Tag Archives: colour

chicago green

There’s something in the water

Tomorrow is March 17th, and as they have done every St Patrick’s Day weekend for 52 years, members of Chicago’s Journeymen Plumbers Union have already set about the herculean task of dying their city’s eponymous river a brilliant shade of emerald.

The transformation pays tribute to all that Irish immigration has done for the city, an act of recognition unique to Chicago, and one that is sure to make expat Paddies the world over turn green with envy.

chicago green 2

But the extraordinary effect is surprisingly easy to achieve. All it takes, say the journeyman plumbers, is 18 kg of vegetable dye to give nearly 3 million cubic metres of water the hue of a leaky fluorescent marker.

Continue reading

NYTblue

Nobody ever said dyeing was easy

As anyone who has ever attempted to buy wallpaper with a loved one will know, colours are notoriously difficult to define. One man’s Burgundy is close enough to another woman’s Maroon for Red to be a dangerously ambiguous catch-all term.

But what if more were at stake when choosing colours than marital happiness. What if the choice of one particular shade of blue over another constituted a religious sin. And – as if that weren’t bad enough – what if nobody had actually set eyes on the colour in question since the days of Ancient Rome.

This chromatic grey area is not a hypothetical situation. The disappearance of the colour t’khelet (pronounced with a properly phlegm-filled ‘kh’, if you please) was a pressing question in Jewish theology for well over a millennium. It took generations of rabbis, dye-makers and chemists to bring the dye back from the dead, and in the process explain just how it was that the Jews first got the blues.

tumblr_mebw6hIW091qakh43o1_500

In the Old Testament’s Book of Numbers (chapter 15, verse 38), the Lord tells Moses to instruct the Children of Israel to “make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and affix a thread of t’khelet on the fringe of each corner.”

Continue reading

Hex Codes featured image

What the hex?

Chances are, the screen you’re currently looking at is capable of displaying over 16 million different and uniquely identifiable colours. As those of you who’ve done digital design work will probably know, each of these colours can be represented by a Hex code – a six-character string of letters and numbers.

But where do these odd symbols come from? And what do they mean? And – most interestingly of all – is it possible to work backwards from the Hex code to correctly identify the colour?

Following on from Matt’s phenomenally successful liquid nitrogen bucket challenge, I’ve decided to undertake a challenge of my own – the paint bucket challenge. Don’t worry though – none of you has been nominated!

Gilead Amit is a big consumer of colour, and particularly enjoys a nice glass of red. He tweets at @gileadamit