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Sunday, February 13, 2011

*THE COLOR BLUE (and #164--Isle of Man)

Blue is my favorite color.  However, what was blue to Pearl was not blue to me.  Here are some so-called blues, according to a certain chart:


To me, purple is not blue.  Not the case for Pearl, and many females, I learned.

Scientifically, blue has a wavelength between 440 and 490 nanometers.  Wikipedia has a nice short history and science of blue, so you can click there to gain these details.  

However, some interesting notes just to toss out at cocktail parties:

1.  While there are natural blue pigments, such as azurite, ultramarine, cerulean blue, cobalt blue and Prussian blue, artists found this color difficult to find, and expensive.  Some of the most popular paintings featured blue (such as the robe of the Virgin Mary, indicating the sponsorship of a wealthy patron).

2.  Egyptian Blue is the earliest known man-made blue pigment, found in Egyptian artifacts 4500 years ago.

3.  Ultramarine was created in the Middle Ages, with the raw material coming from Argentina.

4.  In 1824 the French Society for the Encouragement of National Industry sponsored a competition, won by Jean-Baptiste Guimet for his synthetic ultramarine.  Renoir, Cezanne and van Gogh became famous partly because they had early access to this cheap substitute.

5.  Of course, the sky is blue, and so is the ocean.  Why? For the same reason, actually.  When sunlight, for example, enters the sea, all the other colors are absorbed by water (same for the atmosphere), leaving blue available to dominate.  

6.  So why is it so difficult to find blue flowers?  I travel the world to photograph them, for wherever you go, they are rare.  Mind you, there are hundreds of blue flowers, but most are relatively obscure and many are purplish to violet, not true blue.  There are no blue anthuriums, no blue tulips (the ones you see are dyed, as the one to the left) and no blue sunflowers.
About fifteen years ago, a "blue" carnation was announced from Australia.  But is this blue?  Nah, it's mauve.



Is the following a blue hibiscus?
No, not really.

Some call this a blue plumeria:

Maybe purplish violet?

There is, finally, a blue rose, sort of, but not so according to my eyes.  Florigene, an Australian subsidiary of Suntory (beer, whiskey), is said to have cracked the genetic code in 2004, and is marketing it as a blue rose.  Last time I checked, one such rose cost about $25.  But tell me, are these roses blue?

Not by my standards.

7.  There are definitely some blue objects, like the Blue Man Group:

8.  Plus a few blue animals and insects.  The largest animal ever, the Blue Whale (yes, bigger than the largest dinosaurs) is more gray, than anything.  There is no blue cow nor horse, but here is a beautiful blue frog:

And, of course, a blue butterfly:

Now, these are blue, indeed.

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 Background
Part of the Norwegian Kingdom of the Hebrides until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland, the isle came under the British crown in 1765. Current concerns include reviving the almost extinct Manx Gaelic language. Isle of Man is a British crown dependency but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government remains constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.




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2 comments:

Dr.Tom said...

Aloha Pat -

Your interests seem to have turned from saving the world to simply enjoying what's left of it.

Here's where we are going:

www.sysco.com/customer/esysco_release_notes.pdf

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

eSYSCO?

But, yes, my perhaps overly optimistic attitude has been battered by those doomsdayers (because not only do their arguments make sense, but the combination of African/Middle Eastern Revolution, coming Peak Oil, Global Heating, lack of community will, metastable global economy and broken governments only reinforce their point of view ) so that, while I'm still continuing the quest to save Planet Earth and Humanity, now feel obligated to balance that hope. Thus, while I have begun to mildly think about a survival strategy, I might as well optimize my lifestyle in the few days left for me, which could last 20 years. I still think Hawaii will be a great place to live...sometime after the year 2100.