Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ten most common elements in our galaxy by mass, estimated spectroscopically[5] Z Element Parts per million
1 Hydrogen 739,000
2 Helium 240,000
8 Oxygen 10,400
6 Carbon 4,600
10 Neon 1,340
26 Iron 1,090
7 Nitrogen 960
14 Silicon 650
12 Magnesium 580
16 Sulfur 440

Hydrogen and helium are 74 and 24 percent of the mass of our galaxy.


By mass, human cells consist of 65-90% water (H2O), and a significant portion is composed of carbon-containing organic molecules. Oxygen therefore contributes a majority of a human body's mass, followed by carbon. 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.

Element Percent by mass
Oxygen 65
Carbon 18
Hydrogen 10
Nitrogen 3
Calcium 1.5
Phosphorus 1.2
Potassium 0.2
Sulfur 0.2
Chlorine 0.2
Sodium 0.1
Magnesium 0.05
Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine <0.05 each
Selenium, Fluorine <0.01 each


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Population Density: wow!

I just did some calculation regarding possible population density for the ‘city’ cylinder. If I give 45 sq meters per person (about 500 sq ft) and use 60%of the surface of the cylinder, i.e. one story dwellings, then the peak population is about 31,000 people. This is a lot more than I expected. It gives a megacity population density with a large town population. I guess now the problem is how much food production is necessary to support that many people?

Overview (read this first)

I’m tying my design and design process to a science fiction narrative. While I am interested in telling a ‘story,’ I’d like for the characters to be spaces, rather than people. So I start with a space ship, made up of four cylinders arranged end to end, interspersed and bracketed by five spheres. The cylinders rotate giving their interior surfaces an artificial ‘gravity’ through centripetal acceleration. These will be the primary occupied/living spaces. The sphere are fixed and so will only have the minimal ‘gravity’ given by the linear acceleration of the ship, which will be less than 5% of that experienced on the surface of the earth. They will serve as industrial spaces and low gravity amusement parks. Imagine being able to fly under your own power with a simple wing-type device, or just being able to jump 4 or 5 meters at a time. Of course science fiction has the primary target audience of adolescent males with poor social skills so no end of energy has been spent hypothesizing about the possibilities of zero gravity sex.
Now that the basic physical framework of the ship exists, the fourth dimension enters the project. I’ve proposed a ‘future history,’ that moves along the following progression: At the beginning of the voyage the community will be egalitarian and utopian. With little to no hierarchy, the general populace will be firmly supported by a base ‘labor’ force of robots (thanks ńĆapek!) With the passage of time the population will grow and become self-indulgent and decadent. After a time and perhaps triggered by some kind of disastrous event (which is easy in space) there will be a strong conservative backlash, resulting in a coup or mutiny and giving rise to a strongly hierarchal fascist state, with an anti-tech ethic. Robots will be destroyed or decommissioned and the previously leisurely populace will now be put to work, and encouraged to reproduce, in order to increase labor resources. Naturally the coup will not pass unobstructed. There will be a brief ‘hot’ war, followed by a long ‘cool’ underground resistance. Then upon arrival at the Sirius system there will be the discovery of a massive alien artifact with technology far out of our reach. This will lead to the founding/building of a station and a possible resolution to the long simmering tension on the ship.
The spaces that reflect these conditions will be different but will co-exist or layer on top of one another in places. In others one will obliterate that which went before.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some influential works for my project

William Gibson: Nueromancer
Vernor Vinge: Deepness in the Sky, Fire upon the Deep
Richard K Morgan: Broken Angels
Alastair Reynolds: Pushing Ice
Bruce Sterling: Schismatrix Plus
Neal Stephenson: Anathem, The Diamond Age
Gene Wolfe: Book of the Long Sun
Charles Stross: Accelerando, Glasshouse, Toast
China Mieville: Perdido Street Station, The Scar
Arthur C Clark: 2001, a Space Odyssey, Rendevous with Rama
H G Wells: War of the Worlds

Deltron 3030

David Lynch, Dune
George Lucas, Star Wars etc
Gene Rodenberry, Star Trek
? Battlestar Galactica (both 1978, and 2004)
Ridley Scott, Blade Runner

Friday, January 22, 2010

I've also been spending time in the RISD museum looking at works on paper. Among others, I have viewed several prints from Piranesi's Carcieri series, like these:


Today I went to the Hay library at Brown to view some books from their HG Wells collection. I looked at a 1898 edition of War of theWorlds, a 1901 edition of First Men in the Moon, and at a 1970's collection of notes, illustrations and adaptations. Here are a few images.

Monday, January 18, 2010

other interiors

ok. i haven't been able to put an image up lately but now.... more to come.