Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives Of Eccentric Scientists And Madmen

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9780688168940: Strange Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives Of Eccentric Scientists And Madmen

Never has the term mad scientist been more fascinatingly explored than in internationally recognized popular science author Clifford Pickover's richly researched wild ride through the bizarre lives of eccentric geniuses. A few highlights:

"The Pigeon Man from Manhattan" Legendary inventor Nikola Tesla had abnormally long thumbs, a peculiar love of pigeons, and a horror of women's pearls.

"The Worm Man from Devonshire" Forefather of modern electric-circuit design Oliver Heaviside furnished his home with granite blocks and sometimes consumed only milk for days (as did Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison).

"The Rabbit-Eater from Lichfield" Renowned scholar Samuel Johnson had so many tics and quirks that some mistook him for an idiot. In fact, his behavior matches modern definitions of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome.

Pickover also addresses many provocative topics: the link between genius and madness, the role the brain plays in alien abduction and religious experiences, UFOs, cryonics -- even the whereabouts of Einstein's brain!

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Review:

What is the connection between genius and madness? IBM-based polymath Clifford Pickover approaches the question in a characteristically eclectic way. First he looks at the lives of a collection of eccentric scientists, from Nikolai Tesla to the Unabomber, giving each a name ("The Fly Man from Galway"; "The Rat Man from London") deliberately reminiscent of Sigmund Freud's names for his cases. Then Pickover discusses obsessive-compulsive disorder and the relationship between brain structure and genius. The book is organized less by an overall thesis than by what interests Pickover; thus, it includes descriptions of vaults filled with brains in formaldehyde, what it means to say that we use only 10 percent of our brains, e-mail replies to a poll on what a supergenius might be, and the latest research on the biochemistry of intelligence. Dedicated "to the cracked, for they shall let in the light," the book is engaging, haphazard, thought-provoking, and genial. --Mary Ellen Curtin

About the Author:

Clifford A. Pickover is the lead writer for the brain-boggler column in Discover magazine and the author of numerous acclaimed science books. He has been featured on PBS, the Discovery Channel, and CNN. A research staff member at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, Dr. Pickover is a prolific inventor who holds numerous patents. He lives in Yorktown Heights, New York.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Never has the term mad scientist been more fascinatingly explored than in internationally recognized popular science author Clifford Pickover s richly researched wild ride through the bizarre lives of eccentric geniuses. A few highlights: The Pigeon Man from Manhattan Legendary inventor Nikola Tesla had abnormally long thumbs, a peculiar love of pigeons, and a horror of women s pearls. The Worm Man from Devonshire Forefather of modern electric-circuit design Oliver Heaviside furnished his home with granite blocks and sometimes consumed only milk for days (as did Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison). The Rabbit-Eater from Lichfield Renowned scholar Samuel Johnson had so many tics and quirks that some mistook him for an idiot. In fact, his behavior matches modern definitions of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette s syndrome. Pickover also addresses many provocative topics: the link between genius and madness, the role the brain plays in alien abduction and religious experiences, UFOs, cryonics -- even the whereabouts of Einstein s brain!. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780688168940

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 231 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Never has the term mad scientist been more fascinatingly explored than in internationally recognized popular science author Clifford Pickover s richly researched wild ride through the bizarre lives of eccentric geniuses. A few highlights: The Pigeon Man from Manhattan Legendary inventor Nikola Tesla had abnormally long thumbs, a peculiar love of pigeons, and a horror of women s pearls. The Worm Man from Devonshire Forefather of modern electric-circuit design Oliver Heaviside furnished his home with granite blocks and sometimes consumed only milk for days (as did Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison). The Rabbit-Eater from Lichfield Renowned scholar Samuel Johnson had so many tics and quirks that some mistook him for an idiot. In fact, his behavior matches modern definitions of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette s syndrome. Pickover also addresses many provocative topics: the link between genius and madness, the role the brain plays in alien abduction and religious experiences, UFOs, cryonics -- even the whereabouts of Einstein s brain!. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780688168940

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