Friday, August 06, 2010

A Typewriter Preserved From Roman Times

I am here. A deep space. A sheltered sea.

I Am Here

In naval science, the Black Sea is thought to have received its name because of its hydrogen sulphide layer that begins about 200 metres below the surface, and supports a unique microbial population which produces black sediments probably due to anaerobic methane oxidation.

... Below the pycnocline, salinity increases to 22 to 22.5 ppt and temperatures rise to around 8.5 °C (47.3 °F). The hydrochemical environment shifts from oxygenated to anoxic, as bacterial decomposition of sunken biomass utilises all of the free oxygen. Certain species of extremophile bacteria are capable of using sulfate (SO42−) in the oxidation of organic material, which leads to the creation of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This enables the precipitation of sulfides such as the iron sulphides pyrite, greigite and iron monosulphide, as well as the dissolution of carbonate matter such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3), found in shells. Organic matter, including anthropogenic artifacts such as boat hulls, are well preserved. During periods of high surface productivity, short-lived algal blooms form organic rich layers known as sapropels. Scientists have reported an annual phytoplankton bloom that can be seen in many NASA images of the region. As a result of these characteristics the Black Sea has gained interest from the field of marine archaeology as ancient shipwrecks in excellent states of preservation have been discovered, such as the Byzantine wreck Sinop D, located in the anoxic layer off the coast of Sinop, Turkey.

Modelling shows the release of the hydrogen sulphide clouds in the event of an asteroid impact into the Black Sea would pose a threat to health—or even life—for people living on the Black Sea coast.

“Black Sea,” at Wikipedia

I’m a typewriter preserved from Roman times
because of the lack of oxygen in me.

Look out if I get hit by an asteroid.

A sheltered sea can develop chemistry
that couldn’t exist with deep water mixing.

But that chemistry can be counterfeited
where deep water mixing exists. Or is stopped.

Typewriters preserved from Roman times can type
in English if you change the Selectric ball.

An asteroid can be counterfeited, too.

All the well-dressed business people in Shanghai
type reports on computers. Or their cell phones.

There is a breeze blowing from the world ocean.

Maple White, lost in something like a jungle,
does sketches and watercolors, and types notes
on me, an old typewriter from Roman times.

I am the water and what’s preserved in it.

Watercolor Update!

Tuesday I posted a beautiful watercolor of oil rigs by Ian Sidaway and I speculated about some advanced techniques he may have used to create the image. Since then I’ve had an e-mail exchange with the artist himself—Ian Sidaway!—and he gave me a brief description of how he created the image, telling me, “The image of the rigs was far simpler to put together than you might think.”

Here is Ian Sidaway—in his own e-mail words!—describing the oil rig watercolor:

The image was worked out first on Layout paper and this drawing transferred to the support by tracing. The sky and sea were washed in first and once dry the landmass was added. The rig was then painted using a brush and ruler. Working from the top down I used the basic trace as a guide adding detail as I went. Once dry I worked back over the image adding more detail. The sea was painted last. I estimate six washes completed the image. As ever planning is everything and the easiest solution is often the best. Gum Arabic was added to the wash used on the rig which helped when painting fine lines as the surface tension of the wash is increased, this prevents the wash from creeping sideways making fine lines easier to paint. Remember keep it simple and think it through before hand. The idea is not to paint yourself into a corner.

That’s pretty cool. Such an extraordinary image and it’s just classic British watercolor techniques. Top-to-bottom. Back-to-front. Washes. Drying time. Fine brush work.

It’s really encouraging to me that such a great image could be created by such straightforward techniques. It doesn’t make it easy—of course!—but it’s one more reason for me not to go out and get a Wacom tablet and work directly in Photoshop and abandon the analog world completely.

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World Ocean at Wikipedia

Shanghai In The Epipelagic Layer

The Endless Death Of Maple White

Sheldrake: Orchestras To Planetary Systems

I Am Here

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