Category Archives: Articles

One Bad Line- A Dark and Stormy Write

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Alas, life just isn’t fair. Consider the case of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, a successful 19th –century author who was forgotten by history, then rediscovered…but only so that readers could ridicule him for one really bad opening line. BAD TO THE BONE It’s a rare author who can generate a single sentence […]

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Swapping Assassination Attempts- Unit 124 and Unit 684

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In 1968, a group of 31 highly trained North Korean special forces commandos culled from the country’s most elite and secretive unit, Unit 124, crossed the Korean DMZ with a singular mission- kill the South Korean leader, Park Chung Hee. The unit supposedly trained for 2 years prior to the mission, with their initial selection being conducted soon after what is […]

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Raymond Belle and the Birth of Parkour

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While David Belle is unquestionably known as the original innovator and spiritual figurehead of parkour, the discipline’s origins can be traced directly back to his father, Raymond, and his time as a child in Vietnam. Though details surrounding Raymond’s early life are rather hazy, it’s generally accepted that he was separated from his parents during the First Indochina War and taken in […]

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Melting Cars, The “Walkie Scorchie” Skyscraper

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The 525-foot skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in London, England earned the nickname “Walkie Talkie” thanks to its unique design. Slim at the bottom and wider at the top, locals could not help noticing its similarities to a handheld, two-way radio. However the Walkie Talkie also has another nickname- Walkie Scorchie. Construction began on the skyscraper in 2011 amidst controversy […]

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The Only Beatles’ Song John and Paul Recorded Without George and Ringo

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Much to the disappointment of millions of women the world over, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman on March 12, 1969. Although John and Paul were fairly estranged by this point, both as Beatles and as writing partners, the former best mates still seemingly must have felt a twinge of sibling rivalry- the same rivalry that had contributed so greatly to […]

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Elvis Has Left the Building

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The year was 1954. A 19-year-old singer named Elvis Presley was just starting out, often singing on the then famous Louisiana Hayride radio program. He was a young, good-looking singer, but mostly minus the wriggling, shaking, and sneering that were to naturally develop over time. But it didn’t take long before teenage girls began to take notice of the budding […]

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The Interesting Journey of the Body of Famed Philosopher Jeremy Bentham

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Jeremy Bentham was born on February 15, 1748 in London, England. His father, a lawyer, believed Bentham would follow in his footsteps and enter the law profession. Due to his son’s very apparent intelligence, being something of an intellectual prodigy, he even had wild ambitions for Jeremy to ascend to the position of Lord Chancellor of England. And, indeed, Young Jeremy […]

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What is Unobtainium?

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Emma K. asks: Is unobtanium a real substance? In the 2009 film, Avatar, the events of the film are set in motion by the desire to acquire a rare mineral of unfathomable value known simply as “unobtainium”. The unimaginative, seemingly lazy naming of this mysterious substance drew the ire and scorn of several critics, many of whom seemed blissfully unaware that aeronautical engineers […]

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Are Fireman’s Poles Really a Thing?

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John asks: Are fireman’s poles really a thing or is that just something in TV and movies? Fireman’s poles, sometimes simply referred to as “fire poles” are a staple of fictional fire-fighting and Ghostbusting. Though these devices have helped save real world firefighters valuable seconds over the decades, they’re now in a strange state of flux and nobody really knows if they’re […]

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The Secrecy of Psycho

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When it was released in 1960, Psycho was one of the most controversial films of the day, thanks in part to the surprising (for the time) depictions of violence and sexuality it contained. In an effort to keep spoilers to a minimum and thus ensure audiences were as surprised as possible by the film’s more shocking twists and scenes, Hitchcock went to some rather extreme […]

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French Connection UK and Their Infamous “FCUK Fashion” Campaign

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Back in the mid 1990s, the UK based clothing company, French Connection caused a quite a stir in Britain when a keen eyed marketer noticed that the company’s initials bore a striking resemblance to a certain four letter word and suggested they begin using it in their advertising. The CEO of French Connection, Stephen Marks, thought this was a brilliant idea and […]

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Why Nuclear Bombs Create Mushroom Clouds

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Susan K. asks: Why do nuclear bombs make mushroom clouds? This phenomenon all comes down to a little something called the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, and by extension, convection. I’ll begin with the somewhat longer, but less geeky explanation before descending once again into extreme nerdery. It all starts with an explosion that creates a Pyrocumulus Cloud. This ball of burning hot […]

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