Signs of the Times - November 2012 - (Page 12)

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE By Darek Johnson Darek Johnson is ST’s Senior Technology Editor/Analyst. Email him at Should You Build Stronger Signs? Batten the hatches, add extra gussets – and be sure to smell the roses. Whether you believe in almighty forces or not, you must recognize that unmanageable entities surround us. Stars are the most common example, but few people actually take time to study their movement. For example, we’re within the Cassiopeia season – a season that has affected humanity since the first people looked skyward to see certain stars circling around one in particular: Polaris, the North Star. Currently, it’s Cassiopeia’s turn to replace the Big Dipper (Ursa Major, in part) as a locater for Polaris, a star that has and still does assist northern-hemisphere navigators. Other star movements tell knowledgeable farmers of seasonal changes. Upon seeing the Orion constellation rise to the east, they confirm their calendar’s notice of winter approaching. Farmers have scheduled events by Orion’s movement since paleo- man first tilled the soil; navigators, then and now, use Polaris to steer by. Do celestial events affect our lives? Possibly more than you think. Do you know, for example, of the 150-ft.-wide, 2012 DA14 asteroid that, on February 15, 2013, will pass approximately 21,000 miles over our cities? That’s much closer than the moon and some satellites. Interestingly, this space rock, although smaller than most, could cause a nuclear-bomb-size explosion. In 2011, an aircraft-carrier-sized asteroid passed by. What do celestial bodies have to do with signage? Think close to home, Earth, and the climate changes we’re beginning to see. Meteorologists say changing weather patterns are increasing storm intensity worldwide. If expanded, normal weather events could intensify (think stronger storms, larger hail and increased wind speeds), and Rated the 22nd-worst movie ever, yes, but parts of this imagery – note the flying cow – may become real. 12 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / NOVEMBER 2012 / such action may require signmakers to re-examine their sign-structure engineering, insurance and, in addition, their pricing. Bullcrap, you might say – there’s no such thing as climate change. But, it isn’t the change that’s commonly debated – it’s the causes. All weather observers have presented strong evidence that climate change is underway. In 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin. (NOAA) said 2010 had tied for the warmest year on record, in terms of land and sea surface temperatures. A warmer ocean surface means more evaporation into the atmosphere, which, in turn, causes more frequent rainfall and severe storms. It gets worse. Reuters has reported the U.S. National Climate Data Center as saying the first eight months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States. In July, NOAA said more than 40,000 daily heat records have been broken across the U.S. this year. A September 2012 CNN report said the U.S. has averaged 4ºF above average for the year. Other reports said extreme drought conditions have affected 39% of the nation. As of September, the ice on the Arctic Ocean was less than 1.54 million square miles, a 45% reduction compared to the same month in the 1990s. How does climate change affect the intensity and frequency of precipitation? It’s simple physics: • Warmer oceans melt polar ice. The warming also increases the amount of water that evaporates into the air; • Warmer air holds more moisture than cooler air; • When moisture-laden air moves over land, it can produce atmos-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - November 2012

Signs of the Times - November 2012
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
London 2012
The Rules of Attraction
Extreme Weather
An Icon Looks at 80
The Value of Signs
Enter ST ’s 2013 Intl. Sign Contest
Industry News
Industry News
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - November 2012