Sunday, August 12, 2012

La tienda de las curiosidades sobre el color

Gladstone famously asserted Homer—and in fact all Ancient Greeks—were color blind because Homer's works never mentioned a color. I do not know what Gladstone was reading in school, but I remember reading Homer's vivid descriptions of sunrises and sunsets, not to mention the descriptions of light at sea, for example when Odysseus tried to withstand the song of the sirens.

This demonstrates the need to teach the perception of color: if we cannot express it, it does not exist. Today, the world is much more colorful, so it has become an easier task. I remember when I was a kid and the world was much more monochromatic: cars were either black or white, and most clothes were grey. In elementary school, we boys had to wear a black smock, while the girls wore a white smock. Next door from our apartment building, Pasticceria Ceroni had the first TV in Bellinzona, and it was black and white. Later, when color TV came on the market, it was so expensive, that kids used to brag by exclaiming: "my dad makes more money than yours, we have a color TV." Meanwhile my family was so poor that even our rainbows were just in black and white…

Despite all the color stimulation everybody can enjoy today, it still must be sorted out and explained, otherwise kids cannot enjoy the rainbows in color. April 27, Mark Fairchild and Manuel Melgosa Latorre presented a new book edited by the Editorial Universidad de Granada (eug), in collaboration with the Parque de las Ciencias that makes a wonderful contribution toward this task: “La tienda de las curiosidades sobre el color.”

El libro “La tienda de las curiosidades sobre el color” da respuesta a 64 preguntas didácticas sobre el color: ¿Cuántos colores hay en el mundo?, ¿qué es el color?, ¿cuál es el mejor color para unas gafas de sol?, ¿por qué el cielo es azul?, ¿puede un perro ver el color lo mismo que yo?, ¿por qué tienen las flores distintos colores?, ¿por qué no podemos ver los colores de noche?, ¿por qué mis fotos no tienen los mismos colores que las escenas originales?

Estos son algunos de los interrogantes que el libro desvela. Las preguntas están ordenadas en 8 módulos (luz, objetos, ojos, etc.), y dentro de cada módulo hay 8 niveles de creciente complejidad, ya que el libro va dirigido tanto a estudiantes de primaria como a estudiantes universitarios, y también a cualquier persona interesada en la ciencia.

The book is also available in English: Explore Mysteries of Color — Discover Why is Color.