Thescience geeks we grew up with in high school may have beenmouth-breathing social rejects who could easily be knocked over byglancing in their direction.

But some of history's walking calculators have used their awesomepowers of comprehension and reasoning to do things far gutsier than anight of underage drinking and a morning of regret can ever offer.


10. Stanley Milgram


Source: Apic/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Psychology always makes for the most interesting and awesome types of experimentation.

It basically involves tricking people to do things against their will (fact: 80 percent of all Penthouse Forum letters take place in a psychology class).

Milgram wanted to understand the reasoning behind atrocities that led to the Nuremberg trials, so he conducted one of his own.

He asked his test subjects to monitor a "learner," an actor pretending to be a test subject in their own experiment.

Every time the "learner" made a mistake, the real subject would haveto deliver increasing amounts of electricity into their body.

Milgram was able to convince 60 percent of the subjects to delivershocks leading up to 450 volts and none of the subjects refused toadminister the shocks until they reached 300 volts.

While none of the subjects were actually injured in the experiment,asking a total stranger to turn another total stranger into a crispychicken nugget takes a mighty set of electron balls.

9. Carl Scheele


Source: Evald Waldemar Hansen

This noted Swedish scientist has contributed to chemistry in waysthat would not have made modern scientific achievement possible.

For instance, he taught us that certain chemical elements were poisonous by stepping on that landmine for the rest of us.

Scheele is considered in some circles to be the father of arsenicand cyanide, that popular poison used to move along the plots ofShakesperian plays and episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

If you don't consider him to be the father, you should since he probably ingested more of the stuff than any living human male.

He didn't just purposely swallow it. He studied it in everyconceivable form and his constant exposure to it is said to havehastened his demise.

He described its texture, smell, and even its taste, although hisunfortunate death prevented him from discovering whether it goes withred or white wine.

Ironically, he is also credited with discovering a number of otherchemicals and substances including oxygen, which is amazing since heobviously got so little of it.

8. Giordano Bruno


Source: Marco Cristofori/Stone/Getty Images

Standing up for your beliefs is hard to do. Just try getting your friends to back you in a "Better Darren on Bewitched" bar fight and you'll see what I mean.

Bruno literally had his life on the line for believing somethingthat has become a known fact, depending on who you ask and whether ornot they have tin foil on their head.

Bruno spent part of his life fleeing the oppressive violence of theInquisition in the 16th century and when he was finally captured andtaken to trial on grounds of heresy, he refused to back down from his beliefs and was burned at the stake.

Some believe that his insistence that the universe stretched farbeyond the Earth was what eventually did him in, earning him a frontrow seat to his own execution.

7. Stubbins Ffirth


Source: Nick Koudis/Photodisc/Getty Images

William Osler has often been called the "father of modern medicine."

Otto Hahn is credited with being the "founder of the atomic age."

Stubbs Ffirth might have just such a name, but being the "forerunnerof vomit experiments" really doesn't look good on a business card.

The early 19th century scientist wanted to show the world thatyellow fever was not a contagious disease, so he spent a long part ofhis life immersing his own body in more bodily fluids than a summer teen sex comedy.

He poured vomit  from yellow fever victims into just aboutevery orifice in his body, sat in a "vomit sauna" and even ingested thestuff directly from a patient's mouth.

He didn't contract yellow fever even though it has since been provento be contagious, but that's just because even yellow fever was toogrossed out to go near the sicko.

6. Jean-Francois Pilātre De Roziere


Source: Gaston Tissandier

When this French chemist and physicist witnessed the first balloonflight launch in 1783, it inspired him to achieve greater and greaterheights in man's unrelenting quest for flight.

He managed to do just that with harrowing degrees of success (and I imagine several pairs of spoiled underpants later).

His luck changed the following year when he ambitiously planned to cross the English Channel into England but failed to account for one tiny variable - the wind.

It just pushed him and his partner off course, caused the balloon tobreak, deflate, and crash from a then-staggering height of 1,500 feet.

To make matters worse, his luggage ended up in Vienna. (Thank you folks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal!)


5. Trofim Lysenko


Source: Wikipedia

When science fails, at least the methods involved allow us to seeand correct mistakes and make even bigger breakthroughs in the future.

That would be true if the Ukrainian scientist Lysenko knew anythingabout science beyond concepts such as "if you kick a squirrel with yourright leg, he will turn into a magical elf."

As the right hand science man of Joseph Stalin, Lysenko claimed he could grow entire crops of all kinds without the use of fertilizers or minerals.

Since the early Soviets craved power more than any other commodityon Earth, they ran with his wild claims without bothering to check them.

Stalin refused to believe that the science was bad, lavishedLysenko with even greater accolades, and touted its efficiency with theever-increasing boldness of Terrell Owens' press agent after his thirdteam move.

When Stalin died, Lysenko fell out of favor and lost all of hispower but still showed up for work, even though his doctor title hadthe same level of scientific accreditation as Dr. Teeth from The Muppet Show.

4. Franz Reichelt


Source: Wikipedia

If someone came to you and said they could fly and you knew theycouldn't fly and you made every effort to stop them from proving thatthey could fly, that doesn't mean you still wouldn't watch, right?

Richelt, an Austrian tailor and makeshift scientific achiever,attempted to prove that same theory with his magical flying overcoat that he believed would work as a perfect parachute.

He was so sure his scientific endeavor would work that he conductedhis first and only test by jumping off of the Eiffel Tower. Did itwork? Why don't you make that call?

And even though Reichelt clearly had less grasp over scientificconcepts than the air's pressure did on him on the way down, it takes agreat deal of guts to back up that claim all the way down to his finaldemise.

Plus, if it's any consolation, he did discover something else: aquicker way for tourists to get down the Eiffel Tower without having touse all those tiresome steps.

3. Barry Marshall


Source: TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images

Not all of science's ballsiest thinkers worked in the dawn of humanenlightenment, when the most complex scientific concept that peoplecould wrap their minds around was that the Earth is being held up by anangry turtle that requires large amounts of space fish to keep rotatingthe Earth.

Back in 2006, this junior doctor so hoped to rock the medical boatby proving that stomach ulcers were not caused by a certain strain ofbacteria that he ingested it himself without prior approval, knowledge, or even permission from his hospital.

The strain he swallowed eventually lead to gastritis, a conditionknown to cause ulcers, but his and partner Robin Warren's theory thatstress and lifestyle factors are bigger contributors has since becomethe more accepted cause, one that earned them a Nobel Prize in Medicine.

If you're reading this doc, I hope you're wearing that award aroundyour neck like the biggest piece of bling around so every rival doctorin that motherf***ing clinic can see it. Pre-med 4 life, bitches!

2. J.B.S. Haldane


Source: Wikipedia

Using the cause of science to help those men and women who give their lives and freedom to protect their country is admirable.

Giving them the use of your eardrums should inspire a new Toby Keith song.

This son of the late 19th physicist John Scott Haldane picked up where his dad left off by improving diving for the Navy at the turn of the century.

Looking to one up dear ol' pop, he made himself the test subjectby submersing himself in highly pressurized decompression chambers toimprove submarine safety.

He not only discovered that such conditions had burst his owneardrums, but also that "if a hole remains in can blow tobaccosmoke out of the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment."

He also discovered that blowing smoke out of your ear will never help you get laid...ever.

1. Augustus Hildebrandt


Source: Steve West/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Technically, Hildebrant wasn't the lead scientist on his most famous experiment, but that's just because he was the experiment.

His German surgeon partner August Bier attempted to use cocaine as aspinal anaesthesia, which Hildebrandt first injected into Bier's spinethrough a hole in his neck.

When that didn't work, he had his partner switch roles and made Hildebrant the guinea pig.

He completely anaesthetized Hildebrant and proceeded to test the limitsof his central nervous system by stabbing him, burning him, hammeringhim, bludgeoning him, yanking out his pubic hairs by the root, and(topping off this "cake of pain") by smashing his testicles.

Bier waited for Hildebrandt's faculties to return to normal and whenthey did, the two went out for a huge lavish meal, making it the onetime in human history when the utterance of "separate checks" warrantsfull and immediate castration.


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Date: 6 Feb 2010 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News | Views: 5609

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Comments: 2

Barry Marshall swallowed the Heliobacter in 1984, not 2006. That guy has not been a "junior" anything in a long time.

dat vomit guy is screwed in the head

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