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Inktober 2014-1 : Quick Doodles

I was given a new ink pen in a *beautiful* wooden box to hold pens, nibs, ink, for our anniversary. Just in time for Inktober! Did several small doodles on various papers on Day 1. These two are a scrap of some handmade (maybe) rice (maybe) old-ivory-colored paper.

The black "writing ink" that came with the pen worked well once I changed to one of my nibs. It worked better on the handmade paper than on regular sketch paper.

The Parker reddish ink worked very well on that sketch book paper but not so well on the handmade paper.

Hibernating Mouse

Ink and watercolors on this smooth paper of some kind.

Done for Sketchfest #45 (December 2013) but the scans were terrible until May, when I borrowed a better on.  (You can see the bad scan at Sketchfest: http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/sketchfestart.php?id=13267.

Submitted it for a comment by a Real Live Art Director on twitter (more out of curiosity than anything; I knew it was just a rough thing), and got back this feedback: be sure the underlying drawing is good.

Fair enough. Especially since the perspective is particularly off, but not purposefully/to good effect. And the shading.

So I linked to an article about climate/global warming on facebook, and drew an incorrect (overstated) conclusion from it. Bummer on me! Thanks to Jim for pointing that out!

In the course of the comments, my cousin asked me what I thought of assertions by Les Woodcock.  This is my answer to my cousin; if I have something wrong here, please comment and point me to more info. Peer-reviewed research papers (or overview/surveys of such) preferred.

Not knowing who Les Woodcock was, or what the quotes were, I went and googled him. Right? First place to start?

So at first, all I could find was the same couple of phrases, almost all on known right-wing American websites: "former NASA" "eminent scientist" "laughs at man-made climate change".  Same phrases over and over. (Your results may vary as google is now like that.) Did not see citations or links to sites that were _news_ oriented (lots and lots of opinion and blog, yes). I did find what I think might be the original interview article in the Yorkshire Evening Post website: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/global-warming-is-rubbish-says-top-professor-1-6536732 "‘Global warming’ is rubbish says top professor" by Neil Hudson.

    Here's the main bit of quotation--this is Dr. Woodcock talking:

    “The term ‘climate change’ is meaningless. The Earth’s climate has been changing since time immemorial, that is since the Earth was formed 1,000 million years ago. The theory of ‘man-made climate change’ is an unsubstantiated hypothesis [about] our climate [which says it] has been adversely affected by the burning of fossil fuels in the last 100 years, causing the average temperature on the earth’s surface to increase very slightly but with disastrous environmental consequences.

    “The theory is that the CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuel is the ‘greenhouse gas’ causes ‘global warming’ - in fact, water is a much more powerful greenhouse gas and there is is 20 time more of it in our atmosphere (around one per cent of the atmosphere) whereas CO2 is only 0.04 per cent.

    “There is no reproducible scientific evidence CO2 has significantly increased in the last 100 years.

    “Anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean anything in science, its not significant.

    “Events can happen with frequencies on all time scales in the physics of a chaotic system such as the weather. Any point on lowland can flood up to a certain level on all time scales from one month to millions of years and its completely unpredictable beyond around five days.

    “We can go back to great floods and Noah’s Ark in the Middle East regions which are now desserts [sic].

    “The reason records seem to be being frequently broken is simply because we only started keeping them about 100 years ago. There will always be some record broken somewhere when we have another natural fluctuation in weather.

    “Its absolutely stupid to blame floods on climate change, as I read the Prime Minister did recently. I don’t blame the politicians in this case, however, I blame his so-called scientific advisors.”

So a little more about Dr. Woodcock, because I did find out more with my later google searches:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/Leslie.woodcock/personaldetails -- He's professor emeritus at U of Manchester, in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science.  I did a google scholar search for him too, to see his research interests/focus: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=author%3A%22Leslie+Woodcock%22&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=1%2C46 Looks like glass, weird funky fluids, viscosity, fluid dynamics sorts of things.

But my cousin asked me what I thought of his assertions. Well...
* "the term 'climate change' is meaningless" -- I disagree: not in terms of social conversation it's not. It communicates something to people, which is meaning. It is not, I agree, the most precise term one could use, although one could argue that because there's some local and regional variability in future climates, "global warming" would not be a better term.

* "Unsubstantiated" -- well, that begs the question of what is sufficient evidence, given the outright impossibility of running a controlled (planetary) experiment with multiple trials. (Although I'm remind of Neil deGrasse Tyson saying "something BAD happened on Venus").  The null hypothesis might be "what we see with respect to changes in greenhouse gas(es)/temperatures/sea level rise/season timing shifts/etc. is fully explainable _without_ using any of the changes known to be produced by human activities, e.g. without industrial and agricultural revolution-produced greenhouse gases and/or other pollutants."
     To date, however, the usual other factors (solar forcing, "natural variability", volcanoes, for example) are not large enough (or apparently in the case of recent solar activity, trending the other way) to explain the measured CO2 changes nor the temperature changes -- based on our current understandings (and models, feedback cycles and more) of the atmosphere. It is possible (and probable) that our understandings of how the atmosphere and climate are linked will improve as we keep studying them, so good science keeps testing the null when our understandings change. (Policy, however, can only draw on "best we know so far", and that is actually pretty well substantiated at this point.) (I didn't get into re-researching this "unsubstantiated" question; there are piles of scientific journals, let alone papers, that speak to this. I used to skim several regularly when I worked in the Science Library at Middlebury and was teaching the environmental science lab there. The research has moved from the "huh, the big picture is this, really?" to the "and this little bit seems to work this way" in the past 20-odd years.)

* He's correct that water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, and there is much more of it in the eath's atmosphere. It also has some maximums that it can reach, governed by temperature and pressure. People are researching its role as well. Methane is another (extremely) powerful greenhouse case, and worthy of more analysis (which is happening, though not by me).

* "No reproducible  scientific evidence CO2 has significantly increased in the last 100 years" What? This leaped out at me. Unless by "reproducible" you mean "have to be able to go back in time to measure it" he's wrong.
      There are multiple types of instrumentation (e.g., infrared detectors in multiple research stations [with differing funding sources], space-based dectectors) currently in use. For measurements older than say, 1958 (when the Mauna Loa direct measurements begain), people have taken ice core samples and analysed gas contents in frozen/preserved air bubbles. This is quite reproducible: go get another ice core sample and examine it. Preferably have different scientists and research organizations do this and compare results. Oh, that's been done? Yep.  Check out the variety of authors in this quick search http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22ice+core%22+CO2&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=1%2C46 ... if I had time, I'd love to get into the journals in the libraries! You'll note people also re-examine each others' data.  More on this "reproducible" stuff below.

* "Anecdotal evidence ...not significant" In general I agree with this. There are very good uses for anecdotal evidence, especially where there are a lot of anecdotes: it's a great source for leads on interesting questions. And of course a *lot*  of anecdotes can make for interesting crowdsourced data sets. However, it's rarely good enough to draw firm science conclusions without running statistical analysis.

* "Events can happen with frequencies on all time scales" well, generally, yes, this is what underlies the probabilities (60% chance of X) in weather forecasting. He's wrong about "completely upredictable beyond around five days", although the uncertainty of longer-range forecasts for specific events ("rain 5 cm" say) does rise.

* references Noah's Ark ...  um. Is there actual historical evidence for an ark, and if there is, is that single data point useful in looking at long-term trends? It's very dangerous to use *any* single event (not even current ones which are easily measured and documented) as *either* support or counter to a trend. Dangerous in the sense of terrible scientific argumentation: you wind up being _wrong_. Single events that appear to counter or support a trend do have to be taken into account in context of the trend, the probability of variation within the trend, and so on. So it's stupid to mention this...unless you're not doing science, just politics, because this kind of story (single data point) tends to be really powerful...anecdotally.

* references floods in now-desert areas: there's incredibly interesting environmental geography research going on (and has been for decades at least) looking at how and why desertification happens. So this seems like a tangent, rather than a counterfactual.

* reference flood records being kept for only the last 100 years: that may be true, but I suspect there's actual written documentation of flooding in the UK dating back to the Romans; Romans and monks tended to take excellent notes.. On the other hand, it's also quite possible to document floods based on things like iron composition in the soil, so you can dig trenches and pits and look at varying concentrations of different metals, sands, silts, organic matter, and get some evidence for flooding periodicity. I did not check this claim.

* blame floods (some or all or size of) on climate change: well, yes and no. They happen, they have been happening, so that's just part of the climate. The scale and frequency (and sometimes causes) appear to be changing: is there enough data to say what the causes are for a given area (hydrologic shifts? water use? precipitation?)? Do changes in the scale and frequencey match what we have been expecting from our analyses and predictions of climate? I don't actually have this answer, but to dismiss it out of hand as the quote suggests he is is to dismiss potential evidence for and against your standpoint. A really good scientist is interested in *all* the evidence, whether it supports or disproves her preferred hypothesis.

That below part:
So back to CO2 has increased -- searching variations of the phrase "measuring atmospheric CO2" -- I have not found anything saying that the trend over the last 100 years is other than upward. I found data and graphs from different locations and sources. I tried to ignore anything that didn't have something about *how* it was measured, because that suggests someone else could come and measure too (replicable). I of course found citations to research papers that I can't access from home/without subscription/university library, and some pages written for students and layfolk as well. So some below:

Global trends: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html
Two sites' data: http://co2.utah.edu/co2tutorial.php?site=7&id=2 Mauna Loa and University of Utah data  (infrared; more details about the Mauna Loa measurement techniques are here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html)

ice cores info/data:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/jubany.html Italian researchers measuring in Antarctica
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/95JD03410/full "Natural and anthropogenic changes in atmospheric CO2 over the last 1000 years from air in Antarctic ice and firn" by Etheridge, et al.

Want more data from more places? Sounds good to me. So these monitoring sites in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Air Sampling Network have links :
Another monitoring site in Tasmania:

And a wikipedia page, included NOT because of the content of the page, but for yet more references in case you would like to read them for yourself:

So, what do I think of Dr. Woodcock's quotes? He sounds like someone who has not actually been reading the research papers even as skimmingly as I have. But it was good to go back and refresh my head with bits.

Silly Iguana for #AnimalPrompts

If you are (perhaps wisely) not a webgeek, you can ignore this. Or read the note at the end.

iframes v. Firefox : simple and kind of lame cheatCollapse )

And it was a day. A long day.

And lo! The car is no longer in the snowbank (thanks to one of my wonderful neighbors), the modem is replaced (thanks GMAVT) (now I can send that report!), the sushi is eaten (thanks, sweetie! (even if you're not on LJ)), the roof and driveway and deck and paths are cleared of 18-24" of snow after about 4 hours of hard work, the girl and I made up after she was extremely 4ish (age appropriately annoying... but then _she_ came into the office to apologize to me! *amazed*), I apologized to my sister for being a moody jerk (I might've phrased it better), the laundry is half-sorted, the dishes 3/4 done, the wood bin is still mostly full, and it was sunny. I am most grateful for my son, who throughout everything, was cheerful and helpful, even though he too was disappointed by some of these events.

It was a day. Here's to tomorrow being mellower. Please.

St. Patrick's Dragon (ACEO)

I actually did this ACEO back in 2008. I guess I painted it around then (after those WIP versions) but apparently never got 'round to posting it! Ink and watercolor.

St. Patrick"s Dragon by Kir Talmage, copyright (c) 2008
You know me...I had to put it on stuff.
Little art, big wall. I forgot that I hadn't framed one, so might add it later.

I put up "Winter Wizard", a sketch of a frog, "Unexpected", "Bombardier", "Coffee, Coffee, Everywhere and Not A Drop To Drink", "Stone Window", "Snow Fleas", and "Have Frog, Will Travel". "Wren Voyage" lost its hanging thing, and I ran out of frames, so "Voina", "Love Is Love", and a few others aren't up after all. Didn't finish the mermaid one yet and decided I just don't like "Birthday Candles" enough. (It was fine when it was just ink...) ...

Most is for sale; prices are posted at the bakery or email me.

Rose and Bay, and my little sister

My sister's art is up for Rose & Bay Award!


(Her stuff is the "All In This Together" project)

Go look at it all, vote (the poll is at the bottom), be happy!

I stupidly didn't notice this was open until today, last day, SIGH!

I did make this (Little Mouse, Big Habit)

...before Sketchfest. And you probably already saw it. But hey.  Even small rodents can have obsessions. Perhaps this one is working towards a Big Year!
Graphite on smooth piccadilly paper, about 4" x 7 " (I didn't measure it).

I actually scanned this and tweaked it a bit but it was the GodAwful Scanner Of Doom, so ...

Insanely optimistic as well, I put it on Stuff at metasilk prints plus at deviantArt, at metasilk at RedBubble, Critters with Gear Zazzle, and Critters with Gear CafePress. Not society6, though, I guess because I am thinking that's for watercolors. (LIke redbuble is sketches maybe with a touch of color.)

If you notice something looks odd on one of those items, do please tell me so I can fix it! It's entirely likely...

gifts in time

My sisters and mom pooled together and sent me (with one of the sisters; another lives near there) to Kripalu. Lovely. (I did miss Sketchfest, which is sad, but I was offline, which is nearly unheard of for me, and thus surprisingly helpful.) The detox session was too basic for where I am so far; the yoga varied from easy/restful to wow! glory!; the mini-intro to mediation techniques was just what I needed. And two walks in the snow with 2 sisters and 1 dog. Plus I read 1 whole book (A Boy and A Bear in a Boat), almost finished another (The Unreal and the Real, vol. 1), and the first part of Inside of a Dog. And a massage, with extra help for my hip-that-feels-like-it-has-shinsplits. Plus really superbly yummy food and good conversations.

And yet somehow none of that intense richness felt rushed.

Am back. Now wrestling with SSL, hosting, access to domains. Projects/tasks also on the plate: the sortable tables, the twice-delayed branding, the completion of a set of pages (which may or may not need design changes), the far too overdue new-design/rebuild, the large pile of data entry, my own bookkeeping, membership renewals/datakeeping, Fledgling program planning, and various small changes and additions (several other sites). Not counting the site I had to turn down but did not want to turn down. Or the hour-and-half I donated to a silent auction, which, in fact, was bid on and now I must find a mutually compatible meeting time. Also family to play with and care for. Art show at a coffee shop in a week or so. And more trips coming.

This is a little bit of a contrast, all in all.

early morning sketch

So I did get off the internet and doodle. Once or twice. Here's one. Approx. 3.5" x 5", graphite, smooth sketch paper.

(Photo by my iThing in diffuse predawn snowy light and no useful editing. So -- dim. )
I am spending WAY too much time browsing and reading the web, and not enough drawing or painting. (I'm not getting enough work done either, but I think I'm spending almost enough time on that.)

You can see the irony here, can't you?

Snow Day

Snow fell. So I got up early to help sweetie get car clear and out of driveway. Lounged around on couch with social media/interesting things to read and comment on for a couple hours with my coffee (SFWA, feminism, privacy, wildlife, politics, CSS—usual stuff). Running out of milk! More snow fell.

...more snow and some happiness...Collapse )

on dissent in voice and action

it was time to, once again, come forward with the question of government surveillance, government intimidation, and the right of citizens to vocally dissent. I think that the gasoline of democracy is the right to dissent, because wherever there’s power, wherever there’s privilege, power and privilege are going to try to remove, insofar as they can, from public discourse anything they want to do. That leaves the citizens’ right to dissent as the last line of defense for freedom. Now, that’s what we were faced with back in 1970s. I think that’s what we’re faced with once again today. It should not surprise us. I mean, it should not surprise us that those in power in Washington want to make the decisions that really count off stage, out of sight from the rest of us. But democracy depends upon the rights of citizens to have the information they need in order for them, the citizens—who are the sovereigns—for them to decide what the government should be doing and should not be doing. They must have that information so that they can make up their minds.

John Raines in an interview with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!"
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8/it_was_time_to_do_more (Accessed 15 January 2014)


Can you help? I can't tell you about the $1000 backer (there really is one!) yet (I wish I could!) but Bill McKibben called the project "fantastic" on twitter. Does that help?

If not, enjoy the art you see anyway! Here's the link directly: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1112121841/we-are-all-in-this-together

my sister's kickstarter

My sister is a REAL artist. As such she doesn't fritter around with a gazillion mini-online shops. Nope, she goes for a kickstarter, and gets attention from famous climate activists and real organizations and other amazing awesome stuff.

So go see: she's only $20 away from halfway! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1112121841/we-are-all-in-this-together

Pumpkin Pin-up

For Sketchfest #41, prompt "Pumpkin Pinup".

Watercolor pencil and graphite and a certain amount of preferring to objectify vegetables. :) (Original sketch scanned then spots and stray marks digitally cleaned up). About 4 inches by 4½ inches.

Art copyright © 2013 Kirsten Talmage

Time Bandit (sketch)

For Sketchfest #41, prompt "Time Bandit".

Loose sketch, just HB pencil on sketch paper. Might ink it? I need to practice lighting/shading. About 4 inches by 7 inches. Scan was slightly cleaned up; paper is a bit grayer.

Art copyright © 2013 Kirsten Talmage

Bonsai Spirit

For Sketchfest #40, prompt "Bonsai Dryad".

Watercolor on Arches cold press. Four inches by four inches. Original for sale via Sketchfest site, $25 (10% goes to Sketchfest support). Signature on front is blurry, so signed on back also.

Art copyright © 2013 Kirsten Talmage