"The Mad Science Book" is the UK edition of the German bestseller "Das Buch der verrückten Experimente". The amazing stories of 113 strange experiments from the middle ages to today. Entertaining, mind opening, deeply researched, with original illustrations (the second volume has not yet been licensed for the UK or US. Foreign rights).
The weirdest experiments
Visitors to this website voted for their favorite weird science experiment. The ranking:
1. The three Christs of Ypsilanti -Three men think they are Jesus. What happens when they meet?(1959) full story
2. Diagnosing schizophrenics with spider webs (1955) full story
3. The hanging studies (1905) full story
4. Brilliantly saying nothing. Does anyone notice? (1970) full story
5. Staying in bed for one year (1986) full story
6. Crucifiying volunteers (1984) more
Das Buch der verrückten Experimente (Bertelsmann 2004)
Das neue Buch der verrückten Experimente (Bertelsmann 2009)
De Galna Experimentens Bok (Fahrenheit 2006)
매드 사이언스 북 (Puriwa Ipari 2008)
111 najbardziej szalonych eksperymentów (Proszynski 2009)
疯狂实验史(新知文库;) (SDX Joint Publishing Company 2009)
There are subjects that seem to be outside the range of self experimentation for principal reasons. One of them is hanging. That did not deter Roumanian forensic scientist Nicolas Minovici from trying it. In his 238 pages long paper "Studies on Hanging" (1905) he not only analyses 172 suicides putting them into different categories like gender, place, season, kind of knot, circumference of the rope and so on, he also tried it himself.
He first did some preliminary trials with a non contracting noose ("I let myself hang six to seven times for four to five seconds to get used to it."). The pain was almost intolerable as Minovici writes. It persisted for two weeks. Still Minovici felt "comforted by the results" and went for the real thing: He and some of his collaborators put their heads into a regular contracting noose and asked an assistant to hang them – twelve times.
As when describing former experiments Minovici apologizes again and again that "despite of all our courage we could not take the experiment any longer than three to four seconds."
Minovici was well aware of the danger the experiments represented. But he seemed to have had a distinctive propensity for reality as he advised his assistants to pull the rope until his feet were one to two meters above ground.
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