Two of my teenage cousins are learning about genetics in school, which led to a discussion on the popular-in-my-extended-family topic of color blindness. I blogged before about the hazel eye color genetics on my mom’s side but I don’t think I’ve really touched on my family’s tendency toward being colorblind. Not surprisingly, the science of it all fascinates me.*
I remembered coming across the Vischeck website a few years ago and experiencing their algorithmic simulation of what it’s like to be color blind. There are a few different types of color blindness, but the majority of color blind people have a red-green deficiency. I didn’t realize that there was also a rare blue-yellow deficiency, but that made for an interesting triple-punch comparison of colors using this photo of colored Tsuga transparent pitchers.
Another neat feature of the Vischeck website that I didn’t remember was the capability to convert a whole web page into colorblind simulation. I found this pitcher picture on a ColourLovers.com web page along with a lot of other colorful kitchen-related photos, and I think my simulations were definitely worth the time they took to load. Here are shortcuts to the rendered pages so you don’t have to wait: [edit: Vischeck won't let me link directly to the rendered pages. You'll have to plug in the article URL directly here.]
Original with full color spectrum: Cooking Inspiration: The Colorful Kitchen
Deuteranope and Protanope, as simulated with two different forms of red-green colorblind
Tritanope, as simulated with the rare form of yellow-blue colorblindness (that turns everything pink!)
Cool, huh? Though I am not a fan of the sickly gold-green color that those bright red spatulas turn into with red-green color deficiencies. I love having red accents in my kitchen, so if you come to my house and are colorblind, let me know ahead of time and I’ll direct you straight to the living room.
The Geek Test as seen by someone who is red-green colorblind took me a little by surprise… it changed the lime on black color scheme to amber on black—its alter-ego from the olden days! Crazy. As in, crazy cool. I wonder if the creators of amber on black terminals were colorblind and originally thought that they were just going with the flow.
I have more to say on the color blind people in my family, but that will have wait until tomorrow. My perception of color is draining out of my sinuses and I need to go to bed. So go play with that awesome algorithm until then!
*I tried being a biology major during College 1.0, but it didn’t work out, so my interest in scientific research is mostly satisfied by watching cable TV programming and living vicariously through my sister the nerdoscientist.