the gravity stonehistory

(1 comment)
January 23, 2001


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Tufts has one of the oddest monuments. It's called the Gravity Stone, and its inscription is as follows:
THIS MONUMENT HAS BEEN
ERECTED BY THE
GRAVITY RESEARCH FOUNDATION
ROGER W. BABSON FOUNDER

IT IS TO REMIND STUDENTS OF
THE BLESSINGS FORTHCOMING
WHEN A SEMI-INSULATOR IS
DISCOVERED IN ORDER TO HARNESS
GRAVITY AS A FREE POWER
AND REDUCE AIRPLANE ACCIDENTS
1961
Man, it's hard to think about how weird this thing is. Supposedly, back in the day a popular prank was to assist the Gravity Stone in 'levitating', leaving it to rest in a tree or anywhere up high. The story goes on to say they finally bolted or cemented the sucker down so now its floating days are over.

I did a little research. (Ok, I hit Google via Yahoo.) Roger Babson is the same guy who started Babson College. He has another stone but it's not nearly as odd. You can get a little more of its story from the Yucks Digest #22, textsearch on 'Tufts'.

Man. I love this thing. It's such a retrofuture thing... they're proposing a (quite possibly impossible) technical breakthrough that would change so much in society-- I mean, who knows what forms of travel, on Earth and otherwise, would be possible-- and this stone is looking for a reduction in airplane accidents.

I'm glad it's a part of my life.