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Avoid accepting dodgy lifts in the silly season

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webwatch

Just think how anti-gravity would change the way you designed buildings.

Sustainability-ists could spend happy weeks calculating the energy consumption trade-offs between the manufacture and installation of concrete foundations, steel reinforcement and the life-cycle power input of anti-gravity units.

In a world of advanced particle physics, which posits the possibility of matter transference, the concept of antigravity has almost lost its aura of wackiness.You can make it happen yourself, apparently, for less than a quid.

That is, you too can build a Lifter. I came across the Lifter in a search for bizarre aircraft (don't ask) and found such sites as The Lifter Project at http: //jnaudin.

free. fr/lifters/main. htm. I see the Guardian's pet site is http: //jinlabs.

imars. com/lifters/hexalifter/videos/hex alifter. rm although it was offline when checked. The Lifter-Project site explains, not all that helpfully, that the 'Lifter is an asymmetrical capacitor which uses High Voltage ( > 20KV ) to produce a thrust' and was invented by Thomas Townsend Brown in 1928 (see www. soteria. com/ brown).Apparently, nearly 200 successful Lifters have been built and there are photos of really nice but quite small Lifters defying gravity with only an electric cable attached.Although one of the wilder lifter back-stories includes UFO propulsion systems it is, apparently, all to do with electromagnetic force - rather than an ionic wind device. Er, yes, apparently that gets a look-in too. If you think I'm confused, read on at the above sites. Here you learn that it's not antigravity after all. Or perhaps it is. Who cares, as long as it behaves somewhat like anti-gravity and you can possibly use it instead of foundations. Or not.

Still, I'd hate you to confuse this with the HighLift Systems'Space Elevator project, which involves a rope of nanotubes reaching from earth to space.

See www. wired. com/news/technology/ 0,1282,57536,00. html. It also works by electromagnetic force.

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