Columnist for Monday, 5/28 - Sun Ra

Mad Science Watch

You know, I've come to the conclusion that Nazi Germany wound up fighting World War Two with something like five percent of its total Mad Scientist population. As popular media shows us, the rest of them were either killed by do-gooders in the 1930s, were off running their own side projects (often using state-supplied goons, even!) and killed by army do-gooders during the war, or were frozen, shot into space, or otherwise put out of commission until they returned for future do-gooders to defeat.

One of the main things we (do-gooders) can draw from that observation is that certain countries are just incredibly more likely to produce Mad Scientists than others. Nazi Germany produced possibly more Mad Scientists than any other regime in history. Denmark, on the other hand, has produced almost none.

Why is this? Denmark almost certainly has the capability to produce Mad Scientists, as evidenced by their producing both top notch, out-of-the-box thinking scientists, such as, say, Neils Bohr or Tycho Brahe, and their producing folks with the lust for power, such as the vikings. Some might observe that Tycho Brahe was a Mad Scientist, but lived before the advent of Big Science, a statement which is borne out by his having had a silver nose(1). However, the Danes have never produced real world-straddling Mad Scientists. Nor, in fact, have most countries. But Nazi Germany was giving off Mad Scientists like a white cat shedding at a funeral. The conditions were perfect: an Evil government, lots of subsidized Minions, existing brilliant research institutions, a national inferiority complex, a gift for organization...

My point? Well, Science has advanced tremendously in the last sixty years. Which means that so has Mad Science. And that means that it is more imperative than ever to be able to predict Mad Scientists, so as to stop them before their fiendish machinations bear their twisted fruit. Thus, I propose a Mad Science Watch, a listing of countries that have Mad Science potential, so that do-gooders can be sure to monitor them closely for signs of nascent plots and schemes.

I, of course, don't have time to do this, much less keep such a list updated, but then, I had the idea. Just to give whichever do-gooder takes me up on this, here's a small example of what I mean:

Country: India
Mad Science Potential: Low
Factors For: Large Supply of Top-Notch Scientists
Large Supply of Cut-Rate Labor
Man-Eating Tigers
Factors Against: Centuries of Pacifistic Philosophy
Poor Infrastructure
Distracted by Regional Enemy

Country: Canada
Mad Science Potential: Low
Factors For: National Inferiority Complex
Lots of Spare Time
Lots of Empty Space
Factors Against: More Interested in Sports
At Least Partly French

Country: Saudi Arabia
Mad Science Potential: Medium
Factors For: Lots of Money They Don't Know What To Do With
Very Conservative Government
Lots of Empty Space
Factors Against: Distracted by Regional Enemy
Dissipate Living

Country: Finland
Mad Science Potential: High
Factors For: Lots of Money They Don't Know What To Do With
Lots of Spare Time
Lots of Empty Space
Large Supply of Top-Notch Scientists
Factors Against: Vodka


1) I've always felt that Tycho's Nose would make a great science prize. I mean, it's metal, and some Czechs dug it up not that long ago to examine it, so we know it's still around. We just put it under a glass case with a nice little plaque, and each year award it to some top scientist. Last year's winner then gets a gold statue or something, and the new winner gets Tycho's Nose for a year. Way cooler than a Nobel Prize.


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