Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So many questions going in.

As we tumble ass backwards into a terrifying future which in no way resembles what we were promised by seemingly credible cartoons, on the way down we occasionally snag our balls on gems like Danish visionary Peter Madsen, the man who is paving the way for ordinary people to go to space and die there spectacularly or Lloyd Godson, a highly motivated but unfortunately Australian gentleman who proved that even on a woman's salary you can construct and live in a homemade underwater habitat ("biosub") which replenishes it's own air supply every time you pee into a vat full of algae, great news for those who don't mind smelling more like pee than normal. I think you know who I'm talking about.

But in either case, the tantalizingly lethal frontiers of the deep sea and outer space have been brought closer than they ever should be by brave, industrious men blowing their savings on personal rocketships and underwater dorm rooms so that their children inherit nothing but charred ashes or a drenched corpse. In celebration of these men and the noble sacrifice they will make any day now I have endeavored to recreate their feats, only in a manner that I can afford without compromising my lifestyle of gourmet killer whale eyeballs and surgeon-assisted direct brain massage with full release.

That means I wont be going to space, or to the depths of the ocean, but I can abide by that because I don't have 4G coverage there and if I can't watch cats doing ridiculous shit on Youtube at the drop of a hat I immediately take out my frustration on those around me. The superior option is to send man's tiniest, hairiest, finger bitingest friend, the Hamster. I love hamsters and would trade a billion Snookis or Kendras or Tila Tequilas for even one hamster, or for none. Consequently in sending these tiny sociopathic cannibals to the final frontiers of human exploration, I'm compelled to take every precaution, including triply redundant life support systems, escape pods and so on in the course of ensuring their safety, no matter how many pop culture icons must be sacrificed to accomplish it.

With your concerns as to how humanely this experiment will be carried out completely allayed (Completely) other questions arise:

Q: Why?
A: Shut up

Q: Won't the habitat flood? (aka fucking air pressure, how does it work)
A: No, the pump produces 0.15cfm at 30 inches, sufficient to continually push air *out* of the moon pool, completely refreshing the habitat's atmosphere once every three minutes.

Q: Seriously look at the river opening I'm sure it will flood
A: That's a flare in the rim, not an opening, and the air pressure keeps the water out. Google "moon pools".

Q: Why a moon pool instead of adding an exhaust hose back up to the surface?
A: Because hamsters need to drink and a moon pool is a better way to accomplish this than running down a separate hose for drinking water. Also a habitat open to the water can equalize with the outside pressure and is less likely to implode.

Q: How long can it stay down?
A: The air pumps last 14 hours on main battery and perhaps a few more on the backup D cells. The LED lighting is powered by a dedicated solar battery and can operate essentially nonstop provided decent weather.

Q: What if the pump fails? Won't the habitat flood?
A: No, there's a one-way safety valve which prevents it.

Q: I'm a bedwetting alarmist who cries animal abuse any time I don't immediately notice the precautions taken to protect them, what will you do to appease me?
A: Help you locate and climb into an active volcano.

Q: Seriously, what is the point of all this?
A: I'm interested in all sorts of things. Space travel, robots, outposts in harsh climes, the triumph of human ingenuity which makes it possible for mankind to live comfortably in places nature never intended, like Florida. The best way to learn is to do, so when I want to learn about robots I build robots, when I want to learn about rockets I build rockets, and when I want to build an underwater habitat for a dwarf hamster I get a refill on my antipsychotics but ultimately build it anyway because the annukai reptilian shapeshifters driving my body around like a meat robot always get their way.

So I'm going to build it. Because it's interesting, and a challenge. Because I want to learn firsthand what is involved in designing and constructing a complete underwater habitat capable of sustaining complex organisms. It's a weird hobby but some of my friends crochet so I'm in the clear.

For reference, here's the initial concept schematic for Hampture. The stage in design where I'm sixteen again, big blue eyes like dinner plates, rosy cheeks and wild expectations all of which are ground slowly into a dull brown paste as reality sets in. Every project, in a sense, is like another lifetime of gradually lowered expectations and all-consuming regret:

If you're confused as to why you seem to be in a planetarium right now it's because upon viewing the above schematic you climaxed uncontrollably and your load shot straight up into a cieling fan which sprayed it in all directions like postmodern spin art. An ultraviolet light fixture you forgot you purchased from Spencer's because you can't be trusted with money was jarred into activation and the flecks of your seed adorning all four walls lit up like christmas lights. Savor this magical moment, you will never again feel so viscerally alive.

Anyways here's what the project turned into when I realized I'm broke:

A single moderately sized cabin with composting dirt to handle the poop, a dish of food pellets and some LED lighting. As the moon pool is designed to continuously circulate water the little guy has plenty to drink, and by scaling back to only what was strictly needed for a reasonably extended stay underwater I was able to buy the parts for this crime against god but also continue sleeping indoors.

If you'd like to see the habitat grow into something resembling a proper city, with multiple enclosures (possibly interconnected?) or even the construction of the original design, click the paypal button and send me the dollar you were going to spend on bullshit DLC for some magical elf game. Watching something this bizarre and ill-advised by any sane authority come together before your eyes is worth at least that, and some portion of the proceeds will go to paying my attourney, posting my bail, or hiring a reconstructive surgeon when the hamsters discover ADAM.


  1. So when will construction of the habitat begin?

  2. When the rest of the components arrive in the mail.

  3. make sure that support buoy has an independent anchor system, or else it could get blown around and sever the lifeline.

    also, water is generally cold. won't the hamsters be chilly? and think about condensation, because it WILL happen. you may need some kind of de-humidifier to prevent hyper-sogginess (and thus hamster pneumonia etc). maybe you can put a mesh bag full of dri-rite down with the hamsters, but that would need to be changed often. you could also have a condensation collector on the air return tube (this is just coily copper tubing), so that as the air gets pumped in, condensation would be extracted, but this would require a pump for the condensed water and a method of detecting when to pump.

  4. Definitely will use dri rite. And the condensation collector seems simple to add. Anything more than that would be a bit elaborate for such a project. My expectation is it won't need much more than that if it's only gonna be down there for 14 hours at a time.

  5. After the successful completion of Hampture, will you attempt to build from your original blueprints or just move on?

  6. I have a couple projects planned. A hamster space program (D engine model rocket with meticulously padded cockpit in the nosecone) a hamster mech, and maybe something with hamsters and augmented reality. Once this project's done I'll probably just make a general mad science website.

  7. If this works, you deserve a fucking nobel prize.

  8. I don't know what to say. I wish you and your furry friend the best of luck. You are a true visionary.