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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dream Journal

Two nights ago, a man explained to me the perfect logic of the igloo. First he demonstrated the beauty of the simple arch... showing me how icy bricks fell inward until they bumped their heads together and stayed firmly in place. Then he showed me how, expanding on the simple two dimensional Roman arch, a 360-degree arch created a perfect dome.

We walked inside the igloo, looked up at the blue veins of light piercing through from above, and he explained the reflective nature of the snow and ice. A simple candle (and the radiant body heat of two inhabitants) would heat the inside of the igloo well above freezing. So far, I believe this man; everything he says sounds familiar.

Then he smiled and pulled up some furs lining the floor to reveal a series of crevices in the ice below. He explained that these cracks formed naturally due to the pressure of the inhabitants walking and sleeping on the floor. They served a great purpose. The heat inside the igloo slowly melts away the ice walls, and the water drips down the slopes of those walls to the edges of the floor. When it reaches the floor, gravity pulls it down into the crevices where it flows away from the igloo's heat until it refreezes. These channels keep the igloo relatively dry inside. The man also showed me how loose snow can easily be used to absorb extra moisture, like nature's paper towel, and then be swept out the door.

I asked him about replenishing the walls... how did they stay strong if they were melting from the inside? He looked up and told me that nature also provides for this. As snow falls from the sky, it collects on the outside of the igloo and keeps the walls as thick as they need to be. If they get too thick due to a heavy snow, the walls become better at reflecting and more heat stays inside the igloo and melts the walls more rapidly, thus keeping a relatively uniform thickness. If they are thin, then they trap heat less effectively and the melting process slows down.

I pointed out that this constant melting away of the inside, and rebuilding from the outside, must result in an ever-growing igloo... the diameter must increase accordingly. Once again he smiled and said that the size of their homes increases at just the right pace to make room for a young couple's child, and then more children, and eventually grandchildren. Everything worked in perfect harmony.



At 6/06/2007 02:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an incredibly detailed dream. And peaceful. I wish my dreams had that much instruction and recognizeable dialogue.


At 6/06/2007 03:50:00 PM, Blogger John said...

I paraphrased some... but tried to limit the story to basically what I felt in the dream. I remember it getting wierd when he started showing me the cracks in the floor... and then started talking about the snowfall making up for the melting walls. I don't think any of that stuff is true... but the first few facts stand out in my memory from a time up on Hurricane Ridge (I as 12 years old) when a guide told us about the physics of igloos.

At 6/07/2007 03:08:00 PM, Blogger molly said...

That was totally better than my volcano story. Funny that we were blogging about dreams... there must be some credit in my theory that there are only so many thoughts (dreams) in the human world and we often think (dream) the same thoughts (dreams).



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