Weird Universe

Guess the Scientist

Guess the Scientist, #3

What famous sixteenth-century scientist does this passage describe? Answer is in extended (and in the comments).

_________ relates in one of his autobiographies (he wrote three) that he was completely impotent from the age of twenty-one until his marriage at the age of thirty-one; but that after he wed, the union resulted in three children, two boys and a girl...

_________ also suffered from an amazing array of physical problems and ailments, including: stuttering; chronic hoarseness; nasal discharge; heart palpitations; hemorrhoids; indigestion; malaria; gout; chronic itching; hernia; colic; insomnia; dysentery; and a malignant growth on his left nipple. He also had some truly odd physical problems. He wrote that "in 1536 I was overtaken with an extraordinary discharge of urine; and although for nearly forty years I have been afflicted with this trouble, giving from sixty to a hundred ounces a day, I live well."

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Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 03, 2008 | Comments (3)
Category: Quizzes, Guess the Scientist, Science

Guess the Scientist, #2

What scientist wrote the following passage? The answer is in extended (and on the comments page).

A small experimental room was fitted with a bed and other items conducive to a normal sexual response. The bed was placed directly against a wall through which an opening was made. Both sides of the opening were covered with a thick sheet of foam rubber. Slits were made in the foam rubber so that the leads to the instruments could be passed to the recording room while still maintaining the privacy of the experimental room. All of the subjects were married and were between the ages of 22 and 30.

To record the heart rate four electrocardiographic leads, fashioned from wire mesh attached to an elastic bandage, were fastened to the upper thighs and the upper arms. With this technique the ECG was readable even during the periods of greatest muscular activity. During foreplay, records were taken each minute on two Sanborn direct writing electrocardiographs. During coitus continuous recordings were made, and after withdrawal records were again made a 1-minute intervals. Three tests were performed on each of three couples.

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Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Oct 20, 2008 | Comments (9)
Category: Quizzes, Guess the Scientist, Science, Experiments

Guess the Scientist!

What famous Victorian-era scientist does this passage describe? (Follow the "extended" link for the answer.)

He suffered from incessant retching or vomiting, usually brought on by fatigue; and from painful bouts of wind that churned around after meals and obliged him to sit quietly in a private room until his body behaved more politely. Reading between the lines, his guts were noisy and smelly. "I feel nearly sure that the air is generated somewhere lower down than stomach," he told one doctor plaintively in 1865, "and as soon as it regurgitates into the stomach the discomfort comes on." He was equally forthright with his cousin...: "all excitement & fatigue brings on such dreadful flatulence that in fact I can go nowhere." When he did go somewhere, he needed privacy after meals, "for, as you know, my odious stomach requires that."

He also had trouble with his bowels, frequently suffering from constipation and vulnerable to the obsession with regularity that stalked most Victorians. He developed crops of boils in what he called "perfectly devilish attacks" on his backside, making it impossible to sit upright, and occasional eczema. There were headaches and giddiness. He probably had piles as well.
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Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Sep 07, 2008 | Comments (2)
Category: Medicine, Quizzes, Guess the Scientist, Science
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