I've been working lately on how to represent certain concepts with symbols and it's been hard but a fun puzzle to knock around. My previous update goes into more detail but I'm basically trying to reinvent the wheel. To complete the first page in the book which deals with water as a vehicle in as far as the precipitation cycle, there are two concepts I must illustrate. The first is universal rule of convection. This icon will be featured numerous times throughout the volume so I feel I must nail it the first time. The main player of the precipitation cycle here on earth however, is water. I needed to convey H2O without writing it in a language but at the same time use a symbol that could be recognized by any person. They typical "one large bubble connecting two small bubbles" in an "upside down mickey mouse" image feels contrived and I was hard pressed to find a different arrangement. I was also fascinated by valence shells housing electrons. Matrix numerology is beyond the average joe's comprehension (mine included at the moment) but I feel that some patterning can be intuitive. I decided to try a ring arrangement based on the atomic numbers in an element.
Valence shells have a desire to be full. Notice that the two smaller (hydrogen) atoms add an electron each to complete the 8 electron spaces necessary to have a stable valence shell (oxygen only has 6 to go around in it's L valence). Still, the arrangement irked me and I wanted to try another arrangement feeling that I could put the electron holes wherever I chose.
At this point, I wore myself out and I would like to have more time to play around with this idea but as it stands time is of the essence (due in July 2009). I decided to try out different color arrangements just for play: