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For heavy sleepers, a heavy pummelling

Posted by Christopher Shea  July 9, 2009 04:21 PM

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You've heard of those alarm clocks that roll off your side table, forcing you to chase them down? An alarm described (and videotaped) by reader "Kevin" at TechEBlog takes a more direct approach to solving the ever-vexing problem of the snooze button.

Kevin installed a "large air cylinder" and some sort of valve at the head of his bed. There's lots of visible tubing and wiring, and the whole thing is controlled via a computer. (He's a little stinting with the technical details.) But the result is unambiguous: at the appointed hour, the head of the bed begins pounding like a jackhammer. After a few jolts, the snoozer's mind surely shifts from sleep to survival. (The video is a must-see.)

The device's creator claims he's been waking up this way for years. Take that with a grain of salt. But if you're not like Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, who claimed in a recent interview that she pops out of bed at 3 a.m. or so daily, then here's one option.

I could use one.

(Via Boing Boing)

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

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Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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