Red and Green Kangaroo Paw

A friend of mine stays at the moment in Perth, Western Australia, for his post doctoral studies. He maintains a little weblog about his impressions and some of the latest news from Downunder.

Red and Green Kangaroo Paw
Red and Green Kangaroo Paw

In a recent entry he reported from his trip to the Wildflower Festival. He was a little bit disappointed because there were not that many wildflowers as he thought of. But at least he did take some nice pictures of some of them which he posted on his blog.

Have a look at this nice flower on the left side. This is the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw which is by the way the floral emblem of Western Australia. Some kind of a special flower but any way a nice one. To me there is only the question left: Where is the red part of the flower?

If you can see it — lucky you. To me it’s all the same color. Maybe this is another nice example of how the world sometimes looks like to somebody suffering from color blindness. Sometimes it is just a bit more greyish.

Colorblind Gaming

It is quite a while ago I played my last computer game. But I also had times where I played together with my friends all night through. Back in those days it never came to my mind that my color blindness could be some kind of handicap while trying to beat my friends.

Colorblind Gaming - Rockstars Table Tennis
Colorblind Gaming with Rockstar’s Table Tennis

Conrad Quality-Harper a member of the Joystiq blog group describes in Colorblind gaming or: Table Tennis is impossibly hard! his experiences with gaming and color blindness. In this special case he has a closer look at Rockstar’s Table Tennis where the spin of the ball is reflected in its color. He describes how the training mode is almost impossible to master as being colorblind and therefore not able to distinguish the colors of the ball in the given time.

I think the gaming industry made a lot of improvements and learned how to achieve simple controlling in complex games. They often are working with pictograms adjoined to the colored information. Or with some other kind of visual effects witch are also closer to nature where things are often not color coded too.

Do you have any experiences with games and color blindness? Or do you know of a game which could be hard to play for somebody being colorblind? Let me know about it.

How to Battle Color Blindness

First of all, why should I battle color blindness? Usually your genes decide if you are colorblind or not and this you can’t change for your whole life (at least not until today). That’s why you just have to accept it the way it is. But on the other hand, why not try to compete it and try to overcome the handicap.

If you are suffering from any kind of color blindness you know that this handicap follows you through everyday life. In the supermarket when you buy some fruits or vegetables, at the office when you read the newest diagrams of your sales figures and even at home when you try to choose the right tie for the candlelight dinner with your new girlfriend (approximately 8% of men and only 0.5% of women are affected by color blindness, therefore it’s more likely that you are a colorblind man than a woman).

So why not make life easier and try to overcome this burden. You could just try to learn colors by heart. Remember a color and its name every time you see/hear of a new one. This is like learning new words in a foreign language, the first step isn’t that easy to take but after a while it should get easier learning new colors.

Sadly this doesn’t work for me. I can’t learn a color on a shirt and then fit this color next time when I buy a fruit at the local store. Of course when you once know the color of your shirt you, well, know it. But you just can’t transform it to something else. Not even to another shirt at a clothes shop. So this attempt failed.

Let’s make another effort and take pictures. Pictures on a small digital camera. A camera which you can take easily along with you in your trouser pocket. This gives you the ability to compare the picture gallery with a thing you don’t know the color yet. Just find the best fit and you know it. This way you even get a growing archive of colors to fit and are therefore less helpless when you should buy knew trousers and don’t want to ask the young beautiful shop assistant who is approximately twenty years younger than you.

I know, this is also not a breathtaking idea. Let’s go one step further. Look around for a not colorblind girlfriend. A small lightweight which you even could carry in your bag. This way you have your color matching voice always along with you. You will never bite in a green banana again…

The conclusion out of this is that not the colorblind persons have to battle color blindness but the color viewing persons. They should think more actively about it when drawing a diagram, preparing a presentation, designing some new color codes or developing a new product. And this also means to me that the industry has to take into account that almost every tenth person has some kind of color vision confusion.

Think about it.

Color Luminator

I just recently wrote about the ColorLuminator and how this tool could help get Color Vision for Colorblinds. Two students developed a tool at school and are on the way to win a big check to push the ColorLuminator further into production. Their science teacher Stuart Garth contacted me by email because the internet voting on the Nescafé Big Break competition starts soon. Please read what he says:

Dear Daniel
My name is Stuart Garth and I am the science teacher of Ian Cannon and Rickystan Savaiko, the students who have designed and constructed the ColorLuminator. Firstly, I would like to thank you for your promotion of the boy’s product. Internet voting starts on September 19th and goes to October 31st. The most votes we get, the greater the chance of winning the $100 000. […]

Dear colorblind friends and friends of the colorblind: Visit the competition homepage and leave your vote for the fabulous ColorLuminator!

His note continued and showed, that the device has already quite a success story and how it made its way around the globe:

[…] We have already had interest from Austria, Holland, Italy, Canada, Japan and USA. The International Standards Organisation is also interested in the device and they will be reviewing the ColorLuminator in Lyon, France, October 2006.

Stuart Garth
Science Teacher
Redeemer Baptist School
2 Masons Drive
North Parramatta
NSW Australia
ph +61 2 9630 6311

I also included his address. Please don’t hesitate to contact him. He is happy to help anybody who is interested in the ColorLuminator.

Further readings:
Nescafé Big Break: Finalists 2006
Hot recipes for niche success

Related article:
Color Vision for Colorblinds

Color Vision for Colorblinds

Yesterday I went shopping. First I needed some fruits whereas I always encounter the same problem: Are the bananas already ripe or still green? At a first glance I couldn’t tell the difference and I didn’t like to ask a shop assistant or bite into a green banana at home. That’s why I took out my brand new ColorLuminator, held it onto the banana and pressed the one and only button. In an instance I could read the correct color on the built in screen. They are yellow. Great, I’ll take them.

Afterwards some cloth shopping had to be done as well. I needed some new shirts. My wife said I could buy a very fashioned purple one and a light green which would fit to my new trousers. So I went to the shop and had a look around. But there were so many shirts to choose from, which would usually be a very hard decision and often a lucky strike with my color blindness. And I was not in the mood to tell the story of my color blindness to the salesclerk. Again I took out my new favourite device, the ColorLuminator, pointed onto some shirts and found with its help the sought-after purple shirt.

On my why home the sun light was shining directly into the traffic lights and I couldn’t see if red or green is glowing. But again with the help of my ColorLuminator I made my way home safely.

Wouldn’t it be great? Great to have such a tool. Unfortunately this is not true yet. You can’t buy a ColorLuminator in the stores today. But Ian Cannon, a 17 year old student from Sydney, developed a tool like this and is on the way to maybe win the Nescafe Big Break, a big prize for young entrepreneurs. With the help of publicitiy and the money he could maybe make a dream come true and develop the ColorLuminator for the mass market. He was already thinking about this idea when he was 12. But only when he understood how to measure color he could start developing his Luminance Contrast Device.

I am looking forward to see some kind of tool like this ready to use. It could be of great help for people suffering any kind of color blindness. And maybe, if we look even further into the future, the ColorLuminator could be built into your glasses and show the name of the color you focus on directly on the glass itself. Wonderful.

Further readings:
Nescafé Big Break: Finalists 2006
Hot recipes for niche success

Related articles:
Green Bananas
Shopping for my Boy
Walk – Don’t Walk

Parquet Flooring

Rustic Red Oak - Wide Planks
Rustic Red Oak

We just bought a house and we are very happy about it. Only ten days to go and we can start with our renovation.

On the upper floor we will lay new parquet flooring, which took as quite some time to decide about.

First we thought to use some carpets. But during the last months and weeks we came to the decision to use wood. A great decision, I thought, because you can omit the color discussion as it would be when using carpets. Wood is just wood and this is not about colors. – This was before we consulted the first parquet flooring companies!

Now I am a few weeks older, which feels like years, and a lot smarter concerning wood. There are so many different kinds of parquet flooring to choose from, it’s incredible.

  • Many different wood types. For example White Oak, Red Oak and Silver Maple.
  • The wood quality like premium, select, character or rustic.
  • Different plank sices. You can choose from 3-strip or 2-strip, wide or extra wide, just to number a few.
  • And last but not least the finishing. Either sealed or oiled. And if you choose oiled it is white, normal or dark oiled. And if you choose oak you can even choose from many many different color oils….
Rustic Ash - Wide Planks
Rustic Ash

There are many decisions to take and this are decisions which will last long. And if you are colorblind it isn’t easier at all. You can’t talk with the others who can see colors because they talk about the reddish one which you just had a look at a few minutes ago. Huh?

You have to go and look at all the example planks. And omit talking about colors. Because there are only slight color differences which you will never ever be able to see as a colorblind.

We decided not to talk about colors but just have a look at them and choose the most beautiful one. It is a rustic white oak extra wide plank white oiled – as I can tell you know as an expert in parquet flooring.

Gymnast suffering Rod Monochromacy

The 18-year-old Alex Loch suffers from rod monochromacy. This is one kind of achromatopsia with a constricted over all vision.

The normal eye has rods and cones which support each other to see what we see. Cones are responsible for color and bright light conditions whereas rods are taking part in darker light conditions. Wich rod monochromacy your vision is determined solely by rods. Cones are completely absent or not working.

Alex Loch describes his vision conditions as follows:

  • complete color blindness
  • sensitivy to light and
  • restricted field of vision.

Despite all this he competed in Jr. Olympic National Championships as a gymnast.

It is fantastic to see how people can despite handicaps reach their goals.

Further readings:
Wikipedia: Monochromacy
Wikipedia: Rod Cell
Wikipedia: Cone Cell

Colorcell – The Most Beautiful Color Combinations

Colorcell wants to find the most beautiful color combinations. I came across this project today through Picto’s entry about The terrible fashion curse. He talks about a wardrobe of a colorblind and how four colors are enough to choose from. is about choosing the nicest color combination made out of four colors.

What can you do:

  • Create a new colorcell out of four colors.
  • Choose your favourite colorcell in the so called livingspace which can hold at most 100 living cells.
  • Kill your cell, which is also called the suicide option.

If you select a cell the fitness of this cell is increased. Based on the fitness a cell will live longer in the livingspace. But take care, if a cell gets selected to often it will die because of overfeeding.

Every day there is a whole process going on in the livingspace. Cells are aging, some are dying and get burried in the cell cemetery and some cells, most likely the ones with a higher fitness, can crossover and give birth to a new cell.

This project is running since 25th March 2002 and there is a whole load of statistics to look at. If you want to compete with my cell, go to colorcell and create your own most beautiful color combination.

Related articles:
Color Schemes Generator 2
Choosing the Right Colors
A Colorblind decides on Colors

Direct link to the Colorcell Project.

Poll-Results: Are you Colorblind?

Poll Colorblind - Results
Poll Colorblind – Results

The first poll of Colblindor was about color blindness – what else. I asked if you are colorblind yourself or not, or if you maybe don’t know it yet and are reading Colblindor because you would like to find out about it.

Over the last ten days 15 readers participated in the poll and I would like to thank everybody who attended. Only one out of them doesn’t know if he/she is colorblind or not. I hope this person learned something about his/her color blindness while reading through the articles.

The other 14 votes are split up into 6 persons who are colorblind and 8 who are not. Because only a handful of people joined the poll this can be interpreted in two ways:

  • Readers are split fifty-fifty into them who are colorblind and them who aren’t. Because we know from statistics that only about 10% of the population is colorblind, there are relatively more colorblind people looking for some information about their handicap.
  • The non colorblind lead the field of readers. Most readers aren’t colorblind and are looking for information about color vision deficiencies and related topics.

When the poll started I would have bet that there are more colorblind readers than not. This assumption was proven wrong and there are two causes I can think of which led to this result.

  1. People are searching for information about color blindness not only for themselves but also for their partners, family member, friends are maybe even their pets.
  2. Many untypical readers landed at Colblindor the last days through contributions to the Tangled Bank #54 and the writing project about blog goals from ProBlogger. This maybe falsified the result to some extend.

But enough speculations. Paint your own picture – more or less colorful, it doesn’t matter.

Related articles:
Poll: Are you Colorblind?
Colorblind Population