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"In a way, of course," the Bishop said, as they sipped tea in the vestry, "we have the medieval builders of the Christian cathedrals to thank for all this."
The Dean made politely non-committal noises.
"Oh yes," the Bishop pressed. "Of course, their intention was to convert the designs into
stone, so they were simply using it as an analysis tool, but nonetheless."
The Dean, swinging gently in his hammock chair, frowned. "An analysis tool?"
"Indeed. They discovered that a cord hanging under its own weight forms a perfect catenary curve, which-"
"-which they then sketched, turned upside down, and used to make perfect load-bearing arches - from stone!"
"Upside down!? Good God!"
The Bishop grinned delightedly. "Exactly so! It seems perverse doesn't it?"
The Dean pondered this for a while. "I always assumed... Well, the altitude, the materials... it seemed so perfectly appropriate. Who would have imagined it would be invented by-"
"Christians! Quite!" the Bishop interrupted him - and getting a childish delight from interrupting the Dean, who was well known as an Arch-Interrupter. "And then to turn it upside down!"
"As you say, bizarre. Inverting a holy design..." mused the Dean. "Perverse. Unnatural, even."
"Well, to them it seemed appropriate. As I recall, it was used by one particular man, down in what was then Spain... I sometimes wonder on the first Pastafarian who stumbled upon this piece of trivia, and recognised God's work in it. Some poor 20th century martyr, his cause persecuted, fleeing across the World Wide Interweb, no doubt. To see how the Divine Will had been expressed in those upside down, tiny model cathedrals of string... and understand how simple it would be to scale up those models in order to create the perfect building in which to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Now, of course, it seems obvious - instead of stone, the Divine Will dictated columns of strong hemp rope; instead of a roof (vexatious construction!) we are protected from the elements by the floor! And if we have to build a strong scaffold to suspend our holy building from, well, that is a small price to pay. You know, I sometimes think-"
The Bishop did not get to finish, for there came a knock at the door, and a red-faced verger entered. "I'm terribly sorry to interrupt, your Graces, but-"
"Yes, thank you. It is time." the Dean observed. "Your Grace, shall we?"
"Indeed." The Bishop, with an athleticism that belied his age, swung his feet up gracefully an slotted them into his FutureSuperGecko shoes in one easy motion. The Dean, less athletic and now troubled with the beginnings of arthritis, was somewhat slower, but eventualy struggled to a vertical position.
"All set?" The Bishop asked cheerfully.
The Dean swept a hand out gracefully. "Lead on, your Grace."
Together, suspended by their feet, their hair hanging freely from the upside-down heads (and thus in its most noodly and holy state), they swung ponderously out into the nave of the Holy String Cathedral of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Catenary structure design
If it's good enough for Gaudi... [moomintroll, Jul 15 2007]
Wikipedia - the Flying Spaghetti Monster
[moomintroll, Jul 17 2007]
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||Dissidents refer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster version of the creation of the universe as "string theory".
||Brilliant. I was about to say that some
things (like flying buttresses; or the
addition of heavy statues to keep thrust-
lines within the walls) would not work
inverted in catenary-style inverted
architecture. But of course they would,
wouldn' they? So, you have a tensile bun
||Ah, yes, I saw that Gaudi exhibit too. But anything that involves hanging pontiffs and prelates upside down or the Flying Spaghetti Monster gets my vote even without that.
||[FutureSuperGecko] gets no googles, so you might want to nail that name down (or string it up) while the getting's good.
||How is the flunky knocking on a string door? Your theology is BUNK, BUNK I tell you.
||(Perhaps s/he should pluck the door instead.)
||//How is the flunky knocking on a string door?//
||Plaited into each door is a wooden panel, with a knocker attached to it. Much easier to attach fixtures and fittings to.
||It's the toilet facilities which are *really* weird.
||Delight in Its Noodly Goodness
||String theory meets religion (+)
||(+) Had to read this again.
||As ever, applying Occam's Razor would bring the whole structure
of established religion crashing to the ground