Fibbing Friday: The Blues

Pensitivity101 is once again the host of Fibbing Friday, posing questions about all things blue (but not cheese, unfortunately, as it is close to our lunch hour). So while we take a meal break at The Blue Boy Inn, teetotaller Andy Whatsisname will stay behind to furnish the answers,


1. Why is Royal Blood considered blue?

Because they don’t like the oxygen of publicity. Look at the Duke of York! Did he appear in a blue movie? I don’t know but does it look beyond the realms of possibility?

2. What is a Blue Moon?

In Kentucky the moon doesn’t go through phases like in normal places. It keeps on shining, apparently. I blame moonshine: they imbibe a lot of that stuff down in Kentucky. Before it makes you go blind, everything looks blue.

3. What was the song ‘Blue is the Colour’ about?

Footballers (that’s Soccer to Americans) can’t sing; a known fact. To verify it, scientists chose eleven men at random from a well-known professional London team, and sent them into a recording studio as a warning to others. Blue is the colour you go after the second chorus, unless you can lay your hands on a convenient gun.

4. What is meant by blue collar?

This is when the Vice Squad makes an arrest for possession of indecent material.

5. What is a blue bonnet?

I refer you to Q.10 below.

Yes, we Brits call “hoods” bonnets (and “trunks” boots) It’s all a bit too kinky, isn’t it?

6. What did Little Boy Blue play?

Was it Strip Poker? He probably had a Royal Flush after seeing a smutty film featuring a Duke of York.

7. What changed from brown to blue according to the song?

Colours are always changing in songs, it’s a devil to keep up. Gene Pitney sang about greys and blues changing to scarlet; Mick Jagger sang that blue turned to grey, then changed his mind later and wanted everything painted black.

Was it a cow? If cow dung was blue, it would be more obvious, I think.

8. Where will you find a Blue Nun?

I’ve already said, I don’t look at blue movies but I’m reliably informed this one fetishises a side of Roman Catholic culture.

9. Why mustn’t you step on his Blue Suede Shoes?

Carl Perkins suffered terribly with his feet.

10. What kind of bird has blue feet?

I had my car resprayed blue once and a flippin’ seagull landed on its bonnet, right at the front. It stuck fast in the drying paint so I had it stuffed and pretended I drove a Rolls Royce for a while.

Colour me blue, or green, or anything you like.

Prof. Brian Cox’s recent documentary series, The Planets, on our solar system neighbours was brilliant though short and sweet. It’s on the iPlayer for the best part of a year so watch it if you can. It’s mind boggling and it makes me think how could there possibly be life anywhere else. As for humanoid aliens, especially ones which speak fluent English with American accents, no chance!

As I watched it n the BBC app, it threw up some other suggestions I might like and one of those is a documentary about colour. I watched two episodes and it’s okay, maybe a bit superficial scientifically but entertaining and well produced (link below).

The funny thing about colour is it probably doesn’t exist. Or, I should say, it didn’t exist until life developed eyes. And not all eyes: the earliest eye probably only distinguished between light and dark; then there are eyes which only see in monochrome shades. Even the human eye is limited, only able to detect light within the band known anthropologically as visible light. Only some critters, it is thought, see beyond that.

And even within the so-called visible light, different people see different colours. This idea came home to me this week when I was looking over a drawing with a colleague. It showed a floor plan of a building where each of the rooms was coloured corresponding to its use. A key to the side of the drawing explained what each colour meant bit there were so many room uses that some of the colours were indistinguishable at a glance.

My colleague pointed to a room and said it wasn’t clear what kind of room it was; it could, he said, be either one or other shades of green. This struck me as odd. I couldn’t determine which type of room it was either but to my eyes the colour was definitely one of the two shades of blue.

Admittedly it wasn’t lapis lazuli, more the colour of a clear morning sky with a little pollution. But it wasn’t green, no way. Or was it?

I had an odd notion that I could reproduce near enough the exact colour by mixing primaries, blue, red and yellow – pigments, not light, of course. But then the colleague would agree it was mixed perfectly, but he would still see it as green.

So, remember, when we’re visited by those little green men from outer space, they might actually be blue. Or, quite possibly to their eyes, deep x-ray-ultraviolet.

image (top): No. 61 (rust and blue) by Mark Rothko

Colour: The Spectrum of Science (BBC TV)

Monochrome Dreams

Did you know we dream only in black and white?

No? Neither did I.

I’ve been reading Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, the one which begins with him taking mescalin, and in that book he claims this is the case. Apparently, dreaming is nearly always about symbolism and symbolic stories don’t need colour as it’s irrelevant.

I’m not so sure but being one who rarely remembers dreams upon waking, I have no personal evidence. The trouble with TDOP for me is as soon as Huxley thinks of something and writes it down, it becomes fact. He sees no need for explanation or evidence.

I wondered if this monochrome dreaming was influenced by black and white movies and telly. His mescalin experience took place in 1953. Most western people’s exposure to imagery would have been black and white ones and so, when dreaming then, it may have played out like a typical movie. This could mean that nowadays, it’s likely we dream in full colour. But I don’t know.