MAD PROFESSOR by mark frauenfelder
welcome to the laboratory
I won the book MAD PROFESSOR by Mark Frauenfelder in the Squidoo BoingBoing Lensmaster Challenge, which took place back way in the early days of Squidoo. This lens has some of my explorations of the experiments in the book, so if you're curious and like weird science projects, come check it out!
If you've got a budding mad scientist at home, or a junior Maker, this book is a Must-Have! It's full of all sorts of fun for a child who is in elementary school. Some middle schoolers might like it, some might want something more challenging. As an adult nerd who was the only girl she knew who had a chemistry set growing up, I loved it.
I'm So Qualified To Be A Mad Professor
some background on the mad lensmaster
As the daughter of an artist and a chemist, I got a lot of art with my science, and a lot of science with my art growing up. It's like having a Reese's peanut butter cup problem, but more aesthetic. Or more flammable, depending on what's really going on.
Here's my earliest proof of my mad professor tendencies. I'm sure it's not the earliest instance, it's just the earliest moment that has survived on film. I am the taller one, in the lab coat, with the heavily-darkened brows, antique glasses and hair that I just couldn't stick up enough. The shorter person is my younger sister, my "monster" that night, sort of part-vampire, part-I-don't-know-what.
My parents had gone out to a party or something, and we were old enough to be left home alone without a baby sitter, trusted to survive the night without killing each other, as it was phrased. I'm thinking I was about 13 in this pic, so that would make my sister 9. Yeah, that's about right for the level of spazziness going on.
So, Mom and Dad come home at like 1 AM, expecting the two kids to be asleep, as those were the directions left, and usually, we didn't do anything overtly out of line. (The secret shenanigans are an entirely different matter.)
However, upon walking through the front door, my parents were instead greeted by their eldest, in her mad professor ensemble, bursting out with "Gut Ef-fen-ning... Velcome to za La-bor-A-tory!" I recall how their mouths dropped open as my sister lurched "monster-like" from down the hallway, fangs half-falling out of her mouth. Man, we'd stunned 'em. I mean, sure, they'd come home to a crazy scene or two before, but this one was a truly original moment that came out of left field.
Bless 'em, my folks laughed their heads off, took the picture you see here with a Polaroid, threw us in the bath to scrub off way too much makeup, and put us to bed.
Anyway, that's my "Mad Professor" cred story, in case you were wondering.
The Book I Won Is... - MAD PROFESSOR by Mark Frauenfelder
So, this is that book I won. The subtitle on the cover reads "Concoct Extremely Weird Science Projects" then says "Robot Food, Saucer Slime, Martian Volcanoes and more."
According to the introduction, this book contains select experiments that were left behind in a notebook sealed inside an alloy egg, that was found on the island of Kia Ora, in the South Pacific. The experiments are the work of the scientists at Zoober Science Laboratories. It would seem the scientists and their lab have been shot forward in time due to one experiment which, in the interests of safety, has not been included.
Alien Professor Zoober, chemist Philo T. Funsworth, roboticist Helena Capek and a gorilla geologist named Tambuzi have left notes to guide budding mad professors through a series of experiments that demonstrate polymers, robotics, earth sciences, fringe science and the scientific method.
EXPERIMENT #1 --> GOON GOO - or, how I began at the beginningClick thumbnail to view full-size
Mad Professor Inspiration
Thomas Edison once said invention was 98% inspiration and 2% perspiration.
Mad Professors know that the inspiration part of that equation often contains chocolate, goofing off, playing videos games, internet surfing and watching lots of movies.
Movie watching with popcorn is even more inspiring.
How To Walk Around Underwater
This is a movie I made during one of the Saint Stupid's Day parades in San Francisco. They are sort of wacky but then again, they do take place on April 1st. I just happened to get some film that shows a guy who is so smart, he's figured out how to walk around underwater without being in a swimming pool!
Mad Links for Mad Professors
Everything listed here is guaranteed to make you both smile and think. Bless those folks with too much time on their hands who think these things up and then actually go try them out!
- Mad Professor
Mad Professor Mark Frauenfelder reviews books, comic books, movies, music, software, tools, and toys.
- The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments
This is the web home of that wonderful video of two guys making huge fountains out of Diet Coke and Mentos. I actually met the taller/balder of the mad scientists in this video, as he's the older brother of a guy I knew when I lived in SF.
- Scientist's formula to rid Hollywood of mad professors and sci-fi errors
Fed up with the dodgy portrayal of science in films, an Oxford University biochemist has set herself up as a consultant to Hollywood in her quest to do away with errors, misconceptions and nutty professors.
- Mad scientist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A mad scientist is a stock character of popular fiction, either villainous, or benign and scatterbrained.
- Professors by Richard A. Bartle
There are two main sorts of professors. Absent-minded professors can think but can't remember. Mad professors can remember but can't think. The very best professors are both, and can do neither.
- Ever wonder what happens when you dump a bucket of liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool?
Lovely. Just lovely. More geeks need to play with swimming pools.
- MadSciNet: The 24-hour exploding laboratory.
Welcome to the laboratory that never sleeps! MadSci Network represents a collective cranium of scientists providing answers to your questions. For good measure we provide a variety of oddities and other ends as well.
- The International Society of Mad Scientists
Founded 1995 The International Society of Mad Scientists is dedicated to disseminating information about unusual projects in any field. Membership is open to anyone that in practice or spirit considers themselves to be a Mad Scientist.
- The Scientist : Female scientists on the big screen
Physics professor Sidney Perkowitz reflects on how women scientists are portrayed in film
- MAKING HOLOGRAMS -- SHOEBOX HOLOGRAPHY
The Complete Guide to Making your own Holograms -- Shoebox Holography Book.
EXPERIMENT #6 --> NIBBLE DOUGH - The yummiest experiment in the book!Click thumbnail to view full-size
More Fun for Mad Professors - great kids science books for fun and learning
Here are some more great books that offer up equal doses of fun and learning for kids who are interested in science and doing experiments.
Spiff Up The Ol' Laboratory - Work... play.... what's the difference?
- ThinkGeek :: Geek Toys
Fun & funky toys for Mad Professors of all ages!
- Perpetual Kid - Unique Gifts to Entertain Your Inner Child
Home to the largest selection of unique gifts for the adult with a very active inner child. Fun kitchenware to funky furniture and unique home decor.
- Mad Professors Gifts
Welcome to the "mad professors" gifts page from CartoonStock. Any of these cartoons can be bought as prints/originals or printed on the merchandise at the bottom of this page.
- Science Projects Experiments and Educational Toys
If you're looking for cool educational toys, science kits, teacher workshop materials, science toys, easy science fair projects or just an awesome gift, you've come to the right place.
- Stirling Engines, Waste heat recovery, Sterling Engines- American Stirling Company Home Page
Model Stirling engines and kits, heat of your hand Stirling engines, and waste heat recovery consulting.
Tell me about your experiments and creations!