-alike captured the imaginations of Beatles fans and the general public. The rumor began in the winter of 1967 when, after a particularly icy night, reports were flying among Britain’s national press that Paul […]

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Blood and Booty

hugenot

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader American history might have been written in French or Spanish. Here’s part of the reason it wasn’t. PLUNDERERS FOR HIRE In 1562 some French Protestants known as Huguenots landed on what is now Parris Island, near Beaufort, South Carolina. Like the English Pilgrims who would arrive a half century later, […]

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Sherlock Holmes’ Mail

221B-Baker-Street

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first began writing Sherlock Holmes stories back in the late 19th century, 221B Baker Street didn’t exist. While Baker Street itself existed, and still exists today, the numbers on the street back when Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes novels and when Holmes was supposed to reside there (1881 to 1904 according to Doyle’s original stories) […]

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Standing in a Hurricane- Watching Over the Tomb of the Unknowns

tomb-of-the-unknown-soldier2

Ron17 asks: How do they decide who gets to guard the tomb of the unknown soldier? Since 1937, the Tomb of the Unknowns has famously never once been left unattended with there always being at least one guard present to keep vigil. The highly coveted position of Tomb Sentinel is only meted out to truly exceptional soldiers, all of whom must prove […]

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A Little Girl, a World Leader, and a Nuclear War- The Story of Samantha Smith

Samantha_Smith

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader The Letter Like millions of American children during the Cold War, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, was terrified of getting nuked by the Russians. News reports and TV specials about nuclear bombs, missile defense systems, and “mutually assured destruction” were commonplace, and Smith got more and more frightened about […]

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The Secret Society of Journalists Known as the Order of the Occult Hand

newspapers

A running joke, a conspiracy, a challenge, a raspberry to authority and (at least formerly) an exclusive club, the members of the Order of the Occult Hand are those journalists who have successfully snuck the meaningless phrase “occult hand” past their editors and into published newspaper articles. How did this all start? According to two of its founding fathers, Joseph Flanders […]

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The Deadly Dihydrogen Monoxide

water-pollution

A major component of acid rain, an accelerator of corrosion and the rusting of metals, found in the tumors of cancer patients, a contributor to the greenhouse effect, fatal if inhaled, and capable of causing serious burns in the right circumstances, colorless, odorless and tasteless dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. An exercise in perspective, […]

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