Electrified Sheep: Glass-eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiments

Note moyenne 3,7
( 433 avis fournis par Goodreads )
 
9781250031709: Electrified Sheep: Glass-eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre Experiments

The Pig Who Survived an Atomic Bomb

The Psychologist Who Hid Beneath Beds

The Founding Father Who Delivered Mouth-to-Mouth . . . to a Chicken

Welcome to some of the most weird and wonderful experiments ever conducted in the name of science. Alex Boese's Electrified Sheep is packed with eccentric characters, irrational obsessions, and extreme experiments. Watch as scientists attempt to nuke the moon, wince at the doctor who performs a self-appendectomy, and catch the faint whiff of singed wool from an electrified sheep.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Alex Boese holds an M.A. in the history of science from the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Elephants on Acid and Hippo Eats Dwarf and the creator of MuseumofHoaxes.com. He lives near San Diego, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Electrified Sheep
CHAPTER ONE Electric Bodies In the ghostly subatomic world, an electron flickers in its orbit around an atomic nucleus. Then, from out of the empty void beyond the atom, comes the distant tug of an attractive force. The electron twitches and leaps, spanning distances billions of times greater than its own size until it comes to rest again around another atom. Out of such microcosmic forces emerges the human-scale phenomenon of electricity. We feel it as an electric shock that jabs our finger, or we see it as lightning in the sky. The mastery of electricity has been arguably the most important achievement of modern science. Our lives today depend in so many ways upon access to electrical power that it would be difficult to imagine survival without it. But the history of electrical research hasn't been limited to the search for technological applications of this force. The urge to understand electricity has been matched by a desire to find increasingly spectacular and unusual ways of displaying its power. In particular, researchers have demonstrated an enduring fascination with exploring the dramatic effect of electricity on living bodies. Electrifying Birds Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 23 December 1750. The turkey eyes Benjamin Franklin suspiciously from across the room. Franklin - middle-aged, balding, and slightly plump - makes a final inspection of hiselectrical apparatus as a group of men standing behind him watch with interest. The equipment consists of several six-gallon glass jars wrapped in tin. Metal rods protrude from the necks of the jars, and copper wire connects the rods. Franklin straightens up and nods his head appreciatively. As he does so, the turkey, tied to the leg of a table, looks from Franklin to the men and clucks apprehensively. 'The bird isn't happy,' one of the men says. 'But I'll be happy when she's in my stomach,' Franklin replies, and everyone laughs. 'You'll see. Fowls killed by the electrical shock eat uncommonly tender.' 'Then hurry, by all means,' another man says. 'I'm ready to eat!' At this, the turkey clucks again. Franklin smiles. 'Soon enough. We're almost prepared. The jars are charged. The only ingredient we lack is the bird.' They all turn to look at the turkey, which stares back at them warily. Franklin picks up a chain lying on the ground and holds it up for the men to see. 'This chain communicates with the outside of the jars. We need to attach the loose end to the turkey. Philip, if you would, could you fetch the bird here?' Philip separates himself from the group and walks over to the turkey. He unties it, and, using the rope around its neck, pulls it towards Franklin. The turkey clucks indignantly. 'Good. Now hold it by the wings so I can wrap the chain around its thigh.' Philip pulls the bird's wings back behind its head, and Franklin kneels down in front of it. The bird glares angrily at him. Just at that moment Franklin's wife, Deborah, enters the room. 'My word, gentlemen. Are you still occupied with that turkey?' Franklin, distracted, stands up, the chain still in his hand. 'Almost finished, my dear.' 'Well, hurry. The fire is roaring nicely. We shall want to get the bird roasting soon.' 'As soon as we have electrified it, I shall remove its head and bring it in to be plucked and dressed.' 'What times we live in!' one of the men says. 'To celebrate the Christmas season with an electric turkey.' 'And roasted by the electrical jack!' another adds. The group continues to converse. Keeping one eye on the turkey, Franklin listens to the friendly banter. There's a burst of laughter, and he looks over and chuckles. Absent-mindedly, he reaches his free hand out towards the copper wires connecting the jars. Suddenly there's a flash and a loud bang like the firing of a pistol. 'AAAArrrggh!' Franklin cries out and staggers back several feet before collapsing to his knees. His arms and chest start to tremble violently. 'Ben!' Deborah cries out. The men rush around Franklin to stop him from falling over as convulsions shake him. 'He touched the jars. Took the full discharge!' Philip says. 'Give him air to breathe,' another man orders. Deborah pushes through the crowd and grasps her husband, holding him as the seizure gradually subsides. 'Ben! Are you all right?' Franklin looks up at her, stunned, his face ashen. 'Ben, speak to me. Are you hurt?' His eyes are glassy, unfocused. 'Ben!' Deborah cries out again. He opens his mouth but no words come out. 'What ... What happened? ' he finally gasps. At that moment, as if in reply, the turkey emits a loud, self-satisfied cluck.  
During the first half of the eighteenth century, an electrical craze swept Europe. Experimenters discovered they could manipulate inanimate pieces of matter, such as glass rods and metal poles, to produce all kinds of spectacular electric effects. Charged objects mysteriously attracted feathers and small pieces of paper. Sparks flew from fingertips. Electrical fire ignited alcoholic spirits and gunpowder. Crowds flocked to see the latest stunts - back then, this was great entertainment - and experimenters competed to dream up ever more dazzling demonstrations. Out of this electrical enthusiasm developed the electrified world we live in today, with our televisions, computers, and brightly lit homes. The story of the birth of thescience of electricity has been told many times before, but what people seldom appreciate is the contribution made by the unsung heroes of the eighteenth-century electrical revolution: the birds. These creatures - chaffinches, sparrows, chickens, turkeys, etc. - had the bad luck to be the favourite research animals of early electricians. The Amazing Electrified Flying Boy The first electrical experiment truly to capture the imagination of European audiences was Stephen Gray's 'charity boy' demonstration. A young orphan hung suspended from the ceiling, his charged body producing sparks and attracting objects such as brass leaf and pieces of paper. But there, at the beginning, was also a bird, since Gray conducted the same experiment on a 'large white cock'. Gray worked most of his life as a fabric dyer, but by the 1720s he was a retiree living at London's Charterhouse, a home for down-on-their-luck gentlemen. Being a fabric dyer hardly made him a gentleman, but during his career he had struck up friendships with members of England's Royal Society, with whom he shared an interest in science. These friends used their influence to secure him a place at the Charterhouse, and with little else to occupy his days there, he decided to conduct electrical experiments. Almost nothing was known about electricity at the time, except that if you rubbed certain substances, such as glass or amber, they acquired the ability to attract light materials - feathers, small pieces of paper, chaff, etc. Substances that acquired an attractive power when rubbed were known as 'electrics'. The term came from the Greek word for amber, elektron. Intrigued by these electrics, Gray sat in his room desultorily rubbing a glass tube and picking up feathers with it. But he soon noticed something strange. When he put a cork in the tube, it too acquired the ability to attract feathers. Somehow the attractive power had been transmitted from the glass to the cork, even though cork, on its own, was not an electric. Realizing he was on to something, Gray explored how far he could transmit this 'electrical virtue'. He inserted a metal rod intothe cork, tied packing thread to the rod, and secured a kettle to the end of the thread. Amazingly, the kettle now also attracted feathers when he rubbed the glass tube. He searched for other objects to electrify and found the trick worked on a fire shovel, a silver pint pot, and an iron poker, among other things. Intrigued, he cast his net even wider. The Charterhouse was full of old men. They seemed like problematic subjects for electrification, but then an orphan boy wandered in. Gray fashioned a harness out of silk and hung the 47-pound boy from the ceiling of his room, parallel to the floor. The boy held his arms out. Gray rubbed the glass tube and touched it to the boy's bare foot. Dust motes and pieces of down floated up towards the boy's hands. To the crowd of old men standing around, the effect must have seemed magical. Gray shared his discovery with Granville Wheler, a member of the Royal Society, and together they continued experimenting. They strung up Wheler's footboy and learned that if you reached out a finger to touch the electrified boy, you received the prick of a shock. The trick was getting better and better. Curious as to whether the phenomenon only worked with humans, they next tried another species - the white cock. They tied the bird into the silk harness and carefully applied the glass rod. To their delight, the effect was the same as on the boy. The two men circled the rooster, reaching their fingers out towards it as the bird squawked anxiously. They drew sparks from its beak, comb, and claws. The unnamed rooster had become the world's first electrified research animal. In the interests of science, the two men next killed the bird to determine if its body could still produce sparks. It could. Even plucking it didn't affect this ability. Presumably the researchers concluded that day's work by eating the bird for dinner, though they didn't report that detail to the Royal Society. For his discoveries, Gray was made a full-fledged member of the Royal Society - a rare honour for a fabric dyer. Word of Gray's flying boy experimen...

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Meilleurs résultats de recherche sur AbeBooks

1.

Boese, Alex
Edité par St. Martin's Press 2013-08-13 (2013)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 3
Vendeur
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martin's Press 2013-08-13, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. N° de réf. du libraire 9781250031709B

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 4,41
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 5,15
De Canada vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

2.

Alex Boese
Edité par St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2013)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pig Who Survived an Atomic Bomb The Psychologist Who Hid Beneath Beds The Founding Father Who Delivered Mouth-to-Mouth . . . to a Chicken Welcome to some of the most weird and wonderful experiments ever conducted in the name of science. Alex Boese s Electrified Sheep is packed with eccentric characters, irrational obsessions, and extreme experiments. Watch as scientists attempt to nuke the moon, wince at the doctor who performs a self-appendectomy, and catch the faint whiff of singed wool from an electrified sheep. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 14,59
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
De Royaume-Uni vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

3.

Boese, Alex
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre 2013. PAP. État : New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. N° de réf. du libraire KS-9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 11,20
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,43
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

4.

Alex Boese
Edité par St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2013)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository US
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pig Who Survived an Atomic BombThe Psychologist Who Hid Beneath BedsThe Founding Father Who Delivered Mouth-to-Mouth . . . to a ChickenWelcome to some of the most weird and wonderful experiments ever conducted in the name of science. Alex Boese s Electrified Sheep is packed with eccentric characters, irrational obsessions, and extreme experiments. Watch as scientists attempt to nuke the moon, wince at the doctor who performs a self-appendectomy, and catch the faint whiff of singed wool from an electrified sheep. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 14,72
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
De Royaume-Uni vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

5.

Alex Boese
Edité par St. Martins Press-3pl, United States (2013)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 10
Vendeur
Book Depository hard to find
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martins Press-3pl, United States, 2013. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Pig Who Survived an Atomic Bomb The Psychologist Who Hid Beneath Beds The Founding Father Who Delivered Mouth-to-Mouth . . . to a Chicken Welcome to some of the most weird and wonderful experiments ever conducted in the name of science. Alex Boese s Electrified Sheep is packed with eccentric characters, irrational obsessions, and extreme experiments. Watch as scientists attempt to nuke the moon, wince at the doctor who performs a self-appendectomy, and catch the faint whiff of singed wool from an electrified sheep. N° de réf. du libraire BZE9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 15,63
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : Gratuit
De Royaume-Uni vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

6.

Boese, Alex
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : > 20
impression à la demande
Vendeur
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Paperback. État : New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. N° de réf. du libraire 6759474

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 12,21
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,43
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

7.

Boese, Alex
Edité par St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) PAPERBACK Quantité : > 20
Vendeur
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martin's Griffin. PAPERBACK. État : New. 1250031702 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. N° de réf. du libraire NATARAJB1FI739371

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 12,70
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,43
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

8.

Boese, Alex
Edité par St. Martin's Griffin (2017)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 13
impression à la demande
Vendeur
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martin's Griffin, 2017. Paperback. État : New. This item is printed on demand. N° de réf. du libraire 1250031702

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 14,18
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 2,57
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

9.

Boese, Alex
Edité par St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) PAPERBACK Quantité : 3
Vendeur
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martin's Griffin. PAPERBACK. État : New. 1250031702 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.75. N° de réf. du libraire OTF-Y-9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 13,66
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,43
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

10.

Boese, Alex
Edité par St. Martin's Griffin (2013)
ISBN 10 : 1250031702 ISBN 13 : 9781250031709
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 10
Vendeur
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre St. Martin's Griffin, 2013. Paperback. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire INGM9781250031709

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 15,21
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 3,43
Vers Etats-Unis
Destinations, frais et délais

autres exemplaires de ce livre sont disponibles

Afficher tous les résultats pour ce livre