‘Ukichiro Nakaya (4th July, 1900 – 11th April, 1962) was a Japanese physicist and science essayist known for his work in glaciology and low-temperature sciences. He is credited with making the first artificial snowflake.
‘Nakaya had spent years trying to grow artificial snow crystals in the laboratory under controlled conditions, but he was unable to find the correct ice nucleus, from which to grow them. Then, one day Nakaya found a snow crystal on the tip of a hair of a rabbit-fur coat in the lab. This was the breakthrough he needed, and on 12th March 1936, three years after the first attempt, he produced a snow crystal on the tip of a single hair of rabbit fur in his laboratory apparatus. The bulk of Nakaya’s work was published in 1954 in a beautiful book entitled Snow Crystals: Natural and Artificial.
‘In 1960, the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee named a group of Antarctic islands the “Nakaya Islands” in recognition of his contributions to science. The asteroid 10152 Ukichiro is also named after him.’ — caltech.edu
from process art.jp
‘I recall that, in our artificial snow experiments, there were at times some failures. We were therefore delighted to find similar mishaps in natural snow. In preparing papers for presentation we select only the photographs of well-formed crystals we have made, but in fact there were, and still are, a considerable number of failures. There are times when a crystal that starts on the right track will suddenly make a wrong turn and assume a devious shape that defies any attempt at categorization. Such oddities that cannot be identified as crystals are considered failures, and we must start all over again.
‘However, if one looks at natural snow with that perspective, one can find similar weird forms. After you discover one irregularity you notice others, one after another, at various stages of development showing that natural snow is also capable of failure to our great relief. Once I came upon a most marvelous example of failed development in natural snow and cried out, “Come look, they’ve made another mistake!” My assistant Mr. H. peered into the microscope and his face lit up with a blissful smile.’ — U.N.
‘As one such topic, Terada considered ‘a physics of form’, concerning which he frequently said: “If the forms of phenomena are the same, then as phenomena they are governed by the same laws. To pass over the similarity of forms as merely a superficial agreement is to act as a person who does not understand the true meaning of the word “form””. Terada’s words have a very deep meaning, for he did not only meditate upon the idea. He also did actual research into the forms that appear in various phenomena: his research into fractures, electric sparks, sparklers, and the flow of charcoal calligraphy ink – all shared the underlying theme of research into forms.’ — U.N.
‘When you are shoveling earth and the shovel seems to get heavier, you pick a handful of grass and use it to scrape the dirt sticking to the shovel. It is lighter now. The work would be easier if there were some way to keep the dirt from sticking to the shovel. Returning home that night you scrape off the rust and apply some oil to the surface of the shovel. The next day the shovel feels very light in your hands. You know that the shovel felt heavy because there was dirt sticking to its surface.
‘Dealing with a question by trying something out is what experiments are all about. Experimentation is the greatest single characteristic of methods in natural science. Research institutes and universities have many laboratories and various facilities. Essentially, though, they are the places where you do the same thing as polishing and lubricating a shovel: that is, they are the places where you ask ‘why is this so?’ and you “try something out”.’ — U.N.
‘The advantage of ice as experimental material is its transparency and low melting point. Consequently, ice can be used to conduct types of experiments that may be difficult to use metals for, such as an experiment at temperatures close to their melting points. “After the two-year study of single crystals of ice, I came to the conclusion that can be summed up in one sentence: ice is a metal.”‘ — U.N.
‘If you could imagine an unimaginably large Kagamimochi (a large white rice cake used as New Year offering to gods) with an average thickness of 2,100 meters and an area approximately 6 times the size of Japan, that would be the glacier icecap of Greenland. It is made of ice formed by the compacting pressure of snow falling since the ancient geologic time. No amount of investigation into a block of ice can reveal all its myriad secrets.’ — U.N.
Nakaya’s Classification of snowflakes into 41 individual morphological types
Artificial Snow x 6
from Simply Piste
1. Outdoor Artificial Ski Slopes
‘In 1949, the Mohawk Mountain Ski Resort (USA) became the first ski resort in the world to use a snow making machine on its ski slopes. Since then, they have been widely used in America and Canada, and has now been adopted in almost every ski resort in Europe. There are many resorts with over 50% of their pistes guaranteed by artificial snow.
‘The machines that produce artificial snow are designed to mimic the way that natural snow is made. In nature, snowflakes are formed when the temperature falls below 32° F (0° C). Atmospheric water then condenses on particles in the air and crystallizes. In a snow machine, water is first mixed with a nucleating agent, which is usually a biodegradable protein. This causes water molecules to form crystals at a higher temperature than normal. It is then pressurized and forced through an atomizing nozzle. This breaks the water up into a mist, which is then injected with compressed air to break it up even further. As it exits the snow machine, the mist crystallizes on the nucleator and turns into tiny snow-like ice particles. Depending on the quality of the snow machine, the artificial snow can be as good as natural snow.
‘However, there are disadvantages to using machine-made snow. Snowmaking plants require water pumps and air compressors that are both very large and expensive. The production itself requires large amounts of energy. It also takes about 200,000US gallons (86kL) of water to cover an acre to a depth of 1-foot (0.30 m). There is evidence that suggests artificial snow also affects the ecological balance in the areas used for skiing. The water used for machine-made snow is typically taken from surface streams, artificial reservoirs and ground reserves, which often draws water from local drinking supplies. There is also a considerable loss of water, as up to a third of water used evaporates and drifts to other regions. As a result, the water level of rivers in some regions has fallen by 70 per cent.’
2. Indoor Ski Slopes
‘The “Ski Dubai” construction covers an amazing 22,500 square meters (equivalent to 3 football fields), and is covered with real snow all year round. The slope itself is built like an upside-down ‘L,’ and features an 85-meter high indoor mountain with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty. For more adventurous skiiers, there is a 400-meter-long run – the world’s first indoor black run, and a 90-meter-long quarter pipe for snowboarders. The resort even has a quad lift and a tow lift to carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain.
‘Adjoining the slopes is a 3,000-square-meter Snow Park play area with sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, a snowball shooting gallery, an ice cave and a 3D theater. Other attractions include a mirror maze and a snowman-making area.
‘The entire slope is covered with at least three feet of snow, and 30 tons of fresh snow is made daily to cover the base. The resort has highly efficient insulation and kilometers of glycol tubing, with 23 blast coolers (air conditioner type machines) that chill the air and maintain a temperature of -1ºc during operating hours. The artificial snow is made using a simple procedure, where pure water (with no chemicals added) is put through a chiller to cool. It is then sent through pipes to the snow guns which are on the ceiling. When the cooled water is blown out into a freezing cold environment it crystallizes and to make snowflakes. The temperature during the time when snow is made is -7ºc to -8ºc.’
3. Dry Ski Slopes
‘Dry slopes are made of a white synthetic material designed to simulate snow. There are two main types of dry slope surface. The older type is “Dendix”, which is made of hollow hexagons of upturned white plastic bristles, around 25mm long (1 inch). Because of the holes in the construction of the matting, and the rigidity of the bristles, it can hurt if you fall on it at high speed. The second and newest type of matting is ” SnowFlex”. It is manufactured and designed by Briton Engineering Developments Ltd, of West Yorkshire, UK. This material is a completely flat matting, like a carpet, with thinner bristles that are only about 10-12mm long (approx. 0.5 inch). This is laid on a soft foamy material that makes it a lot softer to fall on.’
4. Fake Snow in the Movies
‘Back in 1939, MGM made a film based on the children’s classic storybook, The Wizard of Oz. In one famous scene, Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) falls asleep in an enormous poppy field, which magically becomes covered in snow. The effect was stunning, however, the “snow” was made from 100% industrial grade chrysotile asbestos. It is hard to understand why they used such a substance when the health hazards of asbestos had been known for several years.
‘Chrysotile, or “white” asbestos, created very effective fake snow, but serious problems occurred when the fibers were breathed in. These fine fibres could become trapped in the lungs and could cause scarring and inflammation. The four main diseases caused by asbestos are: mesothelioma (which is always fatal), lung cancer (almost always fatal), asbestosis (not always fatal, but it can be very debilitating) and diffuse pleural thickening (not fatal).
‘Today, our movie stars can work in much safer environments, with fake snow that won’t kill you, which is dispensed by high-tech equipment and snow making systems, operated by fully accredited snow technicians. One industry leader is the British-based company Snow Business, which has been dressing film sets for over 25 years. The company developed a substance called “SnowCel”, which was the first eco-friendly snow made from recycled paper. This could be sprayed to settle like natural snow on trees, bushes, and buildings, and it even made good tyre tracks and footprints. They also use wax rigs with high-speed, hot-wax spray technology, which are designed to dress the huge areas required for The Day After Tomorrow (2004) . Another product, PowderFrost, is a ‘super-fine’ scale snow made from pure cellulose.’
5. Soap Foam Snow
‘Few people associate Singapore with snow, but each Christmas it miraculously appears outside Tanglin Mall, near Orchard Road. The “snow” is actually created by machines that pump soap and water into the air. The specks of glistening white foam produced may look like real snow when it is in the air, but on landing – the foam snow created Singapore’s biggest bubble bath. Christmas revelers were advised to wear swimming costumes and sandals instead of ski suits and thermal underwear.’
6. Instant Snow
‘You can now buy instant snow in a can. Just pop open the can, sprinkle the snow, add a little water and … It looks and feels like real snow, and can be used for making Christmas snow scenes, decorating the tree and windows etc. Each 20g of powder will produce 1.5 litres of snow.
‘The material is actually a super absorbent polymer, which is like a micro sponge that puffs up in size when exposed to moisture. It is also non toxic. When the snow dries out, it will return to its original size, but a little spray with water every few days will keep your snow display fresh and plumped up. Once you are over the festivities it can be left to dry out and reused, or simply vacuumed up.’
Lord of the Rings
The Day After Tomorrow
The Dark Knight Rises
Largest snow machine in the USA
The Magnificent Ambersons
2 TV spots
from various places
Q: What does falling snow in literature mean?
A: Snow falling in literature means much more than just weather, it means that death is either coming soon or that it has already occurred.
Q: What does snow symbolize in literature?
A: Snow can obviously represent purity and rebirth and new beginnings (the “fresh snow” scenario), but snow may also represent coldness (as an attitude) and isolation.
Q: What does snow symbolize?
A: In literature it means death.
Q: What is the symbolic meaning of snow?
A: Snow symbolizes winter, Christmas and coldness.
Q: What does snow mean in movies?
A: In movies, people are often shown dramatically dying in the snow. It may have something to do with how red blood contrasts so sharply with white snow, especially when gentle snowflakes are falling around a scene of carnage. It may have something to do with the way the snow seems to try and wash away the unclean corpses and ruins. It may have something to do with how it looks like a beautiful and peaceful way to die, just letting the cold embrace you as you fall to sleep. It may have something to do with how snow melts on living bodies, but coats those that have passed on.
Q: What does snow in literature imply?
A: Snow signifies winter, associated with the death of the year (in the northern hemisphere at least), the death of crops, and the death of the sun. Snow also covers the world with a blanket of white, and in Eastern cultures, white is the color of death (as it was until a few hundred years ago in Slavic states as well).
Q: What are some examples of “snow as death” in literature?
A: To Build A Fire by Jack London. The main character gradually falls asleep in the snow after his fire is put out and dies of hypothermia. The Little Match Girl, which makes dying from cold and starvation lovely, glorious, and filled with so much Glurge. James Joyce’s “The Dead” (from Dubliners) may end with the definitive example of this trope. As the protagonist slowly drifts to sleep, thinking of the dead man his wife once loved, snow covers his window and his thoughts. The first page of Catch 22 asks the question: “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?” Snowden’s last words are, “It’s cold.” Considering everyone else’s name is symbolic, it’s fair to see this as an example of this trope. Harry Potter visits his parents’ graves for the first time in Deathly Hallows, accompanied by Hermione. It so happens that they do this in December, and the graveyard is covered in snow. Nello and Patrasche in A Dog Of Flanders freeze to death on Christmas Eve. In pretty much every adaptation of A Christmas Carol, there is snow in the churchyard when Scrooge discovers his (future) grave.
Q: What are some examples of “snow as death” in movies?
A: O-Ren in Kill Bill also enjoys picturesque death on the snow. The end of House of Flying Daggers went from brightly sunlit to a blizzard, just in time for the dramatic death scene. Fargo, where several people die before a snowy background. Subverted in The Shining. Jack does freeze to death, but his expression is anything but peaceful. One segment of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams features the story of a mountain climber who, trapped in a blizzard and suffering from frostbite, either hallucinates or experiences a visit from a yuki-onna – a snow demon who takes the form of a beautiful woman. The Ice Storm is the cinematic tribute to this trope. The Sweet Hereafter depicts children in a horrific bus accident, caused and contrasted by the peacefulness of the snow around them. Snow and cold are used throughout the movie to symbolize the original serenity in the town. Definitely not a straight example but on Titanic many people, including Jack, freeze to death in the ocean, they even show having frost on their hair and face before dying. The ending of anti-Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller in which John McCabe, having been shot three times, manages to kill the assassins who are after him. Without the strength to drag himself indoors, he curls up in the snow and dies. Let The Right One In is full of this. Considering it takes place in Sweden… An interesting subversion in It’s a Wonderful Life. The snow stops after George wishes that he’d never been born and only starts up again after he decides that he wants to live again.
from various places
‘Although the discussion of Snow Physics indicates that snow grooming has a science base, it would be far too simple to describe it as a purely scientific activity. One could argue that there is as much art as there is science in the practice. It is certainly true that much can be learned by studying snow crystals and their change processes under a magnifying glass, but for most experienced groomers a few boot kicks in the trail snow and the weather report will often give them all the information they need for a good grooming job. So much of the work relies on the groomer’s practical experience with their area, their knowledge of the local climate, and the site’s microclimates. With this comes a sense of intuition that can’t be described in any formal manual. This makes it very difficult for any individual to be a true grooming guru, or for any manual to be considered as The Bible. Grooming can be relatively simple or very complex depending on conditions, the desired end product and the time and equipment available. For simplicity, the whole grooming program can be broken down into several basic processes.’
‘Snowmobile groomers may have to fall back on track packing with snowmobile only at later times in the season for big dumps of snow which would make towing any implements impossible, and even cat groomers will occasionally find track packing useful with unusually heavy snowfalls. But, normally packing will be done with implements. Snowmobile groomers can pack with two basic types of equipment – rollers, or compaction pans/bars. Rollers offer the advantage of packing snow without dragging or displacement. They can, however, ice up in warm conditions, and working speed needs to be kept low to keep them from bouncing (creating washboard surfaces). Homebuilt rollers can be produced quite easily using various types of pipe, steel culvert, etc. There are several compaction bar/pan devices available from equipment suppliers. The TIDD TECH Trail Tenderizer which has been around for more than a decade is a good example of a useful compaction pan when run with the front cutter teeth cranked up. Many groomers prefer compaction bars and pans to rollers for season long packing because they level and smooth the surfaces as they compact and they don’t tend to ice up as readily in warm wet conditions. Extremely cold dry snow (below -20 C) does not pack well, and as a general rule, all grooming of extremely warm snow (above 0 C) should be avoided.’
‘Most of the time, careful packing will leave trail surfaces smooth enough for tracksetting and skiing, but this isn’t always the case. Packing can leave bumps and dips which should be flattened out. Skier traffic and repeated grooming passes can also gradually push snow to trail sides leaving a concave or dished surface. Periodically all of these irregularities should be flattened out, and snow may have to be moved back from trail sides to the middle. In the past, there has been a grooming theory that the ideal trail surface should be crowned (a convex surface higher in the middle than the sides). This would provide better snow depth in the middle where traffic would be highest. It would also make for more efficient ski skating (every skating thrust from the top of the crown results in a downhill glide) and it would make herringboning steep uphills easier for classical skiers since ski tips would not dig into higher side surfaces. A nice theory on paper – but in practice it has proven to be impractical. The excavation required to shave snow from trail sides to move it to the centre is very difficult to do with snowmobile equipment and in low snow regions the risk of digging up dirt and debris is much too high even if snowcats with skilled blade operators are available. The most practical aim for the majority of groomers is to maintain surfaces as flat and as smooth as possible. For snowmobile groomers drag graders are the basic tool for surface shaping.’
‘This is a term used for a complex set of processes touched on in this chapter’s earlier section on Snow Physics. Most types of fresh fallen snow require mechanical aging to turn them into suitable building materials for a ski trail surface. Cold dry snow is light and fluffy; it flows easily and resists compaction. Snow aging is a natural process, but mechanical action can speed it up to produce a consistent snow mass which can be shaped into firm tracks and skating surfaces. The process is started by packing which reduces air spaces, forces snow crystals together, and promotes sintering. It is continued with the surface shaping which will further mill snow depending on the exact implements used. In addition to shaping surfaces, simple drag graders such as the YELLOWSTONE Compaction Drag mill snow quite effectively as the cutting blades move it inwards and then back out, creating high-speed snow crystal collisions. The friction of these collisions produces heat which promotes sintering and speeds up natural aging.’
‘Sooner or later deep renovation will be required. Old tracks which have become worn and icy, and trail surfaces turned hard and glazed by traffic and weather will need to be broken up and refined into snow soft enough to be moulded into new tracks and skate surfaces which allow ski edges to bite. This can be one of the most challenging processes for groomers –especially for snowmobile groomers in low snow areas. Tools of agricultural origin (discers, harrows, rotary hoes) have been used to break up hard pack snow with mixed results. Most of these implement types tended to be too heavy and aggressive for dependable use behind snowmobiles. They were usually better suited for use behind heavier vehicles like the “Bombi”, or some of the older types of snowcat. None of the old “Farmer Jones” type implements for snow grooming are currently available in the regular market. Fortunately, the current market does offer a small range more efficient renovation implements for snowmobile groomers. YELLOWSTONE TRACK SYSTEMS’ Ginzugroomer – already noted for its shallow scarification abilities – works best for deeper renovation. The Ginzu’s vertical cutter teeth are mounted on a rotatable spring-tensioned pipe which permits the teeth to pivot out of the way when rocks, stumps or other obstacles are hit. This spring tensioning also produces a cutter action which leaves behind a relatively fine textured loose snow layer quite similar to that produced by power tilling.’
‘In the right conditions, power tillers mounted behind modern snowcats can handle the whole series of grooming processes from initial packing to light or deep renovation. In areas where fresh snowfalls can be counted on every week, nothing more is needed. In drier parts of the BC interior, and other areas not so blessed tillers have to be used with much more caution. Repeated tilling passes in snow which is not being renewed by fresh snowfalls can do a lot of damage. Tilling is an extremely aggressive process. Snow crystals are rapidly reshaped into smaller more rounded forms, resulting in a more compact denser snow pack. If carried to extremes, tilling can actually reduce snow depth on trails. Snow particles repeatedly ground down to finer size leaving a denser and thinner snow pack. Carried on further, excessive tilling can leave “dead” snow. In this case rather than being too hard trail surfaces become sugary. Snow crystals have been altered so much that they will no longer compact. The only thing that will rejuvenate “dead snow” is an infusion of fresher snow which can come from snowfalls or snowmaking from above.’
Snowcat Simulator 2011 Gameplay HD
Weird bubbles coming from snow melting.
‘FAKE’ SNOW, Government Conspiracy….Check Out What’s REALLY Going On.
Flocking Christmas Trees
Minecraft Artificial Snow Machine
Real snow monster!!!
p.s. Hey. ** David S. Estornell, Hi, David! No other word need be said, certainly. xoxo. ** H, Hi. Oh, yes, space, I understand. I’ve done the same, but I’m always sorry once in a while later, and yet other copies the books are always out there somewhere if re-needed. So, yes. Thank you very much about the Akerman. I appreciate that, and anytime is okay, no worries at all. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Yeah, I thought I remembered ‘Jerk’ playing there. I’ll of course give you an advanced shout if any of our other pieces get gigs there. I’ve never heard of contentgather.com. Hm, sounds kind of strange. But it could easily be legit. Huh. Interesting idea. Well, I hope they ‘up’ what you wrote, but yeah, it seems like always a bad thing to determine what a reader or audience wants and then look for things that fit the mold. Not that that approach isn’t successful, obviously. A lot if not most university writing programs, in the US at least, are all abut training new writers to learn the rules of the pre-existing game with maybe a slight personal touch. I hope the powers that be at contentgather.com have at least some adventurous spirit. Well, now I’m very curious to hear what happened with your piece and them. Monday ended up being another sort of nothing day. I’m feeling kind of lazy about getting out of the apartment and doing non-computer things for some reason. I have to shake that off. Maybe today. So, yeah, yesterday had no interesting occurrences of note at all, I literally don’t think. What happened during Tuesday for you? ** David Ehrenstein, Yes, so very sad about Jeanne Moreau, and then Sam Shepard right afterwards. I’ve always wondered why he seemed to abandon play writing since he was so good at it and such a big theater figure for so long. Yesterday was a bad day for those who prize excellent things-doers. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Oh, hm, well, the French are not monolithic, but no, I don’t recall there being any kind of shocked reaction to ‘Nocturama’. But, I mean, it’s a different situation here. Bonello’s work is well known here. His films get releases, coverage, etc., etc, so, by this point, people here know the kind of thing he does. I suspect there aren’t a lot of naive French movie goers going to see his films while expecting something conventional and nicely entertaining. ** Jamie, Ha, begorrah, ha. So you’re still not hooked up at home? Bastards! Maybe … today? I have noticed that the guestbook crowd has gotten more uppity and snarky in recent months. Even the Master and Slave sites aren’t immune to trolls. At least they’re not arguing about Trump and white privilege and so on there yet, although I did come across a slave recently who was using his support of Trump as a lure to get guys to beat the shit out of him. Still having trouble with the logline? Hm. Here’s the one we used for ‘Like Cattle Towards Glow’: “The thought of having sex causes the bodies of 13 confused
young people to form an intricate pattern.” And here’s the one we use for ‘Permanent Green Light’: “A young disabled guy wants to explode. He wants to do it in public. He thinks the fact that it will also end his life is useful for the act’s effect but is otherwise beside the point. He’s not suicidal. He has no ideology. He’s not interested in “heaven” or in going there. He doesn’t want people to misinterpret his explosion as a suicide. He doesn’t want people to misinterpret the explosion as his death.” Those probably aren’t helpful at all. I’ll keep thinking. Ask me anything that might help. A rape-y thriller named after a Kate Bush album? My week is looking low-key so far. See some art. Do that live Skype reading for the Matthew Barney event. Getting interviewed for some magazine whose concentration is on artists’ childhoods about my childhood. Want to see the new ‘Planet of Apes’ pretty bad, so that. Oh, yes, ‘Crowd’ is playing in Brussels, I think. No, I doubt that I’ll go. There’s never any money in the budget to bring the writer to foreign gigs except in super rare instances. But I think it’ll be worth seeing. I think it’s going to be quite good. I’ll know more after we do two weeks of rehearsals this month. What did you eat for dinner? Love with napkin attached, Dennis. ** _Black_Acrylic, Thanks, man. Yeah, we’re sad that ‘The Pyre’ didn’t get around more. I … don’t know if Leon is still performing. I’ll ask. He wasn’t a performer when we cast him, he was just a smart weird kid. He’s also in Gisele’s music video for the Scott Walker/Sunn0))) song ‘Brando’ if you saw that and didn’t recognize him. Yeah, I know, I need to plunge into ‘Twin Peaks’. I will, but I’m wary that it will eat my brain alive, which, yeah is a good thing, isn’t it. Hm. Soon. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Oh, okay, good, you’re on the doctor tip. That’s all I need to hear. For now anyway. Could the headaches be related to high blood pressure? I don’t know anything about that stuff though. I hereby ask both Satan and God to permanently banish headaches from your head! ** Okay. I decided to restore Artificial Snow Day because I kind of missed it, I guess, and I needed to restore something because I was too swamped to make new things that day, so there it is. Enjoy its enjoyableness please? Thank you. See you tomorrow.