Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

The Mystery of One of the Strangest Natural Disasters of the 20th Century

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Here’s the story of how scientists unlocked the secrets of the worst natural disaster in the history of the west African nation of Cameroon …and what they’re doing to try and stop it from happening again. THE DISCOVERY On the morning of August 22, 1986, a man hopped onto his […]

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Alexander III and the Story Behind the World’s Most Expensive Eggs

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Unless you happen to be a Russian history buff, you probably don’t know much about Czar Alexander III. But if you’re a fan of Fabergé eggs, you have him (and Carl Fabergé, of course) to thank for them. HOW EGGS-CITING In 1885 the emperor, or czar, of Russia, Alexander III, […]

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The Original Dungeon Masters

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader ROLLING THE DICE Gary Gygax (pronounced GHEE-Gax) was an insurance underwriter living in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, in the late 1960s. He made his living calculating the probabilities that an individual seeking to buy insurance would become sick or disabled or die, and he used these estimates to set the premiums […]

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Dustbin of History: The Fascinating Saga of the Comstock Lode

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Practically everybody has daydreamed about prospecting for gold and striking it rich. But what happens after the big strike? Here’s the amazing tale of one of the biggest bonanzas in U.S. history. KILLING TIME In January 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, California, sparking the Gold Rush that brought […]

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John Lennon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Lawsuit

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader In the Beatles song “Come Together,” John Lennon included a lyric that referenced a Chuck Berry song, an act intended as a tribute to one of the founding fathers of rock ’n’ roll. Instead, it got Lennon embroiled in a years-long legal battle with one of the most colorful—and nefarious—characters […]

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Dustbin of History: The Lincoln Highway

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Like us, you probably can’t remember a world without highways—a time before there were gas stations, fast-food places, or shopping centers. Well, it all had to start somewhere…and this is where. WHERE’S THE HORSE? The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago was in full swing when a gentleman walked up to […]

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The Uber Tuber

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Oh, the poor potato—a symbol of laziness (couch potato) and unhealthy eating (cheese fries). But it deserves much better. Here’s how the lowly potato altered the course of human history. SPUDS OF THE INCAS For at least 4,000 years, potatoes have been cultivated in the Peruvian Andes. The Incas called […]

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Changing the World Twice- The Story of Eli Whitney

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader When you hear the name Eli Whitney, you probably think of his invention, the cotton gin. But you may not realize how profoundly it (and his other inventions) changed the world. Here’s the history they never taught you in school. LOOKING FOR WORK In 1792 a 27-year-old Massachusetts Yankee named […]

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