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Secret Language of Color

Secret Language of Color

Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet

In this beautiful and thorough investigation, The Secret Language of Color celebrates and illuminates the countless ways in which color colors our world.

Why is the sky blue, the grass green, a rose red? Most of us have no idea how to answer these questions, nor are we aware that color pervades nearly all aspects of life, from the subatomic realm and the natural world to human culture and psychology.

Organized into chapters that begin with a fascinating explanation of the physics and chemistry of color, The Secret Language of Color travels from outer space to Earth, from plants to animals to humans. In these chapters we learn about how and why we see color, the nature of rainbows, animals with color vision far superior and far inferior to our own, how our language influences the colors we see, and much more. Between these chapters, authors Joann Eckstut and Ariele Eckstut turn their attention to the individual hues of the visible spectrum?red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet?presenting each in fascinating, in-depth detail.

Including hundreds of stunning photographs and dozens of informative, often entertaining graphics, every page is a breathtaking demonstration of color and its role in the world around us. Whether  you see red, are a shrinking violet, or talk a blue streak, this is the perfect book for anyone interested in the history, science, culture, and beatuty of color in the natural and man-made world.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Science

On Sale: October 22nd 2013

Price: $29.99 / $38.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 240

ISBN-13: 9781579129491

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


The evanescent phenomenon of colour has gripped great minds from Plato to Isaac Newton, all the way through to researchers who now probe the links between blue light and circadian rhythms.  In this many-hued tome, Joann and Arielle Eckstut zip through optics and electromagnetism.  They then explore colour in art, such as the pointillist work of George-Pierre Seurat, and in nature, from minerals to nebulae. Fact-filled and flamboyantly illustrated. -- Nature, October 2013

In The Secret Language of Color, Joann and Arielle Eckstut offer a thorough survey of social and cultural lore, with bright daubs of science along the way to add information—and fun. The "secret" they set out to celebrate is that the language of color is irreducibly subjective—its expressive power a product as much of slippery psychology as of intricate physics and chemistry. The retina, as they explain, discriminates among millions of light-wave combinations, converting radiant energy into electrochemical energy. The brain then synthesizes and interprets the stimuli as colors. So external conditions, such as lighting and texture, aren't the only factors that cause color to behave in the bizarre ways it does. What happens in our heads makes all the difference: there is no such thing as color independent of the human system of visual perception. And that system encompasses everything from optical quirks (like contrast effects) to emotional, cultural, and even political associations. (Why are English speakers "green with envy," while Germans are not just green but also yellow, and Chinese speakers are red?) Glossy primers destined for coffee tables, these are guides guaranteed to trigger delight and surprise in all ages. -- The Atlantic, December 2013
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