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Our team of writers brings you daily trend coverage, new products, inspiration, information and fun ideas. With an archive of more than 2,272 articles, you're sure to find something you love. Or if you have a great idea, let us know!

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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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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Colorful Allusions vol. 5

Colorful Allusions vol. 5


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.img

imgimg by bleu celt

Some blues / Are sad / But some blues are glad / Dark and sad or bright and glad / We’re all blues / All shades / All hues / We’re all blues—"All Blues," music by Miles Davis, lyrics by Oscar Brown Junior. Originally released (without the lyrics) on the album Kind of Blue, 1959.img

imgimg by Orbital Joe

The sky was a miracle of purity, a miracle of azure. The sea was polished, was blue, was pellucid, was sparkling like a precious stone, extending on all sides, all round to the horizon as if the whole terrestrial globe had been one jewel, one colossal sapphire, a single gem fashioned into > a planet.—Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), Youth.img

imgimg by swanksalot

The white glaze carried a faint suggestion of red. As one looked at it, the red seemed to float up from deep within the white. The rim was faintly brown. In one place the brown was deeper. It was there that one drank? The rim might have been stained by tea, and it might have been stained by lips. Kikuji looked at the faint brown, and felt that there was a touch of red in it. Where her mother’s lipstick had sunk in? There was a red- black in the crackle too. The color of faded lipstick, the color of a wilted red rose, the color of old, dry blood. . . .”—Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes, translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker, 1959.img

imgimg by aussie_patches

Ida Red, Ida green, prettiest girl I ever seen / Ida Red, Ida blue, I got stuck on Ida too / Ida Red, Ida white, love her true? I think I might / Ida Red, Ida pink, saw her in town, gave me a wink.—Ida Red, traditional, additions by Uncle Earl, 2005.img

Craig ConleyAbout the Guest Author, Craig ConleyWebsite: http://www.OneLetterWords.comCraig 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 a Well Aged Scotch

Colors of a Well Aged Scotch


Leafy. Floral. Nutty. Fruity. Smooth, Smokey. Buttery. Vanilla. Woody...Mmm...

These are just some of the adjectives used to describe the wide, wondrous range of Scotch whisky and on the surface it seems tasting whisky is similar to tasting wine.

Just as there are wine experts, there are whisky experts and within that title is a plethora of even more specific expertise claims; most of which becomes a dizzying array of advice and rules. I claim to be none of the previous. I simply like to enjoy a glass of Scotch whisky every now and then especially during the cool winter months of the calendar year.

It’s purely an emotional thing to prefer Scotch whisky during the winter. And the preference has everything to do with the colors.

Johnny Walker Scotch whisky image by rubicon
img by rubicon

Shades of Scotch

Contrary to what some may believe, the colors of Scotch whisky generally do not give an indication of quality, but may help narrow down personal preference after having tasted a few samples.

casks_whisky.jpg
Photo by Markus Wichmann

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An Interview with Blue Iris, Pantone’s Color of the Year

An Interview with Blue Iris, Pantone’s Color of the Year


On December 10, 2007, Pantone, Inc. announced Blue Iris #18-3943 as the Pantone Color of the Year. Chosen to spend 2008 leading thousands of colors available in the Pantone universe, Blue Iris #18-3943 takes the honor is stride. Here are some highlights from a recent telephone interview:

When did you hear that you were chosen as the Pantone Color of the Year?

We don’t know until the public knows. I knew I was a finalist because execs at Pantone had been staring at my swatches, but I tried not to think about it until the announcement was made.

Were you surprised?

According to my agent. I had to be told twice, so yeah, I was surprised. At first I thought I was the Pantone color of the day, which is also a considerable honor.

Pantone calls you a “multifaceted hue reflecting the complexity of the world that surrounds us.” What does it feel like to hear comments like this?

I’m not allowed to blush because that would change my color, but if I was allowed I probably would.

Do you see the world as particularly complex?

I see the world as complex, but I also see this complexity as a result of how light manipulates cone cells in the retina. The world is a billion different things, yes, but if I ever get overwhelmed I just stop and think about how everything is just a variation of red, green, and blue.

Pantone says that emotionally you are “anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic.” Is this a fair representation of how you see yourself?

I can see how I may be perceived this way, but some of the colors I’ve dated might feel otherwise.

Are you dating anyone now?

I’m sorry I brought that up. I’d rather keep my personal life private.

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Colourcodes by Atelier | Olschinsky

Colourcodes by Atelier | Olschinsky


"Display your soul by colourcode."

German designers, illustrators, photographers, painters, musicians and paper toy makers, atelier | olschinsky, have a new line of colorful toys that allow you to, as the makers say:

Express yourself by matching colours – each colour code stands for a certain spiritual condition. Create your colourcode the easy way! it comes to you ready for assembling.

These motley, animated and vibrant toys truly display the designers' humour, appreciation for color and fantastic sense for composition. They also have a corresponding line of buttons that can interact with your colorcode.

If you can't, or just refuse to deal with the currency exchange and overseas shipping, you can still download backgrounds for your computer, and at least let everyone at the office know your current spiritual condition.

You can find the coloucode toys along with other colorful toys at their store.

The Colourcodes:


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Colorful Allusions vol. 4

Colorful Allusions vol. 4


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.

img

He looked around him as if seeing the world for the first time. The world was beautiful, strange and mysterious. Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, sky and river, woods and mountains, all beautiful, all mysterious and enchanting, and in the midst of it, he, Siddhartha, the awakened one, on the way to himself. All this, all this yellow and blue, river and wood, passed for the first time across Siddhartha’s eyes.
—Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, 1978.

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Free Advanced DHTML Color Picker

Free Advanced DHTML Color Picker


When we were developing COPASO, we found that we needed to have a more advanced color picker to work inside the application... and since COPASO is built with DHTML it was easy enough to pull out the picker to use on the other creation pages of our site. Once we'd modularized the color picker code it made sense to offer it to others to use on their own sites and projects. So here is the code to get our Color Picker working on your site for free. (We'll even host the files)

License: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
If you have a need that doesn't fit the license above, contact us.

COLOURlovers Color Picker Demo

 

Here is the Code You Need & Examples...


Put this Code into Your HTML <head> Section:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://colourlovers.com.s3.amazonaws.com/COLOURloversColorPicker/COLOURloversColorPicker.css" type="text/css" media="all" />
<script type="text/JavaScript" src="http://colourlovers.com.s3.amazonaws.com/COLOURloversColorPicker/js/COLOURloversColorPicker.js"></script>
Put this Code into Your HTML <body> Section:
<div id="CLCP" class="CLCP"></div>
<script type="text/JavaScript">
_whichField = "hexValue_0";
CLCPHandler = function(_hex) {
// This function gets called by the picker when the sliders are being dragged. The variable _hex contains the current hex value from the picker
// This code serves as an example only, here we use it to do three things:
// Here we simply drop the variable _hex into the input field, so we can see what the hex value coming from the picker is:
document.getElementById(_whichField).value = _hex;
// Here is where we color the BG of a div to preview the color:
document.getElementById("CLCPUpdateDiv").style.background = ("#" + _hex);
// Giving you control over this function really puts the reigns in your hands. Rewrite this function as you see fit to really take control of this color picker.
}
// Settings:
_CLCPdisplay = "none"; // Values: "none", "block". Default "none"
_CLCPisDraggable = true; // Values: true, false. Default true
_CLCPposition = "absolute"; // Values: "absolute", "relative". Default "absolute"
_CLCPinitHex = "0039B3"; // Values: Any valid hex value. Default "ffffff"
CLCPinitPicker();
</script>

 

Picker Attached to a Single Text Field:

Show picker and load the color to the left

Single Text Field Example Code

<input name="YourInputName" id="hexValue_0" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="0000FF" />
<a href="JavaScript:_whichField='hexValue_0';CLCPshowPicker({_hex: document.getElementById('hexValue_0').value});">Show picker and load the color to the left</a>

 

Picker Attached to Multiple Text Fields:

Show picker at x=300, y=1400 and don't update it's color

Show picker at x=12, y=1400 and load the color to the left

Show picker and load the color to the left

Show picker at mouse click and don't update it's color

Show picker at mouse click and don't update it's color [Example with an image]


Multiple Text Field Example Code:


<input name="YourInputName" id="multipleHexValue_0" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="FFFFFF" />
<a href="JavaScript:_whichField='multipleHexValue_0';CLCPshowPicker({_x: 300,_y: 200});">Show picker at x=300, y=200 and don't update it's color</a>
<input name="YourInputName" id="multipleHexValue_1" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="18AB49" />
<a href="JavaScript:_whichField='multipleHexValue_1';CLCPshowPicker({_hex: document.getElementById('multipleHexValue_1').value,_x: 12,_y: 400});">Show picker at x=12, y=400 and load the color to the left</a>
<input name="YourInputName" id="multipleHexValue_2" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="FF0000" />
<a href="JavaScript:_whichField='multipleHexValue_2';CLCPshowPicker({_hex: document.getElementById('multipleHexValue_2').value});">Show picker and load the color to the left</a>
<input name="YourInputName" id="multipleHexValue_3" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="FFFFFF" />
<a href="JavaScript:_whichField='multipleHexValue_3';CLCPshowPicker();">Show picker at mouse click and don't update it's color</a>
<input name="YourInputName" id="multipleHexValue_4" style="width: 100px;" maxlength="6" value="000000" />
<img src="http://colourlovers.com.s3.amazonaws.com/images/v3/color_wheel.png" style="vertical-align: -20%; cursor: pointer;" onclick="_whichField = 'multipleHexValue_4'; CLCPshowPicker();" alt="Show picker at mouse click and don't update it's color" title="Show picker at mouse click and don't update it's color" /> [Example with an image]

 

Here is a break down of the object passed to CLCPshowPicker()


{
_hex: "FF4400", // When a valid hex value is passed, it will set the picker to this hex. Otherwise the picker will not change it's current color [if any].
_x: 12, // If a x coordinate is passed, the picker will move to the x value. Otherwise, the x coordinate from the mouse click will be used.
_y: 400 // If a y coordinate is passed, the picker will move to the y value. Otherwise, the y coordinate from the mouse click will be used.
// All of these variables are optional
}

 

Feb. 24, 2008 - Update
Fixed a bug in IE where users couldn't click-drag-highlight other objects within the page.

May 1, 2008 - Update
Fixed a conflict this script had with jQuery. Thanks to Ozh at planetOzh.com for the report!

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Coloring Your Flash, Yahoo or Dashboard Widgets

Coloring Your Flash, Yahoo or Dashboard Widgets


Widgets, Widgets everywhere! One of the coolest recent web trends has been the development of widget platforms that allow people to easily create and share tools to help communicate and connect any number of their interests or ideas. It is much more simple for individuals with good ideas and a bit of gumption to develop tools that thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people will enjoy using. The idea is often the easiest part, the execution of it is the challenge... So we hope by using our resources you'll be able to share your widgets with the world in any number of colors and color combinations.

Widgets are great because with little effort you can add music, a timer to your baby's birth or a clock for keeping time on your site... but if the widget's color options are locked in place, it makes it less appealing to the public when they can't find a color option that fits in well with the colors of their site or matches their personal style.

But, don't beat your head in trying to come up with great color combinations for your widgets... More than 250,000 palettes are already being shared on COLOURlovers.com


I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.

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Widget Color Showcase: MyFlashFetish.com

MyFlashFetish has tons of flash widgets that you can add yto your websites, blogs or profiles... Clocks, Countdown Timers, Days You've Been in Love and two dozen or so styles of mp3 players. And with almost all of these widgets they allow you to customize the colors to match your style.
Add Color to Your Flash, Yahoo or Dashboard Widgets

MyFlashFetish has uploaded dozens of color options for their widgets, but even if you can't find the perfect colors... you can load in your latest palettes from the COLOURlovers.com site.
Add Color to Your Flash, Yahoo or Dashboard Widgets
 

Some Top Widget Platforms

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