Saving The World One Geodesic Icosahedron At A Time

12 03 2012

There’s two words I get nervous writing. Geodesic. Icosahedron. It’s that whole math thing where numbers and I don’t get along. That makes those two a little strange. They are words, which I love. But they’re telling me about numbers, which I hate. Two little, traitorous, nonsensical words that put me on edge. It’s an amalgam of that which I loathe and that which I base a part of my life upon.

But enough of that crap!

Do you know what a Geodesic Icosahedron is? I didn’t either for a long time. It was just some other crazy shape that I almost certainly could not find the area of. Oh and by the way. In case my high school math teachers reads this, I have never once needed to figure out the circumference or area of anything. Mmhmmm.

Here’s what I can tell you about it. It’s a shape that’s familiar to anyone who has ever closed a rift, cyber’d a punk or dungeon’d a dragon. Yup, I’m of course referring to the twenty sided dice. Or more accurately, the twenty faced dice. And Geodesic? Well that’s talking about curves. NO, I mean theEarth’scurves. Really people, get out of the gutter.

Now put that all together and what do you have? A twenty faced, Earthy, curvy, thingy. OR, maybe you get THIS THING.

Has your mind been sufficiently blown yet? No? Well lets break it down a tad more shall we?

I first read about this back in, oh, 2006. I can’t remember how it was that I stumbled upon Globus Cassus but I was just tickled when I did. See, I’m a big fan of Science Fiction and things like this fit the bill perfectly. I love mega engineering. Go nuts for it. Damning entire oceans, dome cities, artificial worlds, the total deconstruction and subsequent reconstruction of the entire planet. These are the foundation for some of the genre.

Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Issac Asimov. They’ve all included huge constructions in tales at one point or another. I’m pretty sure Niven’s most well received series focuses on the events that unfold on Ringworld. And yes, it is a world. That is a ring. Someone builtit.

Now, Waldvogel isn’t a science fiction author. To my knowledge. He’s just a guy with ideas the size of mythical legume-bearing plants. I’ve read a great deal of criticism to the idea. Namely the lack of sufficiently strong materials to build the darn thing. But hey, that’s today. If computer chip performance doubles every two years, who is to say this may not one day be a realized dream?

It wouldn’t be the first time that sort of thing has happened you know.

Oh, and while we are on the subject maybe you should take a look at a few of these.

Go forth and enrich thyself. And do it, with Science.

Seriously. Go.

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