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.
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.
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.
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
"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."
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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