Thursday, March 7, 2013

my not so secret super power


i'm fairly certain i'm a mantis shrimp.

at the very least, a butterfly.

I AM CERTAINLY NO DOG.

while ruggy was away and i was in contractoroona mode, i threw on several of the latest radiolab podcasts. especially fascinating was the episode on color.  PEEPS.  did you know there are colors around us that we can't even grasp?  the little guy above sees waaaaay more color than we'll ever see.  long story short (and probably incorrectly summarized, sewing scientists please feel free to jump in): we have three cones in our peepers, receptors which give us our seven colored rainbow and the hues in between: ROYGBIV (red orange yellow green blue indigo violet).  this guy has sixteen color receptors, which gives him, like, an eighty two thousand colored rainbow.  that's totally a fact.

suffice it to say he sees more color than we do.  so do butterflies.  dogs, however, get the short end of the stick.

but wait!  apparently, there are some people out there, of the female persuasion, that due to ye olde family tree, have FOUR cones instead of the standard human three.  equation: one handed down colorblind cone + three regular cones = tetrachromat.  and y'all.  they see more colors.  I AM SO A TETRACHROMAT, YO!!!!   as the podcast chugged along, i hollered this realization out loud to no one in particular.  even the cats were hiding in the bedroom far from my hammering tools.  

ruggy has held forever that i am partially colorblind.  my girl carolyn calls me out on a regular basis.  MAIS NON. it's just that i see MORE colors than the everyday eye!  is this not the most logical explanation to my penchant for print and color?!?  isn't this why everyone at mood saw red when i saw a deep pink with a little red IN it?!!!!!!!!?   I.  AM.  A.  SUPERHERO.

i may just make myself a cape.  

52 comments:

  1. I had a sweater in middle school that was hot pink & orange threads twisted together, but I always happened to wear it on days when we talked about color in science class and my teachers called it red. The nerve.

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    1. it's like, a personal affront, right?!

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  2. Cooooool!!! Wicked!!

    But, as Edna "E" Mode said, NO capes! (for those who don't know, character from The Incredibles.)

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  3. On a related note, this site shows you what different forms of colorblindness look like in relation to the color wheel: http://colorschemedesigner.com/

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  4. That must apply to me as well because my husband is always telling me that I am seeing the wrong color, but his idea of what color it is usually falls under the realm of "blue" or "green" while I'm seeing something more like violet or chartreuse! Our arguements about color drive me crazy :)

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  5. i love this. i knew it had to be a superpower :-)

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  6. Make the cape, Miss Rockstar!

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  7. I never in my life envied a shrimp until I heard that episode. If you make a cape, you'll use a color the rest of us can't comprehend, yes?

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  8. I worked in a neuropsychology lab for 4 years and read about some seriously weird shit, but I've never heard this before. But I'm sure that Oliver Sacs has a book somewhere about it! I do know that in other languages, there are more specific words to describe colour, because I work with people from all over the world and they have different cut-off points when describing gradations of colour.

    And I remember taking classes at Art College where some people would have heated debates about the quality of certain colours - we were just seeing things differently and couldn't believe that everyone else couldn't see what we did!

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  9. neato. might have to listen to that episode. But what's with the 'spell casting' comments? If it was just one, I'd call it spam, but there are like 5 of them. Very weird.

    My Dad is color blind, I wonder if I got the extra fourth cone. Hubby and I regularly disagree with what a particular color something is.

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  10. love it! you little praying mantis you!

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  11. We already knew you were super awesome, now we have scientific proof! :)

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  12. FASCINATING. I wish I could tell you about the discussions J and I have about color. I love talking about color. J has to match colors constantly in his work and all the subtle variations color take on. Then he has to train other people to see the variations he's talking about. It's really interesting. He had me take this color test to test my color perception; http://www.colormunki.com/game/huetest_kiosk. I actually did the manual test but the online one is similar. I missed two! Of course, a tetrachromat would have more trouble ordering the gradations because they see too many, right? So cool! I want to be a shrimp!

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    1. Wow, just for fun, I took the test! I was smack dab in the middle of the scoring. Those blues and greens were HARD!! :) Thanks for the fun.

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    2. TESTS! i love tests!!!! next spare minute...

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  13. OOOh! You ARE a superhero!

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  14. Very, VERY cool! I wonder if there is a way to really test if you are seeing extra color. My husband and I also have debates on what color something is.

    p.s. You should make an outfit inspired by that awesome mantis shrimp!!!

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    1. agggggggggggh that would be awesome...

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  15. You very may well be!! I remember trying to tell my painting students that there are colors around us that we simply cannot see and that the human eye is WEAK compared to many of our insect friends. They gave me weird looks. They did that a lot.
    I totally think you should make yourself a tetrachromat cape!! I remember when I took some color test and it said I had PERFECT color vision, I was so happy I told everyone - like people I walked by at the supermarket. Just like I'm telling you... yep... pretty proud....

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  16. I heard that Radiolab show. It was a mindbender....and afterward I wanted to drink some serum that would let me see the world as a mantis shrimp, just for a few minutes. I loved how they used the choir to illustrate the concept. So cool.

    And you're probably right! (Which means I would also love to drink the potion that let me see the world in OOna colors!)

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    1. Their choir sung through my head for days after hearing that episode.

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  17. I'm a little obsessed with color, and seeing color accurately so I love that you have this super power! I think I may have some kind of color super power, but I'm still waiting for scientist to figure it out for me!
    Anyway, have you taken the FM100 hue test? (http://www.xritephoto.com/ph_toolframe.aspx?action=coloriq)

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    1. on my list. *must take all the tests.*

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  18. As soon as I saw that mantis shrimp, I thought "Radiolab". And, lo and behold, that's exactly what you meant. That podcast was so cool. And, I'm a scientist, so I shouldn't be as easily wowed. But, I was. You should contact the scientists. It would be so super cool to get tested. I often wonder if I'm a super taster. Such people exist, too. Crazy, right?

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    1. oh i wanna be a supertaster, sadly i'm pretty sure my tongue is not that fancy.

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  19. I thought that episode was awesome. My Hubby made me listen to it because I am constantly insisting that people are not matching who think that they do. It drives him and my children crazy.

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  20. Replies
    1. Also, my super power is sense of smell. I once saved my coworkers from an epoxy spill three floors above us that got into the air ducts. I complained to the guards and they were like "WTF, are you nuts?" but they investigated anway. Then they were all "Holy shit, everyone get out of the building while we clear the air".

      And I have crazy good peripheral vision.

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    2. I have this too, which makes being in a lab / around scientists without the greatest sense of personal hygeine quite difficult. ;P I can smell someone working with B-mercaptoethanol from 3 labs away.

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    3. See, sysadmins and computer engineers are just about as bad with the hygiene thing. And I had to look up that compound. :)

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  21. It's true: some of us have 'super-senses" I had a friend who had hearing like a dog! She actually had to undergo sound desensitization treatment because absolutely everything got too noisy for her at one point! It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that if we have people who are 'supertasters' and who have 'dog hearing", that there must be those with 'super smelling" capacity and super-colour perception, as well. I have also heard of people with skin extra-sensitive to touch, as well. All of this extreme sensitivity would not necessarily be a pleasant trait to possess; i can't stand being around bad smells, myself; being a super-smeller would be a misery! in this polluted world! I think if I had a choice, I would prefer to be a 'super-seer of colour", though my obsession with brightly coloured fabric and anything rainbow-sparkly is already out of hand!

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  22. I think mine is scent. I swear I can smell things no one else does (good and bad). But my man is color crazy. He surrounds himself with it--he makes up names for colors. I think you guys come from the same super-planet, but I always ask him, doesn't that beauty just kill you every day? To behold so much vibrancy.... those mantis shrimp are unbelievable creatures!

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  23. Please make a red lace cape!

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  24. Oh, yeah i love that Hue Test, I got about four wrong I think. I have more of a language finickiness with color. I don't like people using... I guess...shorthand? for colours? LIke people who say magenta is pink, or purple. NO, that is MAGENTA. And to say something is RED is not enough for me. I want to know if it's a blue-red, a brick red, a vermillion... I once got into a heated discussion of the difference between teal and turquoise. Yes, I Had the 64 crayon Crayola Caddy as a child and that thing was Always. In. Order.

    So. Not my secret superpower, more my secret insanity.

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  25. ...or you are the first of the X-Men?

    Regardless, really interesting stuff! I will definitely use this when I am teaching Optics! Thanks Oona. Ever a source for science information as you are for sewing information!

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    1. omygod you don't even know, i thought nightcrawler lived in my basement to protect me (and i'm not talking at a young age) and don't even get me STARTED on that movie...

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  26. Spoken like a true superhero. Also, mantis shrimp is one of my fave creatures!! It's colors make me smile.

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  27. You definitely need a sparkly multi colored amazing magical cape!

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  28. That is an amazing article! I wonder if one can sign up for some sort of testing...my colour perception has always been contrary to other people, but we DO experience these things differently, naturally, so it may just be my twisted sense of perception "colouring" my experiences *lol*

    And yes, you would most certainly rock an amazing superhero cape!!

    Love,
    Mugsy

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    1. Huh, scored 15 on an on-line hue test - what the heck, figured I'd try it for funzies...FM 100 hue Test, if anyone else wants to give 'er a go...

      Mugsy again...

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  29. Ha! Rose coloured glasses and all that! Lovely!!

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  30. as your sis, i'm proud to announce that i am a tetrachromat as well.. also, i bought a fabulous houndstooth wool with idea to turn it into a cape (ok, not a superhero cape, but cape non the less)

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  32. That's amazing! I might be one too!

    Have you ever tried the Munsell color test? It's fun if you're into that kind of stuff (which I am, and suspect you are) but when you try to brag about it, only a select few design nerds will know what you're talking about.

    http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

    That looks like spam but it's not! It's a link to where you can take the test online to see what you get out of 100.

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    1. i gots three tests to take, this is like christmas!

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  33. Ooh, the mantis shrimp also has one of the fastest and strongest strikes of any creature in the world. As fast as a bullet. So you can have "fast as a speeding bullet" for your super powers as well. I'm a super taster. When the family gets together we quiz each other about secret ingredients that are in our dishes. Yup-dorkserus. Am also surprised when I ask people, for example, what kind of black they're talking about. They say black and I say, yes but green black, magenta black, neutral black or off-black? Erm, yep.

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