science

PPFF #126

Good morning,

This morning’s article is my response to the suggestion that came in this week from Tin-Tin (not his real name). As usual I had planned on something else but I allowed mine to be gazumped by Tin-Tin’s suggestion; being such a quirky little gem, it was an instant attention grabber (well, grabbed my attention), which led to reading a few articles in an attempt to form an understanding of the background, which I must admit I still don’t fully understand. But one good thing from reading about it was that I was somewhat comforted by the apparent encouragement and leniency offered by this organisation in permitting someone to carry out an academic exercise that is this random, frankly quite vain and nearly mad on the organisation’s paid time.

It’s akin to asking the following question:

“what colour would they end up being if we managed to gather all the carbon-based materials on earth, dumped them into a giant blender (much like recycled material processing plants but bigger) and switched it on until everything was recognisably mingled together into a body of mushy sludge?”.

Why such absurd pondering, you might ask but apparently a similar question had been asked, researched and answered, incorrectly at that initially and then the original answer corrected/adjusted, for ‘the universe’. You read that correctly. The universe – more precisely the average colour of the universe has now been found. Truly groundbreaking and almost as profound as the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (ref.: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy); the number 42. Well the answer to this question (what is the colour of the universe?) is:

#FFF8E7.

I know folks under 25 might be tempted to think that’s the hashtag for ‘Friends Forever by Fate from E7 postcode area in East London (Forrest Gate/Stratford)’ but no – that is the hexadecimal RGB value for the average colour of the universe in the system called Hex Triplet, or ‘Cosmic Latte’ –  that is the colour of the universe as named by astronomers from Johns Hopkins University, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry in 2002. Ironically the blandest shade of beige one can see in the universe actually happens to be the colour of the universe, visually, probably the least offensive colour, fit for any living room in a typical sales picture of the dullest house in a Foxton brochure, probably in E7 .

Anyway, here it is; Cosmic Latte.

Cosmic_Latte

Have a good Friday.

P.S. subtly derisive tones of this morning’s PPFF aside, I can appreciate the research efforts and scientific processes and methods involved in answering this sort of question. Additionally, I believe this kind of research is perfect for promoting science and engineering to the general public, and more of this sort should be done. You can read more about it here and here.

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