Friday, August 24, 2012


What if life were in black and white? No color at all?

I enjoy a good old black and white movie now and then, and sometimes friends post b&w photos that change my perspective on the scene and sometimes even change my own mood. A very nice effect --  once in a while. But, really, no color? Ever?

Naahhh, I don't think so. I love color, shades, nuances, bold colors, muted colors, colors on top of each other, beside each other, complementary colors, flung-across-the-canvas colors, spring flower colors, the dress my grandma used to wear that was so filled with get the picture.

So when NPR's program Radiolab did a whole hour on color last week, I was excited.

We humans have three color cones -- red, yellow and blue. Did you know that dogs only have two (no red-sensitive cones) and butterflies have five cones. But the mantis shrimp has 16 cones and sees hundreds more colors than we do!

Take a few minutes to listen to the show. If you've got an hour, you will enjoy the program, but if you can't afford an hour, start at 8:57 or so. The segment is about nine minutes long. The information is great, but the way it's presented is mind-blowing! Really!

So would you like to see a mantis shrimp? Here it is. Their crazy cartoon-like eyes function independently of one another. I wonder why God gave this tiny sea creature such a profound sense of color. What in the world does the mantis shrimp do with access to such a broad range of color?

Anyway, I think you'll enjoy the show.

While you're at it, here's a "comprehensive list of colors" that I found on Wikipedia. After listening to the program, I wonder if the list is indeed all that comprehensive.

No comments: