Thursday, 5 July 2012

new main page

Interesting science related topics.
Accounts of a Victorian sociopath, the experimentalist Ernest Glitch.
Projects, inventions & observations
pertaining to science & engineering.

 Victorian 3D Printer
A computer controlled additive manufacturing machine was invented in 1857

The Artificial Goat
A Victorian water-powered autonomous lawnmower

SWAN open source AAC
SWAN enables severely disabled folk to communicate their needs and thoughts to their friends, family and carers.

Beautiful Bright Red Pyrrhotite Crystal - Teesdale
A microscopic crystal found within a millerite bearing ironstone concretion, from the namurian shales exposed at Coldberry Gutter.  All that glitters....
Victorian Production of One Ounce of Nitrogen Trichloride   A Discourse Relating to the Economical Production of the Most Dangerously Explosive Substance Known, Using Only Natural Minerals & Human Gastric Juice. The first chapter of  "The Ernest Glitch Chronicles" - 

The Ernest Glitch Chronicles
A Novel by Roger Curry
Search for Ernest Glitch on your Kindle, or visit Amazon -UK here, USA here
In Bed with Boyle - Clayton's Piezoluminescent Diamond, 1663
"...but if I did press hard upon it with my Finger, at the very instant that I drew it briskly off, it would disclose a very Vivid but exceeding short Liv'd Splendour, not to call it a little Coruscation."

Local Pub Hosts Royal Society of Chemistry Soirée

Scottish Nitroglycerin & One Legged Stools

The Young Man's Book of Amusement
This wonderful book was published in 1854 and within its 384 pages are Gems of Victorian Science. It`s unpromising, mildly suggestive title belies a veritable cornucopia of experiments
Teesdale Tornado - Coldberry Rope Out
A tornado was witnessed whilst investigating the magnetic nature of an outcrop of the Cleveland Dyke in upper Teesdale. Sunday 5th August 2012 - 4.46pm.

Nuclear Explosion Induced Lightning

Alston Gold

Chemistry Course Bound to Maim or Kill

North Pennines Lead Mining - Britannica Eighth Edition 1853-1860

Mr. Thompson Draws 14 Inch Sparks From a Newcastle Chimney

Teesdale puddles - nano-mineral schwertmannite thin-film floaters

LOCOMOTION No.1 - Historic Steam Engine & Public House. 1825 - 2014
At the very spot in County Durham, England, where Geordie Stevenson started the global rail network in 1825, there's now a lively pub, The "Loco"

Galvanic Experiments on the Dead Body of a Criminal, Artificial Volcano, etc., etc.
Some excerpts from The Young Man's Book of Amusement, including "To Recover a Fly after being drowned several hours."
Cannabis & Nuclear Bomb Double Flash - The Bhangmeter

Bill Beaty - Scientist, Engineer & Educator Extraordinaire

Project Cannikin - 5 Megaton Nuke & Sea Otter Eyeballs

Copper Fulgurite Tops Vulcano

Stainton Beck - Magnetic Basaltic Andesite & Fossil Beds
Heath Barnes discovers Auroch skulls & magnetic igneous rock in Cleveland

Classic & Unique Electric Vauxhall

The Lugworm - Arenicola marina - An Admiral Annelid for Anglers

Using Glide Ratio to Stimulate the Hypothalamus & the Adrenal & Pituitary Glands

Copper & Coal Gas Explosives - Professor Bottger Nearly Rediscovers Acetylene

Sir William Armstrong - Interesting Intellect, Weapons Innovator

Artificial Fulgurites

High Explosive From Aussie Plants - 1858 to World War One

Ant Pheromone Vortex of Death

Punch Attempts British Association Humour - 1843

Funny Drug Man and Giant Waxy Monkey Frog

Signatures of Scientists

Buy it for the Kindle
(or PC, ipad, smart phone with free reader) 
UK (77p
hereUSA (99 cents) here

The Ernest Glitch Chronicles. A Novel by Roger Curry

Anarchic Experimental Science in
Victorian Weardale &
Event Horizon Powered Lotus

Ernest Glitch. Wealthy Victorian experimentalist, armaments mogul, aficionado of intoxication and big game hunting. His mansion in Weardale, England, had laboratory facilities second to none in the mid eighteen hundreds. In them Glitch, with his assistant Hodges, performed scientific experimentation of a most eclectic nature, and always with concentrated disregard to safety issues.

An eccentric and volatile person, his pursuit of knowledge was accompanied by the sort of hedonism only the very rich can enjoy. The results of experiments he and his assistant Hodges undertook were never published. As he kept no log-book, the main record of the discoveries they made are the letters he wrote to Michael Faraday.

In this book, those letters are presented, together with contemporary reports, a journal Glitch made of his expedition to Africa, and several narratives of his life. Also, reference is made to both his ancestors and, in detail, his descendants. This novel has two threads. One details the horrific experiments performed by Victorian Ernest Glitch and his assistant Hodges. The other is set in the near future, where Glitch and Hodges' descendants wreak havoc, with a device capable of generating enormous power from the annihilation of nuclear waste.

More Information & Sample Chapters here

WARNING - Contains very strong language. The letters and accounts of the work of Ernest Glitch are of an appalling nature in parts, containing references to animal and human experimentation, extreme violence, Victorian drug abuse, and complete disregard for the dignity of native peoples. 135 thousand words. Buy it for the Kindle - UK (77p) here, USA (99 cents) here

Alpine Air to Produce 30 Million Volts for Atom Smasher - One Man Dies

Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Documents

Nitrogen Trichloride References

Artificial Chalybeate Water Exhibits Iridescent Surface Film - 1807
xkcd cartoons

1858 - Wöhler Extracts Organics From Meteorite

Sound from Vortices

Dynamite in Geordieland, Blast Furnace Trouble

Vintage, & Wonderful, Royal Institution Lectures

The Impossibility of Photography & Hallucinatory Toads & Mushrooms

1810 Discovery of a Mass of Native Iron & Luminescent, Poisonous Plant in Brasil

Volcanic Gases and Sublimates

Preparation of Pure Tellurium. By Berzelius

Two Hours of Excellent Science Entertainment - Royal Institution

Mr. Clarke excites his optic nerves with a generator

Hot Air Heiligenschein

Explosions for Fun - Mega Bomba & Anvil Tossing

On the Evolution of Light During Crystallization

Victorian British Bulk Drug Dealing - China Addicted To Morphine

Thenard 1832, "Animals when allowed to breathe the pure gas fall down as if struck with a bullet"

A Couple of Electrical Machines

1808 Laughing Gas Experimentation

Mr. Rudder & Mr. Benson sink bottles from the Princess Victoria

Chemistry and Physics of Energetic Materials

Edison Wax Cylinders For Sound Recording

Cat Lives After Hydrocyanic Acid & Chlorine Experiment!

Desirable Cockpit & View

Marie Curie - Method of Extraction of Radium From a Tonne of Pitchblende Residues

Peculiar Compound of Platinum

Photo Slideshow - Micromount Mineral Crystals

Victorian Artificial Formation of Minerals

Were Fox Measures 37 meter Teesdale Lead Vein Electrical Continuity 1838

1829 - Hydrogen Gas From Mushrooms

Titan's Many Layered Atmosphere

LOLA Simulator - A load of balls
The LOLA Simulator was an Apollo project which was of no practical use

Western Kentucky Fluorite - 1905

Benjamin Franklin Electrocutes Turkeys
Experiments with leyden jars charged to high voltages &
lethality upon their application to hens, turkeys & humans.

Metallo-Chromes - Lead Oxide Interference Colours

A Random Walk

A Lecture on Semiconductor Physics by a Nobel Lauriate

It's Alive! Mr. Crosse's Acari
In 1836, Mr. Andrew Crosse was conducting his electrocrystallisation experiments when he saw something moving. Soon his apparatus was crawling with "Acarus Crossii."
Artificial Minerals - Victorian Electrocrystallisation Experiments
Becquerel & Crosse created mineral crystals by the application of small electrical currents over long periods.

Project Gnome - Fused Halite Stalactites
3.1 kiloton nuclear bomb detonated to melt salt
Amplification - The Early Years

Mr. Tomlinson's Experiments on the Electrical Fly

A wafer of sapphire is coated with a 1µm layer of yttrium barium copper oxide and cooled in liquid nitrogen.

Armstrong Maneuvering the Eagle
Excellent presentation shows how hard Armstrong maneuvers with virtually no fuel left

Is Alcohol Food?

Explosive Drugs

Artificial Crystallisation of Mineral Matters and Metals in the Moist Way, 1865

Feynman - Genius & Nice Guy

Newcastle Town Moor Nitro Carnage; 30 Canisters Stashed in Boozer Cellar

Extraction of Platinum Group Metals

Phosphine Smoke-rings & Explosive Polymerisation Produced in Adrian's Splendid Chemistry Laboratory

Ozone & Antozone Simultaneous Formation

Mineral Inclusion Photos & Eye-Straining Text

Ball Lightning?

Not Saint Elmo's Fire

Microscopic Californian Diamonds, Topaz & Zircons. By Silliman, 1873

How Spiders Fly, Beer From Coal, Tea etc.

Light Emission from Sodium & Potassium

Peculiar Effects of Light on Charcoal & Silver Nitrate Solution

Experiments on the Preparation & Uses of Fulminating & Detonating Compounds

Lake Peigneur Disaster - Whirlpool & Waterfall

Tyndall on Acoustic Flames 1867

A Selection of Fluorescent Minerals

Leidenfrost Effect - Lead Floating on Molten Iron

On a New Series of Chemical Reactions Produced by Light. Tyndall 1868

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Thomas Alva Edison, you stand accused of the supply of poisons and dangerous drugs for human consumption. Namely Heroin, Strychnine and Opium

Artificial Volcanism
"The earth will swell up and burst, and flames will issue out"

Martinus Van Marum "discovers" a light blue gas in 1785 with the help of Mr. Cuthbertson
Ozone liquifies as an explosive indigo-blue liquid & solidifies as violet crystals

Victorian Nitrogen Laser 
A letter from Glitch to Faraday, dated June 1856, would appear to indicate the observation of laser action in air, more than a century before Maiman first demonstrated his ruby laser.

SPACE - View the last two days of solar activity & live NASA video.
Pics & vids from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, International Space Station, Apollo 11, Voyager 1, Spirit Mars Rover, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter & Beagle 2.

Hittorf`s Metallic Phosphorus of 1865
Smithell`s cold flame, phosphoretted hydrogen & will o` the wisp, phosphorus agriculture - farming for bones

Mr. Perkins` Extraordinary Steam Gun of 1824
One thousand shots per minute, using 900psi steam.

Fulminating Oils - Sweat of the Devil
Two sensitive high-explosive liquids & fearless scientists with missing body parts

Early Aluminium & Beryllium
"..some of us now present may yet live to eat with forks & spoons composed of aluminum....,
possibly while seated upon aluminum chairs.." 1854

An Excellent Van de Graaff Design from 1938
500kV and 200uA from this four foot high electrostatic generator.

Beagle 2 - A 19th Century Hybrid Coal / Liquid Nitrous Oxide Powered Rocket
Busty seam coal & laughing gas propels scientific probe into space, successfully launched 24th July 1863 from Weardale, returning 30th June 1908 over Siberia

Experimenting with Weapons-Grade Fissile Material in the Home
The Spinthariscope - Crookes` Turbulent Luminous Sea

Fulgurites - Tubes Formed by Lightning
Darwin`s observations from South America 1832

Fullerenes Discovered in Victorian England
A letter from Ernest Glitch (son of Mad Judge Glitch) to Michael Faraday appears to note the crystallisation of C60 some 150 years before Kroto.

Writing Under the Shell of an Egg
How can one be without this essential life-skill?

Cloud Chambers
Apparatus to render visible the tracks of swift electrified particles such as californium fission fragments

Electroluminescent Silicon Carbide Crystals in 1907
An Early Light Emitting Diode.

Gas of Lucifer, the Tiger of Chemistry... Fluorine
Fluorine is the most reactive element. It's isolation proved to be one of the most difficult problems in chemistry. Horrendously poisonous, devilishly corrosive, many 19th century chemists were killed or mauled by the tiger.

Colloidal Growth
The "chemical garden"

Victorian Liquid-Fuel Rocket Engine
An account of the use of hypergolic propellants and deLaval nozzles in 1856.

Coolidge uses 200kV Lenard Rays to Punch Holes in Rabbits Ears
Also the profuse growth of snow-white hair is induced

Alchemy: a Pseudo-Science
A monograph by Henry Smith Williams. "You forget, sir, I have been only five hundred years in your service."

Victorian Tesla Coil, with reference to a possible medieval Coil.
A letter from Glitch to Michael Faraday appears to note the discovery of Germanium some 30 years before Winkler. The main body of the correspondence concerns a lightning machine.

A Method of Electro-Plating Lizards
Twenty Six Articles Concerning Electricity, by John Munro 1915

Getting Gold
A complete book on-line : Getting Gold, A Practical Treatise for Prospectors, Miners, & Students. J.C.F. Johnson 1898.

Copperas Efflorescence
Mr. Medor of Santa Cruz has extensive ferrous sulphate deposits in his gulch.

Boxing day 1799. Humphry Davy Encloses his Head in a Box Full of Nitrous Oxide Gas.
"Nothing Exists But Thoughts!" A quote from Davy, off his head on 57 liters of nitrous oxide, in an attempt "to produce excitement equal in duration and superior in intensity to that occasioned by high intoxication from opium or alcohol."

19th Century Jet-Powered Flying Machine in Weardale
Manned Flight achieved long before the Wright Bros., using Multiple Valve-less Pulse Jets

Red Sprites & Blue Jets
Early documentation of these unusual luminous electrical discharges, which dart from thunderclouds up towards space. Chapter 7 of "Rudimentary Electricity" by Sir W. Snow Harris, third edition 1853.

The First Flight.
part two of 19th Century Jet-Powered Flying Machine in Weardale, plus The Steam-Powered Rope-Engine - Mad Judge Glitch`s Power-Gallows - An account of the first test of this capital punishment machine.

Pyrotechnic Magic
Unbelievably dangerous magic tricks for the magician with a death wish, from 1948

Lord Rayleigh`s Active Allotrope of Nitrogen
"A whirling cloud of brilliant yellow light"

The Most Powerful Rock Ever Found
A Belgian man in a pith helmet irradiates his gonads with seven tons of uranium ore

The Production of Fine Bluish Crystals of Aluminium Nitride
An interesting experiment using atmospheric diffusion

Victorian Cyclotron
E. Glitch bombards diamonds with high energy particles to produce coloured 'fancy' stones. His equipment, mentioned in a letter to M. Faraday, pre-dates that of Lawrence by some 73 years

Atomic Hydrogen Blowtorch
In 1926 Langmuir invented this electrical dissociation blowtorch, capable of attaining 3700 degrees C. Melt tungsten, vapourise diamond!

The Flesh Transducer
Using high-voltage discharges to produce sound from living human flesh

A Miscellany of Mineralogical Articles
Some interesting articles from American Mineralogist.

"The result of our experiment proved that there were in reality new radioactive elements in pitchblende, but that their proportion did not reach even a millionth per cent!" - Marie Curie

Forming Vessels of Gold Using Phosphorus
An ingenious, if hazardous, method of producing goldware for chemical research.

Glitch Constructs Hypersonic Gun
Upper Weardale was impacted by several projectiles in late 1857, in Glitch`s words, "Velocities approached 70,000 furlongs to the hour, Bishop."

Helix Chemica 
The Periodic Spiral, a helical representation, drawn in 1937, illustrating the relationship of the elements.

Safe Breaker`s Tools
A complete burglar`s outfit for opening safes and strong rooms, 1929

"Tore off both legs from the unfortunate M. Hervy"
Unwise experiments with liquified gases

1858: First X-Ray?
Rupert Glitch photographs his own bones using tandem Cuthbertson electrical machines

Leyden Jars & Leyden Batteries
"...was discharged through and upon various kinds of matter, its force was quite irresistible."
"....disappeared in a cloud of blue smoke, from which fell red-hot globules of tin."

Fluorescence of CaF2 (Eu) with 337.1nm laser?
Are Glitch`s observations reliable?

GOLD - an element of beauty & violence
General auriferous subjects including Fulminating & Scottish gold

The Footsteps of a Fly
Professor Hughes` flystep amplifier from 1877

The Glitch Sporting Bathyscaphe
Accounts of the use of this extreme depth marine hunting vessel.

"A large globe of bluish fire struck Professor Richman on the head, and he instantly expired"
Highly dangerous experimentation with lightning.

The Experiments of R.P. Williams 1888
".... the gas in the flask is the most poisonous known, and a single bubble of it inhaled is said to have killed the discoverer."

The Evolution of the Zip
fascinating fastening

The Glitch Machine Gun
A fully automatic weapon 24 years before Hiram Maxim

Strutt`s Radium Clock
"This arrangement is perhaps the nearest approach yet made to perpetual motion."

Explosive Antimony
This allotrope of antimony, by its very nature, is of absolutely no use as a practical explosive

Oft Overlooked Innovations Within Van de Graaff`s Original Patent of 1935
A feebly conductive coating on the supporting column overcomes corona leakage at opening of sphere, & possibility of replacing charge transport belt with pumped insulating fluid

Metallic Carbonyls
Gilbert T. Morgan, O.B.E., F.R.S. describes unusual compounds such as nickel carbonyl, a colourless volatile liquid

A Wimshurst Machine, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip & The Bishop of Durham
The Queen may have required a change of underwear after an electrostatic demonstration during her Silver Jubilee in 1977

Tesla Coil
A 5MV pressurised oil immersed bipolar tesla coil by Breit 1930

Hydrogen Metal
Hydrogen exists in a metallic state in the core of Jupiter. It has been momentarily created in the laboratory using this self destructing apparatus

Radon Collection
The collection of radon from radium salts is extremely perilous, because of the extreme radioactivity.

Spectacular Isolation of Metallic Potassium & Sodium by Davy, 1807
"...sometimes violently exploded and separated into smaller globules, which flew with great velocity through the air in a state of vivid combustion, producing a beautiful effect of continued jets of fire."

Observation of Light Emission from Electrically Stressed Silicon Carbide Crystals
Early LED? A letter to Faraday

Galvanic Reanimation of the Dead
The exploits of nineteenth century scientists with electrical batteries and corpses.

The Laboratory of Ernest Glitch
An illustration of his apparatus for the synthesis of an organic compound

Mechanical Television
The early equipment (patented by Nipkow in 1884) was simple and consisted of rotating discs with spirally placed holes

Fictional Influence Machine
Predating Wimshurst`s electrostatic generator, using hemispherically terminated charge carriers

Slickensides Galena & Other Naturally Occurring Explosives 
Siberian Marekanite, natural Prince Rupert`s drops. Detonating Derbyshire Galena, Higginbotham narrowly escapes crackingwhole explosion. Lanchester Witherite, collector`s dismay.

Moist Conductors of the Second Class
Contact Electrification by Prof. F. Sanford, 1915

The Plate Glass Electrical Machine
Pages 61 - 65 from Rudimentary Electricity, Sir Snow Harris, 1853

Weapon of Mass Destruction in Victorian Times: The Coal-Dust Flame-Thrower
Horror weapon invented in Weardale by Glitch. Also in 1862, his assistant noted the depletion of U235 in pitchblende from Oklo, and suggested that a natural reactor could be the cause of the isotopic anomaly.

Moving Pictures of an Interesting Nature
Eddy current braking, negative stepped leaders, dust conflagration, X-rays, canine cruelty, bullet impacts, fast fungi, volcanic fountains, uranium mining, glacial time, lichtenberg figures & meteors

Doctor Diode
Dr. Diode, Practitioner of Experimental Exotica, Unleashes the Primal Energies of the Universe in a Series of Terrific Science Japes.

The Operation of a 1950`s Cyclotron
"Cleaning a cyclotron is neither an easy nor a pleasant job"

The Science of Pool
Investigations into the Physics, Psychology & Pharmacology of Pool

Edison Electrocutes Elephant
There's no doubt about it - this man was a nasty piece of work. WARNING! The video accompanying this page is highly disturbing.

Lateral Science Inverted
Antipodean anecdotes of an unusual nature

Lateral Links
For your Perusal & Delectation, items of interest elsewhere on the web

Eclectic Science Esoterica Shop
Unusual items of science & engineering interest for sale

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Note - other than my encouraging folk to donate, with both the Lateral Science website (2002-2012) and this blog, I have no connection with Cancer Research UK. Roger Curry, Lateral Science

WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.