Uncle johns 24 karat gol.., p.1

Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader®, page 1

 

Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader®
 



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Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader®


  Uncle John’s 24-Karat Gold Bathroom Reader®

  Bathroom Readers’ Institute

  Bathroom Readers’ Press (2012)

  * * *

  * * *

  By the

  Bathroom Readers’

  Institute

  Bathroom Readers’ Press

  Ashland, Oregon

  OUR “REGULAR”

  READERS RAVE!

  “Your books are the greatest written word since Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. Uncle John and all his staff at the BRI must be the smartest rubber duckies in the pool.”

  —Steven

  “I’ve been a fan of your series for years, and I have two shelves devoted to them. I’m now equipped with an arsenal of fun facts for any occasion.”

  —Alex

  “I have been an avid reader of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers for years. Everyone knows what to buy me for presents. Just wanted to let you folks know that you keep me mesmerized (and seated) for long periods of time!”

  —Mitch

  “I LOVE your books! It is so nice to be able to impress my family and friends with an arsenal of wacky, fun facts!”

  —Shayla

  “My whole family loves your books. We wait anxiously for each new one to come out. The most recent one we are reading has definitely brought conversation out of the bathroom and to the dinner table!”

  —Trena

  “I have about 30 of your books, and I want the whole collection! Do you know how much fun it is to start a conversation with a weird little tidbit from Uncle John?”

  —Rose

  UNCLE JOHN’S 24-KARAT GOLD

  BATHROOM READER®

  Copyright © 2011 by the Bathroom Readers’ Press (a division of Portable Press). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

  “Bathroom Reader” and “Bathroom Readers’ Institute” are registered trademarks of Baker & Taylor. All rights reserved.

  “When Life Was ‘Simpler’” is reprinted from Secrets of the Great Old-Timey Cooks by Barbara Swell, © 2001. Used by permission of Native Ground Music, Asheville, North Carolina (nativeground.com)

  For information, write:

  The Bathroom Readers’ Institute, P.O. Box 1117,

  Ashland, OR 97520

  www.bathroomreader.com

  Cover design by Michael Brunsfeld, San Rafael, CA

  (Brunsfeldo@comcast.net)

  BRI “technician” on the back cover: Larry Kelp

  ISBN-13: 978-1-60710-655-5

  E-book edition: May 2012

  Hiya, Sophie! Hiya, Jesse!

  THANK YOU!

  The Bathroom Readers’ Institute sincerely thanks the people whose advice and assistance made this book possible.

  Gordon Javna

  John Dollison

  Jay Newman

  Brian Boone

  Thom Little

  Kim Griswell

  Amy Miller

  Michael Brunsfeld

  Angela Kern

  Jack Mingo

  Megan Todd

  Stephanie Fretwell

  Eddie Deezen

  Brandon Hartley

  Eleanor Pierce

  Jill Bellrose

  William Dooling

  Michael Kerr

  Michael Conover

  Ed Krenzolok

  Claudia Bauer

  Claire Breen

  JoAnn Padgett

  Melinda Allman

  Monica Maestas

  Annie Lam

  Ginger Winters

  Jennifer Frederick

  Maggie Javna

  Nate & Dena

  Wayne Erbsen

  Barbara Swell

  Tom “Deli Style” Mustard

  Sydney Stanley

  David Calder

  Erin Corbin

  Julie Pigeon

  Joseph Pisco

  Media Masters

  Publishers Group West

  Bloomsbury Books

  Raincoast Books

  Porter the Wonder Dog (R.I.P.)

  Thomas Crapper

  Hiya, Sam! Hiya, Gideon!

  CONTENTS

  Because the BRI understands your reading needs, we’ve divided the contents by length as well as subject.

  Short—a quick read

  Medium—2 to 3 pages

  Long—for those extended visits, when something a little more involved is required

  * Extended—for those leg-numbing experiences

  BATHROOM LORE

  Short

  Celebrities in the Can

  Medium

  Bathroom News

  Bathroom Finds

  Toilet Tech

  Uncle John’s Stall of Fame

  Just Plane Weird: Bathroom Edition

  A Cacophony of Caca

  Uncle John’s Stall of Shame

  Toilet Tech

  IT’S A RECORD!

  Medium

  The Gold Watch Awards

  There’s a Record for That?

  Our State Is #1!

  AMAZING STORIES

  Short

  Amazing Coincidences

  Medium

  Bouncing Babies

  Self-Surgery

  Tough Guys

  Long

  The Unluckiest Train Ride

  Samantha Smith

  *The Curse of the Demon Core

  FORGOTTEN HISTORY

  Short

  Old History, New Theory

  Medium

  Kings, Sized

  Named for a Ship

  Ancient Sub-urbs

  Hermits for Hire

  Hail to Your Chief

  FADS & FLOPS

  Medium

  Fabulous Flops

  What It’s All About

  Heartbreak Hotels

  Obscure 1960s Fads

  Fabulous Flops

  AMERICANA

  Short

  Discharged!

  Medium

  Altered States

  Failed Amendments

  The Zero Milepost

  When Life Was “Simpler”

  Civil War Sidenotes

  Constitutional Q&A

  Long

  Blood & Booty

  *Myth America: “The Price They Paid”

  *Born on the 2nd of July

  LAW & ORDER

  Short

  Tweet Beat

  Judges Gone Wild

  Medium

  Judges Gone Wild

  Stung!

  I Shoot You With…My Key Fob!

  Dinner and a Lawsuit

  Dumb Crooks

  Strange Lawsuits

  Here Comes the Judge

  More Strange Lawsuits

  Long

  Law & Scandal

  LIFE IS STRANGE

  Short

  It Wasn’t My Fault!

  You’re Never Too Old…

  Early to Rise

  A Boring Page

  Naked News

  Medium

  Ironic, Isn’t It?

  Odd Scholarships

  Odd Jobs

  Uncle John’s “Creative Teaching” Awards

  BATHROOM TRAVEL GUIDE

  Short

  Before You Go

  Going Places?

  Medium

  City of Fright

  Five Things You Should Never Do in a Foreign Country

  High Culture

  HI-TECH BITS & BYTES

  Short

  Mr. Trololo

  Medium

 
Craigslist Oddities

  Viral Videos

  The Big Challenge

  Video Games vs. Reality

  Doomed by the Internet

  More Viral Videos

  ORIGINS

  Short

  Random Origins

  Medium

  Forgotten Founders

  Symbol Origins

  Hardware Store Origins

  Call Me Mister

  The ’Umble Umbrella

  CREATURE FEATURES

  Short

  Feline Facts

  Arachnophobia!

  Medium

  Name That Tuna

  Weird Animal News

  Nature’s Revenge

  MYTHS & LEGENDS

  Short

  Strange Superstitions

  Medium

  Myth-Conceptions

  Faces of Death

  Celebrity Ghosts

  CANADIANA

  Short

  Canada at Random

  Medium

  Canada’s Captain Underpants

  Hut, Hut, Hike, Eh?

  Canada’s Most Famous Outhouse

  The _____ of Canada

  REEL LIFE

  Short

  Movie Quote Quiz #1

  Movie Quote Quiz #2

  I Spy…at the Movies

  Medium

  I Spy…at the Movies

  Edited for Airlines

  Superman Returns, Starring Will Smith

  HEAVY METAL

  Short

  The Golden Page

  Cross That Bridge

  Medium

  The Story of Metal, Part I

  Metal, Part II

  Nano-Gold

  Long

  Metal, Part III

  SPORTS

  Short

  Baseball Bizarre

  Medium

  Blow It Like Buckner

  Lou Gehrig, Reconsidered

  See You at the Igloo

  Spit Boxes & Morning Glories

  Odd Baseball Stories

  FOOD & DRINK

  Short

  Jolt-ernatives

  Cookie Crumbs

  Funky Junk Food

  Make Mine a Double

  “Health” “Food”

  Medium

  Secret Ingredients

  Secrets of the Avocado

  Does This Taste Funny?

  Top Banana

  “I’ll Have Some Bagoong with a Glass of Plonk”

  Five Odd Foods

  Dough-lympic Records

  Long

  What’s Cooking?

  BUSINE$$

  Short

  Smells Funny

  Friday & Tuesday

  Medium

  The Tupperware Story

  Family Feud: Adidas vs. Puma

  The Tupperware Story, Part II

  Adidas vs. Puma, Part II

  The Denny’s Story

  Adidas vs. Puma, Part III

  PUBLIC LIVES

  Short

  Famous and Broke…

  Medium

  Famous for 15 Minutes

  Bill Murray Stories

  Road Trip!

  Strange Celebrity Lawsuits

  Unexpected Encounters

  More Strange Celebrity Lawsuits

  Long

  *Helen Keller: Vaudeville Star

  YOU CAN’T GET THERE…AT ALL

  Medium

  The Forbidden Island

  Forbidden Island, USA

  Life on America’s Forbidden Island

  Long

  The Forbidden Island, Part II

  GAMES & TOYS

  Short

  Surreal Video Games

  Medium

  Grandma Celia, Card Shark

  Action Figure Facts

  Educational Toys

  Video Game Secrets

  Bad News Barbies

  Odd Bikes

  Long

  The Origin of Parcheesi: (A Game of Cowries and Indians)

  Time for Tangrams

  THAT’S DEATH

  Medium

  After the Funeral

  Celebrity Check-Outs

  First, or Last, in Death

  They Went Thataway

  Bodies in Motion

  After the Funeral

  Famous for How They Died

  Before Their Time

  Exhumed!

  THE PRINTED WORD

  Short

  Flubbed Headlines

  “Words on a Shirt”

  Bookworms

  Know Your Boats

  Medium

  Missed It by One Letter

  Sci-Fi Treasures

  Moonstruck

  Don’t Tell the Kids!

  Long

  *Font(s) of Knowledge

  NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER(WEAR)

  Medium

  Underwear on a Mission

  Underwear in the News

  High-Tech Underwear

  MUSIC

  Short

  Random Bits on Michael Jackson Hits

  Medium

  Random Bits on Beatles Hits

  Jingle Fever

  Random Bits on Elton John Hits

  Behind the Cover

  POP SCIENCE

  Short

  The Amazing Zeer Pot

  How to Measure Distances by “Eyeball”

  Tree-go-nometry

  Medium

  The Bright Side of the Moon

  Do Try This at Home

  Robots in the News

  Nice Legs!

  That Smarts!

  Long

  IGY

  The Garbage Satellite

  How to Eavesdrop on the Astronauts

  The ABCs of pH

  TV OR NOT TV

  Short

  Simpsons Stores

  Medium

  Come On Down!

  Street Songs

  MacGyver Escapes!

  MOUTHING OFF

  Short

  Stand-Up Folks

  The Way We Weren’t

  Ben There, Done That

  Points to Ponder

  You’ve Got a Friend

  It’s Science!

  Thoughts on ’Bots

  It’s All You Need

  Works of Art

  Nasty Musicians

  He Said

  She Said…

  Raise Your Glass

  GOVERN-MENTAL

  Short

  Poli-Talks

  Govern-mental

  Medium

  The Economy in Brief(s)

  Odd Economic Indicators

  Long

  *Misery Indexes

  *Nixon’s List

  WORDPLAY

  Short

  Obscure-o-nyms

  Calculator Words

  Knotty Buoy

  ICNTDRV

  Medium

  Familiar Phrases

  Mind Your Zarfs and Wambles

  Word Origins

  INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  Short

  Death by Lawnmower

  The Chocolate Poodle

  Medium

  The Many Faces of Santa Claus

  Geographic Oddities Q&A

  Delusions of Grandeur

  Long

  Operation Paul Bunyan

  PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

  Short

  The Un-friendly Skies

  Medium

  18 Wheels of Terror

  Just Plane Weird

  Long

  *Saving Ford from Ford

  POP-POURRI

  Short

  You’re My Inspiration

  Chances That

  Uncle John’s Page of Lists

  Groaners

  “The Eighth Wonder of the World”

  Fake City Quiz

  World Hairstory

  Medium

  Q&A: Ask the Experts

  Edifice Complex

  Four Nice Stories

  A Thousand Cranes
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  Answers

  INTRODUCTION

  WELCOME TO OUR GOLDEN 24th

  After one score and four years of bringing Bathroom Readers to our growing legion of throne-sitters, we’re rolling along stronger than ever! And in a way, we feel like we’re just getting started. In fact, one of our favorite articles in this new edition, Uncle John’s 24-Karat Bathroom Reader, chronicles people who have been in the same job for more than 70 years! How do they do it? Simple—they love showing up to work every day.

  And so do we.

  We never know what golden nugget of information is out there, just waiting to be mined. Like the fact that the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik I into space was part of a much bigger plan enacted by the world’s leading scientists (page 255), or that for all his genius, automobile pioneer Henry Ford was actually a horrible businessman (page 486). That’s just fascinating! Yeah, we could definitely stand another 50 years or so of sharing this stuff.

  And here’s the best part: All you have to do is start reading. Here’s a bit of what awaits you...

  • Origins: The Tupperware Lady that time forgot, the history of the humble umbrella, and the inventor of the toilet tank flap

  • Helpful hints: How to run a clock on potato power, how to measure distances with your thumb, and why you should never say “fanny pack” in Australia

  • Pop science: What is nano-gold, and could it be a cure for cancer? All about metal, a bra that may help you breathe, the used space suit that became an orbiting ham radio, and the notorious nuclear accidents now known as the “Curse of the Demon Core”

  • Odd happenings: The guy who got inflated by his semi-truck’s pressure hose, the lady who cracked an egg on a TSA agent’s head, and the tale of the Swedish shotgun-guitar

  • Bizarre eats: Caffeinated marshmallows, hair remover in breakfast sandwiches, and a cocktail made from rattlesnake blood

  • Critters and beasties: Scary spiders, horse-racing lingo, how fishes got their names, and an octopus with an attitude problem

  • Strange places: Travel beneath Paris and Atlanta. Don’t travel to two forbidden Islands—one in the Bay of Bengal, and the other in the middle of the Pacific. (But you can read all about them.)

  • That’s entertainment: Bill Murray’s tall tales; how MacGyver always escaped; all about The Price Is Right; and the story of what really happened to Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando after the 9/11 terror attacks

  • Games people play: Football...Canadian style, legendary sports goofs, action figure facts, a killer video game, Parcheesi, and the athletic shoes that tore apart a family and a town

  • Forgotten history: Jack Daniels’s untimely end, what Nikola Tesla said to Mark Twain, and why Americans don’t speak French

  • Wordplay: Funny license plates (like “GOTTA P”), plus a cacophony of caca words, and why Comic Sans is the world’s most reviled font

  Before you dive in, we’d like to take a moment once again to thank our dedicated team of writers, researchers, editors, designers, and everyone else who helped make this book glitter. Give yourselves a gold star! And a big welcome to Kim, the latest writer to be “institutionalized” at the BRI! Bet you didn’t think it would be this crazy, Kim. (Insert maniacal laugh here.)

 
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