The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 41

The Scout Report -- Volume 27, Number 41
October 15, 2021
Volume 27, Number 41

General Interest

Theme: Color

Tech Tools

Revisited

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General Interest

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Science Stories Africa
Science

Science Stories Africa seeks to bolster public engagement and appreciation of science in Africa by giving innovators a platform to tell their stories to the public. Through the initiative, research scientists receive training in storytelling and then have the opportunity to share their stories in front of a live audience. The performances are recorded and posted online. For example, at an event themed "I Almost Gave Up," Misaki Wayengera of Makerere University shared his story of developing a quick, cheap, and easy diagnostic tool to detect ebola. At another event, Kashub Tumwesigye of the National Agricultural Research Organisation described how a visit to Kampala's largest landfill inspired his team to create a biodegradable plastic bag made from cassava peels. As of this writing, the organization has trained nine scientists and held two events, with the intention of holding three events each year. The easiest way to watch the performances is on the YouTube channel, which can be accessed by clicking "Watch Now" on the page linked above. The organization also posts video clips, news stories, and other content on Twitter (@sciencestories2) and Facebook (@sciencestoriesafrica). Science Stories Africa is a project of the Cornell Alliance for Science. [HCL]

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Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern
Arts

Visitors are invited to use this online guide to explore this major retrospective exhibition, the first on Andy Warhol presented at Tate Modern (previously featured in the 03-23-2018 Scout Report) in close to 20 years. On the page linked above, visitors can watch a seven-minute video introduction with curators Gregor Muir and Fiontan Moran that explains how the exhibition looks at Warhol through three lenses: Warhol's immigrant experience; his queer identity; and his views on death and religion, which were formed growing up in Pittsburgh and attending weekly mass in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 2020, the physical exhibition spread over 12 rooms, all of which can all be explored online. For instance, Room 1: Andrew Warhola features documents such as the ship manifest listing Julia Warhola, his mother, upon her arrival in the U.S. on June 11, 1921, as well as her passport photo and other photos of Andy Warhol as a young boy. Other rooms document Warhol's 1963 film Sleep; the Factory; Warhol's injuries from being shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968; and finally Room 12, which features Warhol's Sixty Last Suppers, from a series of over 100 silk screen prints and paintings created in 1986. A PDF exhibition guide with artifact lists for each room can be found to download under the embedded video introduction. [DS]

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COVID, Quickly: A Pop-Up Podcast
Health

From Scientific American, this podcast provides listeners with the latest information and important developments in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Every two weeks, health editors Tanya Lewis and Josh Fischman tackle topics such as new masking guidelines, vaccine booster shots, and the risks posed by new virus variants. Both hosts have extensive experience covering health care, medicine, biology and science policy, so listeners will find their discussions insightful and well informed. Best of all, the producers take the "quickly" part of the podcast title seriously, as each episode is under eight minutes long. For listeners who want to keep up-to-date on the essential facts about the pandemic but find themselves lacking the time or mental space for a deep drive, COVID, Quickly is the perfect addition. Visitors can listen to episodes on the page linked above or subscribe on Spotify. [MJZ]

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The Emblemata Politica in Context: Georg Rem's Manuscript at the Newberry Library
Arts

Demonstrating that long-term, collaborative research is vital to deeper understanding in all fields, The Emblemata Politica in Context: Georg Rem's Manuscript at the Newberry Library is a digital resource that provides new insight into a classic piece of German history. This project was made possible through the efforts of numerous librarians, scholars, and researchers, especially Mara R. Wade of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lia Markey, Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library (previously featured in the 06-12-2020 Scout Report). Their work has resulted in this digital resource, a "hybrid book" that is sure to intrigue historians, linguists, philologists, and paleographers alike. It contains a copy of Rem and Peter Isselburg's Emblemata Politica (1617), which depicts emblems from the Great Hall of the Nurnberg town hall, one of the most sophisticated collections of wall and ceiling decorations in Europe. Isselburg's original work depicted many of these emblems, but divorced them from their intended context, which Rem's manuscript attempted to rectify. From the page linked above, visitors can begin to navigate the digital resource by clicking "Begin with 'Introduction.'" From there, readers can jump to specific pages using the links in the Contents section or go through the resource in order by clicking the blue button at the bottom of each page. [RMP]

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Nature Podcast
Science

From the highly regarded, peer-reviewed international journal of science and technology Nature (previously featured in the 08-20-21 Scout Report), the Nature Podcast dives into issues in scientific fields, new scientific theories and ideas, and audio versions of some of the journal's most exciting articles. New episodes, hosted by a rotating cast of Nature staff and contributors, are typically released once or twice a week. Readers interested in science and technology can check out recent episodes on topics such as "How the US is rebooting gun violence research" (July 21, 2021), "The billion years missing from Earth's history" (Sept. 8, 2021), or "On the origin of numbers" (June 2, 2021). Of particular interest will be the frequent "Coronapod" episodes, which tackle the latest information on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including relevant topics such as booster shots, Ivermectin, and sporting events. Interested listeners can find podcast episodes on the page linked above or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or other podcast apps. [MJZ]

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Theme: Color

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The Fundamentals of Understanding Color Theory
Arts

Graphic designers, marketing professionals, and entrepreneurs will find use in "The Fundamentals of Understanding Color Theory," an article by Kris Decker from Vistaprint's graphic design service, 99designs. The term "color theory" covers many things; it can be a practical guide to color mixing and the visual effects of color combination, the study of how people perceive color, the analysis of what certain colors communicate, and more. Pointing out that consumers decide whether or not they like a product within 90 seconds, and that decisions are largely based on color, this light-hearted, beginner-friendly article provides an overview of how to best utilize all aspects of color theory to build a brand. It explains two models for color mixing - additive for digital content and subtractive for print - and the importance of understanding the difference. The article also discusses how to use the familiar color wheel to understand the concepts of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors; aspects of color such as hue, shade, tint, and tone; and the three basic color schemes for design: complementary, analogous, and triadic. "The Fundamentals of Understanding Color Theory" closes with additional resources on how to choose logo color, emotional associations with color, the psychology behind color choices, and examples of how bad color design can make your overall design difficult to utilize, understand, read, or even look at. In all, this article neatly summarizes why readers should care about color theory. [RMP]

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The X-Rite Color Challenge and Hue Test
Arts

Did you know that 1 in 255 women and 1 in 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency? Readers who have ever been curious about color perception and acuity will find much to take away from X-Rite's Color Challenge and Hue Test. X-Rite, a company that blends the art and science of color to provide color management solutions across many industries, offer this free, short-form version of the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test to better understand color vision acuity. The test, which simply requires arranging a series of color swatches in a palette, not only identifies whether or not the user has a color deficiency, but where in the spectrum their hue discriminations lie, as well as allowing users to compare their score to others in their demographic. The Color Challenge and Hue Test also includes a Get the Facts section, which includes links to information about the full Farnsworth Munsell test and about color perception in general. Further resources include a color glossary, a blog, information about industry gadgets like spectrophotometers, and more. [RMP]

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Color Theory from the Art of Education University
Arts

Art teachers at the elementary and middle-school levels will want to check out the articles, videos, and other resources on color theory available from The Art of Education University (featured in the 11-20-2020 Scout Report), a fully online graduate university offering accredited degrees for art teachers. The resources were created by experienced art teachers to facilitate art education through lesson plans, activity ideas, and games for the classroom. For instance, the article "You Don't Have to Teach the Color Wheel Anymore," describes this outdated concept for exposing students to color theory and offers four engaging and nuanced alternatives. Another article, "7 Ways to Use Paint Chips in the Art Room," offers activity ideas using those free color palettes from the paint section of any hardware store. Many lesson plans include downloadable content for use in the classroom, although readers should note that they must create a free account to access these downloads. Art teachers can also check out other resources on the site for topics such as classroom management, technology, and teaching philosophies. [MJZ]

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The Physics Hypertextbook: Color
Science

The Physics Hypertextbook is an open-source, idiosyncratic, and highly readable online physics textbook created by author, illustrator, and science teacher Glenn Elert. Readers interested in the science of color will enjoy the Color chapter of the textbook, which through five sections lays out the conceptual and historical background on color, provides problems to apply these concepts, and links to further resources and information. The chapter is very easy to navigate: readers can simply scroll the page to read each section, then use the menu at the top or bottom of the page to jump to the next section. For instance, the "Discussion" section delves into the color spectrum, how English got its words for different colors, and the principles of color mixing, among other foundational concepts. The "Summary" section provides a short outline of the content covered in the Discussion, which should prove useful for physics students preparing for exams. The "Problems" section offers conceptual and numerical questions to apply color concepts. The hypertextbook is a work in progress, so readers will find some sections in various stages of completion, but nonetheless it provides a friendly and cogent overview of the science of color and the broader field of physics that beginners will enjoy. [MJZ]

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Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis
Arts

From Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (previously featured in the 05-25-2018 Scout Report), the exhibition Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis explored the masterful weaving of pattern and color from this celebrated American artist. Although the physical exhibition closed in 2019, visitors can still learn much from the materials available on the page linked above. The section About the Exhibition details Landis's life and craft, including his explorations of color combinations and his use of weaving to create and blend new colors. In the section From the Blog, readers can find interviews with Landis discussing his work and the exhibition. Finally, in the menu on the right side of the page, visitors can click "Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis," to be taken to another page which features 22 of the 23 objects displayed in the exhibition. Each object (which can be enlarged by clicking) can be viewed through image or video, and features text describing the inspiration for the work and the technique employed. Students and aficionados of art and color are sure to benefit from the digital materials available from this exhibition. [MJZ]

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Tech Tools

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FreeCAD
Arts

FreeCAD is a general purpose 3D modeling and computer aided design (CAD) tool. Its developers state that it is "made primarily to design objects for the real world." Objects designed in FreeCAD can be exported in formats suitable for 3D printing with a variety of devices or even production using CNC machining tools. In addition, FreeCAD is suitable for constructing 3D models of buildings, theatrical sets, and others. Objects in FreeCAD are "natively parametric," which means that their shapes can be adjusted based on properties (e.g., numeric values, strings of text, on/off flags, and more). It is even possible to create objects whose shape is generated by a Python script. In the FreeCAD "Documentation" section found in the menu, users will find a brief introduction that gives an overview of the software's interface. From there, readers can click "Tutorials" for several dozen detailed walkthroughs. Users can click "Downloads" in the menu to find installers for Windows, macOS, and Linux systems. [CRH]

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OpenToonz
Arts

OpenToonz is full-featured 2D animation software capable of producing everything from short commercials to feature films. Toonz, the closed-source predecessor of OpenToonz, was used in the production of a number of films, including Balto, Spirited Away, and Mary and the Witch's Flower. Further examples of work produced with the software can be found by clicking "Cases of Introduction" in the menu at the top of the page linked above. Animators can create frames directly in OpenToonz using a built-in digital painting interface. Alternatively, users can employ a scanning workflow to digitize hand-drawn frames. Frames can be assembled into a film using either an exposure sheet or a timeline interface. A "node tree" interface allows the insertion of transition effects between scenes. While much of the OpenToonz documentation is in Japanese, there are two English-language user forums linked from the page above: a "Google Group" for problem-solving and a GitHub "forum" for developers. The OpenToonz site provides installers for Windows and macOS computers. Some Linux and BSD systems also provide OpenToonz packages in their official repositories. [CRH]

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Revisited

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Color in a New Light: Smithsonian Libraries Online Exhibition
Science

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian Libraries was last featured in the 07-27-2018 Scout Report. It continues to provide an unique opportunity to explore the science and history of color, which will be especially welcome for students of art or physics who are learning remotely.

From the Smithsonian Libraries comes the online exhibition Color in a New Light, which is dedicated to the science and history of color. The online exhibition (accompanying a physical exhibition that ran at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2017) consists of four sections: "The Science of Color," "Making Color," "Matching Color," and "Using Color," which can be accessed by clicking colorful tiles toward the bottom of the page linked above. Each section provides a short essay on the topic accompanied by a number of fascinating primary documents. For instance, in "The Science of Color," visitors can read about the history of scientific theories of color and view pages from Sir Isaac Newton's 1704 work Opticks, or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light. Likewise, the "Matching Color" section features a variety of color charts, including Richard Waller's 1686 Tabula Colorum Physiologica and Milton Bradley's 1895 Elementary Color. The exhibition was produced through the sponsorship of Benjamin Moore and The Shepherd Color Company. [MMB] [MJZ]

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