#142 Snow & Ice

 
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!

#133 Death & Destruction

#133 Death & Destruction
#133 Death & Destruction
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This piece is an expression of empathy for those who lost everything in the recent natural disasters.

One week ago fam­i­lies across Amer­i­ca sat down to their tra­di­tion­al Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Some were elab­o­rate, oth­ers sim­ple, but most were savored in a warm, cozy home at a famil­iar table.

But not for those whose homes were destroyed in recent fires and hur­ri­canes. Many shared Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with strangers in shel­ters and even tents. Some made new friends. Some reflect­ed on how their lives had been over­tak­en by osten­ta­tious sur­round­ings. But none were at home.

Oth­ers were too con­cerned about miss­ing loved ones to par­take in Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Not to men­tion where they were going to live, how to sur­vive, the deep pang of loss — homes, fur­nish­ings, valu­able pos­ses­sions and even cash that was stashed away in their homes. In many cas­es, liveli­hood, as com­pa­nies they worked for, or their home offices, were also destroyed.

The most dev­as­tat­ing and excru­ci­at­ing loss was that of loved ones: par­ents, chil­dren, sib­lings, rel­a­tives, friends, and pets.

At Thanks­giv­ing, no less.

It is hard to com­pre­hend. It is sad. 


Concept

I cre­at­ed this piece to empathize with those less for­tu­nate. I felt it might bring clo­sure to some, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a mor­bid piece. Maybe reflec­tive. I just felt it and cre­at­ed it.

The col­ors and effects I chose for the sen­sa­tions in the fall­en amper­sand rep­re­sent fire, water and seis­mic activ­i­ty, all nat­ur­al forces. It’s iron­ic that ele­ments such as fire, wind and water can be tremen­dous­ly ben­e­fi­cial and also ter­ri­fy­ing­ly dis­as­trous.


Comfort

I don’t know what to say to help the vic­tims of these recent dis­as­ters or past dis­as­ters, as some things are nev­er for­got­ten, nev­er recov­ered, for­ev­er mourned as a void that’s deep as one’s soul. If you have any words of com­fort please leave them here.

Here’s my clos­ing thought: 

Does­n’t nat­ur­al dis­as­ter cause enough death & destruc­tion? Why does man add to it with war and crime?

 Please comment here.


Production notes for #133 Death & Destruction:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)

Ampersand: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)
Credits:
Background image: deposit​pho​tos​.com
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!