Author Topic: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists  (Read 120306 times)

Atterton

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A few people on here seem to have an interest in mad science, so I felt a thread for discussing it might be good. Also my sister just gave me back my book on weird experiments. Essentially I see mad science as anything with experiments that are very ambitious, dangerous or unethical. For example the creation of the atomic bomb or attempts at resurrecting the dead. I figured we could talk about experiments that had been done, or some that people had plans on doing. Perhaps your own ideas that the ethics comittee wants to stop. Whatever it is, come on in and pull up a chair by the thermonuclear fireplace. Please leave your coat and ethics at the door.
Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.

Ella Kremper

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 01:23:12 pm »
I do hope that those mad scientists of a female persuasion won't be chucked out of the club :)


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Atterton

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 01:27:41 pm »
Not at all, the phrase gentleman´s club was just the traditional one.

Sir Nikolas of Vendigroth

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 02:40:10 pm »
No-one ever made great strides in science without thinking inventively, and leaving behind primitive superstitions. Such as "the dead should stay dead".

Pah! We meddle in things we don't understand in an effort to understand them!

mythdude

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 06:36:29 pm »
I recently inserted my DNA into a E. coli bacteria, and while it's a rather run of the mill experiment nowadays, it earned me a mad scientist reputation...
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GentlemanCaller

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 06:52:08 pm »
I do hope that those mad scientists of a female persuasion won't be chucked out of the club :)
Not at all, the phrase gentleman´s club was just the traditional one.

I should rather hope ladies will be allowed - there are certain things one has to take advantage of whenever one has the chance in this line of work, and mingling with the fairer sex is one of them  ;) The fairer sex fully kitted out in protective gear and with a working knowledge of neuclear physics being, of course, the best kind.

I have a rather unhealthy fascination with galvanism, mainly thanks to reading Frankenstein at an impressionable age. One of my mother's hens has turned cannibal and is destined for the pot, and given their rather remarkable nervous responses I was really rather hopeful of finally getting a test subject. Alas, every time I glance longingly at my electrodes I get kicked with a muddy wellington boot, so I may have to resort to grave robbing.

I am in danger of becoming a poultry ressurrection man.

Atterton

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 06:59:07 pm »
Yes I would also like to try something like this. Also to try and give a man an anaesthetic, then hook up electrodes to his muscles and see how well he can be remote controlled. There would be a lot of muscles to control at the same time for walking though, so it would be quite complicated.

Lady Anne

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 07:37:25 pm »
Reminds me of how they're working on replacement limbs that are remote-controlled from your thoughts.  As time goes on, various bits of mad science are picked up by the mainstream, and then they're not mad anymore.  Which of course means the mad science stock has to be replenished!
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Atterton

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 07:41:39 pm »
Yes I am rather worried by the attempts to read off brains, to help out handicapped people. If this gets to be closer to actual mind reading, it could be a huge danger. I´m not sure helping out a few quadroplegics will be worth that. At MIT they are working on a technique called brain fingerprinting, it´s essentially about finding that little bell in your head that rings when you recognise something. So that you could for example put a suspect into a brain scanner, and show him pictures of a crime scene and see if his brain shows signs of recognition. Also something which probably shouldn´t be done.

Khem Caigan

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 09:03:29 pm »
Yes I am rather worried by the attempts to read off brains, to help out handicapped people.
If this gets to be closer to actual mind reading, it could be a huge danger. I´m not sure helping
out a few quadriplegics will be worth that. At MIT they are working on a technique called brain
fingerprinting, it´s essentially about finding that little bell in your head that rings when you
recognise something. So that you could for example put a suspect into a brain scanner, and
show him pictures of a crime scene and see if his brain shows signs of recognition.
Also something which probably shouldn´t be done.
Here are a few links to some articles that
discuss some of the more recent projects
under development by Britton Chance, with
regard to "deception detection" :

" For now, improved lie detection is likely to
have broad public support. But what about
when it reaches more surreptitiously into our
lives?
Biophysicist Britton Chance of the University
of Pennsylvania has explored ways to use
infrared light projected from a distance to
penetrate the skull, looking for signs of stress
similar to the ones fMRIs detect.
Both that and remote periorbital thermography
could be used undetectably in airport lines to
spot high-stress passengers.
Whether that stress is caused by the bomb
you're concealing or the fact you're running late
can't be known until you're pulled from line,
searched and interrogated. "

~ from :

How to Spot a Liar
by Jeffrey Kluger
http://tinyurl.com/574cnv

Don't Even Think About Lying
How brain scans are reinventing
the science of lie detection.
By Steve Silberman
http://tinyurl.com/5kofyh

Sensing a lie from across the room
April 14, 2008
(with plans for making your own
Phased Array Imaging System )
http://tinyurl.com/6a26py

"Cogniscope" Presentation
http://tinyurl.com/5r9zcb

Transcranial in vivo examination
of brain tissue
United States Patent 6526309
Inventor:
Chance, Britton
(Marathon, FL)
http://tinyurl.com/6o5mn2

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 09:58:07 pm »
The level of "Mo-ral-i-ty" in this thread disturbs me. We're mad scientists. Mad in that we're stark raving sane.

Surely a few lives sacrificed in the sake of discovery are worth a great leap forwards in the well-being of the whole human race? It's only logical, after all.

flywheel

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 10:12:06 pm »
Yes I am rather worried by the attempts to read off brains, to help out handicapped people. If this gets to be closer to actual mind reading, it could be a huge danger. I´m not sure helping out a few quadroplegics will be worth that. At MIT they are working on a technique called brain fingerprinting, it´s essentially about finding that little bell in your head that rings when you recognise something. So that you could for example put a suspect into a brain scanner, and show him pictures of a crime scene and see if his brain shows signs of recognition. Also something which probably shouldn´t be done.

...[crafts tin foil chapeau, places it on his head, then tilts it at a rake-ish angle]
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” -Arthur C. Clarke

Ella Kremper

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 01:41:28 pm »
I'm fascinated by the idea of shifting and switching genes. Something like people growing legs out of their heads. I studied a bit of it during my Genetics teaching in my degree, where they made legs grow out of a fruitfly's head rather than antennae:

Spoiler: ShowHide


Then, as a thought for transplantation, scientists switched the gene off that creates the head in mice, so they created mice with no heads but they kept the body alive for transplant organs.

professortucker

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 01:47:31 pm »
Has anyone ever read the Lovecraft story "Herbert West Reanimator?" Or "Cool Air"?

I've often considered trying what was in the story "Cool Air". If it wasn't for my sever lack of ability in attaining fresh spinal fluid.

Sincerely,
Professor (SFC) Delphinius "J.C." Tucker
Professor (SFC) Tucker of Her Majesty's Royal Airship Corps.

qubehead

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 02:28:36 pm »
One of my mother's hens has turned cannibal and is destined for the pot, and given their rather remarkable nervous responses I was really rather hopeful of finally getting a test subject.
I am in danger of becoming a poultry ressurrection man.

Have you considered acquiring the chickens' heads and experimenting with artificial brain-support? There was an excellent thread on that subject some while back.

My particular fascination is with Victorian-tech spaceflight. Morals? What could be more righteous than sending a condemned prisoner up in an experimental rocket? The prisoner in so doing accomplishes good far outweighing the evil which put him behind bars.  But try explaining that to those lunkheads in charge at the Tower!  You haven't seen stodgy hidebound pigheadedness until you've tried to negotiate with a prison warden for test subjects.

Albrecht

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 02:36:00 pm »
Has anyone ever read the Lovecraft story "Herbert West Reanimator?" Or "Cool Air"?

I've often considered trying what was in the story "Cool Air". If it wasn't for my sever lack of ability in attaining fresh spinal fluid.

Sincerely,
Professor (SFC) Delphinius "J.C." Tucker

Oh yes, marvelous. I also rather like the idea of creating a shoggoth. Perhaps we should start with a Petri-dish-sized specimen.

Another thing that interests me is the possible effect of human-like intelligence (i.e. spoken language, widespread tooluse, many different tools etc.) in animals. Especially those further removed from us. Cephalopods, arachnids and the like.

Ella Kremper

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 02:44:01 pm »
Another thing that interests me is the possible effect of human-like intelligence (i.e. spoken language, widespread tooluse, many different tools etc.) in animals. Especially those further removed from us. Cephalopods, arachnids and the like.

Inserting a human-like intelligence into a cat would cause a feline unheaval across the universe with human slaves.

JingleJoe

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 03:11:00 pm »
Anyone here know where I can get some fluorine(in compound form, i know by itself it can just become horribly poisonous) and some phosphorous?
Also some lime? (as in the chemical not the fruit)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 03:15:26 pm by JingleJoe »
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Atterton

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 03:15:10 pm »
There was an experiment done by a man named Demichov in 1959 on keeping heads alive. He would attach the heads of smaller dogs onto the side of the neck of alive bigger dogs, hooking them up to the blood supply. His record was keeping the small head alive for 29 days. I think microsurgery has gone a lot further these days, so perhaps a much longer period of survival could be achieved today. I´m not sure if it has been done though. There was also some recent work done on baboon head transplants, but I haven´t had the chance to look into it.

Ella Kremper

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2008, 03:35:18 pm »
My particular fascination is with Victorian-tech spaceflight. Morals? What could be more righteous than sending a condemned prisoner up in an experimental rocket? The prisoner in so doing accomplishes good far outweighing the evil which put him behind bars.  But try explaining that to those lunkheads in charge at the Tower!  You haven't seen stodgy hidebound pigheadedness until you've tried to negotiate with a prison warden for test subjects.

That's a bit Twelve Monkeys there, although I've not seen the film for a long time now.

Anyone here know where I can get some fluorine(in compound form, i know by itself it can just become horribly poisonous) and some phosphorous?
Also some lime? (as in the chemical not the fruit)

Toothpaste comes to mind for fluorine and phosphorus (you're more likely to get them in compound form anyway). But lime, depends on how you want it, I guess (my chemistry is a bit rusty).
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 05:02:03 pm by Ella Kremper »

Ambie

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2008, 03:40:22 pm »
I aint no (scientist) but the Boss Doc be one.  She wants a copy of this paper to check against Mrs. Shelly’s letters:   

Spoiler: ShowHide
Mind, Brain, Body, and Soul: A Review of the Electrophysiological Undercurrents for Dr. Frankenstein.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. 21(4):301-304, July/August 2004.    Kaplan, Peter W.
Abstract:
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is perhaps the most famous work of medical science fiction. She and her husband, the poet Percy Shelley, were aware of nascent neuroscience experimentation and the effects of electricity on neuromuscular function. Such experiments generated theories of voluntary, involuntary, and unconscious neuromuscular function; animal electricity; and the anima-the human vital principle. In Germany and Italy, investigators were performing bizarre electrical experiments on animals and humans to "reanimate" lifeless limbs and bodies. These demonstrations and theories find expression in Frankenstein and provide models for Dr. Frankenstein and his creation.



Groan, that means I be off to the blasted, cantankerous time-travel contraption to rake and scrape up a copy. 

And what is this, she wants me to see if this was a hoax or not. 
Spoiler: ShowHide
 It be a moving picture that shows, '...the successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs), as conducted by Dr. S.S. Bryukhonenko at the Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy, Voronezh, U.S.S.R. '    
http://www.archive.org/details/Experime1940


Thats gonna be some tight scrouging plus a whole different set of rags proper than the 2004 ones.  Reckon it be simplest if I just invite one of the brainy types back to, err, visit with the Doc.   ;)

Ella Kremper

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2008, 03:51:59 pm »
As a very tenuous link, I was born in the same town that Mary Shelley and her parents are buried in :D

Sir Nikolas of Vendigroth

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2008, 04:51:08 pm »
Anyone here know where I can get some fluorine(in compound form, i know by itself it can just become horribly poisonous) and some phosphorous?
Also some lime? (as in the chemical not the fruit)

Flourspar is a compound of flourine, and is readily available. Lime can be created by roasting limestone to drive off the carbon dioxide, and is easily made with a fire, some limestone and a coffee can. Dunno about the phosphorous, though...

OldProfessorBear

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2008, 06:02:59 pm »
Anyone here know where I can get some fluorine(in compound form, i know by itself it can just become horribly poisonous) and some phosphorous?
Also some lime? (as in the chemical not the fruit)

Flourspar is a compound of flourine, and is readily available. Lime can be created by roasting limestone to drive off the carbon dioxide, and is easily made with a fire, some limestone and a coffee can. Dunno about the phosphorous, though...

Fluorine compounds - probably in glass-etching preparations available in craft shops. Also, I've seen extra-strength fluoride gels for treating your teeth, but no idea how to get them - perhaps through a friendly dentist?

Phosphorous - used in matches. Also perhaps can be derived from compounds like tri-sodium phosphate? My chemistry is exceeding rusty these days ...


« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 06:08:02 pm by OldProfessorBear »
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GentlemanCaller

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Re: The Prometheus Club - a gentlemen´s club for mad scientists
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2008, 06:04:35 pm »
Anyone here know where I can get some fluorine(in compound form, i know by itself it can just become horribly poisonous) and some phosphorous?
Also some lime? (as in the chemical not the fruit)

If by lime you mean sodium hydroxide, get ye to a soapmakers, man. For the others, your best bet is probably looking for a supplier of chemicals to schools and the like.

Were this two months ago, I could have nipped down to Mother's stock cupboard and rustled you up enough lime to blow up any 'fast food' restaurant or ridiculous coffee house of your choice, but alas she has turned her back on soap making and deprived me of a source of explosives.

Perhaps I shouldn't know quite as much about making kitchen explosives as I do, but someones got to get the tree stumps out the ground.