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 […]

Interview with a frog-levitating graphene tinkerer

Sean O’Neill, in New Scientist, interviews Andre Geim, who has shared (with different collaborators) both an Ig Nobel Prize in physics (for his work on teh substance graphene) and a Nobel Prize in physics. Here’s the final portion of that interview: From tinkering on the fringes to Nobel glory … You have worked in many […]

A knighthood for Geim—he of frogs, magnets & pencils

The man [pictured here] who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for using magnets to levitate a frog (a feat he accomplished together with a man who already had a knighthood) and then ten years later was awarded a Nobel Prize for having used scotch tape to tease graphene layers from a pencil, has now been […]