Perfecting the ‘mimicat’

“Today a character costume can be seen in many places, such as amusement facilities, sport stadium and so on. They perform comical and funny body action for us. In general, the performers can’t control their costume’s facial expression. We developed ‘mimicat’ that can synchronizing performer’s facial action and costume’s one. A character costume performer can […]

Earthquake-activated house-levitating pneumatic system

The  Air Danshin Systems company of Japan says it offers pneumatic technology to protect buildings in the event of an earthquake. The shaking triggers a stream of air that levitates the house. The diagram below, from the company, shows to some extent how the system works, with blue representing the stream of air. (The Spoon & Tamago blog […]

The Ig Nobel Prizes (NHK’s fab documentary)

In 2002, NHK, Japan’s public TV network, made this documentary about the Ig Nobel Prizes. They broadcast it in Japan on Christmas eve, a time when much of the nation stays home, imbibes delicious substances, and watches television. We were told that the broadcast received the largest audience of anything broadcast on NHK during that […]

A look at the Wasabi fire alarm (Chemistry Prize)

Here’s a BBC News report about the wasabi fire alarm, whose inventors received the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry. The photo below (by Alexey Eliseev / Improbable Research) shows Makoto Imai (center) and one of his co-inventors (several others also attended the ceremony) at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, receiving their Ig Nobel Prize from Nobel laureate Roy […]