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


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.

Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant


Mark R. asks: Was there a real “McDonald” that started McDonald’s or is it like the fictitious Betty Crocker?

Americans and The Date Format and How That Relates to Data Storage, Holy Wars and Soft-Boiled Eggs


M. Seager asks: Why do Americans write dates Month/Day/Year and most others Day/Month/Year? In the United States, the date format begins with the month and ends with the year (MM/DD/YYYY), and this arrangement is relatively unique.

When and How Jeans Became Popular


Jeans are easily one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing on Earth with millions of pairs being made, sold and wrapped around the butts of style conscious individuals every single day.

Do Words Get Removed from a Dictionary When People Stop Using Them?


Kerry U. asks: When words fall out of usage are they removed from the dictionary? The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary is generally regarded as the single most comprehensive record of the English language to exist.

Who Invented Tupperware?


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Today the word Tupperware is a generic term for any plastic food container with a sealable lid.

Weekly Wrap Volume 166


This is a weekly wrap of our popular Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here.

That Time Teddy Roosevelt Got Shot in the Chest But Gave a 90 Minute Speech Anyway


To most of the approximately 10,000 people packed into Milwaukee Auditorium on October 14, 1912, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the moments before Teddy Roosevelt was scheduled to give what was supposed to be a simple campaign speech.

Nixon’s Tactic of Acting Unbalanced as a Political Strategy- The Madman Theory


Developed from game theory and a key tactic of his early administration, President Richard Nixon came into office with a clear plan – scare the hell out of other world leaders to get them to do what he wanted.

Why Do We Call Parents “Mom” and “Dad”?


Becky E. asks: Why do we call parents mom and dad? Calling our parents anything other than mom, dad or one of the many variations thereof is an almost alien concept to many (and in some cultures is considered downright rude).

The Strange Fate Of Benito Mussolini Jr.


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Bad news: We have no control over who our parents are.

The Curious Case of Octopus Wrestling


Joel B. asks: Do people really wrestle octopus? Arising out of the peace and prosperity of the post-war world, in the middle of the 20th century Americans threw themselves into a variety of weird fads, with goldfish swallowing, pet rocks (see: How Did the Pet Rock Fad Start?

How To Make a Proper Cup of Tea According to Famed English Author George Orwell


According to George Orwell, “tea is one of the main stays of civilization,” and like many of his countrymen, Orwell had rather strong opinions on the proper method of its preparation.

Do Vending Machines Really Kill More People Than Sharks?


Samantha F. asks: Is it true that more people are killed every year by vending machines than sharks? As we’ve discussed at length in another article, sharks, contrary to their fearsome reputation, rarely attack, let alone kill, humans; it would seem that they don’t deem us to be suitable prey, though it seemingly has little to do with taste, as is commonly stated.

The Surprisingly Heartwarming Story of the Man Who Invented Sriracha Sauce


Vicki M. asks: Who invented sriracha sauce? The genesis of Sriracha hot sauce (pronounced sir-ah-cha, contrary to what many think) becoming the condiment staple it is today can be traced back to 1975 and an unassuming Vietnamese refuge called David Tran- the founder and current CEO of Huy Fong Foods.

An Endless Cycle- Taxing Blank Cassettes and “Killing Music”


In today’s era of streaming and YouTube where we as consumers have the power to pick and choose the songs we listen to and curate our own playlists, the idea of a homemade mixtape is either quaint or completely alien depending on how old you are.

The Story Behind the “Happiest Man in China” Photo


Rob B. asks: Is the happy Chinese guy picture fake and who is the guy shown? For much of the early history of photography smiling in photographs was almost unheard of for various reasons.

Network Origins: Fox


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader (For more in this series, see: A Scheme to Sell More Radios, the Founding of NBC; Network Origins: CBS; and Network Origins: ABC) In 1987 Fox became the first broadcast network that really gave ABC, CBS, and NBC a run for their money.

Robert Frost’s Commonly Misinterpreted “The Road Not Taken” and the Role it Played in the Death of His Best Friend


Robert Frost is one of the most critically acclaimed American poets of the 20th century, which is a roundabout way of saying you almost certainly studied one of his poems in school.

Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge


To this day, the Brooklyn Bridge remains a monumental civil engineering feat. Connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn and extending across the East River, the bridge is a New York City icon.


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