Tombstone

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 15, 2018

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The time has come to UNVEIL the Tombstone!  The Stones have been ordered! 😎

It is not just one rock, there are 10 of them that will be pinned together utilizing basalt rebar.  You can see the model at the top of the page in the Feature Photo spot.  I did this model using Google Sketchup.  Great program, EZ to use and FREE!

Many things had to be considered in designing this Tombstone, from the Cemetery Rules to the overall orientation with respect to the SUN☼.  I wanted it to be both an homage to the beauty of mathematics and to the goals of the SUN☼ Foundation.  I also wanted it to have some utility, and not just be a rock.

Image result for 5 platonic solids On the mathematical end, I began with the 5 Platonic Solids, Tetrahedrons, Cubes, Octahedrons, Dodecahedorns and Icosahedrons.  These solid objects all have equal faces and edges, going from 4 faces up to 20.  Those are all that exist or will ever exist.  I couldn't fit them all in reasonably, so I had to pick the ones that worked best in this situation.  Octahedrons got nixed because they don't sit upright on one face.  Icosahedrons got nixed because 20 faces to cut from granite is simply too many, and the face it sits on to pin to another stone too small.  The Cube (which is featured at the top in my original drawing) got nixed in favor of a Rectangular Prism, for reasons I will explain later.  So that left two to include in the monument, the Tetrahedron and the Dodecahedron, 4 faces and 12 faces respectively.  These two rocks sit to either side of the central column on the base stone.

The base stone itself is constrained by cemetary rules to be maximum of 36" X 14", so the sizes of all the other rocks have to fit within that footprint.  There is no restriction on the total height of the Tombstone, which in the end came in quite tall at close to 5'.  I wanted it taller than the typical marker stone which comes in around 30" so it would be easily found by visitors wandering the cemetery, but I didn't expect it to come out THAT tall! lol.  I was shooting for around 40" originally.  But then I had to readjust for making the Stonehenge high enough and I decided to drop in a Sphere as well to represent the Earth.  That took the total height up another foot.

Above the pedestal stone in the center is a rectangular prism with the ratio of height-width at 1.612:1, which is the "Golden Rectangle".  Many things in nature are based on this ratio, spirals in particular such as snail shells and entire galaxies.  Origianally this part was going to be a cube, but I needed to make the whole thing taller for the stonehenge at the top.

Related image To either side of the central stone are the two Platonic Solids I used, the Tetrahedron and the Dodecahedron.  The Granite color here is Gold which represents the SUN☼, and contrasts strongly with the Black Granite used for the Pedestal and Central Stone, representing the Mystery of the Universe and Life.  The faces of these two stones will have different symbols and text engraved on them, although exactly how many faces will be engraved is yet to be determined.  It runs up the cost significantly.  Finding a quarry that had the right color granite and also the necessary equipment to cut complex shapes out of stone was the most difficult part of this project.

On top of the Central stone is a "Hat" which serves as Protection from the elements for the Central Stone beneath it.  I discovered researching the oldest Tombstones with still legible inscriptions that they often have a capstone on top of them that shields the stone with inscriptions from the elements to some degree.  Over a long period of time, this makes a big difference.

After the Hat on the way up the Tombstone comes a truncated sphere, in a Blue Granite.  This stone is meant to represent the Earth.  Like the two Platonic Solids, finding a quarry with this color of granite that had the technical expertiese to cut the stone took some time.  It has to be truncated so you can pin it and bond it to the stone beneath, and so the stones above can be pinned to it.  You don't lose too much here, just Antarctica at the bottom and the Arctic Ocean at the top.  Hopefully, we will be able to engrave the Map of the Earth as it currently exists before more continental drift on the stone as well.  My art people are working on that one.  Should be possible according to Tombstone Tom, my chief Stone Art Director.  Cost on this may be a factor though.

Capping the Sphere is an Octagonal Hat, which serves as the Base for the Stonehenge.  It is an EZ to cut flat slab of the same color (Gold) as the two Platonic Solids, again to represent the SUN☼.  All the top stones are cut from this color of Granite, so you have the impression of the SUN☼ hovering over the Earth.  The Octagon also has a deep engraving of the SUN☼ Logo, which also serves to direct and drain rainwater off the stone.

Image result for stonehenge The next step up is the Stonehenge, composed of 3 flat slabs of Gold Granite, to top the whole thing off with a SUN☼ analogue.  The Stonehenge has two Uprights, which are topped by the final piece, a Hexagonal Hat.  Due to the orientation of the Tombstone on the plot,  if you stand to the Dodecahedron side and sight from there through the 2 uprights, at the Solstice the SUN☼ should be visible precisely at noon Missouri time in the center.  This may be off by a few minutes because the cemetery is not precisely aligned on the North-South axis, it's a couple of degrees off.  But close enough.

To top it all off, the Top Hat for the Stonehenge is a Hexagon, designed to work as a Daily Sundial.  It has 12 Symbolic Engravings which are not the traditional Signs of the Zodiac, but symbols to represent certain concepts.  However, the overall idea is the same, and I positioned the symbols so that at High Noon every day, the shadow of the Gnomon will fall precisely on my Birthday of August 31st. 🙂  However, there is no Gnomon actually permanently installed on the Tombstone because Cemetery Rules say you have to use only Granite, and a Granite Gnomon would be too brittle and break off easily.  So what I did here is to have a hole drilled through this stone in the center where you can insert a wood or metal dowel to serve as a Gnomon when you visit the Tombstone.

There are still more features of this monument and burial arrangement to elucidate, most prominently here all the INSCRIPTIONS!  I doubt at this point I will do all of them as it will drive the price of the Tombstone into orbit with Elon Musk's Tesla.   His Space going EV will probably outlast my Tombstone, although that is hard to predict since over a Million Years of time it could crash into something else flying around in the SUN solar system.  From what I read it also will probably collide with the Earth or Venus in the next million years.  My Tombstone on the other hand is safely esconced here on earth, protected from most meteorites by the atmosphere which burns them up.  So it would take a pretty big one to whack the Tombstone, and it would need to be a pretty direct hit in the location.

An Earthquake won't do much damage other than to probably separate the stones, which is no biggy.  I actually designed this so that each stone could work independently, it doesn't absolutely need to stay together over the centuries (millenia?).  In some respects it would be BETTER  if it breaks into pieces, since then they could be carried off by future tribes of Homo Dinerus to have around the Campfire! 🙂  The Dodecahedron and Tetrahedron will be particularly difficult for any Stone Cutter of the future to duplicate without a really kick ass CNC machine.  A nice prize!

Image result for egyptian pyramids Anyhow, Pharoahs built themselves Pyramids, Ulysses S. Grant has Grant's Tomb, and even Jimi Hendrix has a kick ass monument in his hometown of Seattle.  Why shouldn't I have a cool Tombstone also?  Other Diners of course think I am quite NUTS for embarking on this project, but for me it has been very entertaining project and keeps me bizzy, along with other projects I create for my crippled self like creating a paper bound "Book of the Doomstead Diner" with representative articles from our history chronicling the Collapse of Industrial Civilization.  I am really looking forward to all the stones coming in and getting the thing assembled and then shipped for placement from Washington to Missouri, assuming I can stay above ground long enough for this to get completed.  This will take some time, since it usually takes 4-6 months between the time you order a stone and it gets delivered, and then there is engraving, assembly and shipping time to factor in as well.  So I don't expect the actual construction of the complete Tombstone to occur much before June 2018.

In the first installment of the Tombstone series "Prepping for Death", I covered what I am doing to try to preserve my Intellectual Property  for as long as possible after I buy my ticket to the Great Beyond.  This installment covered the actual physical construction and appearance of the Tombstone that will sit above my decomposing meat package. More or less anyhow until the SUN☼ Goes Red Giant, unless the rocks are carted off by surviving Homo Saps for some purpose like building new dwellings or just because they look cool.  Just about all the surfacing rocks for the Pyramids were carted of over the millenia, when they were built they had a much smoother appearance.

In the next installment of the Tombstone Series, I'll begin covering the Symbology & Text that is to be CARVED IN STONE on the rocks.

SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE

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