Category Archives: People

The Badass Story of the First Helicopter Pilot to Receive the Medal of Honor

While it might seem a little odd at first glance, it turns out the first helicopter pilot ever to receive the United States’ prestigious Medal of Honor, John Kelvin Koelsch, was born and and mostly raised in London, England. Considered an American citizen thanks to his parentage, Koelsch moved back to the US with his family in his teens, and […]

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How Peanuts Became the Defining Comic Strip of Our Time

Today, Snoopy can be found on coffee mugs, greeting cards and blimps, and even has his own amusement park. But Charlie Brown’s lovable black and white spotted dog wasn’t always mainstream. In fact, when the comic strip first appeared in the 1950s, the dog and his Peanut friends were considered, to quote Time Magazine’s David Michaels, “the fault-line of a […]

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The Curious Case of the Isdal Woman

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sometimes the most intriguing whodunits aren’t found in mystery novels, they’re found in real life. Take this curious case, which has puzzled investigators for more than 40 years. COLD CASE One chilly afternoon in November 1970, a father and his two daughters were hiking up a remote, rocky hillside overlooking […]

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Who was the Red Baron?

It was a century ago when famed World War I German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen was fatally shot out of the sky. Yet, his nickname – “Red Baron” – remains part of American vernacular. Charles Schulz’s comic strip character Snoopy famously took on the Red Baron in his imaginary air battles aboard his doghouse, often yelling “Curse you, Red Baron!” […]

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Forgotten Heroes: The Accidental Farmer

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bob Fletcher was an agricultural inspector working in California’s Central Valley in the early 1940s. He might have stayed one, too, had the outbreak of World War II not changed everything. INFAMY Shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese military forces attacked the U.S. naval […]

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On The Far Side

For 15 years, Gary Larson took millions of readers over to the “Far Side.” Using anamorphic animals, chubby teenagers, universal emotions, a simple drawing style and a really bizarre, morbid sense of humor, The Far Side became one of the most successful – and praised – comic strips of all time. But like many cartoonists, Larson has remained rather elusive. […]

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Saddam Speaks

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was big news from the 1980s through the 2000s. But it wasn’t until years after his death that the world got to hear his story in his own words. DEBRIEFING THE DICTATOR Saddam Hussein (1937–2006) became the president and dictator of Iraq in 1979—a position he […]

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What Ever Happened to Miss Cleo the TV Psychic?

Felix H. asks: Where did Miss Cleo disappear to? For those unfamiliar, around the turn of the century no psychic was more famous than the purportedly Jamaican-born Miss Cleo (née Youree Dell Harris) representing the Psychic Readers Network (PRN). Appearing on late-night infomercials, Miss Cleo hooked her audience with a combination of charisma, Tarot card readings, concerned looks, and imperatives […]

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A $25 Bonus- H. Tracy Hall and the Invention of the Synthetic Diamond

As you may know, naturally created diamonds are formed from carbon subjected to extreme pressure (725,000 pounds per square inch or so) and heat (1,650 to 2,370 °F) some 90-120 miles down. The world’s natural diamond supply (that has come to the surface) was formed in this way some 1-3 billion years ago. However, scientists only realized that diamonds are […]

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The Man Who Put the Chicle in Chiclets

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader CHEWING THROUGH HISTORY People have been chewing gum (and gumlike substances) since ancient times. The Greeks chewed mastiche, made from the resin of the mastic tree. The ancient Mayans first chewed chicle, the sap of the sapodilla tree, over 1,000 years ago. American Indians chewed the sap from spruce trees, […]

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