What I'm Reading (May 6)

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Is solar power coming of age? How color influences our feelings.

“In the year 2000, the International Energy Agency (IEA) made a prediction that would come back to haunt it: by 2020, the world would have installed a grand total of 18 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar capacity. Seven years later, the forecast would be proven spectacularly wrong when roughly 18 gigawatts of solar capacity were installed in a single year alone.”

Solar power is getting more and more efficient and therefore more practical. But like many things, it takes a global village. From The Guardian, ‘Insanely cheap energy’: how solar power continues to shock the world.

In a way, every filmmaker is really just playing with moving light and color on surfaces. That's the whole ball game, a filmic given. But Pixar takes it further, or perhaps just does it more self-consciously and systematically. Its emotionally weighty, computer-generated animated films deploy precisely calibrated color and light to convey narrative and emotion—from the near-total absence of green in WALL-E (until postapocalyptic robots find the last plant on Earth) to the luminous orange marigolds that symbolize Miguel's trip to the magical Land of the Dead in Coco through the contrast between the cool blue luminosity of the afterlife with the warm, snuggly sepia of New York City in last year's Soul.

In fact, almost every Pixar movie works within a specific color palette, a story-specific gamut…”

There are many ways to convey emotion; color can do the trick, and for most of us, it never rises to our consciousness. From Wired, How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain