Saturday, August 10, 2013

Guest Blog - Innovations That Changed the World: A Man’s Take on “Color”

Below you'll find a guest blog entry written by my husband, whose ridiculous idea outlined below was cause for a good amount of laughter and heated discussion. I hope you enjoy his thoughts on "color" as much as I do. 

From the wheel roughly 10,000 years ago to penicillin in the late 1920s to the new color system invented in the summer of 2013, the history of man has been altered and dare I say bettered by men bold enough to change the world they live in for the common good.

I can’t say for sure how the wheel was invented. Can anyone really? But, as all great minds do I have my theories. The thread that connects them is one simple fact - one day a man, probably sick from bouncing around and pulling carts with square tires thought there had to be a better way. He thought to himself – what causes my stomach to churn with every bump in the road and my back to ache with every rotation of this square rock attached to the bottom of my cart? He probably stared at his square wheels for a brief moment of time as a crow circled above him waiting for the tired soul to give up, but then he noticed the culprit, the corners. Take away the corners and we are smooth sailing. Well technically smooth riding – the guy probably didn’t also invent a system to utilize wind for transportation, someone had already beaten him to it. You are probably asking yourself why I am pontificating on this word picture and I will tell you. Just such an important innovation has finally been realized and for the greater good I will now share it with you. I give to you people of this simplistic world, children, creatures and blog readers the newly improved color system.

If you follow my wife’s quite impressive, creative and overall just plain adorable blog you have probably figured out she is fond of incorporating various colors into her creations and manipulates often unknown colors to add the perfect touch. As a supportive husband and fan I actually do care to listen to her ideas and plans. So when she tells me that she is going to use chalk paint on a china hutch (if anyone can answer what a china hutch is I would appreciate it – I think she might be painting our nice plates) well I was more than supportive. I have to admit though that I hesitated when she told me what color she was going to paint it. She proclaimed she was going to use a mixture of white and provenḉe. My first thought was that the city of Providence, Rhode Island had its own color. My next thought was that I actually have no clue what that color is. For all I know she just told me our china hutch was going to be painted white and chicken. I let this one slide though because, per usual, I am confident she will make it look good. Not too much longer after this provenḉe incident we had, one could say, a little misunderstanding. Home Depot played the set to our next little adventure. She was looking for a new color for her office and pointed at a color on an example sheet and said, “This looks nice.” I agreed and said that’s a nice light blue. “What? It’s Sea Breeze.” UNCONTROLLABLE FACE SEIZURE. Oh excuse me, sea breeze, of course. When you say sea breeze I immediately think of one specific color. Oh wait, no I do not. Are we talking the Atlantic Ocean near Maryland breezy color, or perhaps the old classic Oahu breeze hue, or dare I bring up the BLACK SEA. Who names a color after a noun, it’s ridiculous and dare I say on behalf of supportive significant others everywhere it is bordering on irresponsible. In an effort to not show my complete bewilderment in such a fine establishment I once again, let this one go. I cannot say the same for the last incident, the catalyst for my invention. While driving to the in-laws and once again talking about colors another ambiguous hue was strewn about in our conversation like an algebra problem on an English test. I cannot remember in what context this color was brought up, but it was and I cannot forget it. My wonderful wife mentioned painting something, somewhere grass green. GRASS GREEN. Whose lawn are we talking about here because in the car at that very instant I was looking at her neighbor’s grass and I saw 15 different shades of green and because the guy is a little lazy on his lawn maintenance I saw a couple shades of brown too. Sorry for throwing you under the bus buddy, but you are proving a point here for me. Are we talking about Alabama creeping green, Bermuda grass, or for heaven’s sake Kentucky BLUE grass?! Yes blue green grass. Try to wrap your head around the guy who invented the name for blue grass and you can understand my frustration. At this point I lost it and immediately my fantastical brain got to work and the idea came to me like lightning. We, as a society, need to stop naming colors ridiculous things like malachite, provenḉe, and razzmatazz (honestly razzmatazz – I know what color grass the guy was smoking who named that one) and come up with a simple number system.

Here is how the system works. Each color is given a number on a scale of 0-1. You take the basic primary colors, for this example let’s use blue. A normal, everyday blue is 0.5 blue. A darker blue say navy blue for some color snobs out there is now a 0.75 blue. Your night sky blue, yup that’s about a 0.9 blue. That light blue I discussed earlier, cough sea breeze cough, is now 0.2 blue. Now instead of asking me what I think about the color of that wall in sea breeze and my brain freezes up like I just consumed a large Wendy’s Frosty in one gulp you can say “what do you think of that wall in oh let’s say a 0.2 blue” and BAM I know exactly what you’re talking about. You can now describe anything to me or anyone else using the new color system, and your every day, nay not just every day, your peasant off the street who has lived on an uninhabited island for his entire life will be able to follow you.

Let’s try a little exercise. You say, picture the BP logo it is forest green with an inner layer of grass green, followed by another inside layer of icterine hue and then some white. Okay, now let’s pretend I’ve never seen the BP logo. You just mentioned an inner layer of icterine and I’m a bit worried that the icterine is malignant or possibly spreading throughout my body because I’m so confused by what you just said, but I move on, unable to complete your simple task of picturing the BP logo. Now let’s use my system. In that system you would describe the BP logo as an 18-point flower with the first, most outer layer of the flower, being a 0.65 green, followed by the next layer of the flower as a 0.3 green, once again followed by a 0.6 yellow and finally 0.5 white. I would then say “wait are you talking about this thing I see on the side of the road all the time and now sponsoring ridiculously cheesy ‘Visit the Gulf because we didn’t screw it up too too bad’ commercials?”

Now my lovely wife was helpful enough to point out what she thought was a flaw in this system (turns out it was just an innovation to my innovation). She pointed to my shirt, she described as “teal” and said “what color is that?” First I thought – what did she just say…teal? Did she bite her tongue trying to talk about seals? What is this teal you speak of? I responded that the new system can be used like latitude-longitude. This shirt is a 0.3 blue and 0.7 green. BOOM. Now that may equate to a 0.5 teal but no one knows what on Earth that is so let’s go with my system.

As a reader and follower to this creative work of genius my wife has created you may be hesitant to accept this innovation in color, but do me a favor, go grab your husband, boyfriend, father, brother or nearest guy to you and run the idea by him. I’m pretty sure he will say it’s like seeing 0.5 blue sky for the first time.


  1. Oh man...this actually had me laughing out loud! Though maybe that's because I don't quite understand all the colors myself!

  2. Laughing entirely too loud at work. Also, shared with my coworkers. Round 2 please!