Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

Dustbin of History: Aero-Nuts

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader From our “Dustbin of History” files, here’s the harrowing tale of a little-known milestone in aviation history. LOADED It was January 7, 1785, and two men were preparing for the first ever balloon crossing of the English Channel. The one who financed the adventure was John Jeffries, a well-to-do American […]

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A Historic Defecation: The Curious Case of the Lloyds Bank Turd

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader It may sound gross, but it’s real and it’s considered a national “treasure.” And although we might wish we did, we didn’t make up the name—that’s really what it’s called. Get ready to learn about bathroom archaeology. BEAUTY, SKIN DEEP If you’ve ever been to the English city of York, […]

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A Capital Idea- How a Pile of Unpaid Bills Led to Washington, D.C.

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader You probably know that the “D.C.” in Washington, D.C., stands for “District of Columbia” and that the district is not part of any state. But do you know why America’s Founding Fathers placed such importance on creating a capital outside of any state? We owe it all to piles of […]

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The Lost Leonardo

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Only 15 paintings by the Italian Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci are known to exist. But what if there were more…and what if Leonardo’s greatest work—one that’s been presumed destroyed since 1563—was safely hidden, just waiting to be discovered? THE BIG PICTURE In 1503 the Republic of Florence (now part […]

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The Corporation

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader To some people, the word “corporation” has negative connotations, and not without reason—names like Enron and Lehman Brothers come to mind. But it’s also one of the greatest tools for economic growth ever invented. Here’s a brief, fascinating history of the corporation. BACKGROUND Most of us have a simple understanding […]

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A Spy Story

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Question: How many intelligence agencies does the U.S. have? Let’s see…there’s the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, and maybe…the DEA—that’s four, right? Wrong. How many do we really have? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Just kidding. Correct answer: 17. Here’s the history of the whole—mostly secret—business. SPY STORY In January 1790, […]

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How the Missing-Children Milk Carton Program Started

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader If you were around in the 1980s, you undoubtedly remember them: black-and-white photos of missing children printed on the sides of cardboard milk cartons. Here’s the story of how it all started. ABDUCTED On Sunday morning, September 5, 1982, 12-year-old Johnny Gosch set out from his West Des Moines, Iowa, […]

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