- Series: Harvest Original
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (November 5, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156031353
- ISBN-13: 978-0156031356
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments (Harvest Original) 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Author Boese (Hippo Eats Dwarf, The Museum of Hoaxes) returns with another look at scientific oddities, this time focusing on unlikely but actual experiments. Included are notorious examples such as the Stanford Prison Experiment and Stanley Milgram's infamous shock treatment obedience experiment, but it's the lesser-known studies that will generate the most interest. Disembodied heads, animal resurrection ("Zombie Kitten," "Franken-Monkey") and the direct stimulation of a subject's emotions (via electric brain prod) are some of the more grim activities Boese describes (though, thankfully, he steers clear of examples from Nazi Germany). Lighter subjects include attempts to prove the myth that the bar patrons become more attractive at closing time and the effects of staying awake for 11 days straight. These and other tales will obviously appeal to armchair scientists, but the short, witty, ceaselessly amusing entries should delight anyone with a healthy sense of morbid curiosity.
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PRAISE FOR HIPPO EATS DWARF
"Do you faithfully follow the commands of every e-mail chain letter? Do you worry about losing your kidneys in a freak robbery/mutilation? Concerned about the tapeworm diet? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, please check out . . . Hippo Eats Dwarf . . . Learn it. Live it. Don’t ever forward another e-mail chain letter again."—Sacramento Bee
PRAISE FOR MUSEUM OF HOAXES
"As entertaining as it is well researched."—Entertainment Today
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is very informative and does have it’s moments, but the tongue-in-cheek humor did bother me a little, specially when talking about some of the more cruel experiments, to both humans and animals. I do like me some dark humor, but I just couldn’t see the funny side the author was trying to show me.
I liked a lot the research and background on the experiments, specially the Victorian studies on electricity and dead bodies, as well as the neurosurgeries and famous psychology studies like the Stanford Prison experiment, that turned normal students into sadistic prison guards.
On the other hand, outside of the most interesting and chocking studies, the book seemed to have a lot of filler of uninteresting ones. Ironically, the chapter on sex was so boring I found myself skipping some pages, as I did on the one on babies.
Elephants on Acid does deliver on it’s promise as an informal compendium of the strangest side of science – and the horror when moral and empathy is not considered by scientists – but I think it could be improved by concentrating on the truly bizarre and toning down the internet-like humor.
One of the bits I found most amazing was the experiment with a cat which actually succeeded in capturing visual information (real moving images!) from the cat's visual processing center of the brain. Another is The Isolated Head of a Dog. Completely inhumane, but an incredible tale nonetheless. The author's writing style is such that we read the information, acknowledge disgust, but are still entertained and happily move on to the next potential atrocity of scientific experimentation.
Elephants on Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments, is a remarkably entertaining and educational book. Some subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. You have been warned!
There's also a part of the book about flatulence that I'm sure adolescent males will love.