Tag Archives | Colors

An Experiment To Allow Us To See New Colors

colorsAre we missing out on most of reality? Via OMNI Reboot, Rich Lee on transhumanist experimenters hoping to expand the color spectrum (and render all past and current art, fashion, and design obsolete):

Of the vast wavelengths that span the electromagnetic spectrum, humans can see a mere 2.3%. Rainbows? They’re just a fraction of the real picture. We’ve crafted abstract theories to understand x-rays, radio, microwaves, and gamma rays. But how much more advanced would humanity be if we could perceive the other 97.7% of reality?

A team of “Grinders,” or self-experimenting biohackers, calling themselves Science for the Masses (SFM) has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $4,000 necessary to procure the equipment and chemicals for the execution of their plan.

If successful…Their work will enable humans to see the near-infrared spectrum with their naked eyes. As the project overview explains, SFM hope to augment sight through “human formation of porphyropsin, the protein complex which grants infrared vision to freshwater fish.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dennis Hopper: Wild Rider

People who know me know I love to read and during the holidays I look forward to the books I’m inevitably gifted almost as much as I look forward to the fun, food, family and friends. I’ve been plowing through some of the books St. Nick sent my way and am planning on mentioning some of them here as I finish them up.

The first book I’ve read in 2013 is a biography of writer/director/actor/painter/photographer and art collector Dennis Hopper. Hopper started acting as a teenager in movies like Rebel Without a Cause, and he became famous as the director and co-star of Easy Rider – the film that more or less marks the beginning of the New American Cinema that was to take over movie screens in the 1970′s. Of course, Hopper famously imploded into a spiral of drugs and drink before rebounding as an actor in movies like Blue Velvet and Speed, and as a director with flicks like the Los Angeles gang drama Colors.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Scientists Create Proteins To Enable Human Eyes To See A Wider Color Spectrum

Body modification to expand the realm of the senses, New Scientist reports:

Researchers have altered the structure of a protein normally found in the human eye so that it can absorb a type of red light that we cannot normally see. The new protein could, in theory, give us the ability to see reds that are currently beyond our visible spectrum.

Colour vision in nearly all animals depends on specialised chemicals called chromophores, which sit inside proteins and absorb different wavelengths of light. Specific protein structures are thought to determine the absorption spectrum of the chromophores within. Babak Borhan at Michigan State University and his colleagues engineered a series of mutations which altered the structure of human chromophore-containing proteins.

If these proteins were present in the eye you would be able to see red light that is invisible to you now, says co-author James Geiger, also at Michigan State University. But since objects reflect a mixture of light, the world would not necessarily always appear more red.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How Humanity Picked Its Colors

Our long-ago ancestors saw two basic colors: light and dark. Today we see eleven (black, grey, white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, brown, pink). Tomorrow we will see more. Empirical Zeal on “color colonialism” and the odd pattern that societies follow in erecting “color boundaries”:

Blue and green are similar in hue. Before the modern period, Japanese had just one word, Ao, for both blue and green. The wall that divides these colors hadn’t been erected as yet.

One of the first fences in this color continuum came from crayons. In 1917, the first crayons were imported into Japan… There were different crayons for green (midori) and blue (ao), and children started to adopt these names. But the real change came during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II, when new educational material started to circulate. In 1951, teaching guidelines for first grade teachers distinguished blue from green, and the word midori was shoehorned to fit this new purpose.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The ‘Forbidden Colors’ Our Eyes Can’t See

crane-piantanidaCan you imagine a reddish green? Not the muddy brown produced by mixing red and green paint, but a gloriously vivid color that looks a bit like red and a bit like green. How about a color that looks like a mix of blue and yellow, yet isn’t greenish? These exist, but are virtually impossible to see or envision — except with the help of retinal stabilization. Someday we may wear goggles to see the forbidden colors previously off limits. Via Life’s Little Mysteries:

“The observers of this unusual visual stimulus reported seeing the borders between the stripes gradually disappear, and the colors seem to flood into each other. Amazingly, the image seemed to override their eyes’ opponency mechanism, and they said they perceived colors they’d never seen before.”

Even though those colors exist, you’ve probably never seen them. Red-green and yellow-blue are the so-called “forbidden colors.” Composed of pairs of hues whose light frequencies automatically cancel each other out in the human eye, they’re supposed to be impossible to see simultaneously.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Color Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

vintage-color-wheel-6We think of a physical object’s being a certain “color” as a solid, immutable property (grass is green, lemons are yellow, et cetera). However, the way our brains see and process color is largely determined by the language we learned as an infant.

Case in point: the Himba tribe of remote northern Namibia, to whom water looks “white” like milk and the sky looks “black” like coal, and who struggle to distinguish between blue and green, yet can easily pick out micro-shades which Americans cannot see. Via BBC Horizon, a reminder that the world looks different to everyone:

Continue Reading

Women Like Pink Because Of ‘Berry-Picking’ Past And Boys Like Green Because Of Their Hunting Ancestors

525px-HeteroSym-pinkblue.svgDo pinks and purples remind you of gathering berries? Do greens and blues remind you of hunting in the forest? Finding a reason other than cultural influence as to why genders seems to lean towards specific colors, scientists look to our past. Via Fiona Macrae at Daily Mail:

Girls really do prefer pink – and not just because it is pretty.

Scientists have shown that females are drawn to pinks and reds and men to blues and greens – and they believe the explanation lies our hunter-gatherer past.

As the gatherers of the operation, women’s brains became fine-tuned to the purples and reds of ripe fruits and berries.

The men, meanwhile, developed a preference for the clear blue skies that signaled good weather for hunting.

The theory comes from Chinese scientists who asked more than 350 students to study 11 colours for three minutes and then rank them in order of preference.

Read the rest

Continue Reading