Thursday, 6 September 2007

French Perl Workshop 2007

I signed up for the French Perl Workshop 2007 in Lyon, and I proposed two talks: one on the new shiny stuff in Perl 5.10, and a smaller one on encoding::source, one of my scary modules. (I had this last idea while giving an impromptu presentation of encoding::source at the latest meeting last Tuesday.) By popular demand, my presentations will be in French. See you there.

(Now I have to write slides...)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Blue versus Pink

Baignade autorisée Found via slashdot, an article on Bad Science criticizing a research in evolutionary psychology about why boys prefer blue, and girls pink. The author says, and rightly:

The “girls preferring pink” thing is not set in stone, and in fact there are good reasons to suspect it is culturally determined.

And then he gives examples. But if I may add another remark to his rant: it turns out that the categories of blue and pink are also culturally determined. Actually, the colour blue didn't even exist as a separate entity before the Middle Ages. Ancient Greek, for example, does not have a word for blue, and Homer speaks about the wine-coloured sea.

I think that the study of colours and their perception is more a subject for historians than for biologists or physicists. On this subject, one of the best books I've read is Blue, the History of a Color, by Michel Pastoureau, in which the last chapter briefly talks about the very recent (and very occidental) association of blue and pink to boys and girls, respectively.