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Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/27/2010 6:49 PM

Hello guys. Yes I am a dreamer. With that being said, let me explain. Hewlett Packard I believe built a time capsule that is to be opened in the year +/-8500. I am not sure of the methods used but I do know that they buried it fifty feet below ground. I am planning on building one for the masses with a storage capacity of 20,000 cubic feet, about the same size as a two thousand square foot home. I plan on holding a design competition for the structure along with the neccessary systems to sustain it. I believe that a lot of the people who decide to be a part of the "time capsule" will send their submissions on paper. So the system will have to be acclimatized in an either natural way or in a way that consumes very little power. The list goes on...Anyway, what I am looking for from you guys is design perameters. Suggestions for what should be required of submissions to the design. I appreciate the help. Also if you would like to be a part of this you can go to www.mytimeship.com to see what I am up to. Thanks Zgrinch

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#1

Re: Building a structure to last/thrive for ten thousand years.

01/27/2010 8:32 PM

Have you had a look on the internet at the numerous proposed solutions and ideas for long-term storage of nuclear waste to get some ideas?

So many problems need to be addressed for a 10,000 year time capsule building, not the least of which is the language barrier (language changes over the centuries) and protecting the contents. Even the way we measure the date may change (it's happened recently before), so a big sign saying "Do not open until 12,020 AD" may be meaningless, also how do you stop people opening it ahead of time.

Very interesting project however, and should provoke a lot of discussion on real-world problems of how to make and store data so that it is usable in the future (a very real problem today) as well as proper site selection and environmental (humidity really) control.

One additional point, don't even bother considering storing VHS tapes as they won't last! Magnetic tape media is not designed for this, even properly archived CDs and DVDs have been found to be degrading after a few decades.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Building a structure to last/thrive for ten thousand years.

01/27/2010 9:41 PM

Thanks for the input. I was thinking of installing dvd player etc along with electronic media. But I have heard the same as you about magnetic degradation. So, maybe they could be shielded or maybe actually use an engraved media disk that would be the equal of a dvd/cd except it would be a much larger disc to hold same amount of material. Thanks again, yes I have looked online. I am a builder by trade, so I would like to come up with a spec sheet for problems to be addressed. It may be that a team from several different disciplines may have to be put together to solve the massive amount of issues involved. Also, did you go to the site and check it out? When/if you do, please let me know what you think.... you can email me directly at drenchzgrinch@yahoo.com once again the site is www.mytimeship.com thanks again...zzzgrinch (someone on here called me the sleeping grinch, I liked that, "it's funny because it's true" later.... sleeping grinch

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Building a structure to last/thrive for ten thousand years.

01/27/2010 10:47 PM

So far the pyramids are doing pretty good.

Maybe take a hint from NASA on recording technologies. Voyager spacecrafts carry messages that are recorded in such a way that they are designed to be retrieved after a very long period of time under some very harsh conditions.

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#4

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 4:01 AM

Ok, if your serious about this, then it needs to be an ongoing data storage project, set-up with a non profit corp. and caretakers to update and recompile, otherwise what you put in there will be as big a mystery as anything we find thats 10k yrs old. so if your serious then build an organization first, the group can attempt to build a structure but if the structure is of any valuable materialy, even cut stone, then it may not be around in 10k yrs. the Org. can get grants and create a self sustaining fund, universities call it a ....Sorry CRS syndrom.

Best suggestion is a mountaintop cavern in the desert, choose a desert in a geological stable area, no faults, not in CA, try AZ, UT, NV,NM, or west TX, put the data on carved granite or highgrade ceramic (glass will flow and become unintelligible). Dont use anything recyclable or metal, (or humans will find a use for it) cause people will take it.

Call it a knowledge bank, and promote the heck out of it and you'll make a good living for youself for the rest of you life and all you of your desendants for 10k yrs, and you'll be doing the country/world a service.

Spacecannon

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 4:25 AM

yes.. you are really getting there.

also, provide a 'rosetta stone' 3 or 4 way translation, and include mathematical, musical, logical, symbolic, and universal pictographic clues.

you can't assume those future people will speak any current language, if any at all. they need to be able to puzzle it out.. but not destroy it.

Chris

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#6

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 7:20 AM

Read about the Yucca Mountain project. It has been done. Find something else.

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#7

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 8:02 AM

NASA sent a vehicle into space with an item on board (A disc?) that had symbols etc. that is meant to be interpreted by other civilizations. Get a copy of that and put it in something like an Egyptian pyramid...they seem to last a good long time.

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#8

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 9:36 AM

With the dire predictions of melting ice caps and glaciers in the near future, I would opt for the most stable mountainous area, and choose (or construct) a plateau where you could build a pyramid, something on the order of 55 x 55 feet for a base and 40 feet high, which would yield a total available space of (theoretically) 40,333 cu feet. Subtract from that the thickness of the walls you wish, access, etc. Perhaps longer in width to allow for an access tunnel. How would you protect the contents for 10,000 years? Perhaps incorporate hot radioactive fuel rods in the inner walls. Sealing the inside and filling the inner void space with Rn-222 would not be practical, as it has a T1/2 of 3.8 days. Some timing device that would deactivate a hazardous protective device after 9,800 years or so? Sounds like a fun project!

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#9

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 11:48 AM

Hello All,

Gosh zzzgrinch! This is an ambitious project to say the least. First of all I don't have a solution. After my trip to Normandy this past summer I suspect that most of those bunkers on the invasion beaches will be around in some shape 10,000 years from now. I am serious on that. They, like the pyramids, are massive, thus enduring erosion, and dense, which helps resist vandalism and other destructive acts. Spacecannon has a good idea; but, I am wondering if any organization will last for 10,000 years. The Holy Roman Church didn't entirely hold together for a thousand years and it is about the most successful organization in terms of longevity that I know of. Jack of all Trades (JOAT) and chrisg288 are absolutely correct when they talk about changes in language. Try reading Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English. As for storing data - - naw. I don't think so. How many of you still have the equipment to play 8-track cassettes after only 40 years much less 10,000 years? Chris is right in that whatever knowledge you plan to store you'll need some sort of Rosetta Stone that can be deciphered by whomever discovers it. Don't laugh but a child psychologist or an anthropologist could probably shed some light on this area as basic human sign and body language doesn't appear to have changed all that much over the past few thousand years. BTW, I wouldn't protect it with spent nuclear fuel cells as it may get opened before the cells burn themselves out. Then again how could you be sued by the heirs of the victims unless they had developed a time machine in which case they wouldn't need your time capsule. Great idea and a good discussion.

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#10
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Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 1:34 PM

Hello Vagabond,

Lots of worries. Personally, I don't care if they - we accept the facts that we will be not here- in 10,000 years, people don't catch our messages, 8-track cassettes, and the rest. Just build what's resisting to everything - after our actual best knowledge - to time and put everything in we want for the prosperity.

Take the Egyptians, they never put something or a note to translate their hieroglyphic stories. They did what was possible to do at that time, so we have to imitate them and we will execute what we want to do.

Pyramide is an exellent idea. The form will resist to time and we will be not here to destroy by excessive pollution, too many toxic chemicals around dissolving it, and other products. Also, actually we help ourselves to be eliminated from Earth. So, we will be not here to destroy our pyramide. The Earth with human is counted 100 or 200 years more...

Someone, probably a smart man, already said: Human need to find or discover another Earth in another Galaxy, go there, which is a problem to transfer billions of people in something during 100 or 1,000 years - don't forget light years of travelling - (we live less than the first number) and colonize that new Earth or ball, and continue to pollute everything there too. So, before the departure, we will eliminate most of us to have a small ship to carry few people to the new location.

Remember, Noah and his "wife" survive to the catastroph with animals to start over again. The same thing will happen again before 10,000 years.

Please, to everyone, help us to build the pyramide or something else before the next catastroph arrives. I enjoyed to create a story. Don't call me "crazy", Gil.

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 1:51 PM

Hi Chrisq288,

It's a pleasure to talk to you again. My addition to this blog is the following: Do you think the people in 10,000 years will be interested to know what we do today, how we eat, work, and the rest? We, except very few people are trying to do what Egyptians or other Chinese did 3, 4, or 5,000 years ago.

It will be the same "if" someone is here on this Earth to see the devastating status of our lands, waters, and atmospher.

Imagine in Egypt: Cleopatra's Cairo and today's Cairo with a population multiplied by 500 to 1,000. Also, you can multiply with the same number the level of air and water pollution. I think no one hieroglyph tells the story of so much un-controllables.

Anyway, we will build the "Pyramide" and we will be not here to talk with the new civilization in 10,000 years from now.

That's it, I am hungry, finish this comment, and go to eat! Chris, see you the next time, Gil.

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#12
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Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 1:59 PM

Bonjour Gil,

I do think people will be interested in our lives. Perhaps CR4 will be our best repository of knowledge, and we will all be enshrined...

okay but not likely...lol

but another method of long term preservation is encapsulation... such as insects encased in amber... millions of years.

Perhaps we can etch our encyclopedias and histories onto stainless steel tablets, and then encase them in acrylic, or pvc or whatever material will last, and maintain its transparency.

If we want to have any mechanism that functions for thousands of years, don't forget the very simple nuclear battery.

Chris

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#13

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 4:56 PM

In reading through the thread and thinking about some of the problems that have been identified allow me to posit a different or perhaps an expanded view. Why not do this a little bit like eating an elephant? Why not build a series of say 10 concrete pyramids to opened at 1000 year intervals or 20 to be opened at 500 year intervals? Then you would have a higher likelihood of an organization keeping track of them over a period of time. Also the Rosetta Stone would be updated each 500 years which would allow the language to stay fresh. Just a thought.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 6:06 PM

Hello Vagabond,

I will be not here to open any Pyramid in 500 or 1,000 years! We build the pyramid(s) for others!! Salut!!!

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#15

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/29/2010 6:10 PM

Excellent idea there vagabond. I don't know if you guys have heard of the ark of civilization which is a time capsule that was sealed in 1940. The ark had a very smart guy (CRS) design a method to teach the openers to read/speak english. The bunkers in Normandy will eventually crumble to pieces. Unlike Roman concrete, modern builders use rebar which water will get to causing it to expand by as much as fifteen times its original size. The Romans made a very dense concrete completely by accident by using volcanic ash which is so dense it doesn't allow water to penetrate. Their concrete didn't use rebar of any sort either, that is why the largest concrete dome ever constructed (2000 years ago) still exists at the Pantheon in Rome. A most amazing structure, however it along with the Pyramids in Egypt are under attack by acid rain. If the are not protected in some way they will all be destroyed in a century or two. Hard to believe that something that has lasted this long will be gone in a few genetations. Granite is probably the best substance to use as it wears away at one inch per 10,000 years. Upon hearing that, the artist who designed Mount Rushmore added 12 inches to George Washington's nose so that it would last another 120,000 years. Also the Yucca Mountian project is designed to hold nuclear waste, while researching the project the scientists involved decided to build a series of uninviting obstacles along with signage in several languages warning of the dangers. They spent almost twenty years on research alone before they began. Also, to whoever suggested the nuclear battery, thanks and I will look into it. There is an organization based at a university in Atlanta that keeps track of time capsules, the organization is called the International Time Capsule Society. They estimate that there are about ten thousand world wide, they also estimate that there are thousands that have been lost. In my first post I said that it was Hewlett Packard that built two time capsules. That was wrong, it was Westinghouse. You can look it up on Wiki. One last note, if you go to my site www.mytimeship.com you will see that I have a plan for setting up a long term trust to oversee/protect the capsule for as long as there is a civilization. Thanks for your comments, they are appreciated and very helpful. Also, if you would, pass the info along to everyone you know. For CR4 users, place LRG5534 on the memo line of your check or money order and get 50% off. That deal is only available to CR4 readers and those they allow into the best engineering site online...Thanks again..."sleeping grinch"

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#16

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

01/30/2010 12:02 AM

Hey Mister Z Grinch,

It sure is amazing this technical world we live in! I was so surprised to see a response from you on my post regarding your project on my Celica Supra forum. I do think you have a viable project here! Although very immense, it is achievable. Continue your promotion strongly (as this project will be around the world before the year is out). A building is possible and granite does sound like one of the better alternatives. The biggest question that seems to come up is "who will run it and continue to operate it? I guess a foundation and a global agreement is needed. But I am sure you have already considered all of this.

Sounds great and can't wait, well...... Sounds great anyway! LOL

Good luck and I will continue to spread the word.

Josh.

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#17

Re: Building a Structure to Last for Ten Thousand Years

02/07/2010 11:12 PM

Kinda funny, isn't it, that we have not surpassed the Egyptians in long term storage of information? Or the cave men for that matter.All digital data has a limited lifetime, not even close to the cave paintings, and the Egyptians had a very pictoral method of expressing ideas that transcended any type of vocalization.We do not know what their spoken language sounded like, and do not have to to understand their meaning.

We should try to achieve something of the same nature, using symbology and pictorals constructed with earth pigments or chiseled into stone.Very inticate work can be done on granite with sandblasting and masking techniques,ie headstones.Perhaps this is the way to send information forward.

IMHO

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