Brooke Davis

I was looking at the "simulated image of a temporary house" on page 66 and wondering if some other dimensions could be included in the program. Perhaps the dimension of the delicate ecology in the place they are planning for that house? Erosion factors from being next to the river? You could also plug in weather and foliage as other dimensions, to see what the house would look like year round. Another dimension could be wear and tear, or aging. Much like those amazing programs that the F.B.I. has to figure out what missing children will look like years after they have been lost, the aging program could tell you how your house will look if you choose X paint, and situate the house Y distance from the river. It might also be able to tell how much light there would be in various rooms, and therefore how it would be best to arrange the rooms within the house. One example that comes to mind about erosion is the Southeast lighthouse on Block Island, which they just recently had to move about 100 yards, away from the cliff. For a picture of it, click on lighthouse and then click on "Southeast Light" once you are into their page. I don't know if they decided which direction to move it back, but I hope they considered which side of the cliff is eroding more quickly. (It's on a sort of peninsular cliff.)

On sort of the same type of weather subject, the pollen diagrams made me think of the ice core samples that scientists take in the arctic. They can often figure out when certain volcanoes erupted many years ago, because of course the ice comes out in reverse chronological order. They can tell which volcano it was based on the ash samples trapped in the ice. It also occurred to me that they can probably figure out major wind trends, (e.g. the gulf stream), by graphing the latitude and longitude of what soil was dropped at what location, year by year. (Or hundreds of years by hundreds of years.)

As an exercise, continue the numbers in the table on page 72, and then attempt to draw any further simplexes yourself. If you have a lot of time to exercise your brain on this chapter, consider planning or making a kite like the one on p.104 or like the purple figure of three tetrahedra on p.98. Which flies better?