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Author Topic: Professional Mad Scientists of all kinds, unite!  (Read 12874 times)
Professor Bevel
Officer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom


No, meddle first, understand later.


« Reply #75 on: October 17, 2011, 12:18:54 am »

Topsy wasn´t an innocent elephant. It had killed people, and was scheduled to be put down.

It could have been an innocent elephant.  There are plenty of exculpatory and justificatory defences to the various crimes of homicide.  Self-defence, diminished responsibility by reason of provocation, insanity, there's quite the list but it's been long enough since my undergraduate years that I could'nt give a full list.  And I, for one, think that a sentient, self-aware creature held in bonded servitude enforced with violence is entitled to the benefit of far, far more doubt than a free man responsible for his actions would be.
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You know what this situation calls for?  More gin.
celephicus
Officer
***
Australia Australia


Mensura ergo sum (I measure, therefore I am)


« Reply #76 on: October 17, 2011, 05:19:09 am »

Topsy wasn´t an innocent elephant. It had killed people, and was scheduled to be put down.

Actually if you look at most movies and stories, the people described as mad scientists are usually mad engineers. They never seem to do any real science, just to construct doomsday devices. Of course as we know from all the LHC talk, sometimes a scientific instrument and doomsday device is one and the same.

On the alleged guilt of Topsy, I must remain silent. He

They never do any real science because science must be done as part of a community, and mad scientists by definition work alone, "Fools, I'll show them all...". The only thing a mad scientist hates more than a crowd of villages with pitchforks is another mad scientist. Mad engineering, can be done perfectly well by oneself, or perhaps with one hideously deformed assistant. I sometimes think about the outcome of a mad scientist's conference, possibly the occasional exploding stars observed in the galaxy are the result. Hosting a mad science convention might be the only worser thing than a Disaster Area concert!
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Dr. Celephicus -- amateur (gentleman) mad scientist
--
"How many L's in disembowelment?"
"What are you doing dear?"
"I'm writing a letter to the Times on treatment of the poor."
Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2011, 01:30:52 pm »

So now you want to question the definition of innocent? The elephant was scheduled to be put down, Edison didn't just pull a random elephant from a circus.
Plenty of mad scientists have worked in teams, and plenty of sane ones have worked alone.
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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Professor Bevel
Officer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom


No, meddle first, understand later.


« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2011, 02:23:14 pm »

So now you want to question the definition of innocent? The elephant was scheduled to be put down, Edison didn't just pull a random elephant from a circus.

No, but he did use an untried method of execution that could readily have had horribly inhumane consequences on a victim incapable of giving informed consent to the experiment.  And, indeed, got involved in a morally disgusting business - the state-sanctioned murder of sentient beings, which is what all executions are - for publicity purposes in the hopes of burying a technically superior product to his own.  There is really no part of this where Edison emerges as anything other than an utter moral bankrupt concerned only with wealth and self-aggrandizement.
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Dr Rattus
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #79 on: October 19, 2011, 10:04:47 pm »

A late entrant to the field I fear but I feel compelled to admit a passion for the scientific understanding of all manner of architectural, civic, electrical, and mechanical engineering to the betterment of this broken society. Whilst I may be for the workhouse, I shall strive none the less
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ajcastle
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #80 on: December 07, 2011, 03:37:50 pm »

Am A Chemist, and out of all words that begin with the letter "M" madness is my most magnificent adjective.
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Nikola Tesla
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Angel of Timefoolery


« Reply #81 on: December 09, 2011, 08:14:55 am »

Quote
Plenty of mad scientists have worked in teams, and plenty of sane ones have worked alone.

Hm...I have indeed worked on many teams, and now that I'm relatively sane I find myself without work at all...

I think you may have something there, Atterton...
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"An announcement that a poetry-reading is about to take place will empty a room quicker than a water-cannon." - Daniel C. Stove, The Oracles and Their Cessation

Remember, if it's the Warden Regulant asking, you did NOT see this.
The Bullet
Snr. Officer
****
Germany Germany



« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2011, 09:06:44 am »

I´ll join the Club.

Elecrical Engineer by profession. Having a homwbrew Tesla Coil in the basement and a well-equipped lab.
High Voltage is FUN!
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If brute force does not work....you´re not using enough of it.
Athanor
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Canada Canada


Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #83 on: December 11, 2011, 12:52:35 am »

Well, I'm a scientist (B.Sc. Geology, M.Sc. Oceanography), an engineer (HNC Mechanical Engineering, generally agreed in the U.K. to be equivalent to "almost a degree"), and probably at least half mad. As a kid, I started making stuff about the age of 4 (model boats and trains from odd scraps of card and wood and paper, "borrowing" my mother's dressmaking scissors and getting in trouble for getting blobs of glue all over the kitchen table), and I haven't stopped since.

 One Christmas when I was about 10 or 11 I received the gift of a chemistry set, which came complete with a little booklet of "experiments" (really demonstrations). Being me, of course, I ignored the booklet and started doing my own real experiments; what's the point, I reasoned, of doing stuff that's already been done? You can imagine the consequences - I still have my eyebrows, but it was a close-run thing.

 Meccano, same thing. Why would anyone build all that stuff out of the instruction book - that's been done already, where's the fun in that? I moved on, to a lathe, milling machine, table saw, welder, air tools.....

Several explosions and strange contraptions later (some of them planned, others, shall we say, less so), I'm still here, still experimenting, and a living testimony to the fatuity of the ubiquitous line uttered by the Eminent White-Haired Scientist with the Funny Accent in a hundred schlocky horror movies....

"....zere are some zings dat Man is not meant to meddle in...."

Listen, my friend, I'll meddle anywhere I want to; just watch me. Linear accelerator in the basement, no problem.... AAAAAAaaaaarrrrgh! NOOOOOooooo!! Who let the zombies out....Huh?

Athanor.
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"Truly I say to you, he who seeks, shall find. And quite often, he shall wish he hadn't."

              - Elias Ashmole Crackbone.
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2011, 03:39:03 am »

Dear ladies and gentlemen:

Aaah!  What the heck!  I'll join the frey.  Rocket scientists are engineers, actually, and I happen to be one (M. Sc. Aerospace-aerothermodynamics and M. Sc. Mechanical Engineering - Combustion and Heat Transfer - my consolation prize for not getting the Ph. D).

As far as being mad, that is the easy part it's hereditary. I was the only one mad enough / dumb enough / smart enough to actually size a preliminary design for a 70 passenger VTOL aircraft, codename "Zarquon.". The bloody thing was a monster with 4 large tilting turbojets, a high wing and T tail design.  Trying to meet FAR 25 (Federal Aviation Regulation) was absolute madness, in my opinion.  Now I make my living from my art. So I must be mad.

"IGOR!!! Bring the jet fuel!"

Cheers,
J. Wilhelm
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The Kernel
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


Nutty Scientist


« Reply #85 on: December 11, 2011, 08:53:05 am »

My field is often classified under "life sciences".
I won't bore you with the details although The Royal Society may be out of reach.
I'd better not go any further, I have Igor for that.
Mahahahahahahahaha
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One for whom the terms GEEK and NERD are considered great compliments
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #86 on: December 11, 2011, 09:03:23 am »

Maybe I won't live long enough to learn absolutely everything, but I'll sure as Hell have fun trying!
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By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
The Kernel
Zeppelin Admiral
******
England England


Nutty Scientist


« Reply #87 on: December 11, 2011, 09:13:07 am »

Maybe I won't live long enough to learn absolutely everything, but I'll sure as Hell have fun trying!

A most laudable attitude Smiley
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Cubinoid
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Cubinoid and Tixia Loxtonian

cubinoid
WWW
« Reply #88 on: December 11, 2011, 06:34:32 pm »

Sound and Vision is my field - physics. I use sound to generate brainwaves in order to reprogram peoples brains, and also use sound as an exploratory tool for entering lucid dream states.

I lecture on experimental sound at degree level.
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We are proud to present the Surrey Steampunk Convivial, for your pleasure:
VampirateMace
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Mein Hexapod


« Reply #89 on: December 13, 2011, 06:36:39 am »

Well, technically I'm a Artist/Designer, though it does say SCIENCE on my degree. And science does have a special place in my life, collecting and cataloging fossils, experimenting on plants, spending at least a day a week volunteering at the local(ish) museum.

I've been thinking of all sorts of witty things to add to my post, but, eh, I'll leave it at that.
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Lachlan_MacAuslander
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States



« Reply #90 on: December 16, 2011, 11:46:49 pm »

Sadly, I'm not a Mad Scientist myself - I went the Humanities route (B.A. in History, focus on the Enlightenment era), but had the temerity not to settle for food service as a career (had quite enough of that during college, thankyouverymuch). As a child, my interest had been paleontology (and I could spell it, too!) - so now I work supporting the computer network that allows the local paleontologists (and zoologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, astrophysicists, xenobiologists, and even librarians) to do their own version of Mad Science...

Meh, close enough.  Grin
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Dr von Zarkov
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


<Maddest Scientist>


« Reply #91 on: December 17, 2011, 02:19:15 am »

I beg you to consider my credentials. I hold a bachelor's and master's degree in chemistry. I have worked in government, industrial, and academic
laboratories. Am also guilty of having professed the subject in secondary schools and universities. For a summer, I once struggled to organize the hodge-
podge of artifacts in the attic and basements of a science museum. I am most proud of my Certificate of Insanity from the Miskatonic Sanitarium. At the
moment I continue to pursue my avocational interest in field archaeology and to conduct experiments of a most incendiary nature.
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"The fact that I wear the protective coloration of sedate citizenship is a ruse of the fox — I learned it long ago."
– Loren Eiseley
tom_zorro
Guest
« Reply #92 on: January 02, 2012, 12:28:36 pm »

I have to admit that I get off telling my students actual stories that are stranger than fiction- like the recent news that female chimpanzees have been observed hunting down bushbabies with pointed sticks. Or the discovery that all humans are not only related, but share approximately 26 common relatives.

Now if I could only do something really cool, like make a monkey-human, or find an ancient tomb with the secrets of life and death written on the walls.  THAT would teach my enemies not to laugh at me behind my back. Bwahhahhahhah.

You dont have to look very far to see monkey-humans, just turn on your tv ,or go to your local dept store -reality not included.

Tz~
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von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #93 on: January 02, 2012, 12:39:24 pm »

I have to admit that I get off telling my students actual stories that are stranger than fiction- like the recent news that female chimpanzees have been observed hunting down bushbabies with pointed sticks. Or the discovery that all humans are not only related, but share approximately 26 common relatives.

Now if I could only do something really cool, like make a monkey-human, or find an ancient tomb with the secrets of life and death written on the walls.  THAT would teach my enemies not to laugh at me behind my back. Bwahhahhahhah.

You dont have to look very far to see monkey-humans, just turn on your tv ,or go to your local dept store -reality not included.

Tz~
You like monkeys,
You like ponies,
Maybe you don't like monsters so much...
Maybe I used
Too many monkeys,
Isn't it enough to know that that I
Ruined a pony
Making a gift for you?...
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 12:57:20 pm by von Corax » Logged
tom_zorro
Guest
« Reply #94 on: January 02, 2012, 01:06:38 pm »

I have to admit that I get off telling my students actual stories that are stranger than fiction- like the recent news that female chimpanzees have been observed hunting down bushbabies with pointed sticks. Or the discovery that all humans are not only related, but share approximately 26 common relatives.

Now if I could only do something really cool, like make a monkey-human, or find an ancient tomb with the secrets of life and death written on the walls.  THAT would teach my enemies not to laugh at me behind my back. Bwahhahhahhah.

You dont have to look very far to see monkey-humans, just turn on your tv ,or go to your local dept store -reality not included.

Tz~
You like monkeys,
You like ponies,
Maybe you don't like monsters so much...
Maybe I used
Too many monkeys,
Isn't it enough to know that that I
Ruined a pony
Making a gift for you?...



nice place clean water fresh air blue skies like pirates we tried it we took what we deserved half million years later we'd used up our reserves we're crying 'what happened? ' we get what we deserve we get what we deserve we get instead the isle of man the isle of man

 MINISTRY - ISLE OF MAN - Twitch

Tm~
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tom_zorro
Guest
« Reply #95 on: January 02, 2012, 01:10:19 pm »

Sound and Vision is my field - physics. I use sound to generate brainwaves in order to reprogram peoples brains, and also use sound as an exploratory tool for entering lucid dream states.

I lecture on experimental sound at degree level.

What tool is this ? ( curious )

Tz~
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Prof Ainsworth Halfmain
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States



« Reply #96 on: January 02, 2012, 04:56:40 pm »

Gentlemen and fellow scientists, mad or otherwise merely visionarily deranged as the situation suits:

      I herewith make humble application for inclusion in your illustrious fellowship with the following credentials to my discredit.

      Despite having degrees in both chemistry and physics, publishing a number of papers in peer (or those susceptible to bribes or easily plied into concurrence following suitable applications of Kraken rum formulations, both with and without the threat of gunpowder) reviewed journals of dubious and/or ill repute, and having experimented with recombinant engineering concepts since an early age which have provided an ample supply of cogs, gears and springs even to this day, I find that the concept of "mad" science an appealing descriptor on a practical if not entirely professional avocation level.

      The fact that I successfully made a diffraction grating tuneable organic dye laser in High School well back in the early 70s yet failed to lase green Jello should not be considered as a disqualifier, would you think? Nor that experiments with cotton linter and nitrosylsulfuric acid as a primary nitrator and storing said product in one's oven for safe keeping was necessarily an error in judgement, but merely practical storage application in the interest of spontaneity safety. Well, that is until I decided to preheat it for another experiment to ascertain if buttermilk pie was indeed possible. All that was well over 30 years ago! I assure you that I have misplaced much wisdom since. The august assemblage may rest in the knowledge that I do to this day employ the practice of goggle wearing even when cutting hot chilies for thermally induced biomass conversion in the fabrication of stewlike bovine and legume concoctions. And let us not forget the Jacob's ladder experiment with a 15kV neon sign transformer that went, shall we say, slightly awry but created images and hues in a nearby located color television set that had been unobtainable before said discovery.

      With much due admiration and interest in collaboration and future musings on discoveries, applications, and theoretical impossibilities made possible by the improbable, I look forward to inclusion and remain...

Yr obt svt,
Prof Ainsworth Halfmain

P.S.  It appears another electromagnetic transient surge requires me to reformat this application. Nothing of my doing, I assure you. My large diameter plasma ball nearby to may be a little on the blink after modification to incorporate microwave modulation. Merely a few bugs to be addressed.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 05:06:36 pm by Prof Ainsworth Halfmain » Logged

Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard. ~Edgar Allan Poe
Athanor
Zeppelin Admiral
******
Canada Canada


Keep them off-balance and brazen it out!


« Reply #97 on: January 02, 2012, 06:43:28 pm »

I suppose the distinction between "mad" and "sane" is largely semantic, and in any case dependant on cultural context. Something that would be considered eminently sane in one culture would be grounds for committal in another; cannibalism is an obvious example.

If madness is defined as deviation from one's cultural norms, then all real scientists are at least a little bit mad, as are all real artists, composers, explorers, tinkerers and inventors. While most "normal" humans (most of the time, anyway) are content to perform their assigned tasks, - whether as lathe operator or investment broker - then go home, relax, watch TV, walk the dog, have sex and go to sleep,  those of us blessed, or cursed, with the Scientist/Discoverer gene always need to go "one step beyond".

It's all about looking at the world with a perverse slant; an attitude of "I wonder why that happened?", or "What would happen if I did this?", or "How would that sound?". If one follows this line of thought assiduously, Mad Science and/or Engineering and/or Art is the inevitable outcome. Then, of course, it is only a matter of degree before one steps over the line into obsession, paranoia (since quite often the "normals" really are out to get you) and, ultimately, the padded room.

The trick, then, is to appear "normal" to casual observation, while preserving one's deviant integrity in private and in the presence of a few trusted collaborators. Does that make sense? Probably not, but we're discussing "mad" science here. "Deviant integrity", if you can get your head around the idea, is probably the key.

An example from my own experience. When I was 10 or so, as well as the aforementioned chemistry set I also received a book; seconhand, published, I seem to recall, in the early 1900's, with the title "The Wonders of Modern Chemistry."  It was intended for young readers, and the first chapter was a short account of the history of chemistry, which of course included alchemy. This subject was given about half a page of description, and disdainfully dismissed as "foolish jargon", before the author moved on to the real chemists, Boyle, Lavoisier and the rest. But, of course, me being possessed of the Perverse Deviant Mad-Scientist gene, this passage caused me to wonder; what if alchemy wasn't just "foolish jargon"? ("What if....?" - Another favourite Mad Scientist question).

Since when I've never really looked back. Acquiring a legitimate B.Sc. and M.Sc. was all part of the progression, and I've retained an interest in alchemy and other fringe elements of science (broadly defined) ever since. UFO abductions, leylines, alternative archaeology, Tesla...... And, of course, weird contraptions, bubbling retorts, big sparks, explosions....... so, of course, as soon as I heard of Steampunk, it was obvious that I truly belonged here....

I am (of course) also a member in good standing of the Esoteric Order of the Brazen Dawn. Obviously.

Athanor
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 06:50:02 pm by Athanor » Logged
tom_zorro
Guest
« Reply #98 on: January 02, 2012, 10:53:41 pm »

I suppose the distinction between "mad" and "sane" is largely semantic, and in any case dependant on cultural context. Something that would be considered eminently sane in one culture would be grounds for committal in another; cannibalism is an obvious example.

If madness is defined as deviation from one's cultural norms, then all real scientists are at least a little bit mad, as are all real artists, composers, explorers, tinkerers and inventors. While most "normal" humans (most of the time, anyway) are content to perform their assigned tasks, - whether as lathe operator or investment broker - then go home, relax, watch TV, walk the dog, have sex and go to sleep,  those of us blessed, or cursed, with the Scientist/Discoverer gene always need to go "one step beyond".

It's all about looking at the world with a perverse slant; an attitude of "I wonder why that happened?", or "What would happen if I did this?", or "How would that sound?". If one follows this line of thought assiduously, Mad Science and/or Engineering and/or Art is the inevitable outcome. Then, of course, it is only a matter of degree before one steps over the line into obsession, paranoia (since quite often the "normals" really are out to get you) and, ultimately, the padded room.

The trick, then, is to appear "normal" to casual observation, while preserving one's deviant integrity in private and in the presence of a few trusted collaborators. Does that make sense? Probably not, but we're discussing "mad" science here. "Deviant integrity", if you can get your head around the idea, is probably the key.

An example from my own experience. When I was 10 or so, as well as the aforementioned chemistry set I also received a book; seconhand, published, I seem to recall, in the early 1900's, with the title "The Wonders of Modern Chemistry."  It was intended for young readers, and the first chapter was a short account of the history of chemistry, which of course included alchemy. This subject was given about half a page of description, and disdainfully dismissed as "foolish jargon", before the author moved on to the real chemists, Boyle, Lavoisier and the rest. But, of course, me being possessed of the Perverse Deviant Mad-Scientist gene, this passage caused me to wonder; what if alchemy wasn't just "foolish jargon"? ("What if....?" - Another favourite Mad Scientist question).

Since when I've never really looked back. Acquiring a legitimate B.Sc. and M.Sc. was all part of the progression, and I've retained an interest in alchemy and other fringe elements of science (broadly defined) ever since. UFO abductions, leylines, alternative archaeology, Tesla...... And, of course, weird contraptions, bubbling retorts, big sparks, explosions....... so, of course, as soon as I heard of Steampunk, it was obvious that I truly belonged here....

I am (of course) also a member in good standing of the Esoteric Order of the Brazen Dawn. Obviously.

Athanor

I remember feeling strangely aroused at thought of removing Luke Skywalkers pants at an early age, only to discover was nothing there at all, and that furthermore an unrelated older female doll shared this attribute too !!

I also remember becoming even further sexually confused by the fact Zoltar from Battle of The Planets ( who was disguised ) wore lipstick yet sounded male.

Tz~

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Dr. Madd
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Maker of Monsters


« Reply #99 on: March 29, 2013, 06:50:57 pm »

Regarding the Elephant- and I'm no animal rights lunatic. Should have left it in the Jungle or the plains. Elephants are often mistreated in captivity and by and large I can understand them going violent. I would, too, were I in their situation.
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What do we want? Decapitations!
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