The most unusual colors from Harvard's storied pigment library include beetle extracts, poisonous metals, and human mummies.

Today, every color imaginable is at your fingertips. You can peruse paint swatches at hardware stores, flip through Pantone books, and fuss with the color finder that comes with most computer programs, until achieving the hue of your heart's desire. But rewind to a few centuries ago and finding that one specific color might have meant trekking to a single mineral deposit in remote Afghanistan—as was the case with lapis lazuli, a rock prized for its brilliant blue hue, which made it more valuable than gold in medieval times.

The history of pigments goes back to prehistoric times, but much of what we know about how they relate to the art world comes from Edward Forbes, a historian and director of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University from 1909 to 1944. Considered the father of art conservation in the United States, Forbes traveled around the world amassing pigments in order to authenticate classical Italian paintings. Over the years, the Forbes Pigment Collection—as his collection came to be known—grew to more than 2,500 different specimens, each with its own layered backstory on its origin, production, and use.

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The other day I wrote about Apple's new 'color shift' feature. The Verge peeks into the science of Color Shift:
"...all three experts agree: removing blue light won’t necessarily make you sleep better or prevent the side-effects of eyestrain, like headaches. The best way to fall asleep easily is the same as it ever was: don’t use your electronic devices late into the evening. Night Shift may help, but it’s not the magic solution for sweet dreams."

A new pilot project in the southwestern English town involves a fluorescent strip of paint used to protect the native ponies from dangerous drivers.
painted ponies
Dartmoor ponies have lived in the southern Devon area for at least 3,500 years, but today their numbers are dwindling. That’s partly due to plummeting demand for horse meat, but motor vehicles are certainly no help. According to Karla Mckechnie, Dartmoor’s livestock protection officer, free-grazing ponies have been hurt in 74 road accidents this year. For the ponies, Mckechnie notes in an email, these accidents “are usually fatal.”
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