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Books by Bathroom Readers' Institute. Trivia About Uncle John's Bath No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. And which ones would have rather been fishing? From the birth of the country to modern day yuks, Plunges into the Presidency is packed with more than pages of amusing anecdotes, little-known history, fun quizzes, and more! The Bathroom Readers' Institute is a tight-knit group of loyal and skilled writers, researchers, and editors who have been working as a team for years.
By , when the Rockets tangled with the Lakers, Rudy T was a favorite with Houston fans, a four-time All-Star, and captain of his team. Kermit Washington joined the Lakers as a power forward in ; had been one of his best seasons with the team. On the night in question, the Rockets had just scored a basket in the second half.
After a missed shot, Rocket Kevin Kunnert went after the rebound.
Abdul-Jabbar, seeing a brawl brewing, tried to break up the fight. Rudy T saw his teammate in trouble and ran down the court to stop the fight. The NBA had already been worried that season. Officials also feared that since unlike hockey and football, basketball players wore no padding or protective masks someone could be badly injured when big, angry guys threw wild punches. Media reporters labeled the two players: Tomjanovich was the victim, Washington was the thug.
Rudy T struggled through months of pain and surgeries to put on his Rocket jersey the next season and play the game he loved. In the —79 season he averaged 19 points a game and made the Western Conference All-Star team. Tomjanovich felt that fans with their well-wishing and applause pitied him as a victim.
And Tomjanovich had a legacy from his injuries—headaches, dental pain, and nightmares slowed him down.
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After only three more seasons with Houston, Rudy T retired early. Kermit Washington suffered as well. He felt guilty for what had happened to Tomjanovich, but he was sure that no one understood his position. Since his college days, Washington had been a respected, popular man. As he wrote later: I had to have FBI agents sit next to me at the games for fear of being attacked. I was warned not to order room service for fear of being poisoned.
He soldiered on as a superachiever. It took time and trades, first to Boston, then to San Diego, and finally Portland.
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As a Trail-blazer, Washington reestablished his popularity and even made it to All-Star. The NBA stuck with those tough penalties and added an extra referee. They were determined to curtail violence in the sport. After tasting vanilla in France, Thomas Jefferson was the first person to import it to the U. After he could no longer play on the court, Rudy T stayed with the Rockets as a scout, assistant coach, and finally, head coach.
For Kermit Washington the Forum fallout was even harder to take once he was off the court. Every time violence occurred in sports, the video of his flying fist would play on TV. On May 14, , almost 25 years later, Washington wrote a piece for The New York Times about what it was like to walk in his sneakers. Best of all, publication of The Punch brought Tomjanovich and Washington together to become friends. There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.
Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography. Many heroes lived before Agamemnon; but all are unknown and unwept, extinguished in everlasting night, because they have no spirited chronicler. Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
The art of Biography Is different from Geography. Geography is about maps, But Biography is about chaps. There never was a good biography of a good novelist. Ruth Westheimer, gave everyone the power to say orgasm —and even to have a few. Even as a young sprout, Karola Ruth Siegel never seemed to stop talking. Her mother told her that when her father was released supposedly within six months , they would come to get her.
Instead, Karola stayed in Switzerland for six years—and never saw her parents or grandparents again. After the war, the then year-old Karola immigrated to Palestine and changed her first name to Ruth. In the army, she learned how to assemble and disassemble machine guns with her eyes closed, how to throw a hand grenade, and how to shoot.
In fact, she was an expert marksman, which is why she was stationed at the Israel-Palestine border. Her job was to watch from a rooftop as Israeli soldiers checked each car entering Israel. Thankfully, she never had to shoot anyone. But she was hit herself once, when a bomb went off outside the youth hostel where she lived. Three people were killed that day. Ruth was among the injured. The top of one of her feet was shattered, leaving her with the limp she still has today. Hannibal is the first in a two-book deal in which Thomas Harris stipulated there will be no editing. She married and moved to Paris.
Ruth saw it as a way to bankroll a longed-for move to New York. When she first started working at Planned Parenthood in New York during the late s, she was shocked by the casual discussions of sex all around her. But once she relaxed, she found the subject matter so enjoyable that she decided to make sex education the focus of her career. She officially earned the title of Dr.
She opened a sex therapy practice in and started lecturing on sexual issues. The lectures led to a minute radio show, Sexually Speaking , which was a smash hit and quickly expanded to an hour. She was everywhere in the s: on magazine covers, in movies, on TV shows, and in commercials. Westheimer continues to practice sex therapy in New York.
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And you should be so lucky as to get an appointment to see her. Englishman Humphry Davy created the technology for the lightbulb in , before Edison. Long before Gateway, Charles Babbage, father of computing, showed an interest in cows. Babbage is best known for having invented a sort of Victorian-age, steam-powered calculating machine and the Analytical Engine, a forerunner of the modern-day computer. Babbage spent his lifetime experimenting. When he was young, he almost drowned while testing an invention for walking on water.
On another occasion he had himself lowered into Mt. Vesuvius so he could see the molten lava up close. If, in his countryside ramblings, he came across a pig, he would stop to measure its heartbeat which he would then list in his Table of Constants of the Class Mammalia. His experiments led to all sorts of inventions. Take, for instance, the ophthalmoscope—that little light your doctor uses to look inside your eye. That was Babbage. Standardized postal rates? Skeleton key? His tour de force came one day at the opening of the Manchester-to-Liverpool railroad line, while he stood with a railway company official waiting for the train.
What about a device to sweep obstacles off the tracks in front of the engines? And so the cow-catcher was born. Pure genius. In his later years Babbage came to dislike people in general. As far as we know, they felt pretty much the same about him. Babbage died at his home in London on October 18, The modern computer was built one step at a time, as one inventor built on the work of another. Meet four of the giants on whose shoulders later innovators stand. The entire plant shut down for a company-wide two-week vacation.
At the time, the current that ran through electronic devices was conducted by transistors, the circuits of which required workers to hand-solder wires to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miniscule transistors, resistors, capacitors, and other microscopic gizmos, which—as you can imagine—was labor-intensive, expensive, and prone to errors. With this in mind and two weeks of quiet time , Kilby managed to etch the entire circuit—transistor, wires, capacitors, resistors, and all—into one single sliver of germanium crystal.
These integrated circuits made room-sized computers obsolete. And they were unbelievably cheap to make; cheap enough to create a proliferation of electronic devices, including radios, microwaves, cell phones, VCRs, and TVs. Not only that, but Kilby and another TI scientist invented the handheld calculator—the first mass-market usage for the microchip we know and love today.
Kilby snagged a Nobel Prize in Physics in for his work. When CNN asked him if he had any regrets about what his work hath wrought, he answered, Just one…electronic greeting cards that deliver annoying messages. Kilby is still a consultant for TI.
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Ray Tomlinson was just goofing off at work one day when he created the way a lot of us communicate these days. In , Tomlinson was trying to figure out a way to send messages to other engineers on the project. He knew of a message-sending program that could send messages between users of the same ARPANET machine, but he also knew of another program that could send files from one remote computer to another—so why not messages?
He tinkered some more and figured out how to use them both to get what he wanted. But electronic mail caught on like wildfire. Suddenly two users could send terse, information-filled messages to each another without the need for social niceties or for both to be available to chat at the same time. Instead he continues to work at BBN, content with his place in history as a man whose work will probably outlive his name.
Clark left school at 16, joined the navy, and ended up getting a doctorate in computer science. He was teaching at Stanford in when he came up with his life-changing idea. At the time, computers required thousands of lines of slow-reading code to produce 3-D graphics. Clark had a better idea—he built a chip specially modified to work with graphics rather than code.
Uncle John's bathroom reader plunges into history.
The resulting Geometry Engine was a revelation for engineers and architects that generated instantaneous computer designs instead of painstakingly hand-drawn blueprints. The Scott brothers of Philadelphia marketed the first successful toilet paper roll in Clark and a few colleagues founded Silicon Graphics, Inc. By he was bored at SGI and looking for something new. Jim Clark was a billionaire, and so were a lot of other people. Clark put part of his earnings into a healthcare information and technology company, WebMD, where he continues to be a director.
Hey, it beats slaving away over a keyboard. In , the man who would create the ubiquitous www that sits in that topmost bar on your computer screen was into a six-month job as a software developer at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland. Of course, it only worked on his own personal files.