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.

Mystery Blogger Award

Today seems like a good day for this!

I’ve been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award. Am I a mystery? Maybe. I did admit to having alien origins. I’m not sure if there are any rules besides nominating more people and answer the questions asked of me. I just kind of did a copy pasta situation. If more rules exist you’ll have to check Mark’s blog since he so graciously nominated me; thank you! You should check out his blog anyway because he writes the most thrilling stories! Each day is something surprising and different and his imagination is wild.

Here are my questions (and answers):

What does writing do you for you, as far as your day-to-day mood?

You know I never really saw myself as a writer until now. I was a quiet child. You could always find me with my nose in a book somewhere. You still can. Everyone knows me as this giant book nerd and everyone is always curious what I’m reading. I took a few writing courses in high school; creative writing, poetry writing, Shakespearean writing and even research paper writing. I think then I loved it because I liked school and learning new things. As I grew older, writing just never stuck; maybe because technology exploded (I’m also a tech nerd). Now, I kind of live for this along with reading. I really enjoy sharing my random with everyone and it usually puts me in a great mood.

Do you believe that one does not need to read, in order to write?

That’s an interesting question. I think anyone can write without having a well read background but I think in order to find the continued inspiration to write, you have to have some kind of reading background.

Do you have a personal favourite blog post you have read in the past month?

I can’t say it’s a particular post but cwhiteweb has been slowly torturing me with her 6 word romance serial. I love to read so I pretty much look forward to any and all stories you all share.

I nominate:

Soulstories

Mainepaperpusher

Eyeforapic

Traintodaytoreaptomorrow

Roda

My questions:

  • What’s your favorite book or book series of all time?
  • If you could write for a TV show or movie, which one would it be and why?
  • If you could sum up your personality in 3 words, which words would you choose?

I’d like to end my mystery with a discovery! If you haven’t seen nodosaur yet, check it out. It’s a 110 MILLION year old dinosaur that was found pretty much intact. It’s so well preserved, it looks like this thing could wake up tomorrow! The coolest thing I’ve ever seen!