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ELEPHANTS ON ACID by Alex Boese

ELEPHANTS ON ACID

And Other Bizarre Experiments

By Alex Boese

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-603135-6
Publisher: Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The author of Hippo Eats Dwarf: A Field Guide to Hoaxes and Other B.S. (2006) enters the realm of reality, albeit from an odd angle.

Boese is a student of the weird. An inquisitive (read: obsessive) sort, he seems to be the sort of guy who, once he gets a superb idea, sees it through to the end and then some. Here, he offers a compilation of weird (there’s that word again) scientific and sociological experiments performed over the past two centuries. Some of the many highlights: a 1931 test to determine whether it’s possible for a chimp to raise a human baby; a 1977 examination on the validity of scratch-’n’-sniff paper; a gentleman who, in 1928, proved males could be multi-orgasmic to the tune of six ejaculations in 36 minutes; and, of course, the titular experiment to determine what happens when elephants are dosed with large quantities of LSD. Boese structures the book in such a manner that it can be read comfortably either front-to-back or at random. Very well-researched and delivered in an engaging, breezy, wink-wink tone similar to that of Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg’s Why Do Men Have Nipples?, this will likely be enjoyed equally by science buffs and casual aficionados of the curious.

One the finest science/history bathroom books of all time. Then again, it may be the only science/history bathroom book of all time.