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In Praise of Green (and Red) Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

10 July 2020

We're very fortunate around here to be able to wander through forested areas just a few blocks from where we live. Most of our urban hiking is on sidewalks through residential neighborhoods but there's always a trail nearby.

Mount Davidson. An iPhone 6 Plus capture edited in Adobe Camera Raw.

The sidewalks are frankly never a calming experience. For many reasons. New ones all the time, in fact.

But take a turn off the sidewalk to follow a dirt path into the evergreens and Eucalyptus and the air tastes different. You feel better.

We can't transport you from where you are sheltering in place to Mount Davidson but we can show you a picture of the greenery on the south side of the city's highest hill.

Lee Sao Bing, an eye surgeon in Singapore, asked himself in a blog entry years ago if there is any truth to the saying that looking at greenery helps improve your vision.

He didn't find any research papers on the subject, but he has a theory.

When you're looking at something that's green, you are usually looking into the distance at some landscape. That relaxes the muscles around the eye that contract to focus on nearby objects.

It's why, he wrote, you always hear you shouldn't spend a lot of time reading or using computers and phones without taking a break to look up and away.

A few days ago, though, we did run across a study that showed anyone over 40 can improve their eyesight by looking into a deep red light for three minutes a day. Here's the more digestible CNN report.

As a public service, we conjured up an RGB image of 670 nanometers using this Wavelength to Color Relationship tool.

We can't guarantee anything, of course, but our little color patch might save you from paying $14 for a red-light flashlight.

And with your improved vision you might even see your way clear to sending us a little of that green you saved to keep the red lights on here, too. If you haven't already, that is.

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