Blue blood a lifesaver
The sapphire blue blood of the horseshoe crab is the world’s only known substance that can be used to test for contaminants in every drug and every vaccine in the world. The crabs are “bled” by a fast and painless process. 24 hours later, they are returned to the ocean.”LAL,” the protein ingredient in the crab’s blood, is dropped into a new batch of drugs. If the mixture is contaminated, it clots instantly. The same process is used for every intravenous substance and artificial limb in the U.S., as required by the FDA.Prior to the discovery of “LAL,” drugs were tested for contaminants by injecting them into a rabbit. If the rabbit died or got sick, the lab disposed of the drug. Lab technician, Jay Nichols, sums up the horseshoe crab’s magic, “No other animal contributes so much to science without dying in the process.”
Source: “Living fossil’s blue blood a lifesaver” by Helen O’Neill, Associated Press, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, A–12, September 7, 2000
Contact Lens Alert
After receiving reports that some teenagers in the U.S. are tinting their contact lens with food coloring, The American Optometric Association has issued an alert. They warn that this can be very dangerous. Some people can have serious allergic reactions to the food coloring. Also, since the dye is not sterile, this could lead to eye infections. Furthermore, dark colors may impair vision.
Source: “Food -colored contacts? Don’t even think about it”" the Honolulu Advertiser, Ohana, p.1, June 11, 2000
What happens when baboons eat pink flamingoes?
A new food source is changing the color of baboons near Kenya’s Lake Bogoria. The primates have been dining on pink flamingoes. More than a million of these birds have recently arrived at the lake to feast on the lake’s protein rich rotifers and blue-green algae. The dead birds are an easy food source for the primates. Researchers have reported that the monkeys’ new taste for flamingoes is turning their gray coats into a tawny shade.
Source: Earth Environment Service as reported in “Earthweek,” the Honolulu Advertiser, May 21, 2000
What was the date of the first colored cellular phone?
Nokia, the Finnish telecommunications giant, was the first to offer cell phones in colors in 1992. Today, electronic devices are trading in their muted hues for something more vivid and vibrant. “What’s your favorite color?” is going to be one of the most important questions for consumer PC buyers, states Steve Jobs.
Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin, March 28, 2000
Black Tulips -The elusive “Holy Grail” of the tulip world
The quest for the valuable “black tulip” has persisted since 1850 when Alexander Dumas (author of the Three Musketeers) wrote his novel, “The Black Tulip.” No truly black tulip exists to this day. The reason: It’s impossible.
Dutch hybridizers are still working on their own specialty – the elusive black tulip. Frans Roozen of the International Flower Bulb Center in the Netherlands explains: “To be truly black, the color would have to be absolutely devoid of any hues or overtones of other colors.” In nature this happens only in death.
Nevertheless, many tulips are sold as black tulips since colors are always perceived in relationship to other colors. When dark purple tulips are placed against a green background in bright sunlight, the effect is black.
(Color Matters suggests that you get out your crayons and try this!)
“Black tulips remain an elusive goal” Knight Ridder News Service – Honolulu Star Bulletin January, 2000
Commentary from some color pros:
All tulips are black in the dark
In the absence of any reflection at all, by definition there would be no measurable light coming from the tulip.
If the tulip was surrounded by other black tulips in a black room with one light, then colors from around the room or object would not play with our eyes, but we would not see any tulips and there would be no reflected light, and we wouldn’t see anything.
But, use infrared film, and you will see the black tulips painted red. So, maybe it is not the question of ‘has there ever been a black tulip,’ but could we even SEE a black tulip if there was one. There would be no tulip, only a hole in space (a black hole!) consuming all visible light that reaches it. So, how could we even know if there was a perfectly black tulip? Answer: find a black hole that shows up on infrared film as a tulip, that wasn’t visible otherwise.
Death by Cyan
The color we know as cyan was once made from cornflower petals and was known as “corn blue.” In the late nineteenth century the poisonous chemical cyanide was used to create “corn blue” dyes and pigments for commercial purposes. After a series of “cyan poisoning” deaths occurred in the silk flower industry, the color was discontinued. The name “cyan” was revived when color photography became popular. The traditional art world shunned these new technical artists of photography. Consequently, photographers used this color term to separate themselves from the rest of the artists.
Today, the term cyan has been revived by the computer artists. Once again, perhaps this is a form of “technical” upmanship since the art world first rejected computer generated art.
Source: Odeda Rosenthal, Inter-Society Color Counciil News, July/August, 1999 p. 5
Mellow yellow ?
The color yellow may be taking over the marketing world. Research from Pantone reveals that a yellow background with black type is the the best color combination for printed material. Tests show that this combination scores the hightest in memory retention and in legibility. It’s also the color that the human eye notices first. Move over Big Blue?
Source: The Costco Connection, December, 1999
Natural Blondes Are an Endangered Species
A new book states that natural blondes rely on a recessive gene which is being dominated by darker-haired genes. Kathy Phillips, author of “The Vogue Book of Blondes,” explains that migration and open marriages have increased in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the epicenters of the blond population. Experts point to Africa for the next population expansion. These people will travel and their darker genes will absorb the lighter gene pool.
Phillips predicts that by the time this happens, genetic engineering will allow us to tweak our genes and go blonde anyway.
Source “Blond Gene is Dying Out” by Lyndsay Griffiths – Reuters, Honolulu Star Bulletin, October 7, 1999