Facebook Friday 5/25/18

Hey, hey, it’s Facebook Friday!

Although I haven’t been too active on the blog, I have been a tiny bit active on Facebook this past week. Still a bit hectic in my world. Everyday after work is always something; from shopping to getting library cards and cooking or, for the past two days anyway, baby classes. Let me tell you, there is a lot. I’m definitely grateful for these classes cause I readily admit I know nothing about human babies. It’s baby CPR next Saturday. Yikes! I don’t even know how to do adult CPR. Hope I’m never in a situation where I have to and if I am, hope I don’t freeze panic.

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

Again, as usual, no memes were shared. I just haven’t seen any on Facebook or Twitter! Maybe I’m not looking hard enough.

However, I did share two videos on Facebook. The first one is all about turtles which are my favorite animals. May 23rd was World Turtle Day and National Geographic made a video post not only celebrating turtles as a species with a few facts but also to bring awareness to the fact that almost all turtle species are endangered in some form or another mostly due to habitat desctruction such as all the plastic in the ocean they mistake for food. Anyway, check it out below:


The other video I shared was a clip from the Ellen show that was so fun! The game they’re playing is called MOVIE and it’s like HORSE but with media. So what the players do is name a movie and the other person has to name an actor or actress in the movie and then it goes back and that person has to name a different movie and so on and so forth until someone is stumped. Whoever spells out the world MOVIE first wins. There was also a surprised scare that I found absolutely hilarious so if you’re looking for a good laugh, check out this video as well:


Lastly, I didn’t share any pictures on Facebook. However, my husband’s second job is with a furniture company called Arhaus and he got a surprise when he went into work yesterday:

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They made him a cake that says “Welcome Baby Hollywood” (Hollywood is his nickname) and it had cute little Care Bears sticking out all over. They also pitched in together and bought a bunch of baby stuff for us. This is everything unwrapped:

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It’s one step closer to becoming real for us man. We are super grateful to them for this load considering we’re slackers and only had like 2 baby things so far (in our defense we’re waiting til after the shower to see what additional items we’ll need so we don’t buy duplicates!).

That’s it for me this week. Extended weekend this week because Memorial Day on Monday. It’s highly likely I won’t be posting because I’ve been told we’re going to a BBQ so yay grilled food!

I hope you all had a wonderful week and have an even more wonderful weekend. See you next week!

🙂

Romance World Shenanigans

In previous posts, I’ve talked about how much I love the romance genre. In fact, I made a tag in my early blogging days called the Soul Ripping Romance Tag that made the rounds a bit. I follow the world estensively and I also follow a few WordPress authors who write romance serials on their blogs. Huge, huge fan.

The latest news in the world was initally all about RT and how the website and all it’s affliates were retiring. RT stands for Romantic Times. Most people are unaware of them especially in other countries but every year they host a giant convention that’s like the San Diego Comic Con of the book world. Every, and I mean EVERY, romance author or even authors who only incorporate a little romance (fade to black) in their stories, goes to this convention. It’s a HUGE deal and I had plans to go to one some day but I found out that this year was the last year. 😔

RT had been in business for an astounding 37 years. They had a regular magazine I got in my email and you could be a member or VIP member and get all these benefits and freebies. I was just a tiny part of the massive, amazing, supportive community but I’m gonna miss them.

In other news, the week before last I talked about trademarking and copyrighting and the differences between them. The subject came up cause there was an author who is currently in a legal battle over the word “cocky” that she felt was her right to trademark. Unfortunately, the saga is continuing.

Another author has filed a trademark for the word “forever”. 😐 I found this news our because an indie author I follow has a book called forever and she’s afraid she’ll be a target now. Multiple people have contacted the author about this and she’s claiming that she’s being impersonated and that she didn’t do that except to trademark her name and her series. Things are sketchy however because it was filed by her publisher who said they were advised by the attorney of this author. The author is still claiming it’s not hers even though the trademark is up officially.

This kind of thing just blows my mind. I don’t understand why these situations have all of sudden popped up. Is this some kind of pseudo marketing scheme to go viral and get your work attention even if it’s negative? I really hope this doesn’t expand past the romance genre because this type of behavior is just unbelievable especially when groups, bloggers and the community in general work so hard to promote and include everyone.

Have you heard about either of these stories? Does it feel like the end of a good era and the beginning of a bad one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Past Few Days

Today’s post is basically going to be an update of sorts. Last week I kind of ranted about how I had the itch from hell and my midwife tried to prescribe me quite a strong oral steroid which I was pretty much against taking because I was afraid of an alien baby. Most doctors or midwives will tell you that at 33 weeks, the baby is fully developed and steroids won’t do anything to harm the little body snatchers. I understand that but I also hate swallowing pills especially 21 pills over the course of 5 days. That just seems like overkill especially when its not guranteed to work. So, I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me a low dosage steroid lotion and I’m happy to report that the rash and most of the itch went away in just two days! So I’m quite content to be a lot less itchy.

However, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that for every symptom you manage, another appears in it’s spot when you’re pregnant. The itching went down but then I started getting pain in my lower right abdomen right above the hip. It felt like a bone was stabbing from the inside. At first I thought it was baby but it’s too small at this point to be a baby foot or elbow or something. All day Sunday, I couldn’t get comfortable in any position which meant I didn’t sleep at all. Instead of going to the ER or even contacting my midwife, I went to Google again to see what other people were suggesting besides “oh hey take some tylenol” which is only temporary. Lots of suggestions pointed me to a chiropactor and let me tell you, chiropactors are Gods. I had one 15 minute session with the guy and he aligned my spine and did some other stretches and I slept like the baby I’m carrying that night. Seriously, if you’ve never been to one, go. It’s worth every penny even for a couple minutes. I went again today and I just feel so great. Turns out the little bone sticking out is a muscle that’s just balled up from expanding to accomodate the growing monster and all it needs is a little TLC to be kinked out.

Yesterday I talked about getting a library card so I can have access to the Ohio Digital Library. Happy to report that I got one and here it is:

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I went to go check out some books online in the series I’m reading but the ODL only has the first 2! Sad panda. Except, I continued my search and found out that I can apply for an eCard with a different city’s library. Imagine that! An e-library card! This card will give me access to Clevenet and Rakuten Overdrive which not only have the books I need but they’re available to borrow now and I don’t have to wait on hold or request the book to be added to the collection. I registered online for that quick and easy and I can’t wait to get my eCard in my email!

Lastly, at my work, it’s still been pretty hectic. My boss has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now and her husband is still driving me insane. The brightside to all of this is the two plant cats that showed up just before winter. Both are black cats and my old buddy took care of them. For months we were all hoping they were both the same sex and it seemed like they were until one day, early last month, he came in and discovered kittens! There were originally 6 but one died. Mama cat has been very good to her babies. There are 4 black ones and 1 gray one. They are super cute! I snapped a photo of them today to share with you all:

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They are about 3 and a half weeks old now and nice and snuggled under a giant wood pile. My old buddy is hoping to catch them this weekend and take them home to get them started on transitioning from Mama’s milk to at least wet kitty food. He also wants to capture mom and maybe dad and get them spayed and neutered.

So that’s been life the last few days! Look forward to the weekend because Monday is Memorial day which means extended weekend hooray! I hope you all had a great few days and continue to do so the rest of this week. 🙂

Any Memorial Day plans? Let me know in the comments below!

La Biblioteca

Hello everyone!

Before I get into the meat and potatoes of my post I just want to thank the couple of bloggers that sent me messages checking up on me. You know who you are and I appreciate you because that is so very thoughtful. 🙂

Now, I’ve come to a decision!

I’ve decided I’m going to get a library card! I know what you’re thinking, that’s not very monumental and really Nel, everyone has a library card! Guess what, I don’t. I used to have one and technically still do but it hasn’t been renewed for a long while and I’ve moved far away from the place so my laziness is like, don’t want to drive that far to pick up a book. However, a book was highly recommended to me over the weekend by a friend and it was an author I’ve never read before.

As you all are aware, my reading game is dismal. I’ve been managing one to two books a month just because of time and bodily (body snatcher) issues but this was a freebie on Kindle so I jumped at the chance and grabbed it. For once I didn’t read the description and just jumped right into reading the book. Needless to say, I was hooked and devoured that book in a day and a half. Always amazes me when I do that. So I was looking into getting the rest of the series but I stopped to think, what if I didn’t like the books? Cause you know, just because the pilot of a series is great, doesn’t mean the rest of it will be too and I’d hate to buy a digital book, hate it and then can’t return it you know?

Enter, the library. I went to look at my local library to see if they have the books. They didn’t. However, I still hit the jackpot. There is such a marvelous thing called The Ohio Digital Library. A friend of mine who is a librarian by trade actually informed me that it’s the 5th largest digital library in the country! LA county being the 1st largest if you were curious. Anyway, it basically goes through Overdrive which is a platform you can rent ebooks and audiobooks from and the collection is astounding. I found the rest of the series there but I have no access currently because of no library card. Once I get the library card, which is free btw (can’t beat free!), not only will I have access to ODL but I’ll also have access to a service called hoopla which allows you to rent movies, full music albums and more books and audiobooks with just your libary card!

My mind exploded.

So anyway, I wanted to show you a couple screenshots of what these wonderful websites look like. You may want to do some research cause you could have a similar situation at your local library. They rent out Kindle books, Kobo books and I-books so you can read them on any device and the bonus beauty is you don’t have to worry about late fees for forgetting to return them because they automatically go back when they’re due (assuming you don’t extend your borrowing time)!

Also, if you were wondering, even though you are renting for free, the authors and artists are still being paid! Libraries actually provide a good chunk of revenue along with all the other avenues. It’s a win-win-win all around I tell you! Plus, if you decide you must have your own copy, it’s as easy as going to Amazon and buying the hardcopy which is supporting the artist even more. And, one more note about libraries, you can get out of county or even out of state library cards for a yearly fee! The only downside to that though is you have to reapply in person every year.

What do you think of libraries? Does your library have something like this? Let me know in the comments below!

I’m Alive.. Sort of

Hello friends,

As you can see so far this week, I’ve been a slacker. I figured today is a good day to throw an update out there so you all know I’m mostly alive and kicking but my life sucks right now.

So firstly, work has been a shit show, literally. Unfortunately, my boss and her husband were in a car accident last Saturday. He walked away with a few scratches and bruises and she was lifted away with a severely broken leg. So for the last week and a half I’ve been doing not only my job but hers too and for someone who’s in a hospital bed, she’s very demanding. And her husband is worse cause he doesn’t know how to do anything for himself. These are the times when I hate text messaging but I’m the type of person that always answers my texts because what’s the point of my cellphone otherwise?

Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting the mother of all itches. I’ve developed some kind of rash or hives or something on my arms and legs and it’s slowly creeping to the belly. Baby probably doesn’t want me to scratch him or her constantly all day so I asked my midwife to prescribe me something stronger after exhausting all the over the counter creams, lotions, ointments, oatmeal baths and everything else under the sun you can think of that I got off Google. She prescribed me and oral steroid; low dosage. I was all for that until I googled the steroid and then decided I’d rather suffer because the side effects, especially to baby, scare me. I really don’t want to have an alien baby considering how close I am to being done with this whole pregnancy business.

She also put in a dermatolgy consult for me because who better to prescribe me something that won’t harm the body snatcher than a skin doctor. So two days go by and nobody calls me. I call the office and she says the earliest they can get me in is in November. NOVEMBER! I legit told her I’d be dead by then and that’s not acceptable and asked for dermatologists in the area I can spam call that could possibly get me in sooner. She warned me that she wasn’t sure if my insurance would cover it but I’m so desperate at this point I didn’t even care. American health care system is so jacked. Luckily my husband has bomb insurance and the first place I called after explaining my situation and emphasizing how desperate I am for relief, I have an appointment later today that will hopefully cure me at least for the next 7 and a half weeks because apparently the be all end all cure is child birth.

Anyway, there you have it. My blog slacker rant. I probably won’t be posting the rest of this week but I hope to pick it back up next week especially with endangered posts. I have at least two lined up in my mind they just need to be written for when I’m not trying to claw my skin off. I hope you all are having a better week than I am! I’m still going to keep up with all of your blogs even though mine will be gathering a little dust for a bit.

Facebook Friday 5/11/18

Hey, hey! It’s Facebook Friday!

I’ve had quite a busy week. My boss was in a car accident Saturday evening so let’s just say my duties have been double time. She’s fine but has a long road to recovery because of the way her right leg broke. So lots of therapy but a coworker and I went to visit her yesterday and she’s quite optimistic. I also wrote a huge chunk of detailed posts this week ranging from colors to copyright. Do check them out if you haven’t read them yet. I was on an educational roll!

Weather wise, it’s been nice and toasty all week despite a few rain showers here and there. But I have to say, today feels like winter again and that’s not cool! Go away 45 degree weather! We don’t miss you til at least October! Was quite enjoying going from winter to summer thank you very much. 😉

Facebook Fridays is a weekly segment of RT where I share some fun stuff I observed on Facebook this past week. I share a fun meme or screenshot, a video that resonated in some capacity and a photo of my own.

For once, it’s not my meme game that sucks! It’s the internet! Once again, I did not see a single cool meme the whole week and trust me I was looking! So sadly, no memes to share today. I did come across a pretty hilarious yet genius video on Twitter. Check it out:

Bahahahaha! I can’t stop rewatching it cause it’s just so funny!

I thought I wouldn’t have a picture to share this week but I went to a library book sale yesterday and reaped some great freaking rewards!

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I’ve never been more excited to spend money. I snagged a copy of the complete Cantebury Tales because I realized I don’t have one and I love those! I just read A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet last year and planned to buy it anyway so this was awesome. And then there’s the Baba Yaga books. I’ve never heard of them but the whole trilogy was there so why not. The books were 25 cents each; so basically $1.25 for those.

The real steal were the Blu-Rays and DVDs. Every last one of these literally came out last year and I got them all for $1.00 each. I was floored. Blu-Rays are expensive! Somewhere upwards of like $20-$30 dollars each and I got them all for $8 bucks! If you’ve never been to a library sale, seriously, go to one. You won’t regret it. There’s always something to find! My friend and I are looking to go back again today cause it’s bag day which means you buy a brown bag for $3 and fill it with however much you can fit in there at no additional cost. It’s awesome.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and an even better weekend! See you Monday!

🙂

Copyright Conversation

To round out this week chock full of discussion posts, and because my girl Linda expressed interest in wanting to know more, I want to talk a bit about copyright laws and how they differ from trademarks which I discussed yesterday.

To start, this is the copyright symbol:

©

We’ve all seen it and some of us even use it for some of the content we posts in our blogs. The official definition as defined by the United States Government is as follows:

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

So, what does this mean? It means that if you create an original work, whether it’s published or not, it’s still copyrighted. This applies to poetry, music, books, songs, software, movies… the list goes on. The term you’re most likely familiar with is called intellectual property and means it is protected under law. Now, the list of things that are able to be copyrighted are pretty much a form of art right; as in it’s some form of artistic expression. For example, all 300+ of my blog posts are my forms of artistic expression right? So that means all my stuff is automatically copyrighted right?

If you answered right, you’d be wrong. Sorry to break it to you but copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, theories, symbols, phrases, facts and other similar things along those lines. This means that even though I typed up some pretty cool life stories or suggested some ideas on my blog, I can’t claim official copyright and if someone decided to copy pasta my post and call it their own, there’s nothing I can do about it besides ask them nicely to take it down and hope for the best. Domain names are not even protected under copyright law so all our WordPress names we so cleverly came up? Not covered even though they are original.

Now, I know what you’re thinking here. Did I not just say original authorship works whether published or unpublished are automatically copyrighted? Well, yes I did but a post published on a website is considered an original idea, not an original work even if its stories or a logo design you made, it can be duplicated on someone else’s website without consequences. Logo designs actually can be protected but that falls under trademark territory as does words and phrases but it’s a process to get that certificate; as mentioned in the previous post. Copyright law can’t help with that.

However, there is a bit of a silver lining where copyright on websites are concerned. If you post a lot of photos or a compilation of serials, you can file to have the page on which these appear on copyrighted. But remember, even if you just use the symbol and someone comes along and steals your work, you can fight them if and only if you file for a copyright certificate or have already obtained one. Otherwise, you’re a bit SOL to put it simply.

When a copyright is filed, the information becomes public record. It also means the hard copy you sent becomes the property of the United States Government. They do not give it back so if you want to file for copyright, make sure it’s your best version. This also means that you filed the application, paid the fee, it was approved, you got your certificate and the whole country knows that that piece of art belongs to you. If someone would like to use it or reference it in their own piece of expression, they have to get permission to do so and once a copyright is public record, so is information like your name, phone number and address which makes it easy for an individual to try and get said permission. You can file for a copyright under a pseudonym and use a different address such as a post office box if you don’t want your personal details out in the world. This is what a lot of authors do when they copyright their books.

So remember when you see the little © symbol in a book, it only applies to the content on the inside. The book cover, title and logo are not copyrighted. Those fall under trademark laws. In the case of the cockygate author, her content is most likely copyrighted but her cover art, the title and logos of her book are not. She filed for a trademark for the word “cocky” and, as I said in yesterday’s post, you can trademark a word or phrase while your application is pending using the  symbol but it’s not official until you get a certificate of registration in the mail showing the ® symbol.

Generally, anyone can file for a trademark or a copyright but remember, this is not an automatic approval process. You really need to show sound reasoning or, in the case of copyrights, physical copies of your work in order to get even a sliver of consideration.  My mother sees trademark applications come across her desk everyday and she said it can take literal years to get a trademark whereas hard copies of original works are a bit easier to wade through. And yes, to reiterate again, words in the dictionary can be trademarked to a certain extent (example: apple is trademarked) but you’d have to be really convincing to get approved.

Isn’t the law just a boat load of fun?

I hope you all enjoyed all the educational posts this week. Hope it wasn’t too much of an overload and hey! tomorrow we get to see some fun stuff cause it’s TGIF or Facebook Friday around these parts and I’ve got at least one share guaranteed to make you laugh.

What do you think about copyright law? Does it make you want to copyright some of your own works? Let me know in the comments below!

(Source: CopyrightGov)

Common Trademarked Words

Since I got such an overwhelming response to my post yesterday (THANK YOU!) I thought I’d do a follow up post on what it means to trademark something and share common, every day words/items that you probably didn’t know are trademarked.

I was explaining the author story to my mom and she actually gave me a bit of insight in how the process works. A trademark is basically a brand on a product created by an individual or they’re using it in a different way that it won’t effect the original defintion of a word. For example, Kit Kat is a trademark with Hershey as it’s a popular chocolate candy. However, Google was able to use Kit Kat as a trademark as well because for them it had a secondary meaning not related to chocolate candy when they decided to name their OS (operating system) after it. It’s probably a given that they got permission to do so from Hershey as well.

**EDIT** Thanks to a comment made by fellow blogger Shalini I felt I should add to this post. She asked if words in the dictionary can be trademarked. The short answer is yes but again it goes back to how the word is being used. The best example is the world “apple”. In the dictionary, an apple is a round red fruit…. etc. However, the company that mass produces your Iphones has trademarked the word Apple (with a capital) and this is allowed because it does not infringe upon the original meaning of the word. ****

The cost of a trademark usually varies by state and can be anywhere between $100-$200 dollars. If your application to register a trademark gets approved then you are able to use your trademark in that state and sue anyone who uses it without express permission. Now if you want your trademark to be national, it’ll cost a bit more; up to $400 and you have to renew it every ten years for it to be valid. Even if you have a registered trademark, depending on the changing of the seasons, i.e. culture and society changes, if your trademark becomes something that is a commonly used saying or reference, it is possible for a party to fight you on said trademark on the grounds that it’s more generic now than it was before. It all depends really.

There are two main symbols used to indicate a trademark:

  • means that a trademark has been filed but it’s not registered yet. An application has been filed or will be filed.
  • ® means that a trademark application has been filed and accepted and you received a certificate of registration.

There’s also the © but that has to do with copyright and is something I can get into in a different post if you all are interested.

Anyway, here are some examples of common words that are currently trademarked that we use all the time and the generic terms a different party has to use if they produce the same product:

  • BandAid is registered by Johnson & Johnson Company. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar is self-adhesive bandage
  • Bubble Wrap is registered by Sealed Air Corporation. The generic phrase you can  use to describe something similar is packing material
  • Crock-Pot is registered by Sun-Beam Products. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar is slow cooker
  • Google is registered by Google, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe something similar (even though we say Google it all the time) is search engine.
    • As an aside here, if you ever watch a movie and see them using a search engine that looks like YouTube or Google but is named something else, this is why.
  • Super Hero (two words) is registered by DC Comics Partnership and Marvel Characters, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe a hero not in these worlds is superhero (one word)
    • As you can see, two companies can register the same word but because the characters are in two different universes that will never overlap, it’s allowed.
  • Popsicle is registered by Conopco, Inc. The generic phrase you can use to describe a similar frozen treat is ice pop

So these are just a few examples. I could go on cause there are a ton and it can even get into commonly used conversational phrases as well but maybe I will save that for another post. I hope you all enjoyed this post and feel free to ask questions or share trademark examples you know of in the comments below.

(Source: RD)

You Know..

This is going to be a little bit of a rant post but here we go.

I want to start by saying I do not condone bullying in any form. In fact, I’ll be the first person to step in and defend the bullied party and/or break up whatever it is I’m witnessing that I don’t like. I wasn’t always this way. I was a really shy person in my past life but my skin is as thick as an elephant’s now and I will be a person’s person (to steal from Grey’s Anatomy) whether we’ve been friends for a a day or 20 years. It’s just the type of person that I am.

Recently on Twitter there has been a storm amongst authors in the romance world. The hashtag has been #cockygate and it’s talking about one specific author who did something that, well, is a pretty shitty thing to do. Basically the story goes, this author decided to publish a book series with the word Cocky in the title because the last name of the brothers she describes in her books is Cocker. One day, I guess, she woke up and decided that she wasn’t making enough money because her books weren’t top in the search results for other authors’ work with Cocky in the title so it was hindering her ability to make money. Her solution? To file for a trademark on the word “cocky” and the font she used (a font she did not create btw), in order to stop authors from using the word.

Now, you’d think she’d stop right there. I mean that alone is outrageous considering she did not create the word and many have been using said word for many years before she was a blip on the author radar. No, she took it a step further. She proceeded to send emails out to authors who had the word “cocky” in their titles and told them to “cease and desist” using the word from this point forward and to change the title of all their books, past and present or she would sue them. If they did not comply, well, sucks to be them because her lawyer supposedly assured her that she would get all their royalties from any books they sell using her “trademarked” word and she’d create a firestorm on Amazon for them.

Now, going back to what I said in the beginning. I do not condone any form of bullying. I really don’t. But you have to ask yourself, especially in a situation like this, what did you think was going to happen? Did you honestly think all these authors would just bend over backwards spending tons of money to change what has already been made and apologize for using the word that wasn’t trademarked previously? I mean honestly, I wonder if people really think through the consequences of their actions before they do stuff. She’s now complaining that she’s being bullied by the Twitter world because people are leaving one star reviews on her book among other things; basically ruining her reputation.

In a case like this, I honestly cannot sympathize with the woman. She went about this the complete wrong way. Authors strive so hard to support each other. I mean it takes time to create and make the most perfect form of a book, it takes courage and confidence to release it to the world and it takes strength to accept that not everyone is going to 100% love your book and handle negative criticism with grace. If she needed a boost in book promotion, I feel like all she had to do was reach out and ask the community to help her and she probably would have received it in droves. Instead she did some slap in the face underhanded nonsense and then proceeded to threaten the ones in the hardworking community.

At the end of the day, I honestly hope she learned some kind of lesson here because this will most definitely hurt her career. I also hope she’s not getting super harrassed because the message is pretty loud and clear from a lowly reader. It doesn’t need to be pounded into her to death.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the matter.  Have you all ever heard of a situation such as this and thought as much as you want to sympathize with a person, there’s that 95% of you that just can’t? Let me know in the comments below!

Blue is the Color of…

Last week I planned to write a sort of different type of post for Endangered Thursday. It sort of had to do with nature in a sense but I thought it was really cool and since I’m thinking of changing Endangered Thursdays to Endangered Mondays, we’ll see how this works out.

If you listen to NPR regularly, Saturdays they usually play podcasts; TED Talks and Radio Lab. They’re quite educational and cover a wide variety of topics. My husband is Next Day Air UPS driver on Saturdays and he happened to tune in to the RadioLab podcast that day and came home quite excited to tell me about it.

The premise of this show was a researcher who was obsessed with Homer and his works. He’d read these books back to back to back and one day had a bit of an epiphany. When describing things in nature such as dirt and trees and the like, naturally one would use adjectives of course but main descriptors such as color. What he realized is that the color blue was never named in any of the works. For example, the sea was described as “wine red”. He took his research even further to see if it was in other ancient texts. In the original Hebrew translation of the Bible, blue was never named. Then he looked in Hindu texts, Chinese texts even, and no blue. It wasn’t until he came across some Egpytian texts that the color blue was actually named.

You listen to this and you have to ask yourself, how did these ancients not know the color blue? All you had to do was look at the sky or the ocean and, boom blue right? Well scientists saw this as anamoly and assumed ancient peoples were color blind. But that wouldn’t make sense either because they were able to see reds, browns, yellows and even greens. Digging a littler deeper, scientists began to realize that blue very, super rarely occurs naturally in nature. What these ancient peoples’ were essentially doing was basing colors off tangible things. For example, the dirt was red or oxen were brown, tree leaves are green, etc. And if you were to grind these things up, that is the color it would be. Blue was not something that could be touched. Granted you can touch the water but when you scoop it up in your hands its not blue, its clear and you can’t touch the sky.

I was so intrigued by this that I went on a Googling spree because I feel like I’ve seen plenty of blue things in nature. Well there’s a video of a professor who talks about the blue morpho butterfly and even blue jays. To the human eye, these animals are naturally blue.. except they’re not a true blue pigment. If you flip a blue jay feather over, its brown underneathe. And even with the blue morpho butterfly wings, he did an experiment where he poured alcohol on the wings and the wings turned a greyish brown color. He even tested to see if he could get a blue pigment powder by crushing the wings but the powder came out brown. I even thought about how you crush blueberries which are clearly blue to me but they end up having a purplish black tinge when crushed, not blue.

It all came down to the molecular structure of these things. I don’t have an expert way of explaining this but basically the cellular structure of things that are blue are able to reflect the smaller wavelength of blue waves in comparison to other color wavelengths that get absorbed. Even people with blue eyes don’t have naturally blue eyes. It’s been about reflection this whole time!

How cool is that right? Just blows the mind.

I hope you all enjoyed this different type of educational segment. Please let me know in the comments below if you would like to see more posts like this included with the endangered posts.