Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coloring Post Cards

 Humboldt postcards offer creative fun

Color Me Humboldt postcards were created by local artists Jenna Catsos and Tibora Bea.
Color Me Humboldt postcards were created by artists Jenna Catsos and Tibora Bea. Tibora Bea — Contributed
The Color Me Humboldt postcards feature various local scenes, including the Trinidad Lighthouse.
The Color Me Humboldt postcards feature various local scenes, including the Trinidad Lighthouse.Tibora Bea — Contributed
Sharpen those colored pencils, because Humboldt’s first color-in postcards are making their debut just in time for the summer travel season. The idea was born out of a desire to celebrate Humboldt County, while encouraging creativity. Color Me Humboldt products feature illustrations of the county’s landscapes, attractions, flora, and fauna, created specifically to color and decorate.
Each postcard pack features six illustrated cards printed on thick, high-quality card stock, designed for coloring with a variety of media (pencil, marker, watercolor, crayon). Each pack also includes a set of colored pencils. All materials and packaging are carefully selected with sustainability in mind: compostable packaging; recycled paper with soy based inks; and reused colored pencils from SCRAP Humboldt
Color Me Humboldt is collaboration between Humboldt-based artists Jenna Catsos and Tibora Bea.
You can find Color Me Humboldt postcards through Pen&Pine’s online shop:

If you've run out of time to order these postcards, use pages from a fun coloring book and print them out on cardstock, cut to standard post card size, buy cute postcard stamps, pack colored pencils and a small sharpener and be on your happy way. This could be a project for youngsters to enjoy as they travel. It could cut down on questions such as "Are we there yet?" BBL

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pops of Color Enliven An Overabundance of Concrete Gray

Seattle architecture now

crushes on color

A new building along Madison Credit: Nick Turner for Crosscut
Not too long ago, you could look around the metropolitan region and
lament the absence of color in new buildings. It seemed as if everything
 being built was some version of grayness. Tan and beige tones were the standard go-to hues as the 1990s came to an end. (In dreary climates,
depression increases)
Large expanses of glass often reflected (sometimes literally) the
sky — looking like a uniform, fluorescently lighted ceiling. Each new
 building appeared to extend this limited palette with more walls of pale boredom.
That was before the 2000 completion of the Museum of Pop Culture
 — or MoPOP — the former Experience Music Project. Whether or not one considers it a top-drawer example of architect Frank Gehry’s prolific
body of international work, the structure created a definite splash
on the local scene.
Perhaps it broke the unwritten rule of architectural discretion through
the application of vivid colors, as well as sinuous shapes. It just took a
while for the regime change to fully occur.

As we emerged from the long stretch of depressing weather that broke
records from November onward, we saw that something quite interesting
had happened almost without anyone in Seattle expecting it. With
scaffolding and protective tarps taken down around construction, we
found ourselves seeing colors. Lots of them.

A trend settter? The Museum of Pop Culture, formerly called EMP.
The Museum of Pop Culture, formerly called EMP. Credit: jc_nyc

Along Dexter Avenue, Stone Way, Madison, Seneca and other streets
throughout the city, many new buildings have been enlivened by intense
colors. And not just token swatches or trim but broad brush strokes that
 cover large portions of the exteriors.

In previous years, a handful of designers played with colors. But the
attempts were tentative and subtle. Perhaps a series of projecting bays
 were finished in mustard yellow. But not much more.
Likely, the reticence was the result of development clients being fearful
 of making a “wrong” choice in the marketplace — safer to stay with
muted color scheme.
Moreover, the specification of colors can be fraught with hazards. What
might look good on a small sample or in a simulated rendering could turn
out quite different in the full-scale presentation. And, by then, of course,
the work has been bought and paid for.

Some of the past reluctance to add color to architecture might have
 come from the region’s roots in Scandinavia, where politeness and
deference is often the cultural norm. But for decades, buildings in
Scandinavian countries have used intense colors to create a unique
ambience in spite of their more adverse climates. For whatever reason,
Seattle has come late to the game.
But now, color is on us almost with a vengeance. Even temporary
construction enclosures on high rises are showing up with bright yellows
and blues. The increasing verticality of the city is being celebrated by
these rising collars of color.

New townhomes tend to make bolder use of colors. Credit: Nick Turner

And color has come not just in flat-painted surfaces. It has been infused
in glass. The clutch of towers for Amazon around Seventh Avenue and
Lenora Street fairly bristle with blades of colorful glass. Light passing
through them produces different effects depending on sun angle and sky atmospheric conditions, as well as with ambient light in the evening.
We are seeing a wholesale playfulness in infusing the skyline with
combinations of color.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Red, the Feel Good Color

Is your outfit falling flat today? Perhaps not giving you the confidence you want? Well, it’s time to mix things up and add this color to your wardrobe.
What color? Red.
A new study has found that both women and men who wear red feel more physically attractive. Apparently, the bold color gives us all a nice little confidence boost.
The study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, saw researchers from Germany ask 180 university students to wear either a red or a blue shirt. (Side note: the students had no idea what they were being asked.)
Then, the students checked out their reflections in mirrored cubicles, as well as completing a survey that included questions about how hot they thought they looked.
The end result: those who wore red rated themselves higher in attractiveness compared those in blue. They also rated themselves higher in sex appeal.
Researchers did note that introverts who shy away from attention could view themselves differently wearing red. And that attractiveness might not last forever.
Modal Trigger
Olivia Wilde[/caption]
AFP/Getty Images
“We need to investigate if and how different personality characteristics interact with the effect,” study author Anne Berthold, a researcher from the University of Zurich, told PsyPost. “Also, it might be possible that the effect disappears when someone wears red every day.”
The other kicker: it might not be the color that makes us feel more attractive, but the fact that it’s an attention-grabbing shade.
Despite the if’s and but’s, we reckon you should test the theory out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Learn Which Colors Affect Your Moods

Psychology of color: how it can help bring you in the right mood!

psychology of colour
“The deepest and truest secrets of colour effect are invisible even to the eye and are beheld by the heart alone”
Johannes Itten
Isn’t colour just the most wonderful thing?  Doesn’t a place look that much nicer when you add a bit of colour?
Colour can also really influence your mood. And as such you can use it as a tool to influence it. We tend to pick our clothes each morning for the mood that we are in. If I am feeling particularly happy I will normally choose something colourful to wear. And if I”m feeling a bit down, I will probably want to hide a bit from the world and would go for something black.
But what if you did the complete opposite?
Instead of choosing the color matching the mood that you are in, go for a colour that will enforce the mood that you want to be in.
Now I know that this can be very hard to do, because if you are feeling depressed the last thing you want do is to appear happy. But if you are determined to not let that depresssive mood get the best of you and rule your day, try to do it anyway.
 Go for something with yellow instead of the all-black outfit. It is very hard to keep feeling depressed or sad when you are wearing yellow. Just like it is very hard to feel depressed if you stand up straight and hold your head up high.
So let’s have a look at what effect certain colors have on you, so you can pick the right color for the kind of mood you want to be in.


Black is the color of authority and power, stability and strength. It is also the color associated with intelligence (think of the black robe you wear at graduation). It’s a somber color sometimes associated with evil. In the western hemisphere black is associated with grieving. Black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions; it is easy to overwhelm people with too much black.
Wear it to feel powerful or mysterious


For most of the world this is the color associated with purity (wedding dresses); cleanliness (doctors in white coats) and neutrality. In some eastern parts of the world, white is associated with mourning. White is associated with creativity (white boards, blank slates).
Wear it for more mental clarity.


Gray is mostly associated with the practical, timeless, middle-of-the-road, solid things in life. Too much gray leads to feeling mostly nothing; but a bit of gray will add that rock solid feeling. Some shades of gray are associated with old age, death, taxes, depression or a lost sense of direction. Silver is an off-shoot of gray and often associated with giving a helping hand and strong character.
Wear it to feel more solid.


Red is the color of energy. It’s associated with movement and excitement. People surrounded by red find their heart beating a little faster. Red is the symbol of life and, for this reason, it’s the color worn by brides in China. Red is used at holidays that are about love and giving (red roses, Valentines hearts, Christmas, etc.)
Wear red when you want to have lots of energy and confidence.


Pink is the true color of love . Pink is the most calming of all colors. Think of pink as the color of romance, love, and gentle feelings, to be in the pink is to be soothed.
Wear pink to feel more loving.


Blue is a a calm and restful color.  Seeing the color blue actually causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming. However, some shades (or too much blue) can send a cold and uncaring message. Over the ages blue has become associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom and loyalty (think of the many blue uniforms). People tend to be more productive in a blue room because they are calm and focused on the task at hand.
Blue is good to use when you want to calm yourself or be more intuitive.


The color of growth, nature, and money. A calming color also that’s very pleasing to the senses. Dark forest green is associated with terms like conservative, masculine and wealth. Hospitals use light green rooms because they too are found to be calming to patients. It is also the color associated with envy, good luck, generosity and fertility. It is the traditional color of peace, harmony, comfortable nurturing, support and well paced energy.
Use green to feel more relaxed and ease your anxiety.  If offers a sense of renewal and harmony.


Cheerful yellow is the color of the sun, associated with laughter, happiness and good times. A person surrounded by yellow feels optimistic because the brain actually releases more seratonin (feel good chemical in the brain) when around this color. It is the color associated with optimism. It has the power to speed up our metabolism and bring out some creative thoughts. Some shades of yellow are associated with cowardice; but the more golden shades with the promise of better times.
Wear yellow to feel more optimistic, mentally stimulated and creative.


The most flamboyant color on the planet! It’s the color most associated with fun times, happy and energetic days, warmth and organic products. It is also associated with ambition. There is nothing even remotely calm associated with this color. Orange is associated with a new dawn in attitude.
Use orange to stimulate activity and socialization.


Purple is royalty. A mysterious color, purple is associated with both nobility and spirituality.  It stimulates the brain activity used in problem solving. However, when overused it is associated with putting on airs and being artificial. Use purple most carefully to lend an air of mystery, wisdom, and respect.
Wear it to feel spiritual, calm and creative


This color is most associated with reliability, stability, and friendship.  It’s the color of the earth itself. It is also associated with things being natural or organic. In India, however,  it is the color of mourning.
Use it when you want to feel wholesome and stable.
Think of colour as another tool you can use to influence how you feel. When used effectively it can really brighten up your day.
“Colour is a means of exerting a direct influence on the soul. Colour is a keyboard, the eyes, the hammers and the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another purposively to cause vibrations in the soul.”
Wassily Kandinsky

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Color-changing Tattoos Monitor Health

Another use for colors!

Color-changing tattoos aim to monitor blood sugar, other health stats

MIT researchers are in the early stages of developing biosensing tattoo inks with the hope that one day they might help monitor blood sugar levels and other health data.
For many people with diabetes, keeping tabs on blood sugar every day is expensive, time-consuming and invasive, but researchers at MIT and Harvard are exploring a creative new approach that could one day help make things easier: biosensing tattoos.
The scientists have developed special tattoo ink that contains chemicals that can sense blood sugar levels, pH, and sodium. When blood sugar goes up, for example, the glucose sensing ink changes from blue to brown. When a person's salt levels increase, the sodium sensing ink becomes a more vibrant green under UV light. When alkaline levels shifts, a pH sensor changes from purple to pink.
The DermalAbyss ink – still in what scientists call the "proof-of-concept" stage – alters its hues in response to changes in the fluids inside a person's body, MIT Media Lab researcher Xin Liu told CBS News. It literally becomes an interactive display.
"People with diabetes email us and say, 'I want to try it out,'" Liu said. 

But the technology is still in the very early research stage, Liu points out, and has only been tested on pig skin samples, not living, breathing animals – let alone humans. Liu said there are a lot of unknowns in testing it on living skin, including questions about allergies, accuracy, and durability.For someone with diabetes who has to prick their finger multiple times a day to test their blood sugar level, or who wears pricey blood glucose monitoring equipment that can be cumbersome during activities like swimming, glancing down at a tattoo to check if blood sugar has dropped or spiked could be a lower-maintenance approach to health monitoring.
"It will take a long time for anything practical to go to market, but it [the technology] evokes imaginations and opens up possibilities," said Liu.
For some, the idea of a decorative new tattoo that reflects your body chemistry may be appealing. But mostly, the scientists say the goal is to make monitoring of health data easier, safer and as accurate as possible. 
"People want to understand what's happening in their bodies," Liu said. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Certain Colors Entice Home Buyers to Pay More

Houston homebuyers consider a variety of factors when making their purchasing decision.
They look at location, scrutinize floor plans and discuss features of their new home. But often, something as simple as paint color can help make or break a deal, as well as sway home prices, according to a new report.
Zillow Inc. (Nasdaq: Z) recently released its 2017 paint color analysis report, which looked at more than 32,000 photos from homes sold across the country. The Seattle-based online real estate firm found that certain paint colors can help sell a home for more money while other colors can take a hit on the sale price.
In Houston, pink is a popular color choice for bedrooms, particularly kid’s rooms. In fact, pink bedrooms are most common in the Bayou City, according to Zillow.
However, pink bedrooms can often negatively impact a home’s sale price. On average, homes with pink bedrooms sold for about $208 less than homes with more neutral colors, according to Zillow.
On the other hand, homes with light blue bedrooms sold on average for about $1,856 more than homes with other colors, according to Zillow.
Some color choices can sway home prices a lot. A light powder blue or periwinkle-colored bathroom can fetch $5,440 more on a home, while an off-white or eggshell white-colored bathroom can subtract $4,035 from a home's sale price, according to Zillow.
Here are the colors to choose and to avoid when selling a house, according to Zillow:

  • Do: Blue — Homes with a light blue to soft gray-blue kitchen can sell on average for $1,809 more
  • Don’t: Yellow — Homes with a straw yellow to marigold kitchen can sell on average for $820 less
  • Do: Blue/Purple — Homes with light powder blue to periwinkle bathrooms can sell on average for $5,440 more
  • Don’t: White — Homes with off-white or eggshell white bathrooms can sell on average for $4,035 less
  • Do: Blue — Homes with light cerulean to cadet blue bedrooms can sell on average for $1,856 more
  • Don’t: Pink — Homes with light pink to antique rose bedrooms can sell on average for $208 less
Dining room:
  • Do: Blue — Homes with a slate blue to pale gray-blue, or navy blue with white shiplap dining room can sell on average for $1,926 more
  • Don’t: Red — Homes with a brick red, terracotta or copper red dining room can sell on average for $2,031 less
Living room:
  • Do: Brown — Homes with a light beige, pale taupe or oatmeal living room can sell on average for $1,809 more
  • Don’t: Blue — Homes with a pastel gray, pale silver to light periwinkle blue living room can sell on average for $820 less
Home exterior:
  • Do: Gray/Brown — Homes with a mix of gray and beige, or “greige,” exterior can sell on average for $1,526 more
  • Don’t: Brown — Homes with a medium brown, taupe or stucco exterior can sell on average for $1,970 less
Front door:
  • Do: Gray/Blue — Homes with a navy blue to dark gray or charcoal front door can sell on average for $1,514 more
Paul Takahashi covers residential and multifamily commercial real estate, as well as education, for the Houston Business Journal.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Technically enhanced bacteria wired with color vision create artwork

Bacteria may replace artists replicating artworks in the future---does that scare anyone but me? BBL


The DNA-basThe RGB system involves only 18 genes.

With genetically engineered color vision, gut-dwelling bacteria transform into vibrant artists—though their work is a bit derivative.
In a study published in Nature Chemical Biology, MIT researchers wired Escherichia coli with a synthetic network of 18 genes that allows them to sense and respond to red, green, and blue. Once excited by the colors, the genetic circuitry activates and inspires the bacteria to produce corresponding pigments or fluorescent proteins. Mats of microbes then turn their petri dishes into canvases, creating vivid replicas of patterns and artwork.
Right now, the bright bacteria simply demonstrate how far synthetic biologists have come in genetic tinkering. But, in the future, the researchers, led by MIT’s Christopher Voigt, hope that the RGB microbes could find a variety of applications. “Colored light offers many channels to pattern cells to build tissues or materials, control cells at a distance, or serve as a means of communication between electronic and biological systems,” Voigt and his colleagues write.
In 2005, the researchers came up with a four-gene system that allowed microbes to recreate black-and-white images. In the new study, they go all-out, using the 18 genes plus a collection of genetic tricks, tools, and programming strategies.
The resulting rigged germs contain biological light sensors—which are found in some plants, fungi, and cyanobacteria. In the system, red light is sensed by a hybrid kinase sensitive to 705nm wavelength light. Green is picked up by a cyanobacteria sensor that flicks on with wavelengths at 535nm. And blue is detected with another hybrid kinase sensitive to a wavelength of 470nm.
With the light switches flipped, genetic machinery fires up and begins decoding a meticulously engineered string of genes. This produces either pigments or fluorescent proteins.
The researchers spread the RGB bacteria across agarose plates—dishes containing bacteria food in a gel. Then, they projected color images onto the plates for 18 hours, allowing the bacteria to create their colorful replicas.
“Fully harnessing the spectral range of light sensors simultaneously in individual cells provides many knobs by which cells can be controlled rapidly and spatially and from afar,” the authors conclude.

(The article above was created by Beth Moore)