Cambridge science historian Simon Schaffer researched the history of quack science's most iconic device, the perpetual motion machine. Cabinet magazine's Christopher Turner recently interviewed Schaffer about one famed demonstration from 1721, and the, er, perpetual attraction of such devices to this day.
And here's the abstract for Schaffer's scholarly paper (behind a paywall): "The show that never ends: perpetual motion in the early eighteenth century"
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.