Category Archives: Misc.

Blood and Booty


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


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


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


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


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


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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Can Ambulance Drivers Get Speeding Tickets?


Brooke asks: Can ambulances get speeding tickets? Subject to the same rules of the road as other drivers, with a few exceptions for emergencies, ambulances can be pulled over and ticketed for speeding and other traffic violations, although it is exceedingly rare. Generally speaking, ambulance drivers should observe all traffic laws and regulations; however, some of those laws are waived […]

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