Macabre ingenuity

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Macabre ingenuity
« on: 28/06/2008 11:19:31 »
From an old Scientific American (probably late nineteenth-century):

The Medical Report tells of a woman in Ohio who utilized the high temperature of her phthisical (having TB) husband for eight weeks before his death, by using him as an incubator for hens' eggs. She took 50 eggs, and wrapping each one in cotton batting, laid them alongside the body of her husband in the bed, he being unable to resist or move a limb. After six weeks she was rewarded with forty-six lively young chickens  [:0].


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Macabre ingenuity
« Reply #1 on: 28/06/2008 12:11:58 »
On a similar theme...

British Military planned chicken-powered nuke
05 April 2004
A once secret plan to build a nuclear landmine 'run' by live chickens has gone on public display for the first time at The National Archives, Kew, as part of the acclaimed Secret State Exhibition.

Conceived during the Cold War, the seven tonne device was the size of small truck and was designed to be buried or submerged by a British Army retreating from Soviet forces. The landmine had a plutonium core surrounded by high explosive and would have been detonated by remote control or timer, causing mass destruction and contamination over a wide area to prevent subsequent enemy occupation.

Scientists working on the project realised that the bomb could fail in winter if vital components become too cold, so they explored ways of keeping the inner workings warm. One proposal put forward consisted of filling the casing of the nuke with live chickens, who would give off sufficient heat, prior to suffocating or starving to death, to keep the delicate explosive mechanism from freezing. Despite the potential importance of chickens to the project, the mine was codenamed 'Blue Peacock'.

"As it turns out chickens aren't as chicken as we thought," said Tom O'Leary, Head of Exhibitions at The National Archives in Kew. "They knew about the foul-play and were hatching a plan to save Britain all along."