Looking at Colors

Where did the term “red tape” come from? Why are the Simpsons yellow? Why is green considered a bad omen in NASCAR?

This month, NPR is answering every question you’ve ever had about color, and more.

The special series, called “Color Decoded: Stories that Span the Spectrum,” is both web- and radio-based. I first discovered the series while listening to “Morning Edition” last week. Since then, been I’ve following up online and trying to catch a new topic tidbit whenever I can.

I’m blown away by the scope of NPR’s examination of color. The goal of the series has been to remind readers and listeners just how important and reflective color can be in life, culture and nature. To that extent, I think the program has exceeded expectations. One specific focus in the series is everything blue – its uniqueness in nature, our apparent fascination with the pigment and its conflicting connotations throughout human history.

Here are two articles that take a crack at defining the meaning of “true blue”:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/11/12/347736896/how-animals-hacked-the-rainbow-and-got-stumped-on-blue

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/12/363549525/sacred-sad-and-salacious-with-many-meanings-what-is-true-blue

NPR has also created a centralized, interactive color feature here. This is one of the best collections of color facts and “a-ha” realizations you’ll find anywhere on the internet. Check it out!

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