General Trivia

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Safe Spaces

We all want to be in the safest place possible, especially when we’re in these harrowing situations. (This article was first published in our 31st annual edition, Uncle John’s Actual and Factual Bathroom Reader.) SAFEST PLACE TO SIT ON A PLANE In 2015 Time magazine analyzed data from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Accident Database […]


For fun facts and interesting stories, just dial 1-800-UNCLE-JOHN. Actually, don’t, because that’s not a functional number, and everybody does everything over the internet these days instead of the phone. For example, here’s a toll-free look at the history of 1-800 numbers. Automated collect calling Back in 1967, American telephone companies introduced a new system […]

Great Book, Let’s Ban It!

Since 1982, book folk (libraries, publishers, readers) have celebrated “Banned Books Week,” setting aside the last week of September to examine literature that’s been “challenged” or banned” around the country. Here are some books removed from shelves…for some very odd reasons.  Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret The Judy Blume novel about a girl’s […]

It’s “Time” for Some Word Origins

They’re terms we all use every day—so we thought we’d look into why people talk about the “time” and why they look it up on “clocks” and watches.” Time Proto-Indo-European is the common ancestral language of most European languages, and it had a word dimon, which meant “to divide.” Dimon to a form of time […]

So Long, Brookstone

It would seem that Brookstone itself could use a sit in one of its massage chairs about now. The mall store, famous for its expensive vibrating leather chairs and ever-changing assortment of wireless speakers and other gadgets has filed for bankruptcy and will close its stores. Here are some of the oddest items that the […]