There are certainly scarier examples of historical medical instruments out there. But somehow, this one gets me. It is not, in fact, a French soldier from Monty Python. Rather, this 19th-century helmet was designed to relieve the symptoms of certain neurological disorders. It accomplished this by means of rattling the crap out of a person’s brain. This may sound like the equivalent of shaking a distressed person by his shoulders. But it may not be quite so wacky. It’s based on another contraption that is now being resurrected from the dust heap of pre-modern medicine, and subjected to state-of-the-art clinical trials right here in Chicago. For more, watch this space Monday, for the next Clever Apes. This month, we take up how rhythm moves us and defines us, from the vibrating loops of string theory to the cycles of galaxies. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.