Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Revelations of the (Partially) Color Blind

Most people I know are already aware of the fact that I suffer from a partial form of color blindness. And before anyone asks, yes, such a condition does exist and I've apparently been dealing with it throughout my life since childhood. All in all, the effects of being partially colorblind--specifically deuteranomalous if I'm right--are subtler than you'd expect, but in hindsight they've given me quite the trouble for most of my schooling years up to now. It wasn't only until recent years that I realized I was even colorblind, too.

To clear things up, I can see red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and all the other colors; I just have trouble telling some colors apart under certain lighting conditions:
  •  Playing cards in dim light, for example, has me squinting to see whether a card is black or red, that is, until I realize I'm being stupid and can just look at the suits. 
  • I also have particular trouble telling apart the lightest colors (cyan, pale yellow, light green, etc.) from simple white, making me believe one time in college that I've been wearing a white long-sleeved shirt to class when it was actually blue.
I could go on all night, trying to explain just what it's like seeing through my eyes, but it would be easier to give some examples. Here are a few anecdotes I've told time and again.

Eh blue kaya!
As a child, I believed Mayon Volcano was blue.

This is one of those things that just came to me after realizing I was colorblind. I remember one incident in grade school when the students were supposed to draw something for art class, and of course, I chose the lovely volcano just outside our classroom window. Armed with pretty much the same drawing and coloring skills as I have today (none), I proceeded to create my own rendition of the poor volcano, only to be asked by a classmate why on earth I was using a rich shade of blue to color it in. Pompously, I answered "Eh blue kaya", and that was that.

Brown, Brown, Green, Gold? F*ck this, where's the VOM?
Colorblind in Electronics means lots of mini explosions.

The thingy above is called a resistor, and the colored bands are meant to denote its resistance value. Unfortunately, my groupmates never did trust me with reading the values because I always mixed up the red, black, violet, blue, green bands. (Okay, maybe all of them)    

At least now you know that if you're ever strapped to a bomb, you should never come to me to defuse it. To be fair, though, while I did cause a number of booms and bangs in laboratory, none of them were really because I was color blind. At least I think so.

My favorite mnemonic for the colors: 
Bad Boys Rape Only Young Girls But Violeta Gives Willingly Gosh Super Nyak!
Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White Gold Silver NoColor

This, I hate.
I always overtitrated.

I know this blog is starting to get rather nerdy, but this is one thing that really messed with me back in college. Basically, if I remember correctly the aim was to drip one type of liquid into another drop by drop, stopping just at the moment that the fluid in the flask turns a light pink. And as we've already established earlier, I suck when it comes to distinguishing light colors. Long story short, I always ended up with a heavily pink batch of gloop and got a dismal grade for my efforts in this particular experiment.


In conclusion, I'm not a dog and can see colors almost the same as other people, too. Just don't trust me with cutting bomb wires, piloting a plane, or trying to see whether the hot dog you're cooking is red or a pale pink. If you want to check out for yourself whether you have wonky eyes, try the test here. If you're too lazy to do that, just look at the picture and see if you can easily see a word in the mess; if you can manage it, then you're likely colorblind like me!


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