Friday, 4 October 2013

Project Gnome Markers

Kelli Anderson

Another pattern that emerged from the referenced texts was the importance of redundancy in creating tangible, long lasting messages. The use of redundancy and multiples may aid in the reception of small scale communications, while contributing to the longevity of large scale messages. The Assyrian stone tablets mentioned in Chapter 1 provide an example of how redundancy can be used in deciphering small scale messages. The overlap of the symbols appearing on the tablets, as well as the patterns emerging from them as a group help later scholars interpret their meaning. Since “...several components within a given marking design, a number of items within each component, and cross referencing to link components...” were used, meaning can be extracted even though the symbols used were not initially understood. The ability to read these symbols comes from the interconnected, self deciphering web created by their overlap, not by the intrinsic communicative properties of the characters themselves. In terms of large scale communications, Goodenough cites Stonehenge as an example where a multiples strategy contributed to the longevity of the monument. He notes that although a third of the stones have been removed from the site, the quantity of stones used ensures that enough remain to reconstruct’ the original design.
If the designers of Stonehenge had employed a single, monolithic approach, wherein only one stone was used, it would almost surely be gone today. The use of multiple stones, which creates a sense of environment versus a sense of object, promotes the longevity of a site. Stonehenge remains intact today largely due to the multiples strategy employed in its construction.

Excerpts from Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation PilotPlant
(Sandia National Laboratories report SAND92-1382 / UC-721, p. F-49)

Figure 4.3-6. Spikes Bursting Through Grid, view 2 (concept by Michael Brill and art by Safdar Abidi).  

General descriptions of the conceptual design for the permanent marker components contained in the CCA are provided below; Figure 2 illustrates their locations. Additional detailis provided in Section 5.0.
1.Large Surface Markers - The conceptual design calls for 32 Large Surface Markers erected on the perimeter of the controlled area, and 16 markers erected on the perimeter of the repository footprint, within the Berm. Each marker will consist of two separate stone monoliths joined by a mortise-and-tenon joint; the lower member will be a truncated pyramid and the upper member will be a right prism. 
2. Small Subsurface Markers - The Small Subsurface Markers will be small buried disks warning of the presence of the repository. They will be buried throughout the repository footprint, within the Berm, and within the shaft seals. They will be randomly spaced and buried at depths ranging from two to six feet below the surface. 
3. Berm- The Berm will enclose an area that is 110 percent of the repository footprint. As currently planned, it will have a core base material of salt; the core will be protected by at least two other types of materials. Magnets and Radar Reflectors will be buried in the Berm. These will be buried at specified intervals in the Berm, producing distinctive anomalous magnetic and radar-reflective signatures. A Buried Storage Room will also be constructed at grade inside the Berm on its south side.
4.Buried Storage Rooms- One Buried Storage Room will be buried within the Berm. This room will be constructed at grade level at the center of the southern section of the Berm. It will be completely covered by Berm material. A second Buried Storage Room will be buried in the controlled area outside of the Berm and the repository footprint. This room will be buried approximately 20 feet below the surface, north of the Berm on a line passing through the Information Cent er, the center of the northern and southern sections of the Berm and the Hot Cell. 
5. Hot Cell - This is an existing reinforced concrete 40-by-70 foot structure with walls 4.5 feet thick. Its foundation extends 30 feet below grade, and the roof is 60 feet above grade. The Hot Cell will remain after closure as an “archeological remnant,” effectively serving the function of an additional permanent marker. 
6. Information Center- The Information Center will be an open structure having a rectangular design. It will be located on the land surface at the center of the repository footprint.

stone kissing

The act of fixing a stone to mark a place of worship is as old as history. In the Bible we are told that Jacob, on whom be peace, had fixed a stone at a place where he saw a vision. He poured oil on it and called it Bethel meaning 'house of God' (see Genesis 28:18). He did this again upon God's instruction (see Genesis 35:1, 14, 15). No one should understand from this that God instructed Jacob to worship the stone. (Shabir Ally, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, p. 46)
The Black stone is not worshipped by the pilgrims:

Muslims go to Makkah to glorify God, not to kiss a stone or worship a man or a semi-divinity. Kissing or touching the Black Stone at the Ka`bah is an optional action, not obligatory or prescribed. Those who kiss the Black Stone or touch it do not do it because they have faith in the Stone or attribute any superstitious qualities to it. Their faith is in God only. They kiss, touch or point at the Stone only as a token of respect or a symbol of love for Prophet Muhammad, who laid the Stone at the foundation of the Ka`bah when it was reconstructed. (1)

A sapphire hard drive is reported to have been developed that can store information on nuclear waste dumps for up to a million years - enough time for safe radioactive decay

The sapphire disk is one product of that effort. It's made from two thin disks, about 20 centimeters across, of industrial sapphire. On one side, text or images are etched in platinum—Charton says a single disk can store 40,000 miniaturized pages—and then the two disks are molecularly fused together. All a future archaeologist would need to read them is a microscope. 

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