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The Amazing Stories Behind Pictures: Places, Events, Poetry, Works of Art Some pictures have far more to see than what is immediately obvious. It's also a window and a library of whatever went before. Tell us this and so we'll be taken beyond the picture deep into the nature and feelings that will buttress the pictures and pull us to come back.

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  #1  
Old March 25th, 2016, 11:10 AM
Michael_Stones Michael_Stones is offline
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Default The Ice Project

During the past couple of winters, Roger Hanson (aka Ice Man Roger) attempted to enter the Guinness Book of Records by building the world's tallest ice sculpture. You can read about him and his Ice Project here and here, respectively. The city of Superior, Wisconsin, sponsored the project on Barker's Island, with an accompanying winter-long ice festival hugely enjoyed by Superior's residents and visitors.

I spent some time with Roger last year and recorded our conversation. My aim is eventually to write an article about him, his dreams and ambition, and the technical difficulties of building sculpture weighing more than 4,000 tons, using lake water, and erected on a ground base of sand. He's a fascinating man and I hope his dreams become realized.

Sadly, that did not occur during the 2014-2015 winter because the sculpture collapsed. You can read about that here. After Roger figured out why the crash occurred and ways to correct the problems, he had high hope for the just passed winter of 2015-2016. Sadly again, those hopes were dashed because of an unusually short cold season. Next year, he'll try again. I hope he get his wish for a long, cold spell. Then my article can be about this amazing man who built an amazing sculpture that earned worldwide recognition in the Guinness Book of Records.

Here are photos of the sculpture and Roger, respectively.



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Old March 25th, 2016, 12:07 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael_Stones View Post
During the past couple of winters, Roger Hanson (aka Ice Man Roger) attempted to enter the Guinness Book of Records by building the world's tallest ice sculpture. You can read about him and his Ice Project here and here, respectively. The city of Superior, Wisconsin, sponsored the project on Barker's Island, with an accompanying winter-long ice festival hugely enjoyed by Superior's residents and visitors.

I spent some time with Roger last year and recorded our conversation. My aim is eventually to write an article about him, his dreams and ambition, and the technical difficulties of building sculpture weighing more than 4,000 tons, using lake water, and erected on a ground base of sand. He's a fascinating man and I hope his dreams become realized.

Sadly, that did not occur during the 2014-2015 winter because the sculpture collapsed. You can read about that here. After Roger figured out why the crash occurred and ways to correct the problems, he had high hope for the just passed winter of 2015-2016. Sadly again, those hopes were dashed because of an unusually short cold season. Next year, he'll try again. I hope he get his wish for a long, cold spell. Then my article can be about this amazing man who built an amazing sculpture that earned worldwide recognition in the Guinness Book of Records.
Here are photos of the sculpture and Roger, respectively.





What is frightening is that no matter how careful our plans are, we do have to learn on the way as there are almost hidden assumptions that one only discovers when the project is underway. Only rarely can one design something new that works "out of the box"!

Two successful examples were instructive. One was the fabrication of 3D printed plastic cases for clandestine satellite communication gear for special forces air dropped in the Gulf war into Iraq. The plans where cabled to Tel Aviv where they were they were transformed to two halves of a case with shapes to safely hold gear from Scandinavia. An air force jet took them back to the USA and the parts just snapped in place and the cases were handed over to the special forces for immediate drop behind the Iraqi lines.

Another occasion was the destruction of the Iraqi Atomic Reactor which required punching a hole through the concrete dome and them guiding another bomb to follow. But the Israelis did cheat a little. They practiced this technique secretly on a dummy reactor dome in the Negev dessert. I doubt such a feat would be possible just based on the "theory".

So I am not surprised that there is structural failure in building Roger's giant ice sculpture. One needs to make some computer model for which one can do finite element analysis and predict failure before one invests the energy in any design that takes up so much effort.

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 26th, 2016, 01:53 PM
Michael_Stones Michael_Stones is offline
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Here are photos of the sculpture and Roger, respectively.





What is frightening is that no matter how careful our plans are, we do have to learn on the way as there are almost hidden assumptions that one only discovers when the project is underway. Only rarely can one design something new that works "out of the box"!

Two successful examples were instructive. One was the fabrication of 3D printed plastic cases for clandestine satellite communication gear for special forces air dropped in the Gulf war into Iraq. The plans where cabled to Tel Aviv where they were they were transformed to two halves of a case with shapes to safely hold gear from Scandinavia. An air force jet took them back to the USA and the parts just snapped in place and the cases were handed over to the special forces for immediate drop behind the Iraqi lines.

Another occasion was the destruction of the Iraqi Atomic Reactor which required punching a hole through the concrete dome and them guiding another bomb to follow. But the Israelis did cheat a little. They practiced this technique secretly on a dummy reactor dome in the Negev dessert. I doubt such a feat would be possible just based on the "theory".

So I am not surprised that there is structural failure in building Roger's giant ice sculpture. One needs to make some computer model for which one can do finite element analysis and predict failure before one invests the energy in any design that takes up so much effort.

Asher
Hi Asher. I agree that contextual factors necessitate trial and error but suspect that Roger considers such problems challenging rather than frightening. His intended outcome of the creation of temporary piece of art is not something seriously geopolitical. He clearly enjoys what heís doing, appreciates the attention it brought him, and shares the enjoyment of those attending the winter festivities. Gaining entry into the Guinness Book of Records would be a bonus rather than a necessity.

Rogerís admirable characteristics include motivation fuelled by simple curiosity and skills to further the project that are fully self-taught (i.e., mechanical and electronic engineering, software development). In those regards, he belongs to a tradition of old-style amateur scientists and inventors that included the pioneers of photography. Unlike them, however, his background included neither a wealthy family nor an exclusive education. He's a regular guy who's made exclusive art that's close to the world's biggest of its kind. To my mind, that's one helluva achievement.

The technical problems he encountered in the first Barkerís Island venture included winds stronger than anticipated, a floor that moved because of shifting sand, and a crystallized ice structure weakened by contaminated lake water. All bar the latter were corrected in the second venture. However, the main problem was the unusually short, warm winter. What Roger needs is someone to design a planning model that leads to elimination of global warming in Superior, Wisconsin, by next December at the latest. Can any OPFI reader help with this?
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Old March 27th, 2016, 01:31 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael_Stones View Post
Hi Asher. I agree that contextual factors necessitate trial and error but suspect that Roger considers such problems challenging rather than frightening. His intended outcome of the creation of temporary piece of art is not something seriously geopolitical. He clearly enjoys what heís doing, appreciates the attention it brought him, and shares the enjoyment of those attending the winter festivities. Gaining entry into the Guinness Book of Records would be a bonus rather than a necessity.

Rogerís admirable characteristics include motivation fuelled by simple curiosity and skills to further the project that are fully self-taught (i.e., mechanical and electronic engineering, software development). In those regards, he belongs to a tradition of old-style amateur scientists and inventors that included the pioneers of photography. Unlike them, however, his background included neither a wealthy family nor an exclusive education. He's a regular guy who's made exclusive art that's close to the world's biggest of its kind. To my mind, that's one helluva achievement.

The technical problems he encountered in the first Barkerís Island venture included winds stronger than anticipated, a floor that moved because of shifting sand, and a crystallized ice structure weakened by contaminated lake water. All bar the latter were corrected in the second venture. However, the main problem was the unusually short, warm winter. What Roger needs is someone to design a planning model that leads to elimination of global warming in Superior, Wisconsin, by next December at the latest. Can any OPFI reader help with this?
This is delightful. I can imagine that one could have a local refrigeration system internal to the sculpture and also cold air dropping from above. I could help design that. The water needs to be filtered and then sprayed on the skeleton structure with nylon mesh stitched across the freezing ice.

Asher
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Old March 27th, 2016, 08:41 PM
Michael_Stones Michael_Stones is offline
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Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
This is delightful. I can imagine that one could have a local refrigeration system internal to the sculpture and also cold air dropping from above. I could help design that. The water needs to be filtered and then sprayed on the skeleton structure with nylon mesh stitched across the freezing ice.

Asher
It's fun isn't it. The rules for the Guinness Book of Records, so far as I'm aware, are for the tallest ice sculpture to be free-standing without external cooling or other aids. However, structural support is permitted during the building process.

Roger's approach was to build the sculpture one tier at a time, with each subsequent tier built above the preceding tier. For each tier, he strung a metal wire between pylons, sprayed water on the wire, with the direction and strength of the spray controlled by laptop software that took continuous account of wind, temperature, snow/rain, etc. The spraying resulted in growing mass of ice around the wire (let's call it a 'cylinder') with growing mass of icicles falling below below this cylindrical mass. Eventually, the growing icicles came to rest on a base (i.e., the ground base for the first tier; the 'cylinder' of the previous tier for subsequent tiers) and acquired sufficient mass to support that tier on its base. Then Roger passed a heating current along the wire. This current melted the immediately surrounding ice to allow removal of the wire without damage to the structure. The sculpture was now free-standing before the addition of any next tier. I know this description is a vast oversimplification of a huge set of calculations and procedures, but it gives the general idea.

Not having the audio recording of my conversation with Roger at hand, I think the problems with lake water were that debris, acidity/alkalinity or both led to less crystalline strength. I do remember that he wanted to use tap water for the subsequent sculpture but that didn't happen. I'm not sure why but suspect wider logistics got in his way.

Cheers, Mike.
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Old March 28th, 2016, 10:10 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I hope he continues. He is basically there, just needs to get a better base and deal with water impurities........and some global warming!

Asher
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Our purpose is getting to an impressive photograph. So we encourage browsing and then feedback. Consider a link to your galleries annotated, C&C welcomed. Images posted within OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated.
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