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Amtrak's Predecessor: Formed in 1968 from the Pennsylvania and New York Central Railroads, the Penn Central was a short lived railroad that nonetheless paved the way for a government funded and operated rail passenger service (when it bankrupted in 1970 and left the densely populated northeast without any form of reliable rail transportation) and was notable for its "mismatched" paint schemes (referred to by some as the "rainbow era" trains for the variety of colors) on its passenger equipment.
Can be combined with Amtrak Phase I 4-Car Passenger Sets to create an early-Amtrak expanded passenger train. Pre-production look at the Ex-21-Roomette Coach - a car that began its life as a sleeper before being modified for coach service.
Aatish Bhatia is a science writer and an Associate Director, Engineering Education, in Princeton University's Council on Science and Technology.
One of the first fences in this color continuum came from an unlikely place – crayons. In modern Japanese, midori is the word for green, as distinct from blue. This divorce of blue and green was not without its scars. I find this fascinating, because it highlights a powerful idea about how we might see the world. Imagine that you had a rainbow-colored piece of paper that smoothly blends from one color to the other.
This question was first addressed by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay in the late 1960s. They wanted to know if there are universal, guiding laws that govern how cultures arrive at their color atlas.
To respond to these criticisms, the authors launched what they called the World Color Survey, a project that started collecting data in the late 1970s. They then asked native speakers of these 110 different languages, many from remote tribal cultures, to painstakingly name the color of each tile. First, cultures are quite different in how their words paint the world. Take a look at this interactive map. The picture looks like a mess, but keep in mind that five out of six languages surveyed follow the central route. Next, here are some examples from cultures with four, five and six different words for colors. Update: Thanks to a reader suggestion, I updated the image of the colored tiles to a more accurately colored image from the World Color Survey website. A more sensible question (the one I was supposed to ask in the first place): if our language does not differentiate between different hues then people who CANNOT differentiate between those hues because of colour-blindness are not even aware they are colour-blind in the first place, are they? I’m more curious if the lack of word to differentiate blue and green is tied to the percentage of colorblind people of that nation. Even accepting your premise, the language would have evolved long before your solvent started damaging people.
In Thai, the words for sky and light blue are synonymous, namely fah, we also have a distinction got dark blue, nam gnun. As to womens color sense: there is in fact some small proportion of women that may have tetrachromatic color vision. A friend of mine saw more of yellow nuances than I could perceive at a distance, thus spotting mushrooms at quite a distance where I saw nothing. I wouldn’t know myself, but according to Wikipedia modern Chinese respects this distinction, but historically *qing* was used for blue and green. Metaphorically speaking, we are all colors (race, culture, religious and political beliefs), and this article is not just about crayons, it’s also about how we view ourselves and each other as divided by the imaginary borders of identity. Maybe, just maybe, due to the big Italian immigration in Argentina, they might make this distinction.
The same is true in Russian — two different words for what we in English would call light and dark blue.
I like that you brought up Chinese, and I can understand that the example had to be constrained for the purposes of clarity and brevity, but I do feel it’s a bit misleading.
If you would like to have the scenery customized to your personal taste, just drop us a line to our workshop-department.
This layout's main purpose is to serve as a double tracked return loop for continous running. This 3 ft by 3 ft section can be used stand-alone as a Diorama, or as an outside corner in conjunction with our other standard layouts. It features a double tracked main line and two sidings which may - for instance - serve as loading tracks for a coal tipple.


The bridge module (Model B) is mainly used to span a room door if you want to create a layout around the walls. By combining Amtrak and Penn Central 4-car sets, modelers can easily enjoy these colorful and striking trains.
They sit next to each other in a rainbow, which means that, to our eyes, light can blend smoothly from blue to green or vice-versa, without going past any other color in between.
In 1917, the first crayons were imported into Japan, and they brought with them a way of dividing a seamless visual spread into neat, discrete chunks. There are plenty of other languages that blur the lines between what we call blue and green. Why should different cultures draw the same boundaries? If we speak different languages with largely independent histories, shouldn’t our ancestors have carved up the visual atlas rather differently? Some argued that their study was too small, that they surveyed too few people from each language. This was a survey of 110 languages, all spoken by pre-industrial societies, many that have no written script.
To do this, they showed people a set of colored tiles in 10 different shades of 40 different hues. After tallying up what people said, they could divide these tiles into islands of color, similar to the map of color from before.
For the 110 cultures, you can see how many basic words they use for colors. To the Dani people who live in the highlands of New Guiniea, objects comes in just two shades.
These cultures have largely independent histories, yet they somehow gravitate towards the same choices for how to slice up the visual cake. Let’s say you want to take the color tiles that represent the visual space, and divide them into four different patches.
They’re somewhat basic categories that humans from different cultures gravitate towards, and must have to do with how the biology of how we see the world.
If you were a mantis shrimp, your rainbow would be unimaginably rich, with thousands, maybe tens of thousands of colors that blend together, stretching from deep reds all the way to the ultraviolet. In the next part, I’ll talk about some pretty surprising studies that show how giving a color a name can, quite literally, mess with our brains. For instance, blue-green colour blindness is quite common but for people with languages that do not differentiate between the two, is colour blindness really colour blindness at all? I think this ability to distinguish between colours would be tested by non-verbal means to diagnose colour-blindness? A susch, it’d be interesting to see whether there are any studies which differentiate at number of colour-blindness cases in different societies with different languages. Though I’ve heard of the ocean referred to as khiaw, never once have I heard the sky referred to as such.
Thanks for pulling all this disparate research together Aatish, and stretching my brain for today. But then, the two are mostly interchangeable, and nobody gets angry at you for using the wrong one! In the colors like cyan or turquoise, some men tend to see them bluish rather than greenish… and women tend to see them more to the green side of the spectrum. You didn’t reach the differentiation between light and dark blue, as in Italian or Russian.
For a long time grass was blue and brown bread was red, and so on, but now that almost all Welsh speakers also speak English, the colour mapping is moving to be like the English one. There were different crayons for green (midori) and blue (ao), and children started to adopt these names. They also said that study was skewed, as most the languages were from industrialized societies with written scripts. The researchers make the case that the islands of color that we carve the world into are, in some sense, the best choice. Nonetheless, the researchers argue that there is something special about the colors that we choose. I don’t think that lacking a word to differentiate say blue and green can be equated to being colorblind to the difference.


And my personal observation with lower economic and education class of south east Asian people, mostly of Melayu descents (Indonesian and Malaysian) eventhough they have different words for blue and green they tend to call blue as green. Previously, I’d encountered this idea in relation to linguistics and art history, where (broadly speaking) artists who are from a Germanic-speaking country tend to use fewer shades than those from Romance-language speaking countries.
A comparative study of the psycholinguistic history of colour in Welsh and Japanese would be really interesting. In order to conceal the loop a bit, I envisioned a small harbor with a couple of loading dock tracks.
But the real change came during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II, when new educational material started to circulate.
It was a pretty radical idea, that there is a certain fixed order in which these color names arise.
Add another, and it will be either green or yellow – you need five colors to have both. There’s even a debate as to whether the Piraha tribe of the Amazon have any specialized color words at all!
There are warm colors, and cool colors, but no finer categories. Next, the reds and yellows separate away from white. If you try to move the borders around, your new colors will actually be less optimal, in a sense that they make precise. We can distill a rainbow into its basic visual ingredients, and a handful of colors come out. I suppose that one should check for full color vision when doing these color naming tests, so as to not to conflate the two matters. The argument was that there are fewer distinctions between colours in these languages, rather than the supply of pigments being restricted (blue being a special case, though, with it needing lapis from Afghanistan for centuries). In 1951, teaching guidelines for first grade teachers distinguished blue from green, and the word midori was shoehorned to fit this new purpose. It’s not just East Asian languages either, this is something you see across language families. This was a common path that languages seem to follow, a road towards increasing visual diversity.
The work that follows was spearheaded by Terry Regier, in collaboration with Paul Kay and Naveen Khetarpal. They then let the algorithm fight out these conflicting instructions, until it reached some happy compromise.
And to top it off, it won first place in the 3 Quarks Daily annual science writing prize, judged by Sean Carroll. You might even discover something very interesting about how predisposition to some kind of color blindness means that there is no need for certain color words. I’m thinking they might be colorblind too to some degree because of traditional practices they do just like the filipinos. In fact, Radiolab had a fascinating recent episode on color where they talked about how there was no blue in the original Hebrew Bible, nor in all of Homer’s Illiad or Odyssey! What we’re seeing here is a deeply trodden road that most languages seem to follow, towards greater visual discernment (92 of their 98 languages seemed to follow this basic route). There are tribes that have stopped here. Further down, blues and greens break away from black.
Search Krusty in google images and you will see the color I am talking about, which I think is the one the article talks about. It’s as if the borders that separate colors follow a slightly different route in Japan.
The forest unmingles from the sky. In the case of Japan, that last transition essentially happened in modern history!



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