This past Saturday, Michael and I got away to Cocoa Beach for the day. The first stop was a place named American Ingenuity that specializes in geodesic dome structures. It's a really cool concept, where you can order the parts and the plans to build your own dome house! It's sorta like a big Lego kit. I've always been fascinated by a home of the future and this is certainly it. Besides the fact that it can save you 50 to 70% on heating/cooling costs, a dome structure is also virtually impervious to strong weather (as long as you shutter the windows.) If the recent past is any indication, I'd say the home of the future should be equipped to handle anything the earth can throw at it.
From what I could gather, the biggest downsides to living in a dome home is the low sloping ceilings in places which you can bump your head (at least for tall people like me,) and a somewhat lack of flat walls to hang pictures. But those things could be corrected with a clever interior design. The models we saw in person were two-stories tall and I think had they been only 1 story buildings I would have liked them a lot more. The buildings themselves were quite impressive, especially the way they are assembled. If I ever live in one myself though, I wanna paint it red with black spots so it looks like a giant ladybug.
We also visited The Dinosaur Store while in Cocoa. There's a fossil that I have had my eye on for the last 9 or so years and I finally had the opportunity and the money to get it. It's not a real fossil, but it's way better than the small photo I had framed in the living room before.
It is a cast replica of Archaeopteryx, considered to be a transitional fossil showing the link between dinosaurs and modern day birds. Archaeopteryx is classified by some scientists as the first bird, but by others as a feathered dinosaur. I think of it as a little of each. It's become pretty clear that birds evolved from dinosaurs, and this fossil was the first big clue to that. It was discovered just 2 years after Darwin's The Origin of Species, when the debate was heating up about science and creationism. Many believed it was a fake, claiming it was a Compsognathus fossil with feather imprints scratched in by paleontologists.
Many more specimens of archy have been discovered since then. And there's always more evidence that feathered dinosaurs existed being found all the time, including the flying Microraptor and the recent discovery of dinosaur feathers with actual color pigment!
The image of this fossil has always affected me in a profound way. It's angelic wings conjure up a spiritual feeling in me that most nothing normally does. A friend once pointed out that I spoke about it as if it were a religious icon and in some way I suppose he was right. I am not ashamed to be humbled by nature. However it came to be, this fossil is a beautiful thing to admire.
I feel as though I have opened up a can of worms in purchasing it. Much like someone that gets a tattoo and suddenly finds them self addicted to getting one after another, I may have found my new addiction in collecting fossils. I just hope they hang up alright on curved walls.