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Ehrich Weisz may not have had much formal education
, but he grew up to be Harry Houdini, self-educated stunt performer, escape artist, and owner of "one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc., some of the material going back as far as 1489." Houdini bequeathed much of his collection to the Library of Congress
, which received 3,988 volumes from his collection in 1927, including a number of magic books inscribed or annotated by well-known magicians. Archive.org has more of the Harry Houdini Collection online
. He also put a great deal of research into his tricks, as seen in his letter to Dr. W. J. McConnell, a physiologist at the U.S. Bureau of Mines
, written up after Houdini's watery grave stunt
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 3, 2012 -
In a room near Maida Vale, a journalist for The Nation wrote around 1914, an unfortunate creature is strapped to the table of an unlicensed vivisector. When the subject is pinched with a pair of forceps, it winces. It is so strapped that its electric shudder of pain pulls the long arm of a very delicate lever that actuates a tiny mirror. This casts a beam of light on the frieze at the other end of the room, and thus enormously exaggerates the tremor of the creature. A pinch near the right-hand tube sends the beam 7 or 8 feet to the right, and a stab near the other wire sends it as far to the left. "Thus," the journalist concluded, "can science reveal the feelings of even so stolid a vegetable as the carrot."
posted by vidur
on Nov 28, 2011 -
Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test
Clocks, Kids, and General Relativity on Mt Rainier
Think your dad was a nerd? A mad genius? Was he a Clark Griswold-esque cheerleader for outdoor family vacations? You ain't seen nothin' yet
posted by zardoz
on May 7, 2009 -
Francis Crick. The man who helped discover the secret of life is dead.
posted by rushmc
on Jul 29, 2004 -
- Scientists created a closed, automated system to conduct simple labor intensive scientific experiments in molecular genetics. The robot creates hypothesis and tests them. Supposedly it works more efficiently (picks less expensive experiments, and fewer of them) then its human counterparts (graduate students in biology and comp sci.). More detailed article in Nature here
(institutional access / subscription required). I for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
posted by nads
on Jan 15, 2004 -
Seal kills scientist
A British scientist has been killed by a leopard seal whilst snorkelling in Antarctica.
I had no idea that a seal could (or would) attack a human. These things can grow to 23ft long! They are known to feed on penguins, but a human is a fair bit bigger than a penguin, so this is one nasty animal, not the doe-eyed creature we coo over in nature programmes...
posted by jontyjago
on Jul 24, 2003 -
The Met Museum
has an online gallery exploring the work of Da Vinci. It allows you to zoom in and out on specific parts of a work thus enabling minute exploration. It's stuff like this that makes the web indispensable.
posted by Fat Buddha
on Jan 30, 2003 -
The Nash equilibrium
So at the present time I seem to be thinking rationally again in the style that is characteristic of scientists. However this is not entirely a matter of joy as if someone returned from physical disability to good physical health. One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos....from John F. Nash Jr.'s autobiography for the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics.
posted by riley370
on Dec 12, 2001 -