Posts tagged ‘brown’

UPS Co-Founder Wanted Yellow Trucks

By Chad Upton | Editor

In 1915, Merchants Parcel Delivery (now UPS) decided they needed a consistent color scheme across all of their vehicles — four cars and five motorcycles. Co-founder James Casey consulted a local adman, who suggested yellow. Charlie Soderstrom, another partner, argued that yellow would be too difficult to keep clean.

Another company had already considered this. Railroad cars manufactured by Pullman Company were brown because they hid dirt better than other colors which meant they required less washing. That settled the argument, Casey conceded and brown has been UPS’s color ever since.

Half a century later, competing package delivery service DHL forms and chooses yellow.

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Photos: Jeremy Vandel (cc), wolfgang (cc)

Sources: cnn, wikipedia (ups, pullman company)

July 4, 2012 at 2:00 am 2 comments

Blue Eyes Are Not Actually Blue

By Chad Upton | Editor

The most common eye color is brown and the least common is green. Eye color is determined by a number of genes, the actual number of which is unknown. Using six known genes, scientists can predict eye color from brown to blue with 90% accuracy.

The darkness of brown eyes is determined by the amount of melanin (pigment) in them. Blue eyes have little or no melanin, making them translucent; they only appear blue because of an optical illusion known as the Tyndall effect.

The color we perceive something to be is usually due to their pigment, but somethings appear colored for other reasons. Structural colors are one classification of colors that occur not because of their pigment but because of the way light interacts with the matter.

Without getting too technical, different colors of light have different wavelengths. When those waves pass through matter, they can be filtered or scattered in different ways. The Tyndall effect occurs when a light scattering particulate is suspended in a light transmitting medium and the size of the individual particulate is slightly below or near that of the visible spectrum of light.

Some things that appear to be colored due to optical effects are: blue jay and peacock feathers, mother of pearl, butterfly wings, beetle shells, bubbles, oil slicks and one we see every day: the sky.

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Photo: Jennifer Durfey (cc)

Sources: Wikipedia (Eye Color, Tyndall Effect, Color)

March 7, 2011 at 2:00 am 19 comments

Michelangelo Hid Images in Sistine Chapel Paintings

The most amazing work of art I’ve ever seen is David by Michelangelo. At 17 feet tall, bulging veins and muscles render an immaculate representation of human anatomy and the flaccid pose captures the mood before his fight with Goliath.

There is no doubt, Michelangelo’s understanding of anatomy is incredible, but not surprising. His art education included dissecting cadavers while studying at the church of Santo Spirito. This is not a well known fact since he tried to hide his anatomist roots, destroying nearly all of his anatomic notes and drawings.

Maybe cadavers are harder to come by these days, but that’s not part of the art curriculum at most modern schools. That privilege is usually reserved for medical students, which is why it’s no surprise that three medical journals have published findings of hidden anatomic references in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel paintings.

It took four years (1508-1512) for Michelangelo to paint the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The last four panels he painted include the suggested anatomic representations.

In the forth panel, Dr Frank Meshberger suggests the similarity between the red cloth surrounding god and the image of a human brain (Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1990).

The brain-like shape is highlighted

In the third panel, Dr Garabed Eknoyan likens the wrap surrounding god to a human kidney, as reported in Kidney International in 2000. According to Eknoyan, Michelangelo was interested in the kidney function since he suffered from kidney stones during his adult life and mentioned it in letters and poems.

Do you see a Kidney shape?

Finally, in the first panel (image below), Ian Suk and Rafael Tamargo, report in the journal Neurosurgery (May 2010) that the neck details do not accurately represent a goiter, as previously believed. They argue that goiters typically occur lower in the neck and Michelangelo would not have made such an inaccurate representation given his demonstrated accuracy of anatomic details in all of his other paintings. Secondly, they believed as a deeply religious man, he would not depict god with this deformity. Most convincingly, they say the painting accurately details a ventral view (from below) of a brainstem, cerebellum, temporal lobes and optic chiasm. (more…)

May 28, 2010 at 5:00 am 6 comments

Why Beer Bottles are Green, Brown or Clear

St. Patrick’s day was last week and it wasn’t deathly cold that night so I was going to start the evening by finally taking down my Christmas lights. Luckily, I got a much warmer offer from my friend Chris who invited me over for green beer.

Chris’s wife Jeanne was turning yellow beer into green beer using blue food coloring and Jeanne’s daughter was there too. We got talking about import beers and how many of them are in green bottles. Chris pointed out that Moosehead was maybe the only green bottled beer that he liked (and one of the few Canadian beers we get in America). That lead to a conversation about why beer bottles came in three different colors: clear, brown and green.

Chris mentioned the color of the glass protected the beer from light, which was a secret to me, so I read more about it and here’s what I found: (more…)

March 23, 2010 at 12:26 am 19 comments

Peanuts Are Not Actually Nuts

Sorry, this is not about Charlie Brown. I’m talking about the peanuts that some of us love to eat and others are deathly allergic to. Those peanuts are seeds and they belong to the legume family, along with beans, peas, alfalfa, lentils and others.

In fact, many things we typically consider nuts, do not meet the botanical definition of a nut. Try to pick out the non-nuts from this list:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Coconuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

You probably guessed that coconuts are not actually nuts, and you’re right. If you guessed any of the others are not nuts, you’re right too — none of them are real nuts!

A nut is a hard shelled fruit that comes from a plant whose fruit does not open to release its seed. A nut is a composite of the fruit and seed, some examples of true nuts are: acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts.

Some people avoid nuts because they are high in fat, but that’s actually the reason nuts are such a nutritious fruit. The Omega 3 fatty acids in nuts are believed to lower lipid levels (the “bad cholesterol”). Nuts also contain linoleic and linolenic acids, which are important for healthy growth, hair, skin, blood pressure, and immunological response. They are also rich in protein, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium.

So, if you’ve been avoiding them, forget about it!

Go nuts.

Broken Secrets

Written By: Chad Upton

[available on Kindle]

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Sources: Nuts, Dehiscence

January 25, 2010 at 12:46 am Leave a comment


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