Tuesday, 31 May 2016

cerulean or sky of blue, sea of green

With a battery of research and experimental that neatly dove-tailed into that red-carpet dress controversy of last spring, it seems that the human eye in general didn’t really make a distinction for the colour blue until very recent times, a master Redditor informs. Reaching back to the investigations into the connection between pigments and language of William Gladstone (future Prime Minister of Great Britain) in the early nineteenth century, a chain of scholars have built on the body of evidence.
The proof is highly anecdotal in citing the lack of the colour being invoked in the classical canon—not mentioned once in the Odyssey, and before dyes (and eyes) there was not much in Nature—other than the sea and sky that was brilliantly and unqualifiable blue. Incidentally, skies, eyes and water (plus scales and plumage) are not blue in their own right but appear so due to the scattering of light waves.
Many languages do not mark the linguistic difference between blues and greens, and interestingly in the Romance Languages, the words for green are derived from Latin and the words for blue from Germanic. For much of civilisation, identifying the palettes of the forest and other subtle differences would have been far more useful than figuring out coordinates and what clashes, and this point was illustrated through a series of trials that demonstrate our cognitive colour-blindness by putting our perception through the paces. What do you think is the odd square—the one that Namibian tribes with no word for blue—could pick out right away? Click on the source link above to find the solution.  Perhaps that’s why we have a green-screen for chroma key compositing and special-effects.