Weird Universe


Punching Cadavers

University of Utah researchers rigged up a "pendulum-like apparatus" in which they placed cadaver arms, and then proceeded to make the arms punch a padded dumbbell with clenched or unclenched fist. The idea was to test the theory that the human hand evolved its shape so that men could "fistfight over females" — aka the "pugilism hypothesis of hominin hand evolution."

The researchers believe that their experiment supported the pugilism hypothesis.

More info: Science Daily and the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Oct 24, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Death, Experiments

Парк Юрского периода

A lab in Russia is working on cloning a wooly mammoth. China and South Korea are supposed to participate in the project. Perhaps they will build their own Парк Юрского периода.
Posted By: patty | Date: Tue Sep 01, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Experiments, Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Creatures

Drunk-O-Meter Test Fizzles

A great moment in the history of science. Arkansas, 1956.

Corsicana Daily Sun - June 8, 1956

'Drunk-O-Meter' Test Is Fizzle: Man Passes Out
HOT SPRINGS, Ark., June 8 — An attempt to test the accuracy of the "Drunk-O-Meter," a device used to measure the degree of intoxication of a person, ended in failure at Hot Springs.
The reason—the man engaged to get drunk for science passed out before he could be measured.
The experiment was conducted by police at the request of the judges' council, an official unit of the Arkansas Bar Association.
The man drank over a 20-hour period. In that time he consumed four half pints of wine, two half pints of whiskey, four half pints of "moonshine" liquor, and a half pint of vodka.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Aug 19, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants, Science, Experiments, 1950's

Strange Volunteers

My latest piece: 6 insane experiments that people volunteered for.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Aug 11, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Science, Experiments, Alex

Zero Gravity Frog

NASA footage of experiments with frogs in a zero-g environment, performed on the Space Shuttle Endeavor, 1992.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun May 24, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Science, Experiments, 1990's

Music-Impregnated Milk

In this 1910 experiment, nine musicians played the "Blue Danube" waltz and other selections while farm hands milked 61 Jerseys and Holsteins.

The result: "The music calmed the nerves of the cows and their udders let down all the milk in them." Also, this milk "tasted better and had a more happy effect upon the drinkers than the milk served which had not been 'music impregnated.'"

Why aren't the upscale food stores of today (like Whole Foods) selling music-impregnated milk? I'm sure there are people who would spend the extra money for it.

Source: The Louisiana Comrade - Aug 26, 1910; also printed in the Red Lake Falls Gazette (1910).
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat May 09, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Food, Music, Experiments

Concussion Test

1958: Dr. Henry Montoye of Michigan State University studied the shock resistance of football helmets by having players wear the helmets and then dropping weights on their head. Try getting approval to do that experiment today! Source: Life - May 19, 1958

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 04, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Experiments, 1950's

Erismann and Kohler: Inversion Goggles

"The movie documents a classic experiment conducted in 1950 by Ivo Kohler and Theodor Erismann at the university of Innsbruck, Austria. Erismann is the older person the movie, and Kohler, his research assistant at that time, is the person wearing the inversion goggles. Subtitles are all in German."

Full story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 15, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Science, Experiments, 1950's, Eyes and Vision

Eye Test


These two pictures are part of a science experiment. The tractor has been replaced by an octopus. What is being measured?

Answer after the jump.

More >>
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Nov 29, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Science, Experiments, 1970's

Shun the Mustache Kiss!

We're now three weeks into Movember. So this seems like timely advice from the Washington Post - Apr 28, 1912.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Nov 25, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Hygiene, Experiments, 1910's, Hair and Hairstyling
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.