The Magical Colors of Fireworks

The Magical Colors of Fireworks


An astonishing number of different cultures use fireworks in their celebrations of revolution, love and the passing of time. They may be used for many different types of celebrations within each culture, but the energy of color and sound carry a universal experience.

While, as you may all know, 12th century China first created fireworks to scare off evil spirits, but what you might not know is it was actually the Italians who first created the colors in fireworks.

The colors in fireworks are created by changing the 'color producing chemical' in the pyrotechnic star, which are pellets containing metal powders, salts or other compounds that, when ignited, burn a certain color. These pellets are then added to a 'lifting charge' made of gunpowder and provide the fuel to propel the shells into the air.

The Chemistry of Colors

There are two main mechanisms of color production in fireworks, incandescence and luminescence.

Red


strontium salts, lithium salts

Incandescence is light produced from heat. Heat causes a substance to become hot and glow, initially emitting infrared, then red, orange, yellow, and white light as it becomes increasingly hotter. When the temperature of a firework is controlled, the glow of components, such as charcoal, can be manipulated to be the desired color (temperature) at the proper time. Metals, such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, burn very brightly and are useful for increasing the temperature of the firework.

Orange


calcium salts

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Colorful Allusions vol. 7

Colorful Allusions vol. 7


Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant colour.  In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes.  Try to guess the exact hue of each.  Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words.  Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue.  Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.

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White sheep white sheep on a blue hill / when the wind stops you all stand still / when the wind blows you run away slow / white sheep white sheep where do you go?
 
(To bed.)
 
—Anonymous, a riddle from The Faber Book of Vernacular Verse, edited by Tom Paulin, 1988.

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Over the mist the sun sets far off in heaven. Only the hills are red: field, hollow and lake are blue with shadow.
 
Now islands in the lake are black pearls set in amethyst. Now that wooded hill, a head of waving woman’s hair, is black. And see, a crescent comb of silver moon.
 
Sad and happy, I pick up my lute and sing until the stars grow pale.
 
—Tsiang-Tien, from The Jade Flute: Chinese Poems in Prose, 1960.

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Spring Pantone Color Trends: Fashion and Accessories

Spring Pantone Color Trends: Fashion and Accessories


Color has always been an important component of fashion whether it be a heather grey or crimson red. Each designer makes color choices that will be indicative of their aesthetic, season, and era. Lately, I've been seeing beautiful and rich color choices in the fashion and accessory world. It seems that everyone is becoming obsessed with Pantone gradations. Check out some of my favorite examples of some stunningly colorful products as well as Pantone's Spring color predictions.

Softbank Cell Phones
softbank pantone phones

SoftBank Cell Phones in glossy bright colors via Geeksugar

Kate Spade
KAte Spade Pantone bags

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Infrared Photography: Images of Unseen Color

Infrared Photography: Images of Unseen Color


Photographs taken with infrared sensitive film can create drastic contrasting colors that create a unusual and unique image. They capture colors that are outside our own range of vision, offering a perspective changing experience.

How It Works

In infrared photography, the film or image sensor used is sensitive to infrared light. The part of the spectrum used is referred to as near-infrared to distinguish it from far-infrared, which is the domain of thermal imaging. Wavelengths used for photography range from about 700 nm to about 900 nm. Usually an "infrared filter" is used; this lets infrared (IR) light pass through to the camera but blocks all or most of the visible light spectrum (and thus looks black or deep red).

When these filters are used together with infrared-sensitive film or sensors, very interesting "in-camera effects" can be obtained; false-color or black-and-white images with a dreamlike or sometimes lurid appearance known as the "Wood Effect."

The effect is mainly caused by foliage (such as tree leaves and grass) strongly reflecting in the same way visible light is reflected from snow. Chlorophyll is transparent at these wavelengths and so does not block this reflectance (see Red edge). There is a small contribution from chlorophyll fluorescence, but this is extremely small and is not the real cause of the brightness seen in infrared photographs.


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Build Colorful Walls with North Tiles

Build Colorful Walls with North Tiles


Designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have come up with a colorful new way to create and divide any living space.

Using interconnecting foam and fabric blocks you can create and transform any space with a dramatically colorful wall. Choosing from more than 100 color options, your personal palate will only be limited by the physical space and your imagination.

And since the blocks are light and connect together easily, you can change up your space and color patterns recurrently.


About North Tiles

Originally conceived for our new Stockholm showroom by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, these textile walls are constructed with individual foam fabric tiles which connect together using an ingenious folding system.

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An Inconvenient Color: More Smog, Costing Millions

An Inconvenient Color: More Smog, Costing Millions


A simple color choice is costing us millions of dollars a year. It is estimated that over 60 percent of metropolitan areas are covered with heat absorbing black materials, and temperatures in cities average five degrees (Fahrenheit) hotter than in rural areas.

The science behind color reflectivity, or the energy crisis, may not be new, but we are finally fully understanding the impact of a color choice. With black shingles you get an incredible amount of heat absorption (On a 90 degree day a white roof will be 110 degrees and a black roof will be 190 degrees) which transfers to the temperature of the house, making it much more costly to cool.

These color choices could be costing us too much, and along with the list of other factors as to why you are choosing a particular color, energy use should be considered. But if you don't find having a white roof aesthetically appealing, don't worry, because researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division are working on roof shingles that can be made in multiple colors, but still reflect enough light to save on energy costs. Since a lot of the sun's energy comes in at the "near-infrared" side of the light spectrum, creating the reflective pigments needed won't effect the color.

These advances have the potential of a "net energy savings in the U.S. of more than $750 million per year" plus a reduction in smog (higher temperatures facilitate the necessary chemical reactions needed for the formation of smog; lower overall temperatures would mean less smog).

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Colorful Allusions vol. 6

Colorful Allusions vol. 6


Though printed in black and white, great literature is bursting with vibrant color.  In this rebus-style puzzle, color words and parts of words have been replaced with colored boxes.  Try to guess the exact hue of each.  Roll your mouse over the colored boxes to reveal the missing words.  Click the colored boxes to learn more about each hue.  Special thanks to Paul Dean for his colorful research.

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The walls are pale violet. The floor is red tiles. The wood of the bed and the chairs is the yellow of fresh butter, the sheet and the pillows very light lime green. The blanket scarlet. The window green. The washstand orange, the basin blue. The doors lilac. And that’s all nothing of any consequence in this shuttered room<<br /> span style="font-size:27px;">.
—Vincent Van Gogh, from a letter to his brother, Théo, 1888.

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Dressed in red and silver, she evoked the sounds and imagery of fire engines as they tore through the streets of New York, alarming the heart with the violent gong of catastrophe; all dressed in red and silver, the tearing red and silver cutting a pathway through the flesh.
—Anais Nin, A Spy in the House of Love, 1959.

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Pink was the shell within, / Silver without; / Sounds of the great sea / Wandered about.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92), "Minnie and Winnie", from Lullabies and Poems for Children, selected and edited by Diana Secker Larson, 2002.

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Mobile lies beside that tawny river. Swamps lie along that golden- red muddy- green- yellow river. Swamps as individual, each one, as the people on their outskirts.
—Julian Lee Rayford, the opening lines of Cottonmouth, 1941.

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One day I am thinking of / a color: orange. I write a line / about orange. Pretty soon it is a / whole page of words, not lines. / Then another page. There should be / so much more, not of orange, of / words, of how terrible orange is / and life. Days go by. It is even in / prose, I am a real poet. My poem / is finished and I haven’t mentioned / orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call / it ORANGES.
—Frank O’Hara, Why I Am Not a Painter
.

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Craig ConleyAbout the Guest Author, Craig Conley
Website: http://www.OneLetterWords.com
Craig is an independent scholar and author of dozens of strange and unusual books, including a unicorn field guide and a dictionary of magic words. He also loves color: Prof. Oddfellow

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Colors of the Cause: LGBT Movement

Colors of the Cause: LGBT Movement


There is hardly a better way to symbolize a social or political movement than with color. Many historical movements can be easily identified with a single image or flag that, more often than not, strongly involves color. So it is appropriate that one of the brightest social movements is symbolized by the rainbow.

The LGBT movement was first symbolized by the pink triangle, which was originally used as a stigma by the Nazis to identify homosexuals in concentration camps, and it wasn't until 1978 that Gilbert Baker designed what is now known as the symbol for the LGBT movement, The Rainbow Flag.

The Rainbow Flag

fuschia - Sexuality
Red - Life
Orange - Healing
Yellow - Sunlight
Green - Nature
Turquoise - Magic
Blue - Serenity
Violet - Spirit

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Be Our Valentine! Share the Color Love…

Be Our Valentine! Share the Color Love…


COLOURlovers is a welcoming, creative and supportive community and we want to hear you shout your love from the mountain tops for color. We want you to stand outside the tree in the front yard, late at night in the rain until color opens the bedroom window and tells you it loves you too. (Please don't actually wait outside our bedrooms...)

Did you know that two lovers of color met on this site a couple years ago and are now happily married? It has helped artists find ideas for their work... It has brought family members closer together and given friends and lovers something to share from thousands of miles away.
Flowers for love soft valentine

Profess Your Color Love...

Colors, Palettes and Patterns all tell stories and we want to hear what they are... How did you come to find COLOURlovers? How do you love thee? Why do you love Color so? Why can't you live without color?

Comment below with a palette, color or pattern badge and a short story as to how you love Color, COLOURlovers.com or a fellow lover... or whatever you feel inspired to share.

Happy Valentines Day

According to the Greeting Card Association, 25 percent of all seasonal cards sent each year are valentines, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending occasion in the Unites States. Approximately 190 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, not including classroom valentines sent between children at school.
[source]

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Navigating by Color in Maps

Navigating by Color in Maps


The basic functionality of a map is based exclusively on the ability of the map to be correctly interpreted by, well, everyone, including people who might be from out of town, who don't speak the native language, and have, in fact, never actually been to a city before. It is also important that the map be clear, concise and properly relate to the geography of the area. And since it is easier to tell if something is red or blue, rather than a U or a V, using many pretty colors will make it much easier to use, and, well, pretty.

So where did all the color come from?

imgby KICK Map

The current color system depicted on official subway maps (for New York City) was proposed by R. Raleigh D'Adamo, a lawyer who entered a contest sponsored by the Transit Authority in 1964. D'Adamo proposed replacing a map that used only three colors (representing the three operating entities of the subway network) with a map that used a different color for each line.

"Fundamental to my idea," Mr. D'Adamo said,"was the extensive use of color coding to indicate the various subway lines, and abandoning the old tradition of using only three colors, one for each of the original three companies."

Hagstrom had made his first map of the New York subway in 1936 with the IND in red, IRT in blue, and the BMT lines in yellow (later changed to green).

At the time, the London Underground used eight colors to represent eight subway lines. Paris employed eight colors for fifteen lines. New York used only three colors for 34 lines.The inescapable conclusion, Mr. D'Adamo argued in his winning entry, was that "maps of New York subways are trying to make too few colors do too much work."
- How the Subway Map Got its Color

Latest MTA Redesign

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imgby KICK Map Lower Manhatten

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