Date: July 23, 2003 (Wednesday)
Updated: October 30, 2003
<Dan> OK – A few quick “administrative” notes.
<Dan> 1) nobody is required to attempt to put up one of these shields… You’re welcome to sit in and observe/ask questions.
<Dan> 2) If you want to put one of these things up, Rain has volunteered to observe, and let you know how you’re doing.
* RainTurtle waves
<Dan> 3) Generally I like questions (they tell me where I’m being less than clear)… But, If I say take it offline (after class that means) hold THAT question until the seminar is over.
<Dan> 4) Most questions are probably best posed in open channel, but I will accept PM questions.
<Dan> Any questions before we get started?
<Kitsune> not here.
<Dan> OK – a little background material…
<Dan> The type of shielding I’ll be describing is fairly simple in concept.
<Dan> It also seems to be fairly sturdy and almost self maintaining.
<Dan> For example my “guinea pig” for this class (Kitsune over there) put one up, and a week later, she decided to do a “stay awake” marathon…
* Kitsune waves.
<Dan> And the shield was still there after a day & a half of that…
<Kitsune> 31 hours and 15 minutes.
<Dan> It didn’t come down until she consciously TOOK IT down…
<Dan> That’s a good thing in a shield (I believe)
<Dan> Another good feature of this style shield is that it appears to be very good at blocking outside signals (static if you would)…
<Dan> When Kit first got hers up, one of her first comments was “Quiet”.
<Dan> There are some bad points… As with any form of shielding.
<Dan> Some folks find it to be “ponderous” or “stuffy”.
<Dan> I’ve heard it described as a very useful shield to have “on standby” for when going into areas of large crowds… I can’t confirm or deny that aspect.
* RainTurtle can
* Dan uses one full time, and his has been up since mid January… with little maintenance.
<Dan> Any questions?
<B_Raven> none from me.
<RainTurtle> Not yet
<Kitsune> not here.
<Dan> OK… Who’s going to be trying one of these “stone tower shields” tonight? If you change your mind – that’s fine…
<Kitsune> I’ll do one…
<Andy_Hock> I’ll try one.
<Dan> I just want Rain to know who she’s monitoring and who I will expect to be checking status…
<Dan> OK – so the rest of you are just observing?
<RainTurtle> I’ll be trying one, but I don’t need to observe myself…
<Dan> OK – you’ve all seen (or at least seen pictures of) the stone towers or keeps around Europe?
<Dan> Many of those are over 1,000 years old & still standing – more or less – intact.
<Dan> Another building structure that might be your “picture” would be one of the old Lighthouses that are around…
<Dan> The Idea being a tapered cylinder.
<Dan> Well, to start, visualize yourself standing on a granite hill. (Granite is good hard stone if you don’t know…)
<Dan> Then, you need to make your first building stone… visualize a large rectangular block (as big as you can… 25cm or more… perhaps)…
<Dan> Make one of those and place it beyond arms length on one side of you – flush with the Granite hill…
<Dan> Thinking as you do that it has no spaces between the block and the hill.
<Dan> That’s your basic building concept.
<Dan> It doesn’t take a LOT of psi to make the blocks (and if you decide later the blocks aren’t “heavy” enough, you can add more psi…
<Dan> Before we actually start building the wall, you need to think a bit about your tower… Will it have a Door (if it does, it needs to be sturdy so as to not be a week spot in your shield)… I don’t really think a door is necessary.
<Dan> More likely, you’ll want to have a “window” of transparent material that lets through what you want to let through…
<Dan> You can have a small airplane like window or a large picture window – which ever suits you…
<Dan> So, now, go ahead and start building your walls… Work to get them knee high to begin with – they should be beyond arms length as well… Give yourself some breathing room.
<Dan> If you’re doing the door – visualize heavy reinforcements and such… You might well want it to be one of those “Star Trek” type sliding doors that have no hinges and moves so as to be out of the way on one side when open and all the way across and into the opposing wall when closed… Made of thick steel armor plating…
<Dan> Let us know when you’ve got your walls going…
<Dan> If any come to mind.
<DanielH> What if you don’t mind being confined? Would it be better than to create the tower as close to you as possible or… is that still a bad idea?
<Dan> Well – I believe the important part is the cylindrical shape. (Cylinder = strong)…
<Dan> If you decide to have some other kind of shield INSIDE this one – you need room for it.
<Dan> Another use for such a shield could well be for defense… A tower the size of a person might NOT give an opponent pause, while a larger might.
<Dan> I really don’t believe the size is as important as the shape and your intent when putting it up…
<RainTurtle> However, some people are impressed by such things
<Dan> So I’ve heard.
<Dan> Andy/Kit – How’s it going?
<Kitsune> *is trying*
<Andy_Hock> About ten feet high. Should I keep going?
<Dan> Well, I think that’s over you knee Andy.
<Dan> How’s Andy’s looking Rain?
<RainTurtle> Nice and “solid” to about waist height
<Dan> OK – that’s good.
<RainTurtle> Kit’s is “just above” her knees
<Dan> By the way folks… This variance in height is consistent with previous experience…
<RainTurtle> (With Andy’s, either my “perspective” is off, or he’s really tall…)
<Dan> When you’re working on it, it “feels” like it should be MUCH higher than it actually is…
<Dan> So – if our sample is any indicator, you’re better off making it MUCH higher than you think you need to!
<Dan> It would suck to discover you’d shielded everything up to your shoulders & left your head outside the shield…
<Andy_Hock> No, that makes sense, Rain. I built consciously to about that height, then tried telling my sub-c to keep building. The rest isn’t very substantial. So much for that experiment . . .
<Dan> Some how, I think it wouldn’t have the same anti-static effect then…
<Dan> Well – As I was saying, It is good that you are at this point.
<Dan> You now need to decide on your “window” size, construction and such…
<Andy_Hock> I took down the “junk and am continuing the conscious building from where I left that off . . .
<Dan> I recommend a very sturdy window! You’ll want to be able to open it (perhaps completely) but also be able to close it as needed.
<Dan> I also recommend sturdy “shutters” on the inside that you can open/shut as well…
* Dan visualizes his window as a “clear” block – glass like…
<Dan> With a STEEL shutter I can pull down/raise on the inside.
<Dan> The window doesn’t need to be at waste height (unless you decide to sit down inside your shield )… It needs to be in front of your head…
<Dan> And, if you put it in front, it will move with you, so don’t worry about that little issue…
<Dan> Of course, you can go for the lighthouse effect & have windows all the way around… But I think this will be weaker…
<Dan> When you think you’ve got your tower up and incorporating your window, let me know…
<Dan> For the rest of you… You can add some effects like “listening devices” or such… As needed…
<Andy_Hock> Okay, I should be about up to window-height with strong blocks, now.
<RainTurtle> Looks good, Andy
<Dan> Many features can be added to one’s shield after construction without weakening it significantly… But the Window is a harder one…
<Dan> That’s why I suggest building it in place…
<Dan> How you doing Kit?
<RainTurtle> It’s mid-chest height
<Andy_Hock> Takes more time to consciously make them one by one, but the sub-c doesn’t seem to be much of an architect.
<Dan> Andy, I believe that comes with practice…
<Dan> Once you build it a couple dozen times, it SHOULD be much easier.
<Andy_Hock> Probably true, Dan . . .
<RainTurtle> It’s a weird shield-form that way, though….part of the strength seems to derive from the initial concentration on building it
<RainTurtle> Don’t ask me how or why, because I do not know
<Kitsune> *still trying*
* Dan has some ideas on that… Which he plans on discussing after the exercise.
<RainTurtle> looks good, Kit….shoulder height now
<Dan> Don’t forget your window Kit!
<Kitsune> I won’t.
<Dan> As with the door I described earlier – make sure your window isn’t the “week” link in your tower! Reinforce it.
<Dan> A point – once you finish your tower, you may find “fine” cracks in the shield… This means you didn’t shape the “blocks” to exactly match… NOT A PROBLEM!
<Dan> You visualize a “gluelike” flux or mortar compound to flow into the cracks – filling them in.
<Dan> Well Go ahead and build the tower so that it is over “head” tall…
* Kitsune keeps going.
<Dan> At this point, you have several options to “finish” the tower… I don’t recommend leaving it open at the top, though that does let in a lot of fresh air…
<Dan> As with our houses, it rains (no roof = wet inside)… No roof on your tower & you may as well not do the job… Psi doesn’t only come at you from the sides or bottom.
<Dan> So, while our masons keep building their walls… We will discuss several roofing options…
<Dan> The simple roof is a flat granite slab… That covers the tower form edge to edge.
<Dan> A flat roof isn’t the best of ideas though… Pile enough on it and it collapses…
<Dan> You could build a conical roof… But what do you make it out of Steel plate? Copper? (It’ll turn green on you)…
<Dan> Also, the point is a week spot… As are the connection points to your tower.
<Dan> Looks nice though…
<Dan> But, with this kind of shield – were going for strength first, aesthetics second…
<Dan> another kind of roof would be a dome…
<RainTurtle> like an igloo? Spiral of blocks?
<Dan> Domes have the advantage of a spherical shape (strong!!!!!) and a flush joint with your cylindrical tower.
<Dan> One variation is the igloo – as Rain indicates… You start spiraling your blocks in and up until they meet at the top.
* Kitsune votes for dome.
<Dan> Other approaches also work… Think of the Pantheon in Rome… It’s almost 2000 years old and still standing… It’s much larger than you need for this exercise too…
<Dan> Remember to close the top of your “dome”… Unlike the Pantheon, you don’t’ want a sunroof.
<Dan> With the igloo style, you want to continue your blocks Almost the same size/shape as your wall blocks – but a little narrower on the inside so they “lean” toward the center.
<Dan> And finish the job with a nice keystone piece… Probably a little bigger & thicker than the rest.
<RainTurtle> And the final block of an igloo is cut to shape
<Dan> *nods* & well packed…
<Dan> The harder you push on the top of the dome, the stronger it gets!
<Dan> You MAY want to put an antenna in your dome – to assist in your reception while inside…
<Andy_Hock> I should be about ready to roof now, I think.
<Dan> How’s Andy’s look Rain?
<RainTurtle> *nods* Yup, it looks like it’s starting to lean in a bit at the top edge already…
<Andy_Hock> Okay, I’ll use that as the start of the roof . . .
<Dan> For those of you observing, take note of how long it’s taking them to put this shield form up… with a lot of practice, I have it on authority that it can go up faster! But you’ve got to train your sub-c masons…
* Dan recalls putting his up in about 10-15 minutes, but he forgot to put in a window & had to retrofit it… He also didn’t have to listen to someone babble about this thing while it was going up…
* Dan also didn’t have any indicator that it was going up right until the headaches stopped!
<Dan> Which, by the way, is another good benefit of this shield form… I’ve found it does wonders to reduce headaches!
<Dan> How’s it going Kit?
<RainTurtle> Doing fine, Kit
<Kitsune> where is it?
<RainTurtle> You’ve got about ten-to-fourteen inches of clearance over your head
<Kitsune> k, that’s a bit…
* Kitsune roofs.
<Dan> If you like – once you finish your tower – you can give it a nice paint job… Either camouflage to match surroundings or a pretty white to match the igloo concept…
* Dan left his granite color…
<Dan> I did try painting a “reflective” coating on the outside once… but it didn’t seem to take.
<Dan> Well – as Andy & Kit finish their roofing, we can delve into speculation as to the why’s & wherefores of this shielding…
<Dan> The following is my speculation – not backed up by any scientific or other evidence!!
<Dan> The shield starts with GRANITE… we all KNOW Granite is VERY STRONG… So, something made from granite should be as well (& our sub-c believe this)…
<Dan> Can you imagine yourself trying to shove a hand through a concrete block? OK – how about a granite block a foot thick? I certainly can’t.
<Dan> I’ve known folks to shove fists through plaster & plywood…
<Dan> I’ve seen unsupported pieces of rock broken…
<Dan> But, the cylindrical shape of the tower tends to distribute pressure…
<Dan> The dome more so.
<Dan> So, the shape and the material combine to make a strong shield…
<Dan> As to why this thing seems to stand up without conscious support once you get it up? Well, we pattern it from those stone towers that are a thousand years old… If your shield stays up 1 tenth that long, it’s probably long enough for most of us…
<Dan> So, my believe is that the sub-c EXPECTS it to stand around for a long time, so it does.
<Dan> Are there ANY questions?
<Andy_Hock> How’s the roof look, Rain?
<Dan> Good question.
<RainTurtle> Pretty good….a few cracks to fill in halfway up the dome, though
<Andy_Hock> Okay, doing that . . .
<Kitsune> *keeps going*
<Dan> The roofing is more difficult to visualize than the wall, since the shape of the blocks isn’t as simple to get right.
<Dan> How’s yours doing Rain?
<Andy_Hock> I noticed that . . .
<RainTurtle> I stopped part way through….it’s still sitting at waist height….
<Dan> *nods* OK.
<Dan> Andy, do you notice anything different between this shield and your usual one?
<Andy_Hock> It IS quieter. I’ll have to adjust the programming in the window to let a bit more through.
<Kitsune> *raises hand* do I have anything near roof like yet, if you don’t mind seeing?
<Dan> Or – your antenna – to internal monitor/speakers.
<Andy_Hock> That’s an idea, too . . .
<RainTurtle> Looks good, Kit….just tamp down that last bit on the top….it looks a bit precarious up there
<Dan> The antenna should allow you to “tune” what you’re listening for…
<Kitsune> 🙂 thanks.
<Dan> Any questions from our observers?
<B_Raven> none from me
<Dan> Andy/Kit do either of you mind if any of our observers that are able – take a look at your towers?
<Kitsune> I’m fine with it.
<Dan> Well, if there are no other questions, we can call this a finished seminar I think…
<Andy_Hock> Not at all . . .
NOTE: It was brought to my attention that it wasn’t obvious to everyone that the “granite mound” you visualized to build your tower on was actually PART of the shield! Getting that part (the foundation) of your shield right is critical… Without a strong foundation, your shield will tend to “topple”… Or worse, if you don’t consider it part of your shield – you have a big hole in your shield at your feet. A word to the wise.
As I indicated in the seminar, the stone tower shield is an effective one in unfriendly surroundings – above and beyond it’s general usefulness in blocking stray sendings. One downside of the tower is how much outside energy is blocked by the tower. Depending on how unfriendly you expect things to be, you may want or need to add enhancements to the basic tower. The following are some ideas to get you started.
While Granite is very strong, certain things can break it – repeated “banging” by boulders can break it down… Explosives can reduce it’s integrity. Water can slowly erode it. Etc. One approach you might take to aleviate these possible problems is to build your tower walls with a hollow core. In this core, you can put a different material. Mundane curtain walls of the 16th – 18th centuries were built with the core filled with dirt and pebbles, to increase their ability to stand up against cannon fire. This kind of approach is still used in bunkers today. Something like this could be done with your tower…
Or, you may want some decorations for your tower… These can be both cosmetic as well as functional… One idea is a “fog” This can obscure the shape/boundary of your tower, making it more difficult to see or target or have other properties you may assign. Of course, a nice fog rolling around a stone tower does add to the ambiance. Or, how about a moat with a dragon or full of some caustic fluid/sludge. The options are almost endless.
Other things you can do – if you perceive a lack of sensitivity inside the tower – is to build a “detection web” on the outside of your shield… Make it “camouflaged” if that’s your bent. The web could pass notifications inside your tower for specified events (like an automatic doorbell). Or, you can put a simple hedge shield outside your tower… This could tend to help people ignore it… But, towers are not all that easy to hide.
More Speculation (added on October 30, 2003
It has been brought to my attention that not everyone is good at visualizing rigid things like Rocks & stones… That they get better luck at visualizing smooth and/or flowing objects. How would a person go about building a Stable shield like described above in this situation? A couple thoughts come to mind… Change the material you use to stand on/build the tower out of. For example you could use sheets of a nice shiny material like steel or glass… The “memory metal” concept comes to mind – providing some added ability of your tower to “bend” with impacts – rather than to perhaps break. Another possibility is to imagine walls of Ice.
If you like the look/strength of granite, but have trouble visualizing and building with that material, you might try some of the modern composite materials used like granite in counter tops… Corian™ comes to mind. You could visualize extruding it slowly into a nice smooth tower – including floor and all… This might have the advantage of not requiring you “fill in the cracks” that may appear in your stone tower, specially if you use irregular shaped bolders and don’t visualize them “flowing” together.
Another visualization technique that could leave you with a strong tower – if you can visualize it clearly enough – is to build it of molten rock… That flows into the shape you need and cools hard and strong. This is a “low tech” variation on extruding the Corian tower.
The problem I see with this is maintaining concentration for the period needed to build it. With stone bricks, you easily pause to take stock (& rest). When using the flowing rock approach, stopping mid way may be much more difficult, because your mind will “know” there’s a discontinuity at the point you took the break – which may well introduce a weak point.