Dyamxion House

I’m always thinking about my next house. Ideally, I’d have enough money to build one that is efficient and robust, but still spacious enough for me to avoid claustrophobia. One idea I came across is Buckminster Fuller’s Dyamxion House.

Bucky designed a home that was heated and cooled by natural means, that made its own power, was earthquake and storm-proof, and made of permanent, engineered materials that required no periodic painting, reroofing, or other maintenance. You could easily change the floor plan as required – squeezing the bedrooms to make the living room bigger for a party, for instance.

Downdraft ventilation drew dust to the baseboards and through filters, greatly reducing the need to vacuum and dust. O-Volving Shelves required no bending; rotating closets brought the clothes to you. The Dymaxion House was to be leased, or priced like an automobile, to be paid off in five years. 

Buckminster Fuller Institute, Dyamxion House

I don’t need a rotating closet, though, as I’m totally fine with walking into my closet (as long as it’s a reasonable space). What would be cool is to start off with manual controls for various needs that can be adapted later on. A design that’s open to design. However, I’m not sure about the cost of this right now. It may be too prohibitive.

Photo dump

We had some visitors once…
When you’re stuck and can’t find a good foothold
Too bad they don’t let you climb to the crow’s nest
Life rule: when in doubt, always choose chocolate!
The modern girls’ playroom.
Harvard: where people play chess at night for fun!
This is what happens when you let basil grow and grow and grow and grow…
10-year-old learning to crochet
Trash panda visiting my neighbor’s hot mess of a deck renovation

NASA is a busy place

I’m reading NASA’s launch schedules and it is fascinating!

Artemis I will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.

… the DART spacecraft will slam into the asteroid Dimorphos at roughly 4 miles per second, attempting to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes. The world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards…

The first flight of NASA’s X-57, a small, experimental airplane powered by electricity…

All of these can be found on the Upcoming Mission Events page.

Weird shit I find

Yes, I think that should be a category.

I borrow books from the library. People use bookmarks in books. Some of these bookmarks are whatever these strangers happen to have around them that’s flat. I’ve already seen the grocery lists and library slips. And people are strange. You know where this is going. Today I opened up a comic book (yes, I read one once in a while) and found… This.

If anyone can figure out what ties all these together….

What was there before the big bang?

The James Webb Space Telescope came out with images lately. One image of, mind-blowingly, the past – 13 billion years ago.

Light from these galaxies took billions of years to reach us. We are looking back in time to within a billion years after the big bang when viewing the youngest galaxies in this field. The light was stretched by the expansion of the universe to infrared wavelengths that Webb was designed to observe. Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions.


I got into a conversation about time, then about the start of the universe, and the Big Bang. Some people have a more conspiracy oriented view on the Big Bang and how life began, but neither could imagine what was around before the Big Bang. So I looked it up. It was an interesting trip.

The fading of that last star will only be the beginning of an infinitely long, dark epoch. All matter will eventually be consumed by monstrous black holes, which in their turn will evaporate away into the dimmest glimmers of light. Space will expand ever outwards until even that dim light becomes too spread out to interact. Activity will cease.

Or will it? Strangely enough, some cosmologists believe a previous, cold dark empty universe like the one which lies in our far future could have been the source of our very own Big Bang.


Currently, our experiments can simulate conditions that happened when the universe was roughly one trillionth of a second old. That seems like a ridiculously small number for us, but for a photon — a particle of light — it’s a long time, allowing it to travel the diameter of a proton a trillion times. When talking about the early universe, we must let go of our human standards and intuitions of time.

What happened before the Big Bang?

Even if we’re not going to be alive, why does the death of the universe and how it dies disturb people?

Thoughts and an excerpt from East of Eden by John Steinbeck

So I’m reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I read it when I was 13 years old in middle school and at that time, I remember it as a continous puzzlement of mentally pleading to the characters, “Noooo, don’t do that!” over and over again. I felt like everybody in the book was a slow moving train wreck and when I finished it, I felt “bothered” by it but wasn’t sure how. It felt like a Grimm’s fairy tale with no happy ending. I didn’t understand how people worked (and probably still don’t; see: autism) in the book and couldn’t compare it to real life because no one acted that way in my small 13 year old world. I realize now that no 13 or 14 year old would “get” it, not in a “been there” way.  I believe there is a time to read certain things (but I wouldn’t forbid anyone reading, though).

I’d recommend reading East of Eden with at least 30 years’ of life experience. Reading this book in my 40s is another thing entirely. Now, I feel like I understand it. And I wonder if all the women in Steinbeck’s life were “suspicious of fun”, “had no spark of humor and only occasionally a blade of cutting wit”, “a pale inside-herself woman” on which “no open laughter raised the corners of her mouth”. We haven’t even gotten to Cathy yet. I’m on page 132, and I don’t remember what happens next. I’m hoping there is a woman that isn’t miserable or evil or drab, a woman with strength, personality, joy, openness, warmth, and a moral compass. I want to tell Steinbeck that women can have all of those qualities and it wouldn’t threaten anyone’s masculinity, but this could be the 2020s talking to the 1950s. Anyways…

This is a beautiful and introspective book at times. The writing is snappy, flavorful, and sensory. The language is nowhere near as hard as Ulysses (I’m still working through that one). It’s very palatable if one wants a see a master of description at work. The setting and the characters are drawn so well that I can sense their essence. What really is worth reading are the small sections of… Ponderance?

There are sentences that I do agree with and ones I don’t. But I just had to share this whole section – I have no recollection of reading this in middle school; it probably went over my head – but now these are my favorite parts.

Rejuvenation of naturally aged tissues

The expression of the pluripotency factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and MYC (OSKM) can convert somatic differentiated cells into pluripotent stem cells in a process known as reprogramming. Notably, partial and reversible reprogramming does not change cell identity but can reverse markers of aging in cells, improve the capacity of aged mice to repair tissue injuries, and extend longevity in progeroid mice. However, little is known about the mechanisms involved. Here, we have studied changes in the DNA methylome, transcriptome, and metabolome in naturally aged mice subject to a single period of transient OSKM expression. We found that this is sufficient to reverse DNA methylation changes that occur upon aging in the pancreas, liver, spleen, and blood. Similarly, we observed reversion of transcriptional changes, especially regarding biological processes known to change during aging. Finally, some serum metabolites and biomarkers altered with aging were also restored to young levels upon transient reprogramming. These observations indicate that a single period of OSKM expression can drive epigenetic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic changes toward a younger configuration in multiple tissues and in the serum.

Multi‐omic rejuvenation of naturally aged tissues by a single cycle of transient reprogramming

Faster Growth, Fairer Growth

The Niskanen Center is an interesting place to read articles supporting a unique viewpoint that rejects the dichotomy of leftist or rightist. So far, their Faster Growth, Fairer Growth Agenda is an interesting read, showing how our past affect our present and how today is not yesterday. Be aware, it’s long.

Over the past several decades, the American Dream has been caught in a pincer movement. On the one hand, deep-seated social forces have combined to slow down growth and accelerate inequality. At the same time, sustained and dramatic changes in public policy have worked not to counteract those forces, but to exacerbate them.

Brink Lindsey and Samuel Hammond from the Niskanen Center

I didn’t know there was a competition for that

Sometimes I come across a sport/activity that one would never think would be at the level of world championship, or even a regular championship for that matter.

The Slippery Stairs Championship

World Chase Tag – yup, the old schoolyard game has a championship.

National Air Guitar Championship – maybe the least surprising, but I didn’t expect that one could even judge air guitar in order to pick a winner.

Dods Championship – looks like the opposite of Olympic diving.

Ostrich racing. I knew you could ride on them!

And my favorite, the medieval knight fights. There are many videos of this new (old) form of MMA. It looks like no matter how strong/big you are, it’s still going to be an exhausting endeavor.