Dome Homes: Virtually Indestructible

If someone held a gun to my head and screamed, “Quick! Pick the dumbest animated TV character of all time RIGHT NOW!” I’d probably panic (and cry) but ultimately go with Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants. I’d like to think a portion of you readers would agree with me—maybe pat me on the back and console me, y’know? Thanks, readers. It’s good to know you have my back.

I don’t watch the show, so I could be wrong…but I seem to always walk in on someone watching it at the exact moment Patrick is saying something ridiculously stupid. This seems to be expected. On one occasion, however, he and Spongebob had an argument (or domestic dispute—they’re dating or something, right?) and stormed off to their separate residences. That’s when I realized: Patrick lives in a dome home!

From a scientific perspective, dome homes make so much sense it’s a wonder we haven’t all evolved into bubble-based communities like the 90’s had envisioned*. They can withstand most, if not all, natural disasters, are highly energy efficient, and they also require less maintenance with less building materials.

The single biggest reason for living in a dome home is its great super power: it can withstand just about any natural disaster. I really can’t explain this better than with this quote from Valerie Sigler, a dome home resident (emphasis mine):

As we were building the dome, Tropical Storm Isadore came ashore and left a mess, but no damage. Then, in 2004, Hurricane Ivan slammed into Pensacola Beach wreaking enough havoc that it was called Ivan, The Terrible. Although many of my neighbors’ houses were piles of rubble or completely washed away, the dome suffered no structural damage. The Dome’s front staircase was designed to break away (which it did) to avoid damage to the actual structure. The 2005 hurricane season brought several storms to our shore: Tropical Storm Arlene in June; Hurricane Dennis in July; and Katrina in August. Hurricane Dennis was an extremely damaging storm to Pensacola Beach. Much to the community’s dismay, many of the repaired homes and buildings that made it through Ivan were decimated by Dennis. Again, the Dome of a Home suffered no structural damage.

For those keeping track, that was a shit ton of storms that hit Sigler’s area! Holy shit, is there any reason her neighbors didn’t uproot everything and go dome immediately after the Sigler’s house gave Isadore the middle finger?!

From Dome of a Home, we get this little gem:

Since there is no roof to lift off and no straight walls for the tornado to build pressure against, domes are virtually tornado proof.

As if that wasn’t enough, since there is no shingling and your roof isn’t being blown away by tornadoes and the like, dome homes are essentially maintenance-free. Dome homes can be made of various materials. Treehugger.com has noted that with the polyurethane dome kits (they come in pieces to be assembled and can be built in 7 days by 3 or 4 people)

Construction of the Dome House does not produce any waste, nor does it involve any deforestation.

Generally speaking, in non-tropical/beach areas, dome homes are about comparable in price to traditional homes. However, the savings over time are substantial. Things like energy costs, for example:

Geodesic domes use up to 50% less energy than a traditionally built home. Since surface area is minimized compared to the interior volume, these structures hold in plenty of heat as long as their walls are thick and well-insulated. In warm weather, the chimney effect is created, and hot air is drawn up and out of the structure as long as it’s properly ventilated.

Just for a little perspective:

In Alaska, the 8000 square foot Trinity Christian Center has an average heating bill of $72.

So maybe the real idiots are all of us schmucks who don’t live in half-circle structures. Or possibly the sponge who lives underwater in a freaking pineapple!

 

*To be fair, is there anything the 90’s envisioned that the 2000’s didn’t severely under-deliver on?

 

Sources
Wikipedia: Patrick Star
Advantages of Domes
Living Small, Cheap and Simple. Try a Dome House
Geodesic Dome Homes

Bubble Boy Eat Your Heart Out: Bubble Dome Camping and Living

 

Have you ever gotten the question, “Do you live in a bubble?” That phrase has always frustrated me personally since it implies that I have no knowledge of topics or of the outside world, but now I fear it NOT!

BubbleTree has developed bubble tents, tree houses, lodges and huts which allow campers and nature enthusiasts alike to enjoy views from the inside of a transparent dome. Similar in design to the containment laboratory used in the new blockbuster film Thor, the spheres have an air renewal system that will keep the user comfortable and full of oxygen while they go about their daily indoor activities.

The very intelligent design of the bubble tent helps reduce noises of the outside world, allowing for the user to get a good night’s sleep, even if the bubble is set up next to roaring waves on a beach front. The inside however is created in such a shape that it will actually amplify noises through echoes, passionate lovers beware. BubbleTree talks about the technique and thought behind theses bubble creations:

Designed by Pierre Stephane Dumas, this approach is based on the following basis: Minimum energy, minimum materials, maximum comfort, and maximum interaction with the environment.

Want a life-sized snow globe? No problem. A 2 room suite with a bathroom while you bird-watch? They have you covered. Bringing your kids along? That bathroom is now a kids room instead. Silly, is it not? Check out some of these fancy French examples of ways these crafty bubble tents can be used! You may be even tempted to use your bubble hut in creative ways at a concert.

My question is when are they going to make these bad boys hover around and provide us consumers with a view of cities and landscapes, maybe with the use of propellers.. oh right, helicopters.

So the next time someone asks you if you live in a bubble, burst THEIR bubble and respond why yes, and the view is extraordinary. Bubble boy eat your heart out.

 

Sources:

http://www.bubbletree.fr/bbtree/racine/default.asp?id=1107

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nuzPn2w7JU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTyYpq8BFJ0

Amsterdam’s Interesting Housing Solution

shipping container house housing

vectroave.com

Amsterdam has implemented an amazing green architecture technique to deal with limited space and lower income needs: Retired shipping containers. These small houses can even be used for temporary disaster relief housing.  Not only that but, According to figures from SG BLOCKS, a New York-based shipping container builder,

fitting a container for housing use takes only one-twentieth the amount of energy of reprocessing the same amount of steel—and results in an additional hundred years of lifetime.

So it’s more green than recycling the shipping containers, but it also costs less than constructing new housing.

Companies that build modular buildings from shipping containers claim savings of 20 to even 50 percent of traditional construction costs.

Not to mention they’re practically real life legos for people to live in. BAM!

 

Sources:

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/sustainable-earth/pictures-amsterdam-shipping-container-homes/#/rio-20-un-climate-conference-shipping-container-homes-sitting_54416_600x450.jpg

http://www.sgblocks.com/the-sg-blocks-advantage/better-for-the-environment/

Death is a Privilege, Not a Right

Tony Nicklinson was denied the right to die, being condemned to an inescapable life of, in Nicklinson’s words, “increasing indignity and misery.”

Despite lawmakers infringing and stepping on the only peace and dignity that remained for Nicklinson by telling him it would be illegal to die with the help of a doctor, he died 6 days after hearing the verdict after starving himself and developing  pneumonia.

Nicklinson was 58 years old and was simply seeking an end to his  “dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable” life after he was left paralysed below the neck following a stroke.  After hearing the judgement and weeping uncontrollably, he stated, by using a computer interface and eye movements, that “his anguish would continue.”

He was a helpless man asking for one last moment of help, “to be able to exercise the freedom which everyone else would have: to decide how to end this constant tortuous situation.”  His request for help was blatantly denied.

Dr Antony Lempert, explained that the ruling left Nicklinson with bleak options.  “Because other people regard his tortured life as somehow sacred, or are fearful of societal consequences, he is forced to endure his suffering or take desperate measures to end it. With no hope now of a quick release, he must choose between this torment and the torment of allowing his family to stand by and watch him starve himself to death.”  The latter is the sordid reality that lawmakers let happen.

What the hell is going on?  How can a someone be told that they are not allowed to end their own life?  If a man is in endless, inescapable agony how can someone claim it is better for that agony to continue than to end? Are our lives not our own?

Apparently not.

 

Assisted Suicide: Death is a Privilege, Not a Right

assisted suicide death prohibit

Assisted suicide could help thousands of people be released from permanent suffering. http://www.magicmonkeys.co.uk

Tony Nicklinson was denied the right to die, as he was told that assisted suicide was simply illegal in his home country of England. This law condemned him to an inescapable life of, in Nicklinson’s words,

increasing indignity and misery.

Lawmakers infringed upon and stepped on the only peace and dignity that remained for Nicklinson by telling him it would be illegal to die with the help of a doctor through assisted suicide. Despite his unanswered cries to be released through assisted suicide, he died 6 days after hearing the verdict after starving himself and developing pneumonia.

Nicklinson was 58 years old and was simply seeking an end to his

dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable life.

Nicklinson began contemplating assisted suicide after he was left paralyzed below the neck following a stroke. After hearing the judgement and weeping uncontrollably, he stated, by using a computer interface and eye movements, that

his anguish would continue.

He was a helpless man asking for one last moment of help,

to be able to exercise the freedom which everyone else would have: to decide how to end this  constant tortuous situation.

His request for help was blatantly denied with words of policy and bureaucracy. Assisted suicide was Nicklinson’s only solution to a world of pain, but that makes no difference to many lawmakers all around the world.

Dr Antony Lempert, explained that the ruling left Nicklinson with bleak options.

Because other people regard his tortured life as somehow sacred, or are fearful of societal consequences, he is forced to endure his suffering or take desperate measures to end it. With no hope now of a quick release, he must choose between this torment and the torment of allowing his family to stand by and watch him starve himself to death.

The latter is the sordid reality that lawmakers let happen.

What is going on?  How can a someone be told that they are not allowed to end their own life?  If a person is in endless, inescapable agony, how can someone claim it is better for that agony to continue than to end? Assited suicide is illegal in England, and currently in the US, assisted suicide is only legal in Montana, Washington, and Oregon.

Are our lives not our own? According to multiple supreme court decisions, no, they’re not. You may not agree with assisted suicide, but then again, unless you’re in a situation similar to Nicklinson, you shouldn’t be making decisions about it.

 

Sources:

The Right to Die

Tony Nicklinson Dies

Assisted Suicide in the US

Supreme Court Case on Assisted Suicide: Vacco V. Quill