Science is serious business, but sometimes new technology can look a bit silly before it's widely adopted (and especially if it's never adopted, like the PistoLaser or the Hoop Cycle.) In this archive gallery, we've rounded up nine men who, though incredibly solemn and impeccably dressed, just couldn't maintain dignity in the face of cutting-edge science.
While serving as an army medic during Operation Desert Storm, Richard Schwartz became all too familiar with gunshot wounds, particularly shots to the pelvis and upper legs. Enemies would target that region because body armor doesn’t always cover it. Conventional tourniquets don’t work around the abdomen—it’s impossible to tie them tight enough to cut off blood flow from the aorta. Soldiers with “junctional hemorrhages” may have only a few minutes before they bleed to death.
The periodic table of elements, organized thoughtfully from hydrogen to ununoctium, is a tribute to the accomplishments of modern chemistry and physics. Since Dmitri Mendeleev developed an early version of the now-ubiquitous layout in 1869, discovering a new element has been a surefire way for a scientist to grab a place in the history books--and in the pages of Popular Science.
Involuntarily? Yes. On purpose? Maybe. In February, for instance, Swedish snowmobilers found a man who had been trapped under snow in his car for two months with barely any food. After he was rescued, local doctors suggested that he had survived by adjusting his core body temperature downward to about 88ºF and keeping still, the same process bears use to hibernate.
Sometimes, in the name of progress, doctors have nobody to test their medical theories on but themselves. And in these five cases--though several of them perished from the self-inflicted experiments--that testing was warranted, leading to key advances in the treatment of yellow fever, blunt force impact, ulcers, and more.
Rain and snow aren't the only things to fall from the sky. Throughout history rare occurrences have been recorded of other less expected and surprising forms of deluge. In 2001, parts of India were showered with mysterious red particles that were thought to contain alien microbes.
From the moment the devastating news reached New York, America has been utterly enthralled by the Titanic disaster. We savor mental images of the super rich clinging to debris, drowning because they grabbed jewels instead of a life vest, and we still can't help but wonder whether the iceberg was cosmic punishment for the arrogance of claiming an "unsinkable" ship. Even 100 years later, we want to know what else the wreck can teach us.
The homemade bombs known as IEDs accounted for 60 percent of all U.S. military injuries in Iraq and have killed more than 21,000 Iraqi civilians. Last November, a month before the last U.S. troops departed, Iraq's federal bomb squad paraded with bomb-disposal robots in Baghdad. QinetiQ North America has sold 16 of the $100,000 remote-controlled Talons to the Iraqi police.
First, it's important to know that the big bang wasn't an explosion of matter into empty space—it was the rapid expansion of space itself. This means that every single point in the universe appears to be at the center. Think of the universe as an empty balloon with dots on it. Those dots represent clusters of galaxies. As the balloon inflates, every dot moves farther away from every other dot.