And he built a circular house

Wikipedia tells me that Robert Heinlein designed and built a circular house.

Google confirms it.


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That is all.

Last 5 posts by Clark

Comments

  1. nlp says

    One of Heinlein's most famous quotes: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

  2. says

    Well, if you want to sit and write about group sex with your mother, an idealized male hero-figure, and two adolescent genetically engineered genius-twins, having corners would be awkward.

  3. Bacon_Is_King says

    Someone scored the Bonny Doon house for 380k in 1988 and has held it ever since.

  4. says

    if you want to sit and write about group sex with your mother, an idealized male hero-figure, and two adolescent genetically engineered genius-twins

  5. jhitesma says

    Nice. But I still prefer Burt Rutans hexagonal pyramid house:
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Rutan+Road,+Mojave,+CA&hl=en&ll=35.028788,-118.202642&spn=0.001676,0.002207&sll=35.061582,-118.191497&sspn=0.013401,0.01766&oq=rutan+&t=h&hnear=Rutan+Rd,+Mojave,+Kern,+California+93501&z=19

    Searched for it on google for years before I finally found it. I remember reading an article about it in Popular Science years back and thought it would be easy to find – odd shape, part of a plane for a mailbox, turns out to even be on "Rutan St". Finally found it a few years ago when it went up for sale – but it still took a lot of work. Found a copy of the old article I remembered online and based on the distance from the airport listed in the article narrowed down my search. Crazy thing is the house just north of it is an octagon…must be something in the desert air out there in Mojave :)

    Seems like a deal for $1million: http://www.eaa.org/news/2011/2011-02-17_rutan.asp Wonder if it's sold yet….

  6. Lago says

    "One of Heinlein's most famous quotes: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

    sci fi authors have the oddest opinions sometimes. i see a common theme in sci fi where there's colonist type people and homeworld type people, where homeworld people are many and specialized, and colonist people are few and multi skilled (this is a particularly stark divide in Asimov books, even though robots and stuff instead of multi skilled colonists). I've read Heinlein too though, this opinion is pretty apparent in his books, and it's completely different from almost all the rest of sci fi. This portrayal is also not the least bit realistic or intriguing. People are diverse and everybody is flawed.

  7. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels says

    Well he was in the Navy. Maybe he was taking that old saying and making a Heinlein style joke:

    When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream, and shout.

    Bet he'd be angry about having satellites observing his house.

  8. AlanF says

    Given a choice, I would prefer the one in Heinlein's "And He Built a Crooked House", in the shape of a tesseract.

    A good friend of mine in Monrovia (Calif.) owns a house which I joke is an architect's attempt at that. No two rooms are on the same level, and there are only a few parallel walls. The living room is six-sided, but only vaguely resembles a hexagon. The flooring contractor had fits trying to make things look right.

    I take it back. Two of the bathrooms are on the same level as the adjacent room.

  9. says

    @Jim Ancona:

    I wish he'd built one in the shape of an unfolded tesseract.

    @AlanF:

    Given a choice, I would prefer the one in Heinlein's "And He Built a Crooked House", in the shape of a tesseract.

    I swear, sometimes I think people don't even read the titles of the posts.

  10. Harrow says

    I read somewhere that the most popular shape for a home swimming pool is circular.

    (Fore those of you who cannot expand the map view: the swimming pool on the property has an amorphous outline.)

    -Harrow.

  11. says

    There are two amazing quotes by Heinlein that I have always loved [well other than most of the Lazurus notebook quotes ;) ] that are extremely apt at the moment:

    When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. – If This Goes On (1940)

    and

    "There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back." –
    Life-Line (1939)

    And of course the house is circular.. where else is the Gay Deceiver supposed to park itself ;)

  12. Mark says

    That's no house! It's a ….

    Actually I thought it looks a bit like an aerial shot of the Millenium Falcon.

  13. David Tagliaferri says

    Where I work, the main office building is a round cylinder. It is not a very good office building design. There is a spiral stair case and elevator in the center and offices around the outside. Nothing fits well inthe oiffices as there is not 90° corner but thing like desks usually have 90° corners. In my mind, in the end, the design wastes a lot of space.

  14. Divad says

    I see RAH's round house, and raise him one. It has been pointed out that neither of these houses is unique, but the house between them is, as no other house has round houses on both sides.

    http://goo.gl/maps/F79Rn

  15. earthclanbootstrap says

    Whoa there, Ken, he is not writing about the protagonist having sex with adolescent genetically engineered genius-twins.
    He is writing about the protagonist having sex with adolescent genetically engineered genius twins that are clones of himself.
    There's a difference. Geez.

  16. Craig Trader says

    @Lago, in my opinion, specialization is a losing long-term strategy, and there's no better evidence of it than the last 50 years of technology. Specialists may prosper for a few years, but its only the generalists who can make a lifetime career of managing the changing trends in technology.

  17. Mark says

    Having sex with your clone is basically just masturbation. Which, of course reminds me of my favorite quote of his…

    “Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

  18. earthclanbootstrap says

    @Mark – As long as there is contraception involved it is basically masturbation. Otherwise, flipper baby risks do apply. But then, RAH wasn't shy about pseudo-scientifically hand-waving that little snag away. He was on a mission! ;-)

  19. Lago says

    @Craig Trader: I agree. My response was to Heinlein's quote about how we should be individually more self sufficient by being able to design a building or program a computer. There's a certain amount of specialization that's useful and, depending on your field, makes such skills wasteful.

  20. mcinsand says

    Where I went to college, our math building was circular and 3 or 4 floors tall. There were no elevators or stairs, but a spiral ramp just inside the outer shell. Semiregularly, an ambitious skateboarder would have an epic phailure when attempting to right from the top of the ramp to the bottom. And, of course, the building was often referred to as ‘the big screw,’ in reference to that ramp.

  21. James Pollock says

    "sci fi authors have the oddest opinions sometimes. i see a common theme in sci fi where there's colonist type people and homeworld type people, where homeworld people are many and specialized, and colonist people are few and multi skilled"
    An entire generation of SF writers were heavily influenced by John Wood Campbell's ideal "capable man". It was based (roughly) on the frontier… people who are happy with the way things are stay where they are. People who are not happy with the way things are go to the frontier, with the idea of doing something (or many things) differently. Once on the frontier, people either demonstrate an ability to adapt, or they go home, or they get dead. Campbell's "capable man" fits just as well in the Western genre as it does in SF.

  22. Lago says

    @James Pollock: Thanks, I could see the connection but haven't read enough from Campbell and didn't really know how the idea of the 'western frontier in space' developed.

  23. says

    Actually, the house started out as a closed simply-connected 3-manifold, but it would up in its current shape somehow after a wild party that featured some very loud music. I guess California is just that kind of place.

  24. Steven H. says

    @earthclanbootstrap:

    "@Mark – As long as there is contraception involved it is basically masturbation. Otherwise, flipper baby risks do apply. But then, RAH wasn't shy about pseudo-scientifically hand-waving that little snag away. He was on a mission! ;-)"

    What was pseudo-scientific about assuming that in, what was it, 2000 years in the future they would know enough about human genetics to determine whether any particular set of genes was "clean" of bad recessives?

    Only "pseudo-science" I recall from "Time Enough for Love" was the usual one for scifi – FTL drive (and the implied time-travel mechanism).

  25. says

    Heinlein was a genius. So was his third wife.

    Genius' tend to be a bit weird. So do writers. Put them together, and you get Bob Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison…

    Wayne

  26. James Pollock says

    "Only "pseudo-science" I recall from "Time Enough for Love" was the usual one for scifi"
    Did you miss the immortally long-lived man?
    (I'm a huge fan of his early works, tolerant of the later ones. I have the same complaint of Asimov– I disliked the joining of the Foundation novels to the Robot novels' continuity)

  27. James Pollock says

    "Is there a scientific reason to believe rejuvenation is impossible?"

    WW Smith lives for hundreds of years because he comes from a family of long-lived people who've been offered a stipend to intermarry (originally appearing in Methuselah's Children, at which point he's a couple of hundred years old.) Rejuvenation isn't even invented until he's pressing quadruple digits. Good genes can give you a longer life, but nobody suggests that elvish lifespans can result from eugenics.

  28. wumpus says

    I read too much RAH (including all the "author's notes, afterwards and other things where he need no bother speaking from a Jubal Harshaw), and seem to remember that advice/regrets about "building a house on a hill". I suspect the timing involved put it a bit before this one, but that was the only thing I remember him mentioning anything about building a house.

    Then again, I was reading all this roughly around the time of his death.

  29. Xenocles says

    @James-

    I believe the Howard Families first encountered rejuvenation after returning from exile off-world, during which they had been travelling at relativistic speeds. (The normal people discovered how to do it because they were convinced the Howard longevity was technological in nature, which drove them to search fervently for the secret.) It's not strictly fair to say that Long was as old as his objective age suggested at that point.

    @Wumpus-

    I believe he built two; IIRC the one at Bonny Doon was nearly identical to the first one near Colorado Springs, which they had to leave for health reasons (one or both of them was not suited to something in the mountains).

  30. Steven H. says

    @James Pollock:

    "Did you miss the immortally long-lived man?"

    I take it you believe that if we don't know how to do it now, it's not something you want to put in science fiction?

    From Methuselah's Children, Woodie was nearing 300 when he gained access to the first generally available longevity treatment (note that at the same time, the longevity researcher among the Howard Families said "we tried that way long time ago, decided it wasn't useful because it required several donors for each person so preserved – it never occurred to us we could grow blood industrially" (paraphrased)).

    The only element of either story (Time Enough for Love or Methuselah's Children) was the FTL drive (which we're pretty sure, at this point, is not just "not something we know how to do", but "something that is completely impossible given the laws of physics".

  31. David says

    @Steven H:
    "…was the FTL drive (which we're pretty sure, at this point, is not just "not something we know how to do", but "something that is completely impossible given the laws of physics".

    False.