Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

The Curious Case of Giant Concrete Arrows That Stretched from New York to California

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader DAY TRIPPERS When the U.S. Post Office introduced airmail service in 1920, the mail could only be flown during daylight hours, when pilots could see where they were going. In an age before sophisticated navigation systems, flying after dark was just too dangerous. The pilots who transported the mail navigated […]

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Carter’s Farewell

Jimmy_Carter

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Historians usually rank Jimmy Carter as one of America’s more lackluster presidents. His term was marked by inflation, an oil embargo, high unemployment, and a hostage crisis in Iran. Result: he lost his 1980 reelection bid to Ronald Reagan by 8.4 million votes, the largest ouster of an incumbent president […]

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The British Plan to Cover Germany with Anthrax- Operation Vegetarian

anthrax

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader How deadly could a secret program code-named “Operation Vegetarian” be? So deadly that had it ever been implemented, millions would have died and thousands of square miles of European soil might still be unoccupied today. ALONE On September 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler set World War II in motion when he […]

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The Man Who Put the Chicle in Chiclets

chewing-gum2

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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Secrets of the Avocado

Peacock Avocado

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Inside that textured green skin, it’s ripe with mystery. It’s an “evolutionary anachronism.” It’s not a vegetable, and not exactly your typical fruit. It’s an acquired taste that most Americans still resist. Meet the avocado. HAVING A BALL The avocado came from South America, so it’s not too surprising that […]

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The Fascinating Family Feud that Led to Adidas and Puma, and Allowed Nike to Dominate the Market

adidas

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Here’s the strange story of a family-owned business so dysfunctional that business schools teach it as a lesson in how not to run a company. FOOT SOLDIER Not long after the end of World War I in 1918, an 18-year-old German soldier named Adolf Dassler returned to his hometown of […]

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The Strange Fate Of Benito Mussolini Jr.

Benito Albino Mussolini

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bad news: We have no control over who our parents are. Good news: Most of us did a lot better than Benito Mussolini Jr. did. OUT OF WORK In 1912, a 20-year-old political activist named Benito Mussolini became the editor of Avanti! (“Forward!”), the Italian Socialist Party’s newspaper. He held […]

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