#142 Snow & Ice

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142 Snow & Ice
#142 Snow & Ice
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Snow & ice & unbelievably freezing cold weather

Liv­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, I can­not com­pre­hend how cold it is in the mid­west & north­east this win­ter. Schools are closed, postal deliv­ery is halt­ed, & sad­ly there have been sev­er­al deaths relat­ed to the freez­ing weath­er & slip­pery roads.

Neither rain nor sleet…

I was giv­en a great idea from a friend, to do this piece about the unbear­ably cold weath­er & name it after the “mail­man’s mot­to”— 

Nei­ther rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the post­men from their appoint­ed rounds.

That sound­ed like a great idea until I real­ized it’s all “nors,” not “ands” — no place for an amper­sand! But the idea for the top­ic stuck, & I learned some inter­est­ing facts about that “mot­to” to relay here:

First, it’s not an offi­cial mot­to of the US Postal Ser­vice. There is, in fact, no mot­to for the agency. 

What’s more sur­pris­ing is that the orig­i­nal say­ing, “Nei­ther snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these coura­geous couri­ers from the swift com­ple­tion of their appoint­ed rounds,” was said about 2500 years ago by the Greek his­to­ri­an, Herodotus. He said this adage dur­ing the war between the Greeks & Per­sians about 500 B.C. in ref­er­ence to the Per­sian mount­ed postal couri­ers whom he observed & held in high esteem.¹

The rea­son it has become iden­ti­fied with the USPS is because back in 1896 – 97 when the New York City Gen­er­al Post Office was being designed, Mitchell Kendal, an employ­ee for the archi­tec­tur­al firm, McKim, Mead & White, came up with the idea of engrav­ing Herodotus’ say­ing all around the out­side of the building.¹

This unbear­able & unsafe weath­er has even defeat­ed the unof­fi­cial “mail­man mot­to.” Postal ser­vice has been halt­ed in the cold­est regions. I don’t blame those mail deliv­ery work­ers one bit. Mail­men & mail­women are many peo­ple’s favorite ser­vice providers. Some­times they’re the only human con­tact peo­ple have in a day. I’ve seen videos where cats wait for the mail­man, either to rub an affec­tion­ate hel­lo, or jump to the mail slot in the door to destroy the incom­ing “toys.” For all their ded­i­cat­ed ser­vice, includ­ing the friend­ly hel­los, mail deliv­er­ers deserve to not go out & endan­ger them­selves. I read that frost­bite can occur with­in min­utes with the cur­rent tem­per­a­tures. 

Baby, it’s cold outside

When I heard how ridicu­lous the flack was last Christ­mas sea­son about the lyrics in the clas­sic song “Baby, It’s Cold Out­side,” I was dumb­found­ed by how stu­pid­ly the PC Police have cen­sored just about every­thing, just because some peo­ple are too frigid­ly sen­si­tive or just plain fool­ish. It’s embar­rass­ing. We’re talk­ing about a clas­sic song here, writ­ten in 1944 with a fun lyri­cal exchange, & win­ning an Oscar in 1949.

Seems that in this MeToo move­ment, every hint of a rela­tion­ship between a man & a woman should be regard­ed as date rape. This is just too much. Get real. Espe­cial­ly when it is so cold out­side. Baby.

Here’s a good arti­cle on the top­ic, by Inc. Mag­a­zine.

Snow & ice — what’s the difference?

Here are some mete­o­rol­o­gy facts about the sub­ject of this Amper­Art piece, Snow & Ice:

Is snow a form of ice?

Snow is pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the form of ice crys­tals. It orig­i­nates in clouds when tem­per­a­tures are below the freez­ing point (0 degrees Cel­sius, or 32 degrees Fahren­heit), when water vapor in the atmos­phere con­dens­es direct­ly into ice­with­out going through the liq­uid stage.
Nation­al Snow & Ice Data Cen­ter 

Why does frozen water appear as snow in some cas­es & ice in oth­ers?

Water comes in a vari­ety of forms, or phas­es. Depend­ing on tem­per­a­ture, the three com­mon­ly found are gas (water vapor), liq­uid (liq­uid water), & sol­id (ice). Snow & ice are made of the same mate­r­i­al but snow is com­posed of crys­tals with reg­u­lar shapes, while ice forms as sheets or sol­id chunks.

The dif­fer­ence between snow & ice lies in how water freezes into its sol­id form, & here’s how that hap­pens. (Read the entire arti­cle at the Boston Globe.)
—Boston Globe

What is the tem­per­a­ture for it to snow?

The falling snow pass­es through the freez­ing lev­el into the warmer air, where it melts & changes to rain before reach­ing the ground. When the air tem­per­a­ture at the ground is less than 32 F, the pre­cip­i­ta­tion begins falling as snow from the clouds.
—Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois arti­cle with illus­tra­tions

Why does snow some­times sparkle?

Some­times on a sun­ny day, fresh­ly fall­en snow may appear to sparkle or glit­ter. This hap­pens because when light hits an object light, it can be absorbed, in which case the object is heat­ed; trans­mit­ted, in which case light pass­es through the object; or reflect­ed, in which case it bounces back.
The Why Files 


Concept

The artis­tic con­cept for this piece was obvi­ous, but I did want it to be rather somber for those who are deal­ing with the cold & dan­ger­ous weath­er. One prob­lem I had to solve was whether the com­mon phrase should be “snow & ice” or “ice & snow.” I pre­fer the design of “ice & snow” but sound­ing it out, real­ized most peo­ple would prob­a­bly say “snow & ice” because it rolls off the tongue eas­i­er (as long as their tongue is not stuck to a lamp post). Also, I think you have to have snow before you have ice, right? Or is it rain? I don’t know — I con­sid­er any­thing beyond a driz­zle a full-​fledged storm.

Maybe I’ll switch the words lat­er & re-​issue the piece. What do you think? 

I was pleased with how the ice blocks stacked to form the amper­sand. The type­style for the words “snow” & “ice” — called Pel­i­can (seems it should be called Pen­guin for this piece) — offered the per­fect ice shard effect.

Hang onto this issue! Print & frame & intense­ly stare at it this sum­mer, when we’ll have record-​breaking tem­per­a­tures on the oth­er end of the scale. I could use some of those right now. Any­thing under 70 degrees is too cold for this So Cal beach bum.


Stay warm & dry.

I sincerely hope you, my ampersand friends, stay warm & safe this winter.


 Please comment here.


Production notes for #142 Snow & Ice:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font: Pelican

Ampersand: Chaz DeSimone, manipulated stock images
Credits:
Stock images: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Fire: giphy​.com

¹The Phrase Finder, UK
Mailman illustration: attic​pa​per​.com 1956 John Hancock Insurance ad
Other editorial credits as noted in article.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

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5 thoughts to “#142 Snow & Ice”

  1. Chaz.….for as long as I’ve known you — and that would be, lit­er­al­ly decades! You have nev­er failed to both sur­prise me with your incred­i­ble com­mand of the writ­ten word and your abil­i­ty to stop me dead in my tracks to view as well as read & admire your work. I’m so glad we found each oth­er once again. Look­ing for­ward to trav­el­ing south soon.

  2. An excel­lent web site you have here. It’s hard to find high qual­i­ty writ­ing like yours nowa­days. I real­ly appre­ci­ate indi­vid­u­als like you! Take care!!

  3. Chaz, I am amazed and impressed by your incred­i­ble cre­ativ­i­ty — and con­sis­ten­cy — in pub­lish­ing Amper­sand all these years. I con­fess that when you start­ed I thought, “Hmm, that’s ambi­tious” — with more than a lit­tle skep­ti­cism. Amper­sand is tru­ly inspir­ing — and enter­tain­ing! And I agree that the manda­to­ry over­sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the PC move­ment is bleak­ly humor­less (all ice, no snow), and there­fore, by def­i­n­i­tion, off-​base. We know we’ve lost the plot when we lose our sense of humor. Stay warm, and keep up the great work!

    1. I deeply appre­ci­ate your “review,” Todd. (Not just a quick com­ment.) You even apply your stel­lar & wit­ty copy­writ­ing tal­ent.

      Amper­Art is the one & only thing I con­sis­tent­ly accom­plish — and some­times that’s sec­onds till the month­ly dead­line. (A few times I’ve shot over, but fig­ured it must still be yes­ter­day some­where in the world.)

      Thanks again for the words.

  4. Yes, it is very cold here right now in PA (the peo­ple & the weath­er here are equal­ly frigid!)
    Hav­ing lived also in the Mid­west, I know it’s even worse there but we still man­age to have burst­ing pipes and oth­er issues to con­tend with in this dark part of the US. Inci­den­tal­ly, the humid­i­ty of the North­east makes the weath­er here ALWAYS feel worse (whether it be extreme heat or extreme cold) and makes for thick, wet snow instead of the nice invit­ing pow­der for ski­ing out West.
    And, MOST impor­tant­ly OF ALL.…the PEOPLE in both the South & the West are so much warmer! WISH I WAS THERE!

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