Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2012 _Review

Review of Mad Scientist Journal Summer 2012
5 stars

“Mad Scientist Journal,” as the name implies, is delightfully tongue-in-cheek humourous, a subtle fun-poking at Fringe Science, a Fortean approach to peer review and academic journals and scientific method. Indeed, if one isn’t careful, at times one might find oneself seriously “believing”—but then isn’t that the entire port of Fortean “science,” to believe? <smile>

Some of my particular favourites in this issue are: “A Critique of Vorchek’s Holobiologia” (the Malevolent Universe of Thomas Hardy’s devising may actually be a whole lot scarier than we’ve imagined); “Application of the Scientific Method to Family Management: Informal Observations and Conclusions” (don’t let the dry as dust academic title fool you, this one is hilarious); “A Resubmission to Xenobiology by Clark et al.” (take that, Peer Reviewers!), “Death-Ray Barking Dog Torches Home.” Or try Nikola Tesla’s time travel into a Manhattan wracked by alien invasion. And forget Craigslist: try the Mad Scientist Journal Classified Ads (Professor Ripper’s Body Parts-build your own companion; “For Sale-Property”: I’m going for the Victorian Brick Built Asylum), and the lovely Personals.

Mad Scientist Journal in just one issue has found its niche on my Re-read Shelf: something I’ll take out for a stroll when I need humour—or maybe just, a session of “what if?”

Ps: Fortean “science” descends from Charles Fort, a 19th century naturalist who had really expanded ideas on the Universe: such as that beings on Mars controlled events on Earth. The Fortean Society, named for him, still exists and still publishes. Who knows, maybe Fortean perspectives are accurate and the rest of us are just willfully blind?

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