Cool Science

Paint without pigment

Liked This Is the Lightest Paint in the World by Max G. Levy (WIRED)

An energy-saving coating needs no pigments, and it keeps the surface beneath it 30 degrees cooler.

Some of nature’s most vivid looks—the kind worn by peacocksbeetles, and butterflies—do their thing without pigment.

Those colors come from topography. Submicroscopic landscapes on the outer surfaces of peacock feathers, beetle shells, and butterfly wings diffract light to produce what’s known as structural color.

See also: Life in Color: Seeing in Color

Art and Design

Editing photos in Affinity Photo

Watched Affinity Photo tutorial – Kodachrome Vintage from YouTube

The vintage analogue look is massively in vogue right now, and it’s simple to re-create the look and feel of a classic emulsion such as Kodachrome by using the handy toolset that can be found in Affinity Photo.

Admired the colors on a shot by Maique and he told me it was a Kodachrome filter 👀


  • Gradient map – with complementary colors
  • Curves – I rarely use the color channels and just adjust contrast, but maybe should play around with it
  • Selective color – reminds me of what you can do with the color tools in the raw editor
Art and Design House Technology

Neutralizing reality to sell

Liked this house may or may not be real (Tumblr)

In my travels as McMansion Hell, I’ve increasingly been confronted with houses full of furniture that isn’t real. This is known as virtual staging and it is to house staging as ChatGPT is to press release writing or DALL-E is to illustration.

The better this rendering technology gets, the more it will rely on these totally neutral spaces because everything matches and nothing is difficult. You are picking from a catalog of greige furniture to decorate greige rooms.

This is where things are heading: artifice on top of artifice on top of artifice. It’s cheap, it’s easy. But something about it feels like a violation.

If neutrality makes a house sell, then personality – at all – can only be seen as a detriment.

So who’s doing this? The answer is real estate itself aided by their allies in mass media who in turn are aided by the home renovation industry. In other words, it’s the people who sell home as a commodity. That desire to sell has for some time overpowered all other elements that make up a home or an apartment’s interiority to the point where we’ve ended up in a colorless slurry of real and unreal.

Emphasis mine.


Read Jungalow

Read Jungalow

From Justina Blakeney, the ultimate guide to designing wildly creative interiors that are free-spirited, layered, and deeply personal Jus…

I dug a lot of her example rooms. I especially liked the first section of the book where she created mashups of two cultures. It also resonated with her sharing her family heritage and personal feeling of being mixed culture being an important part of her. The pattern and materials section was usefully presented. The DIY section was quite short and didn’t add much, I would have dropped that and expanded the first section or dug into color more. I appreciated the variety of plant metaphors they used throughout 😉

Succulents spill out of drawers in a tall chest of drawers
I love the casual spillover of plants though wonder if that’s a nightmare to water – and also makes the rest of the drawers harder to use


A bureau is decorated with white varied patterns, a light yellow wall and gold framed mirror behind
This gold toned vignette feels so warm and fun without being overwhelming


Pink bedroom with hot pink walls and lamp, patterned pink headboard, pink art, and a pretty calathea with pink stripes
😍 I love love love this pink immersion – my office wall is a similar hot pink and I’ve contrasted against it but this is spectacular
Pale pink walls and copper scalloped tile bathroom with scallops extending over the vanity as a backdrop
I really like the scallops as a backdrop on the vanity, adding an elegant feminine detailing against the dusky pink – I like the sheen of the dark copper with the pink
Art and Design Fun

Name your brand colors

Bookmarked Name Your Colors! (

Here’s a fun experiment: if your app has a designer, ask them how many colors they think are in your app. Then, count the number of colors that you actually use in your app. The bigger the app, the more comical the difference will be.

I’ve got a solution for this which is pretty fun to boot. You should name your colors.

Why not? Always thought it’d be fun to come up with product color names.

Art and Design Resources and Reference

Color palettes for data visualization

Bookmarked Data Color Picker (

Creating visually equidistant palettes is basically impossible to do by hand, yet hugely important for data visualizations. Why? When colors are not visually equidistant, it’s harder to (a) tell them apart in the chart, and (b) compare the chart to the key.


Overcoming home design challenges

Watched Interview with Joanna Thornhill from

@joannathornhillstylist on creative solutions for challenging spaces, how to personalize a rental, and rituals that make us feel at home.

For spaces giving you trouble:

  • Think big picture: what do you need the space to do, how do you want to feel?
  • Don’t start with constraints: imagine what you might do if money was no object

Create rituals that link your space with your schedule or life, like drawing the curtains and making a cup of tea to signal your body it’s time to wind down, or bringing out a nice candle only when you’re doing a certain activity.

Pay attention to the annoyances you’re just accepting, and consider whether you can do anything about it.

Think about the speed of your home – design for slow living – The New Mindful Home

Color “rule”: 60% main color / 30% secondary / 10% pop – for an energizing space maybe pull in multiple or more pop accent colors

Art and Design Food

Read Odd Apples

Read Odd Apples 🍎🍏 by William Mullan

“Odd Apples” is a photographic project celebrating Malus (the apple genus), its stunning diversity, enchanting expression, and our centuries-long relationship with it.

Lovely photos of distinctive apples, lit beautifully against a color backdrop thoughtfully chosen, photographed with affection. Scarred and knobby apples are given the same care as the obviously beautiful varieties. What a labor of love to track down all these heirloom fruits. I enjoyed learning where each variety was developed – he’s collected varietals from all over the world. A wide range of colors, patterns, and shapes – human heritage in the form of fruit. I bought the small edition and part of me wishes I’d bought the large special edition because I enjoyed this so much.

Yellow translucent apples
I love this understated tone on tone shot as much as the brighter and more vibrant photos.
Art and Design Resources and Reference Websites

Web Design Tools


Accessible Palette – Create color systems with consistent lightness and contrast

Accessible Color Generator – Show me the closest variations of COLOR that contrast against BACKGROUND COLOR enough to meet ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES

Contrast Grid – Test many foreground and background color combos for compliance with WCAG 2.0 minimum contrast.

Coolers – color palette generator

Optimal Overlay Finder – For Readable Text on a Background Image

Vivid Gradient Generator – we interpolate the gradient in a hue-based color system, such as HCL, HSB, or HCL (not RGB) 🤓. This avoids the line of gray that goes through the center of every color space.

Gradient Easing Generator – Create and preview your own easing gradients in CSS.


The Good Line-Height – the good line-height calculates the exact number so it always fits the baseline grid!


Clippy – The clip-path property allows you to make complex shapes in CSS by clipping an element to a basic shape (circle, ellipse, polygon, or inset), or to an SVG source.

Hero Generator


Flexbox Patterns – Flexbox is awesome, but it introduces many new concepts that can make it difficult to use. These interactive examples will show you practical ways to use it to build UI components.


Tiny Helpers – single task tools

Omatsuri – Open source browser tools for everyday use


Web Skills – reference deck with links to explain a variety of web elements

CSS-only Carousel


Watched Life in Color: Seeing in Color

Bookmarked Life in Color with David Attenborough (

Using innovative technology, this docuseries explores nature from a fresh perspective as animals use color to survive and thrive in the wild.

My takeaway is that color is all about sex. Yeah, they talked about some other aspects of coloration but most of it was males wanting to get laid.

Incorporating the polarized and infrared cameras was kind of neat. It’s interesting how the other layers of coloration outside our visual spectrum don’t always align with the patterns of colors we can see.