1. How it all started unexpectedly in a great town of Woodshole
I was riding my bike along a Shining Sea Bike path. It ended at a wharf where the Martha’s Vineyard ferry disembarks. This time I didn’t just turn back, instead I entered Woodshole, a tiny cute town full of sea novelties and bearded sailors (No!).
I made a couple of random turns and suddenly here it was – a perfect stellar pentadodecahedron (SPDH for short), made of iron, magnificent and rusty.
It was standing in a sort of neglected front yard of a typical Cape Cod house with worn out cedar siding.
Around it there was a lot of rusty metal scrap with apparent traces of some artistic activity –
A broken down crab with sticking up
a spider with a large amount of plumbing hose legs.
A tank resembling tortoise looking more like an upside down bathtub covered with horseshoes.
Probably that’s what it was exactly in its prior life – a bathtub.
The Polyhedron was on the contrary very well built, no seams visible. All its planes, consisting of five not connected triangles each, were perfectly aligned. This was a professional work, totally different from the rest. It was more likely assembled in a factory setting.
Something was really really strange about it. Things like that don’t just randomly lie around. I knew there was some meaning behind it.
When I came back to my wife and friends they noticed my unusually non-present state. Being asked what happened all I could say was – “I found something meaningful”.
Several time I returned to the unusual site, I made many pictures, some in 3D.
Very soon I realized what could’ve been behind it.
One of my life-long journeys was to find something very pure, very fundamental, like a dot or a line or at least a platonic solid. It was painful to know that all five of them are already well known.
Only a working functioning mechanism based on one of them, using the geometry only and nothing else.
Such a machine would be the perfect object, an ideal artefact – working geometry, serving no practical goal.
I must mention that such a wonder already exists. It’s called Diagonal Star.
It’s several thousands years old and was produced in great numbers over centuries.
There are also several of its stellar descendants, as perfect, as their mother, like this one:
In the beginning I reinvented them all. Little did I know that almost every designers first steps are these beautiful creatures.
An excellent behavior of the Diagonal Star descendant
They function as mechanisms very well.
Each of them is made of six identical parts and each part is perfecto – separated from the outward space by faces of an equilateral polyhedron.
There is only one catch – the Diagonal Star is NOT BASED ON A PLATONIC SOLID, rather on their step-sibling, aRHOMBIC dodecahedron ->
not a true
(Click here for rotating model)
Utopian plans had been developing in my mind. I was thinking of acquiring the SPDH. There was no question of carrying it myself, it weighed probably around a ton. So I would need some sort of heavy lifting machinery. Probably a sturdy truck.
And anyway I doubted I could carry it out. I’d probably need to hire a gang of industrial style moving professionals.
Besides, I never found the owners of the thing, not that I put much efforts into it. The summer had been passing by and finally ended as it was supposed to.
I did nothing. The SPDH was still standing where I found it, very stoutly and firmly, like an Egyptian Pyramid. I felt a strong assertion that it will be there for eternity.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
Nevertheless meanwhile several months passed.
In the Fall of 2010 I suddenly saw how the dissections must go: