MAXIM - A damn dozen brave heroes of their time who were obsessed with inventions - from the head of Frankenstein to the guitar of Jimi Hendrix.


The ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, inventor and self-taught engineer from Syracuse made a lot of discoveries in geometry and hydrostatics. In the absence of the yellow press and the magazine "Popular Mechanics" during the time of Archimedes, no articles were written about him, but legends were made, with varying degrees of success counting now among the gods, now among the madmen. His contemporaries can be understood.

The man who, with the help of sunbeams, ignites enemy ships, discovers the law of volume, lying in the bathroom, and runs naked down the street shouting "Eureka!", Which brings to mind the state of his mental health. While others were crazy about women in togas, war games and the Olympics, Archimedes was a math fanatic, forgetting food and sleep because of equations.

One of the Greek's obsessions was pi (if you name the first twenty digits after 3.14, you can consider yourself a genius and stop greeting fools). He was so carried away by calculating the formula in the sand that he did not notice how the Roman soldiers took his hometown of Syracuse. When the legionnaire approached him and stepped on the drawing, Archimedes shouted: "Don't touch my drawings!" In response, the enemy stabbed him with a sword.

Isaac Newton

It is enough to recall the fact that an apple fell on Newton's head to begin to doubt the adequacy of a genius and to understand those people who, during their lifetime, considered him possessed. It was dangerous to invite a man to visit: he immediately began to disassemble furniture around him, drill holes in the wall in order to observe the rays of the sun, and examined the master's dinner and his wife's apron under a magnifying glass.

It is not surprising that he had few friends. In 1665, a plague epidemic raged in England, and Newton decided to take refuge from it in his native Woolsthorpe. Before leaving for the village, he acquired glass prisms in order to "experiment with the famous phenomena of flowers" (apparently, quite an ordinary hobby).

Armed with a crowbar and a glass prism, he punched a hole in the shutter of a dark room and was the first in history to receive an image in the form of a strip of seven alternating colors - a rainbow. Let's skip the story of how he later wanted to put music on the light, and just applaud the obsession.

Jimi Hendrix

A man whose name has become synonymous with rock music. And this title sounds cooler than the presidential one. In 2009, Time magazine named Hendrix the greatest guitarist of all time: he has no less merit in the music Olympus than Mozart. At the age of 15, after the death of his mother, Jimi bought his first acoustic guitar and rebuilt it for his left hand, as he was left-handed. He did not know musical notation and chose melodies by ear, but it was in this cheeky self-taught self-taught "devil of strings" that he could no longer be stopped.

The guitar and the women (exactly this sequence) was the only thing that worried Jimi. And if he enjoyed the second from time to time indiscriminately, the first got the wildest passion: he played the guitar with his teeth and elbows, threw it behind his back and even set it on fire more than once during a performance. Despite the orgy that the obsessed rocker was doing on stage, he is called the first musician in history to "discover the phenomenon of the electric guitar as an independent instrument." He was able to masterfully perform rock ballads even on out-of-tune models, constantly experimenting with sound.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

The founder of modern astronautics, the genius of aerodynamics and rocketry, and one of the most advanced and coolest scientists of his time, was absolutely deaf. At the age of ten, being an ordinary rural boy, Kostya fell ill with scarlet fever and almost completely lost his hearing. When one door closes, another is bound to open. As Tsiolkovsky himself wrote, at that moment he felt "flashes of serious mental consciousness", began to study independently and grow a genius in himself.

Having moved to Moscow, he could hardly make ends meet: “I ate only black bread, did not even have potatoes and tea. But I bought pipes, mercury, sulfuric acid and chemical reagents for experiments. " (Do you still complain about the crisis, the scanty salary and the old "boomer"?) Even Tsiolkovsky chose his wife for practical reasons: "A little over sixteen years old and if only she did not interfere with work."

He recalled the wedding rosy: “On the day of the wedding, I bought a lathe from a neighbor and cut glass for electric machines. Only the crowning priest got drunk. " The only thing that the scientist was a fan of was space. He dreamed of flying starships to distant planets, settling mankind in the solar system and transforming people into intelligent "animal plants". In short, Ray Bradbury and George Lucas are resting!

Nikola Tesla

While you are gathering your courage to screw in the light bulb, remembering Our Father, when lightning flashes on the horizon, and looking like a dock you raise a lever on automatic plugs, scientists like Nikola Tesla insert their fingers into the socket. If Tesla had lived in our time, the eccentric antics of a Manhattan millionaire would have hit the front pages.

"Mr. Brain", as his friends called him, was known as a real freak: more than anything in the world he was afraid of germs (that's why he always wore snow-white gloves), was obsessed with personal hygiene, hated pearls (he could ask a woman who had the imprudence to wear something like that to leave the room) necklace) and slept only two hours a day (the rest of the time was occupied by experiments with lightning and current).

Vincent van gogh

Another self-taught genius with a heightened sense of beauty and a traumatized psyche. The artist was born a year after his brother, who was originally named Vincent, was born and died almost immediately. The Good Parents took Vincent II to the cemetery every week - to the tombstone with his own name!

Researchers of the life of Van Gogh consider this fact one of the main reasons for the manifestation of madness in the future. In just seven years obsessed with painting, he created about a thousand drawings and almost the same number of paintings, loved to paint at night by candlelight, went crazy for yellow color and a straw hat, was a great original in terms of gifts (cut off his earlobe as a present to his beloved prostitute) and in a fit of madness, a couple of times ate the most precious thing - all my colors.

Charles Darwin

Do you love animals the way Darwin loved them? The scientist, obsessed with the search for the mechanism of evolution, did not deprive one of the trembling creatures with reverent attention and with the same admiration for the habits of seals and worms. Darwin followed the latter especially carefully, trying to find out what feelings "rain" preserved in the process of evolution. He played the piano to find out if they had hearing; sprinkled perfume to test the sense of smell; defiantly chewed tobacco in order to catch the sparks of worm consciousness. Nothing!

The worms remained deaf, dumb, blind and adamant. The only thing that the scientist discovered were signs of sociality: the "wards" often lay down next to each other.

Edgar Allan Poe

One name of Edgar Poe makes us in awe, and before our eyes a crow, a pendulum, a crowd of heads and all the horrors of the school curriculum on literature immediately fly by ... It seems that at this place you should wake up in a cold sweat, when suddenly you realize that it is long sleeping. A-a-a-a! The founder of the detective genre and the progenitor of science fiction, is the darkest soul in world literature. Tragic events and failures rhyme in his biography, like lines from Morella, Ligeia and The Fall of the House of Usher: wealth and poverty, love and death, family mansion and shelters, fabulous earnings and death in a ditch.

Even in the happiest moments, Poe never wrote "light" prose, he was thoroughly saturated with human suffering, conflicts, delusions and torments. He loved to stage psychological experiments on himself and others and torture the soul. It seems that by opening any of his works, we still feel like a part of this experiment for a lifetime.

Leonardo da Vinci

It is more difficult to say who this genius was not and what he did not invent. Machine gun? Is he! Scuba gear? He is also! Car? Definitely not him! No he! And also the tank and the golden ratio. Throughout his life, da Vinci lamented that he did not have wings, and was literally obsessed with the idea of ​​flight, and so much so that he could not sleep for several days until a new aerial invention came to his mind.

For example, a medieval helicopter made of flax soaked in starch, which was set in motion by four people and a spring. Or the bat wing, which turned out to be the prototype of the hang glider; the airship is the prototype of the airship. How do you like this prophecy to the glory of parachutists: "If you have enough linen fabric sewn into a pyramid with a base of 12 yards (approximately 7 m 20 cm), then you can jump from any height without any harm to your body"?

Grigory Perelman

Behind this now fashionable beard and sable eyebrows hides the most iconic figure of the 1990s. The greatest unmercenary mathematician is the only Russian academician who is among the ten living world geniuses. The study of the Poincaré hypothesis, over which all the scientists of the world fought, he spent on his modest means, and later flatly refused multimillion-dollar grants for solving the formula of eternity. Later, the scientist absolutely sincerely and self-confidently confessed (and this is one of the coolest sayings that we have ever heard): "I know how to control the Universe ... Why should I run after a million?"

Marsh and Cop

"The Great Battle for the Dinosaurs." A title for Spielberg's note as a sequel to the next "Jurassic Park" or the Zapashny brothers for a new program. In reality, the blockbuster name hides a war between two great paleontologists: Edward Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Othniel Charles Marsh of Yale University.

Who would have thought that meticulous lovers of antiquity, professors and intellectuals will arrange a real "bone war" full of intrigues and conspiracies that are cooler than in Fincher's films. Dinosaur-obsessed paleontologists from 1877 to 1892 competed with each other in the search for fossils, resorting to bribery, theft and even the destruction of valuable bones, so that they did not go to a competitor. In an attempt to achieve paleontological superiority, the once wealthy "hunters" went bankrupt, but unhealthy excitement and obsession bore fruit: Cope and Marsh discovered at least 142 new species of dinosaurs.

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