Added 1 new A* page:Science news that grabbed me!|
- This article has various theories about origin of the mass extinction marking the divide between the Triassic and Jurassic 200 million years ago--what caused half the species on Earth to die over the course of 100,000 years?--and how this might have led to the rise of the dinosaurs; dinosaurs had evolved about 25 million years earlier, but were, up to that point, dominated by other creatures, including "extinct relatives of modern crocodilians, such as the large and carnivorous land-based rauisuchians and semiaquatic phytosaurs as well as plant-eating aetosaurs and revueltosaurs."
One theory about the extinction cause is that the rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea at that time triggered 20,000 years of tremendous volcanic eruptions, which "coated what was to become Africa and the Americas with a million cubic kilometers of lava and doubled the level of carbon dioxide in the air causing massive global warming, 'about a 3- degree Celsius increase on average in temperature, if the climate system was as sensitive as models suggest.'" But then sulfur blasted into the atmosphere in the eruptions could also cause significant cooling by reflecting sunlight. And this could all have caused plants to start dying off, then the species who lived on them, and the species who lived on those species, etc.
But another theory is that it was yet another disastrous meteor strike that cause this extinction--for evidence of which various craters have been examined, such as the Manicouagan Crater in what is now Quebec (that was a million years too early), and "a hole about 40 kilometers wide discovered in France at Rochechouart."
- This article says that analysis of data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter between 2006 and 2007 has revealed carbon dioxide snow clouds over the Martian south pole--which could very likely explain how there comes to be a year-round carbon dioxide--"dry ice"--polar cap there.
That would be the first-ever detection of natural dry ice snowfall--and that isn't even the only kind of snow that's been seen on Mars! "In 2008, NASA's Phoenix lander observed water-ice snow — the stuff we're familiar with here on Earth — falling near the Red Planet's north pole."
The carbon dioxide snow, of course, requires conditions that fortunately for us do not exist here on Earth: "Dry ice requires temperatures of about minus 193 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 125 Celsius) to fall." (The lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth "was −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at the Soviet Vostok Station in Antarctica, on July 21, 1983"--that's cool enough to freeze dry ice, but apparently not nearly cold enough for it to condense and fall as snow from the atmosphere.
Boy I dunno if I'll try inking a page like I inked today's again any time soon! I've been using my old non-waterproof white ink--which I've always used for stars--for general white-overing again lately, since it spreads easier than the waterproof white ink, and since I don't have to worry too much about having to disturb it later due to a correction mistake, since I'm now back to working from pencil sketches again. Well, that breaks down when you change your mind midway through inking a page, as happened today, when I realized that a start-with-grays approach had run into trouble. So that triggered a lot of inking over and then re-inking over, because by then of course I'd lost my original lines--eventually had to repaint both eyes, even. Eeg! I dunno why I thought the gray-in approach would work, since it hasn't before, but hope springs eternal in my subconscious, I guess. :P
I suppose it was partly because the pencils had gone so well--which is often troublesome since then I get nervous about screwing them up with ink, so I told myself well, just face the fact you're going to screw them up, and put some effort into it and really go to town and screw up royally, at least. So I tried the different approach, what the heck. And it didn't work, but such is life, and I did get to experiment a bit with blending (or trying to blend) the white ink into black ink. I don't think the results are as attractive as a straightforward black ink then black washes approach could have attained, and they certainly took more time--and I should try to remember this so I don't fall into this again. :PP
Anyway I kinda knew something weird would happen so I thought ahead and preserved the nice pencils in a photo:
^ I actually like how the lighting happened to work out in that photo, especially with the resulting digital camera grain being accentuated when I contrast-adjusted the (fairly poorly lit) photo in Photoshop to make the pencil lines visible. Kinda tempting to get some really dark pencils and try working all in photographed pencil drawings...almost. :P
So I tried starting out with middle-gray lines to replace the pencils
which *seemed* to be working, but then as I started to fill in things like the face, again with light to medium grays, which also *seemed* to work okay
I eventually realized that the washes weren't solid enough to keep the lines/shapes preserved tightly, and that I'd now effectively lost the ability to ink in important original details like the eyes--and that areas that had been somewhat vague in the pencils, such as the cheek/hair on the right, were now pretty darn confusing. I kept on for a while, filling things in more with darker and darker washes, then tried black, then white, contemplated chucking the whole thing and starting over, but it was quite late by that time and besides I'd probably be haunted by the success of the first drawing and just struggle to try to recapture it in any further drawing, so I set out to salvage what I could via liberal application and mingling of black and white inks. Which worked better than I'd thought it would at the worst point, I guess, but hm yeah probably aren't the way I'd want to try going again.
Lots of progress made over the weekend on making A*'s original artwork available for sale through the web site--in fact I got really ambitious and just went to town on it, and the stuff for selling the original artwork behind the daily comic pages is ready to roll. I'm not rolling it out to the site yet, though--I had to fight myself over this repeatedly :P because I hate sitting on stuff--because I'm still accumulating my arsenal of secure art shipping supplies--my skinny boxes arrived today! :D--and because at some point I want to be able to sell select items from the episode art galleries as well, and those will run through the same scripts that selling the comic pages does, so I might as well get that all done at once before inflicting it on the public, since going back to work on adding the gallery-sale stuff will probably make a temporary mess of comic-selling stuff while I'm working at it. :P Mmm so yah, might be able to get it all worked out next weekend, we'll see.