ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the January 2018 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "red and green" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winterfest in July Bingo.


"Unicorns Are Yellow"


The colors red, blue,
and green are real.

The color yellow is
a mystical experience
shared by everybody.

It is said to lie somewhere
in the invisible space between
light orange and light green.

It is something that anyone
can encounter, but only in
the right circumstances.

Not everyone agrees
that unicorns are real, but
everyone knows that, if they
do exist, they are yellow.

It is the color of that
which is mysterious,
ethereal, numinous.

Look for yellow between
the reddest of reds and
the greenest of greens.

Look for unicorns
in the space that
cannot be seen.

A glow, warmer than
firelight or sunlight,
resolves into flanks
and flirting tails and
slim spiral horns.

Unicorns are real,
and they are yellow.

* * *

Notes:

Unicorns have appeared in many forms throughout mythology, often in unusual colors.

In this setting, humans have cone cells with narrower peaks, meaning that yellow is not perceived -- only light shades of orange and green. However, mystical excitation stimulates the brain in ways that allow it to extrapolate across the gap and see yellow, not physically, but inwardly. Everyone has the potential, but not everyone necessarily has the opportunity.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 08:59 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
*glee*

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 11:04 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Well... yellow unicorns are better than pink ones... [IRL pink is an interpolated colour, like yellow in your setting. It exists, but only because we think it does.]

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 11:13 am (UTC)
acelightning: shiny purple brain (brain)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
For that matter, so is blue... for most people, and almost all males. Females can be tetrachromats, and I am one; I can see a little way into UV.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 09:01 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I'm no tetrachromat, but I know that my color vision extends past the secondary peak at the blue end of the red-sensitive cones. I once tried to take a picture of some marvelously purple morning glories, only to find that they'd registered as blue to the camera.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 05:16 am (UTC)
acelightning: jacob's-ladder and fuming Erlenmeyer flask - "weird science" (weird)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
It's the camera, not your vision. All but the most expensive digital cameras record purple as blue - I don't know why. Considering that all my clothing, as well as my hair, is purple, it's a problem when people want to take my picture (one of the many reasons I don't usually permit it) - my color is purple, dammit! :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 05:41 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I know it's the camera -- it has to do with the response curves of the light-sensitive pigments in the cone cells. The red-sensitive cells have a secondary peak out on the blue end, so something that's sufficiently blue (violet) will stimulate the red cells too, and come out purple.

Most cameras don't have the secondary peak, so violet light gets recorded as blue. Other purple things actually combine blue and red pigments, so a camera will record them as purple.

Note: I had a lot of trouble tracking down a graph that shows the secondary peak in the red response curve. This is one: https://www.unm.edu/~toolson/human_cone_response.htm

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 01:06 pm (UTC)
acelightning: shiny purple brain (brain)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
I have read that the same camera technology is actually quite sensitive to IR, and that there's a filter component in the lenses of most digital cameras that keeps the pictures from looking too weird. Supposedly you can remove this filter and turn your cheap digicam into a IR camera. (The only camera I have is the one built into my phone, and I'm not going to mess with it!)

The link you provide is quite interesting... but most of the further-information links at the bottom of the page are 404 :-(

Edited Date: 2018-01-21 01:06 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 02:36 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
>>turn your cheap digicam into a IR camera.<<

Yes; I remember when that was first discovered -- people were putting IR filters in front of their cameras and taking advantage of the fact that clothing is mostly transparent to IR. Hence the internal filters.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-21 02:53 pm (UTC)
acelightning: jacob's-ladder and fuming Erlenmeyer flask - "weird science" (weird)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
Talk about cheap thrills :-)

Now if only there were a way to make the imaging chip more sensitive to UV (and therefore violet/purple)!

Re: Well ...

Date: 2018-01-22 04:21 am (UTC)
acelightning: round purple control-panel light (jewel-light)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
It's not a software filter, it's an actual piece of material that blocks IR, but is transparent to visible light. It has to be physically removed for the camera to detect IR.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-03-14 07:54 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
My phone has a seperate IR ("night vision") setting. Images are B&W, but fun to mess with. Also useful for doing things in dark rooms.

It's an old Samsung Intensity II.

Re: Yes ...

Date: 2018-01-21 05:23 am (UTC)
acelightning: the purple glow inside a Farnsworth Fusor (fusor)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
My son can see some infrared. He can also see some UV, which should be impossible, because the variant alleles for the cone cells are carried on the X chromosome - the reason that only women can have the extra peak that extends into the UV end of the spectrum. (And he is most definitely not XXY!)

I also have some measure of "blindsight", but as far as I can determine, it's actually just a side effect of my intense visual memory.

Re: Yes ...

Date: 2018-01-23 08:59 am (UTC)
acelightning: shiny purple brain (brain)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
The kind of "blindsight" I meant was... well, I couldn't sleep because there was too much light coming through the air conditioner, shining right in my face, so I bought an eye mask that (as long as it's correctly aligned) blocks out all light. I put it on and ducked under the covers, but I could still "see" the way the covers were bunched up, and where everything was on my nightstand. I experimented with this a lot, and eventually concluded that it was visual memory - I have almost photographic memory of things I've seen.

I can also navigate in the dark, both with visual memory and with clues like air currents, smells, sound (including a bit of echolocation), and even with the feel of the surface beneath my feet. As a child, I somewhat consciously taught myself to use every physical sense I had to the furthest degree I could - it just seemed useful :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 04:08 pm (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Nice.

Unicorns in this setting probably have to keep an eye out for mantis shrimp.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-01-20 05:09 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
TIL...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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