Back in the 80's our high school homeroom was one of the home-ec classes. Basically when the day started we all file into our respective homerooms and the roll was called before we went to our first class. The home-ec classroom had benches with all sorts of fun gadgets to play with whilst waiting for your name to be called out. There were rolling pins, egg-beaters and flour sieves with rotating handles. All of these were fun and bugged the hell out of the teacher whenever she heard the rattle of the egg-beater being spun as fast as we could, or the rolling pin slowly rolling up the aisle along the floor.

Out in the back room were the washing machines used for aprons, and fridges and freezers for food storage. It was customary to place some object, be it a scrubbing brush, bar of soap, or item selected from the fridge, into the washing machine under the dirty aprons.

Upon inspecting the freezer one day, we happened upon a plastic bag full of frozen white rats. These were there to keep them fresh for dissecting in biology one assumes. We tossed up putting these in the washing machine, but decided against it. We threw this around for a while until one of us dropped it, and to our great joy and surprise, the bag of frozen rats bounced! We then proceeded to bounce it off the desk from one to the other until the bell rang for our first class.

Back when my mechanics teacher was a graduate at Merton College, Cambridge back in the sixties he had a friend who was doing some research. He wanted to prove that fear was caused by a chemical in the brain and so he was testing this theory on rats.

What he would do was scare them, BOO!, and then kill them. He would then perform a chemical analysis on their brains to try and find a chemical that could be responsible for the fear they had experienced before they died. However this proved unsuccessful and he thought it was most likely because the chemical dissipated before he was able to perform the analysis.

To counter this problem he designed a maze. The rats would scuttle through the maze until they got to a certain point where they would trigger a large sprung ball to jump out at them whilst making a very loud noise. The instant after the ball sprung out a trapdoor would open underneath them and they would be dropped into a container of liquid nitrogen thus freezing them and the chemical state of the brain.

Despite this ingenious technique he was never able to prove his theory.

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