The American Historical Clock of War and Peace


The yellow years are ones in which the USA was getting into or out of major wars — or both, in the case of the brief Spanish-American War. The red years are war years, and the blue years are years of (relative) peace.

The sectors are each bounded by two radii, and a 1.5° arc. The current year is omitted intentionally because 2016 isn’t over yet, and we don’t know what will happen during the rest of it. 

A Hollow Faceting of the Rhombicosidodecahedron, and Its Hollow Dual

The images above all show a particular faceting of the rhombicosidodecahedron which, to my surprise, is hollow. It has the vertices of a rhombicosidodecahedron, but two different face-types, as seen in the smaller pictures: yellow hexagons, and red isosceles trapezoids. (To enlarge any image in this post, simply click on it.)

The dual of this polyhedron is even more obviously hollow, as seen below. Its faces, as seen in the still picture, are crossed hexagons — with edges which cross three times per hexagon, no less.

The software I used to make these polyhedra, Stella 4d, will return an error message if the user attempts to make a polyhedron which is not mathematically valid. When I’ve made things that look (superficially) like this before, I used “hide selected faces” to produce hollow geometrical figures which were not valid polyhedra, but that isn’t what happened here (I hid nothing), so this has me confused. Stella 4d (software you can buy, or try for free, here) apparently considers these valid polyhedra, but I am at a loss to explain such familiar concepts as volume for such unusual polyhedra, or how such things could even exist — yet here they are. Clarifying comments would be most appreciated.

12-Fold Dihedral Polyhedral Explorations

Augmented 12- Antiprism

Above is a dodecagonal antiprism, augmented by 24 more dodecagonal antiprisms. This was the starting point for making all the polyhedra below, using Stella 4d, software available here. Each of these smaller pictures may be enlarged with a click.

When We Build Our Dyson Sphere, Let’s Not Use Enneagonal Antiprisms

Before an undertaking as great as building a Dyson Sphere, it’s a good idea to plan ahead first. This rotating image shows what my plan for an enneagonal-antiprism-based Dyson Sphere looked like, at the hemisphere stage. At this point, the best I could hope for is was three-fold dihedral symmetry.

Augmented 9- Antiprism

I didn’t get what I was hoping for, but only ended up with plain old three-fold polar symmetry, once my Dyson Sphere plan got at far as it could go without the unit enneagonal antiprisms running into each other. Polyhedra-obsessives tend to also be symmetry-obsessives, and this just isn’t good enough for me.

Augmented 9- Antiprism complete

If we filled in the gaps by creating the convex hull of the above complex of enneagonal antiprisms, in order to capture all the sun’s energy (and make our Dyson Sphere harder to see from outside it), here’s what this would look like, in false color (the real thing would be black) — and the convex hull of this Dyson Sphere design, in my opinion, especially when colored by number of sides per face, really reveals how bad an idea it would be to build our Dyson sphere in this way.

Dyson Sphere Convex hull

We could find ourselves laughed out of the Galactic Alliance if we built such a low-order-of-symmetry Dyson Sphere — so, please, don’t do it. On the other hand, please also stay away from geodesic spheres or their duals, the polyhedra which resemble fullerenes, for we certainly don’t want our Dyson Sphere looking like all the rest of them. We need to find something better, before construction begins. Perhaps a snub dodecahedron? But, if we use a chiral polyhedron, how do we decide which enantiomer to use?

[All three images of my not-good-enough Dyson Sphere plan were created using Stella 4d, which you can get for yourself at this website.]

A Second Coloring-Scheme for the Chiral Tetrated Dodecahedron

For detailed information on this newly-discovered polyhedron, which is near (or possibly in) the “fuzzy” border-zone between the “near-misses” (irregularities real, but not visually apparent) and “near-near-misses” (irregularities barely visible, but there they are) to the Johnson solids, please see the post immediately before this one. In this post, I simply want to introduce a new coloring-scheme for the chiral tetrated dodecahedron — one with three colors, rather than the four seen in the last post.

chiral tet dod 2nd color scheme

In the image above, the two colors of triangle are used to distinguish equilateral triangles (blue) from merely-isosceles triangles (yellow), with these yellow triangles all occurring in pairs, with their bases (slightly longer than their legs) touching, within each pair. This is the same coloring-scheme used for over a decade in most images of the (original and non-chiral) tetrated dodecahedron, such as the one below.

Tetrated Dodeca

Both of these images were created using polyhedral-navigation software, Stella 4d, which is available here, both for purchase and as a free trial download.

[Later edit: I have now found out I was not the first person to find what I had thought, earlier today, was an original discovery. What I have simply named the chiral tetrated dodecahedron has been on the Internet, in German, since 2008, or possibly earlier, and may be seen here:]