Blog Posts
March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb
Irish Meteorologists
Montreal's Winter Sports
Weather and Poetry: Henry David Thoreau
Transcription Tips: Relative Humidity Average
Vicky Recommends
Meet the Meteorologists: Toronto
A Frosty Montreal Christmas
Weather and Poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Interview with Renee Sieber: What is Citizen Science?
Meet the Meteorologists: Hudson's Bay Company
Rainfall
Introducing DRAW Members: Jazmine Aldrich
Meet the Meteorologists: Montreal
Interview with a Scientist: Operational Meteorologist Dov Bensimon
Disinfecting with Ozone in Pandemics
Weather and Poetry: E. Pauline Johnson
Montreal as an Island
Meet the Meteorologists: Quebec City
Introducing DRAW Members: Drew Bush
Heatwaves: Blasts from the Past
Measuring Humidity: A Long and Difficult Process
Rare Weather Phenomena - Part 2
Rare Weather Phenomena - Part 1
Crafting the Weather
Don't Miss Our New Educator's Corner, Years in the Making...
Superb Super-Users: Thank you!
A Day in the Archives
Calling All Weather Enthusiasts - We Challenge You!
Rainbow Wonderland
The Flood of 1886
Weather Forecasting: Vennor's Bulletin
Introducing DRAW Members: Robert Smith
DRAW February Funnies
On This Day: Winter Carnival 1883
DRAW and Student Projects: ENVR 401
On This Day
Weather Symbols in Real Life: Part 2
Introducing DRAW Members: Gordon Burr
Observing During the Wars
Weather in the History of Science
BOOK REVIEW: Climate in the Age of Empire
DRAWn into Education
Introducing DRAW Members: Rachel Black
Sleighing
Introducing DRAW Members: Renée Sieber
Horizontal and Vertical Montréal
Handwriting Help
Guest Post: Air Quality in Montréal
Weather Symbols in Real Life
Who Were the Observers?
Communicating Weather: Storm Warnings and Telegraphs
Introducing DRAW Members: Vicky Slonosky
Marginalia in the Ledgers
International Communication: Weather Symbols
Clouds, Cloud Types and Abbreviations



DRAW Blog

Exploring weather and all it entails

Welcome to the DRAW Blog! Our focus here is to introduce topics related to DRAW and weather. This could be background information about parts of the project (such as symbols), discussion on weather issues (such as climate change), or may simply be a way to get to know the DRAW team further. Check in every other week for new posts!



March: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

by Jazmine Aldrich       on March 31st 2021

On this final day of March 2021, we at DRAW are reflecting on the weather proverb “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” The adage implies that the weather at the beginning of March is as fearsome as a lion, characterized by the final winter storms of the year—apart from a few April storms, as we in Southern Quebec can attest—but that the might of the March lion withers away as the month progresses, leaving us as a harmless lamb to enjoy our April showers and May flowers. The saying is also sometimes flipped, stating that “if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, but if it comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion;” however, “in like a lion, out like a lamb” is the more commonly heard variation.

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Irish Meteorologists

by Rachel Black       on March 17th 2021

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For today’s commemoration of the holiday, we thought we would look at two notable Irish Meteorologists who helped inform the practice in Montreal. Descriptions were taken from Climate in the Age of Empire by Dr. Victoria Slonosky.


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Montreal's Winter Sports

by Jazmine Aldrich       on March 3rd 2021

Mr. R.D. McGibbon, at the 1881 Annual Dinner of the Montreal Snowshoe Club, proclaimed the following: “Those who are unacquainted with the real nature of a Canadian winter might be inclined to imagine that a period of some five or six months of perpetual ice and snow, when rivers are frozen and the thermometer almost invariably below freezing point, would be the dullest of the year, and a season of dreary and monotonous gloom for the inhabitants of the country afflicted with such uninviting clemency.”1

After another chilly February—during which many Montrealers sought the comfort of the great outdoors—we thought it would be appropriate to take a look at winter sports throughout history.

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Weather and Poetry: Henry David Thoreau

by Rachel Black       on February 18th 2021

Welcome to the next instalment of Weather and Poetry, where we explore poets who touch on weather in their works. This week we are looking at American poet Henry David Thoreau!

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Weather and Poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Rachel Black       on December 9th 2020

Welcome to the next instalment of Weather and Poetry, where we explore poets who touch on weather in their works. This week we are looking at American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Interview with Renee Sieber: What is Citizen Science

by Rachel Black       on November 25th 2020


Welcome to this week’s edition of the DRAW Blog! DRAW had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Renee Sieber to discuss 4 questions about Citizen Science:

  • What is Citizen Science?
  • Why Citizen Science?
  • How can Citizen Scientists Contribute to Scientific Research and Discovery?
  • How do you Determine if Citizen Science is Right for a Project?

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Meet the Meteorologists: Hudson's Bay Company

by Victoria Slonosky       on November 11th 2020

Welcome back to Meet the Meteorologists where we look at the individuals around the world who helped to contribute to the creation of meteorology as a field of study and who helped inform the practice here in Montreal.

These individuals were often interested in weather as how it connected to their day jobs. They were often intellectuals, religious figures, engineers, doctors or businessmen in communities and helped contribute to our understanding of weather in the St. Lawrence basin where Montreal resides. All individuals mentioned in this series were taken from Climate in the Age of Empire by Dr. Victoria Slonosky.

This week let’s take a look at those influential individuals from the Hudson's Bay Company, which is the oldest incorporated joint-stock merchandising company in the English-speaking world. Learn more about the HBC here and here

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Rainfall

by Victoria Slonosky       on October 28th 2020

In many ways, rain is both one of the simplest and one of the most difficult of the meteorological elements to measure and record. It is simple to record as all it takes is a rainfall gathering and measuring device – a graduated tube- and rainfall measurements are thousands of years old.

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Introducing DRAW Members: Jazmine Aldrich

by Rachel Black       on October 14th 2020


Introducing…


Who:

Jazmine Aldrich


                      jazmine aldrich

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Meet the Meteorologists: Montreal

by Victoria Slonosky       on September 30th 2020

Welcome back to Meet the Meteorologists where we look at the individuals around the world who helped to contribute to the creation of meteorology as a field of study and who helped inform the practice here in Montreal.

These individuals were often interested in weather as how it connected to their day jobs. They were often intellectuals, religious figures, engineers, doctors or businessmen in communities and helped contribute to our understanding of weather in the St. Lawrence basin where Montreal resides. All individuals mentioned in this series were taken from Climate in the Age of Empire by Dr. Victoria Slonosky.

This week let’s take a look at those influential individuals from Montreal!

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Interview with a Scientist: Operational Meteorologist Dov Bensimon

by Rachel Black       on September 23rd 2020

Welcome to this special edition of the DRAW Blog on Science Literacy Week 2020!

In honour of Science Literacy Week, DRAW has interviewed Dov Bensimon, Operational Meteorologist in the Environmental Emergency Response Section at the Canadian Centre for Meteorological and Environmental Prediction (CCMEP) and Manager of the Montreal Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC).

Dov Bensimon

Dov Bensimon, Summer 2020

We met with Dov to discuss his work and career and of course, to ask some silly questions :)

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Disinfecting with Ozone in Pandemics: A 19th-century Idea comes back for Covid-19

by Vicky Slonosky       on September 16th 2020

I read an article the other day suggesting the use of low levels of ozone to disinfect airborne coronavirus particles. A search suggests a Saskatchewan company was already producing ozone decontamination units back in Mayand research articles investigating ozone as a surface disinfectant for viruses go back at least a decade (Tseng, Chun-Chieh & Li, Chihshan. (2008). Inactivation of surface viruses by gaseous Ozone. Journal of environmental health. 70. 56-62. ). There may be some technical difficulties - balancing a sufficiently high concentration of ozone to be lethal to the virus without it becoming toxic to humans - but this revival of a 19th century medical preoccupation caught my interest.

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Weather and Poetry: E. Pauline Johnson

by Rachel Black       on September 2nd 2020

Welcome to DRAW's latest series: Weather and Poetry! Here we will explore poets who touch on weather in their works. This week we are looking at Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson.


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Montreal as an Island

by Vicky Slonosky       on August 19th 2020


The spring ice break up season was always a tricky time for Montrealers. Unless you live off-island, we tend not to think too much about the practical geographical fact of the city Montreal as an island in the St Lawrence River these days. When the dire condition of the old Champlain bridge was realized and plans for the building of the new bridge were being drawn up, there was a fair amount of grumbling opinion along the lines of “I never leave the island; why should my taxes pay for all those suburbanites coming into the city?” The Champlain bridge is a vital piece of Canadian infrastructure linking the Atlantic provinces, Eastern Canada and the US to central Canada, and the most heavily travelled bridge in the country. As Montreal is an island, it has always needed goods and supplies brought in across the river. Electricity too: for those who remember the 1998 ice storm, they might also remember that at one point only one of the power lines supplying the city across the water was still functioning.

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Meet the Meteorologists: Quebec City

by Vicky Slonosky       on August 5th 2020


Today we are kicking off a new series on the blog: Meet the Meteorologists! Our aim is to look at the individuals around the world who helped to contribute to the creation of meteorology as a field of study and who helped inform the practice here in Montreal.

These individuals were often interested in weather as how it connected to their day jobs. They were often the intellectuals, religious figures, engineers, doctors or businessmen in communities and helped contribute to our understanding of weather in the St. Lawrence basin where Montreal resides. All individuals mentioned in this series were taken from Climate in the Age of Empire by Dr. Victoria Slonosky.

So let’s kick things off with New France and the people who called Quebec City home.


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Introducing DRAW Members: Drew Bush

by Rachel Black       on July 22nd 2020


Introducing…


Who:

Drew Bush


From:

Lyndonville, Vermont


Role at DRAW:

Education Team Member

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Heatwaves: Blasts from the Past

by Vicky Slonosky       on July 8th 2020

Heatwaves and cold snaps have always been a feature of Montreal and Quebec weather. Jean-François Gaultier (1708-1756), who was royal physician in Quebec City from 1742 to 1756, left vivid descriptions of heatwaves and hot summers in the mid-18th century, mentioning “les chaleurs excessives presque continuelles” (“the nearly continual excessive heat”; July 1746).

Answering questions like ‘Which was the hottest day or warmest summer on record?’ is not always straightforward when dealing with complicated historical data. Both mean temperature and maximum temperature need to be considered to provide a complete view of historical summer weather and heat waves.

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Measuring Humidity: A Long and Difficult Process

by Vicky Slonosky       on June 24th 2020

Why is it that some days it feels hotter than others? Or that we have difficulty breathing? It's all thanks to humidity, or water vapor in the air. This week let's dive into how humidity is measured.


Humidity has long been one of the most difficult atmospheric variables to measure objectively. Indeed, it took some time to recognize exactly what the role of water vapour was in the precipitation cycle, and it was in attempting to quantify just how precisely water vapour, humidity, clouds and precipitation were all related that John Dalton, a passionate meteorologist, became the discovery of atomic theory through his gas law of partial pressures and revolutionized chemistry.

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Rare Weather Phenomena - Part 2

by Rachel Black       on June 10th 2020

As promised, today's blog post is a followup from last week. We'll be delving into rare weather phenomena connected to clouds and snow.


While snow and clouds are a common feature of our days, especially if you reside within Canada, the following phenomena are not often experienced by the everyday individual. The snow and cloud based rare weather seen in today's post need specific conditions to exist!

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Rare Weather Phenomena - Part 1

by Rachel Black       on May 27th 2020


This week on the DRAW Blog: Rare Weather Phenomena!


With this week’s forecast in Montreal looking intense (30C-33C, humidex 35C-38C, chance of thunder) we at DRAW thought it would be apt to delve into some rare weather phenomena. This will be a two part series, with this week looking at rare weather connected to storms!

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Crafting the Weather

by Rachel Black       on May 13th 2020

Today on the blog let's take a look at an alternative way of recording observations about the weather!

The creative macramé community has come up with a neat way of tracking and logging weather observations. The two that I am aware of are Sky Scarves and Temperature Scarves. They are considered conceptual knitting or crafting, where projects go beyond the pattern to “become a small act of performance, community outreach or experimentation”. We’ll briefly go over each project below, with examples, and some suggestions for further exploration.

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Don't Miss Our New Educator's Corner, Years in the Making...

by Drew Bush       on May 5th 2020

You may have noticed a new tab on our website meant just for teachers and educators who want to bring Canada’s history and citizen science into their classrooms. With classes now occurring online for the foreseeable future, we hope you will add the Data Rescue: Archives and Weather (DRAW) project by asking your students to help with real scientific research that concerns their own heritage.

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Superb Super-Users: Thank you!

by DRAW Team       on April 29th 2020

We want to say a super thank-you today to our super-users. We have four transcribers who have each transcribed over 100 pages: Josée, Kathy, Jean-Paul and Louis. Together, these four transcribers have contributed 83% of our transcriptions! In a strange coincidence, this is the same percentage that the 10% of the contributors dubbed superusers were found to make in Online Citizen Science and the Widening of Academia. Another 15 users have completed over ten pages each, and we’re nearly at the half a million mark for the number of data points transcribed- 452 575 and counting! We still have a long way to go, though. Will we get there?

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A Day in the Archives

by Brittany Nolan       on April 15th 2020


For this week’s blog, we wanted to give you a behind the scenes look of some of the archival research we have been doing here at DRAW. This week we were looking at the Dawson-Harrington Fonds that is held at the McGill University Archives.

Most of the research conducted was centred around Anna Dawson Harrington. Anna was the daughter of John William Dawson, who was a principal at McGill in the 19th century. Anna married  Bernard James Harrington in 1876. Together they had 9 children: Eric, Edith, William, Bernard, Ruth, Clare, Constance, Conrad and Lois. Later in the post, we will get a chance to see some letters written by Anna’s daughter Ruth.

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Calling All Weather Enthusiasts - We Challenge You!

by DRAW Team       on April 8th 2020

Looking for something to do while you’re self-isolating and social-distancing? Would you like to contribute to weather, climate science, and history? Come help us transcribe weather records from the past on DRAW: https://citsci.geog.mcgill.ca.

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Rainbow Wonderland

by Rachel Black       on April 1st 2020

Good Morning Readers! While we tried very hard to discover a cool weather themed April Fool’s Day hoax to discuss, there’s surprisingly very few weather themed hoaxes out there! Instead we are going to chip in with spreading some hope and talk about Rainbows!

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The Flood of 1886

by Brittany Nolan       on March 18th 2020

This week on DRAW learn more about the flood of 1886, brought to us by one of our archival students, Brittany Nolan!


In the 19th century, the coming of spring was often accompanied by floods in Montreal. The floods of 1886 were particularly bad; some parts of the city were covered by over 4 feet of water!

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Weather Forecasting: Vennor's Bulletin

by Rachel Black       on March 4th 2020

This week in the blog: weather forecasting at the height of our ledger creation!

It’s likely not surprising to our readers that humans have been trying to forecast the weather, for a variety of reasons, for a long time. It’s not too different from what we do today in fact, as ancient weather forecasting methods usually relied on observing events and seeing the patterns that came from them (called pattern recognition).

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Introducing DRAW Members: Robert Smith

by Rachel Black       on February 19th 2020


Introducing...

Who:

Robert Smith

From:

L’anse au Loup, Labrador

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DRAW February Funnies

by Rachel Black       on February 5th 2020

To help alleviate any February blues, this week on DRAW we are going to liven things up with some weather themed jokes! Let us know which one is your favourite or tell us your favourite weather themed joke/pun/story on Facebook or Twitter!

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On This Day: Winter Carnival 1883

by Rachel Black       on January 22nd 2020

Did you know this Friday, January 24th, is the 137th anniversary of the first winter carnival held in Montreal? In honour of this anniversary, let’s take a look at what the weather in Montreal was like that day.

Read Me


DRAW and Student Projects: ENVR 401

by Rachel Black       on January 8th 2020

Welcome to our first blog post of the new year! Everyone at DRAW hopes you had a happy end to 2019 and we are looking forward to bringing you more interesting and engaging content in the new year!


ENVR 401: Environmental Research is an undergraduate course offered by McGill’s School of Environment. Offered in the Fall Semester, the course has students “work in an interdisciplinary team on a real-world research project involving problem definition, methodology development, social, ethical and environmental impact assessment, execution of the study, and dissemination of results to the research community and to the people affected.” (Course Description)

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On This Day

by Rachel Black       on December 18th 2019

For this week’s blog we are going to look at the weather this time 100 years ago: December 18th 1919. We won’t have time to fully immerse ourselves in what was happening 100 years ago, but to set the scene:

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Weather Symbols in Real Life: Part 2

by Rachel Black       on December 4th 2019

Weather symbols are important to the transcribing of weather data as they explain without words weather phenomena that is being experienced. We have dedicated a section of our website to exploring the different weather symbols we use in our transcription interface (Meteorological Observations) and a couple months ago looked at the history of weather symbols on this very blog (International Communication: Weather Symbols). But do we really know what the symbols mean when they are defined as ‘hoar frost’ or a ‘solar corona’?

This series will explore real life images of the weather symbols - taken by our own team!

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Introducing DRAW Members: Gordon Burr

by Rachel Black       on November 20th 2019


Introducing...

Who:

Gordon Burr

From:

Montreal

Read Me


Observing During the Wars

by Victoria Slonosky       on November 11th 2019

In commemoration of November 11, Vicky Slonosky talks a little bit today about the effect war has on meteorology.

Meteorology is an important aspect of war, and during the two World Wars in the 20th century, weather observing was affected in a number of ways. Weather forecasts and reports had military strategic value, and the international exchange of weather observations, so laboriously and slowly organized over the course of the 19th century, was stopped during the world wars.

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Weather in the History of Science

by Victoria Slonosky       on November 6th 2019

Today we will be taking a quick look at the intersection between the history of science and weather observations/meteorology.

The movie The Aeronauts was shown at the Toronto Film Festival last month, dramatizing the lengths meteorologist James Glaisher went to in his exploration of the atmosphere, taking instruments such as thermometers and barometers up in hot-air balloons. The first balloon ascents with meteorological interests in mind were made in 1784 by Dr John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard. In 1804 French scientists Joseph Gay-Lussac and Jean-Baptiste Biot ascended above Paris with their barometers and thermometers to investigate the behaviour of the atmosphere, atmospheric gases, and the magnetic field at high altitudes. They later became renowned for their work in chemistry and physics, Gay-Lussac especially for his work on the gases laws and chemical composition.

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BOOK REVIEW: Climate in the Age of Empire

by Rachel Black       on October 23rd 2019

In today’s edition of the DRAW Blog we will be looking at the book Climate in the Age of Empire: Weather Observers in Colonial Canada. This book, written by our own Victoria Slonosky, looks at the history of weather observations in Canada between the mid 18th century and the early 20th century. This examination as a result also traces the development of meteorology (a branch of science concerned with the processes and phenomena of the atmosphere as a means to forecast the weather) and climatology (the scientific study of climate). It also inadvertently traces the history of Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto during this time, showing another facet of the history of Canada.

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DRAWn into Education

by Rachel Black       on October 9th 2019

Bad puns aside, we’ve focused so far on historical weather, our ledgers and our members as well as the transcription process on the Blog so today we will explore other aspects of the DRAW project - namely fostering education and awareness.

DRAW, as you know, is a project dedicated to making the data from the old McGill Observatory ledgers available widely to the scientific community. We decided to do this by digitizing the pages of the ledgers and then making a platform in which the public (you!) can transcribe the data into datasets for further analysis. As part of this, we field questions about the process, troubleshoot any issues, and try to keep our users informed/interested in various topics through this Blog site. In addition, DRAW works with educators to inform students about not only the project, but to use the project as a case study in order to help students learn about not only weather but also the scientific process.

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Introducing DRAW Members: Rachel Black

by Rachel Black       on September 25th 2019


Introducing...

Who:

Rachel Black

From:

Ontario

Role at DRAW:

Records Management, Social Media, Outreach - Jack of all trades!

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Sleighing

by Victoria Slonosky       on August 28th 2019

It’s hot and humid outside, and has been another sizzling summer. But before we complain too much, we should remember the past winter…

All Montrealers agree that this past winter was a difficult one, with the freezing rain and freeze-thaw giving us lots of ice everywhere. This ice then hardened making walking a dangerous activity, with the risk of slipping and spraining or breaking a limb high. But how unusual was it in historical terms?

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Introducing DRAW Members: Renée Sieber

by Rachel Black       on July 31st 2019

Ever interested in who is behind our project? In this series learn about our members!


Introducing...

Who:

Renée Sieber

From:

Ontario by way of Michigan and New Jersey

Role at DRAW:

Multifaceted - To answer citizen science related questions ; to look at non-experts collaboration with scientists to influence science policy ; To get people interested in the site and remain interested in the site ; To assess the quality of contributions and broader value of the contributions within science ; science literacy to help individuals become more educated about the world


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Horizontal and Vertical Montreal

by Victoria Slonosky       on July 17th 2019

This week on the DRAW blog : look at how the vertical and horizontal city can affect weather!

The urban heat island effect is one that’s well known to many city dwellers- the fact that heat tends to accumulate in large (and even not-so-large) built up areas, partly due to land use and partly due to heat sources from energy use by people. Roads, concrete, asphalt, buildings and other man-made structures all have different heat and water absorbing or shedding characteristics than do natural surfaces such as forests, grass and wetlands.

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Handwriting Help

by Rachel Black       on July 3rd 2019

Old handwriting can be difficult to read and interpret, even for the experienced. Are you having difficulty reading the pages you are transcribing? Look no further - today’s post is about tips and tricks to reading old handwriting.

I wasn’t aware of this before, but the study of old writing in fact has its own name : Palaeography! This discipline focuses on the reading, deciphering, dating and context of old documents throughout history. It is crucial for historians and philologists to be familiar with this discipline because language and the way we write is constantly evolving over time - to understand a document you are studying you need to know how it was created! This of course, is not to be confused with Graphology, which is the study or analysis of a person’s handwriting in order to identify personality, emotional state, or the person itself. Graphology is a little more controversial and seen as a pseudoscience in some circles.

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Guest Post: Air Quality in Montréal

by Geoffrey Pearce       on June 19th 2019

Please join me in welcoming Geoffrey Pearce to the DRAW Blog!
Geoffrey Pearce has been teaching in the department of geography at Dawson College since 2011. Prior to that he completed a master's degree in planetary science at the University of Western Ontario with a research focus on the geology of the northern plains on Mars. His attention has since shifted to Earth and helping students to engage in urban field studies and citizen science projects. Today he will be talking about Air Quality in Montreal

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Weather Symbols in Real Life

by Rachel Black       on June 5th 2019

Weather symbols are important to the transcribing of weather data as they explain without words weather phenomena that is being experienced. We have dedicated a section of our website to exploring the different weather symbols we use in our transcription interface (Meteorological Observations) and a couple months ago looked at the history of weather symbols on this very blog (International Communication: Weather Symbols). But do we really know what the symbols mean when they are defined as ‘hoar frost’ or a ‘solar corona’?

This series will explore real life images of the weather symbols - taken by our own team!

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Who Were the Observers?

by Victoria Slonosky       on May 22nd 2019

This week we will explore a little about the individuals who were taking the observations we are transcribing.

The McGill observatory was originally founded by Dr. Charles Smallwood. An emigrant from England, Smallwood arrived in Montreal in the 1830s and set up a country practice in St Martin on the island north of the island of Montreal, then called Ile-Jesus, and now called Laval. By the 1840s, he had built an observatory with an impressive array of home-made instruments and arrangements for automatic recording. In 1863, he was invited to move the Observatory to McGill College. For some time it was known as the Montreal Observatory.

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Communicating Weather: Storm Warnings and Telegraphs

by Victoria Slonosky       on May 8th 2019

This week we will look at how weather, especially dangerous weather, was communicated in a time before telephones, cell phones and the internet. It is no surprise that weather observations played a significant part!

Space and Time: the Observatory, The Transit Telescope and Longitude

One of the most important functions of the McGill Observatory, and one which brought in much needed revenue to help pay for the meteorological and other scientific observations, was timekeeping. Timekeeping is fundamental to any kind of observing. In the 19th and early 20th century, timekeeping relied on observing the transit of certain stars. Midnight was defined as the moment certain stars, depending on the season, passed overhead. The transit telescope was one of the most important instruments in the observatory, although for timekeeping purposes it didn’t need to be as sophisticated and powerful as for astronomical discovery.

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Introducing DRAW Members: Vicky Slonosky

by Rachel Black       on April 24th 2019


This week we will explore who is behind our project, starting with Vicky Slonosky!



Introducing...

Who:

Vicky Slonosky

From:

Montreal (south shore) via England, France and Toronto and back to Montreal

Role at DRAW:

General wrangler & worrier, and historical weather data expert

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Marginalia in the Ledgers

by Rachel Black       on April 10th 2019

Welcome to the third installment of the DRAW Blog! This week we will be discussing Marginalia and the incidences of marginalia which we have found in our own ledgers.


Have you ever encountered a book in which someone wrote in the margins? Or did you ever draw or doodle in the margins of your class notes as a student or while in a meeting? If you have, you have either encountered or created marginalia.

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International Communication: Weather Symbols

by Victoria Slonosky       on March 27th 2019

Welcome to another DRAW Blog post! This week we will be looking at the why and how of weather symbols.


While transcribing you may have come across little symbols used to depict different types of weather, rather than writing. It was one of the most difficult challenges we faced in designing our interface in fact. We can’t just ask our citizen scientists to type them in - there are no keys for these symbols after all! Do we provide a table to consult? Do we ask them to type them in as “rain” or “snow”? What sort of standard should we use that is both accurate and easy for citizen scientists to transcribe?

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Clouds, Cloud Types and Abbreviations

by Victoria Slonosky       on March 13th 2019

Clouds or the lack of, are an ever present part of our skyscape. It is no wonder then that when the classification of the world around us began during the 18th century Enlightenment, with Carl Linne in Sweden developing the binomial system of plant classification (still used today for all living things) that the classification of clouds wouldn't be far behind. The classification began in the early 19th century with Luke Howard.

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