Elephants On Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments
"Elephants on Acid" is a wonderfully entertaining, authoritative collection of history's most bizarre experiments, from the 19th-century creation of zombie kittens to a University of Wisconsin study that answers, definitively,...more
This leads directly to the other problem...more
In fact, I will go so far as to say that book is less about the experiments AND more about the experimenters. Scientists are a strange group of people (drinking vomit to prove fellow fever isn't contagious? Yikes).
The book is a nice blend of the horrifying and the humorous. Having take...more
So. For what this book was, it served its purpose. It delivered what it promised: a book filled with an assortment of strange, and sometimes straight up scary experiments from a time obviously long before regulations existed to protect the "subject" in the experiment. There was a decapitated canine being pumped fresh oxygenated blood in order to examine the possibility of a head/brain being able to maintain funct...more
Although there are many well known studies in this book, that might not be new or surprising to the scientifically aware, the author does an excellent job giving...more
I'm not sure what my real beef with the book is though, to be honest. It's laid out in a sensible fashion: experiments grouped together by "genre" and they're all written up pretty succinctly.
Perhaps it's the lame attempt at humour from the author that grated, or the slightly laborious writing style.
However, being impartial, there are some interes...more
If you have ever taken a basic course in psychology, then you have a good idea of the kind of material found in this book. Elephants is essentially a collection of the more bizarre anecdotes you will find in a basic psychology and/or sociology class, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The author admits this groundwork in his introduction; he is very aware of the nature of his project, and he constantly liv...more
Book report #6
7 December, 2010
Elephants On Acid:
What In The Name Of Science?!?!
Most people draw the line at zombie kittens, two headed dogs, and enrolling black bags in school, but not these people! In this 5 star informational short story book by Alex Boese, scientists throughout history have conducted outstandingly bizarre experiments for the sake of curiosity and competition, and, most remarkably, received government grants for their work. Whether me...more
Look, scientists can be huge weirdos. Charles Darwin once conducted an experiment to determine whether worms will get distracted from whatever it is worms do if you play the bassoon in their vicinity. THAT is the kin...more
I read this book a couple of years ago, probably in 2007 when it first came out, and i still remember some of the cases even though i haven't reread it. That in itself is quite miraculous. These books are typically fun to read but half a year later you don't remember it anymore.
This book learned me that 'the elephant memory' really exists. But it also learned me not to trick a...more
I like science and weird things, so this sounded pretty much ideal. I don't like animal cruelty, and most of the experiments in line with animals crossed that line heavily, which made me feel pretty uncomfortable. On the flip side, I found it interesting that people actually funded some of this stuff.
Outside of animals, there's sex and relationships,...more
Content: Good, there are summaries of over 100 research papers about interesting, amusing, thought-provoking and truly bizzare experiments.
Writing style: Fair, with the experiment description lengths quite small, I wish there wasnt an average , predictable, playing-on-the-words-of-the-experiment joke at the end of each description.
Another thing that bothered me a little was the representation of ladies in this book - described mostly by their level of attractiveness, even when not relevant to the experiment taking place. One of the only times Boese...more
To give you an...more
Boese presents a hodgepodge collection of experiments that range from comical, strange, disgusting, and just plain sad. This is not a book for those with weak stomachs as animals and sometimes humans endure painful procedures and tests in the name of science. Mainly my preference was for the studies that focused on human behavior or those in which the scientist used himself as a guinea pig. For instance, one researcher attempted to contract yellow fever by experimenting with the fluids of the in...more
A compromise then. If you've already read such books as Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers or a...more
Both books have the same basic premise – a collection of tales of the weirdest and most bizarre experiments that real scientists have undertaken – but Elephants has the advantage of both coming first, and hence probably getting the cream of the crop, and also lacks the format issue I had wit...more
I wasn't sure of the contents when I picked it up, but was happy to find that it is full of specific accounts - complete with references - of experiments or studies. That each began with a short blurb written as a dramatisation or memory of the events in question was an excellent touch.
The layout, of grouped experiments in a chapter with a single theme, was easy to focus on and more en...more
To put it another way, it's kind of like the toilet ritual book of science. By that I mean it's a book best appreciated when you dip in and out of it rather than try and read it straight through.
Even then you have to have some significant history or background in science to be bothered about actually trying to read everything in the book.
The book will also bore those who have read better explorations of these experiments already in more scientifically valid books. The writing here is as you would expect: the boring prose of a journalist who is out to titillate more than elucidate.
I found this to be quiet an interesting book if i'am honest.Very strange and bizarre tales of doctors preforming questionable experiments by todays standards.
It basicly consists of collections of weird and wacky test on animals and humans such as some guy staying wake for as long as humanly possible and having his friends note the side affects.
Giving LSD to elephants?Can cut off heads be transfered to another body?Humans having sex with monkeys to produce a hybr...more
Friedler, S., et al (2006). "The Effect of Medi...more