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Are Rose-Coloured Glasses the Best Way to View the World?

Are Rose-Coloured Glasses the Best Way to View the World?
by Ani Berberian March 02, 2017

Sunglasses come in a wide range of lens colours, for both practical and aesthetic reasons. From Johnny Depp’s psychedelic yellow hued specs in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to most every shade of shades Elton John has ever worn, tinted sunglasses are both favourite Hollywood accessories and practical accoutrements, particularly when it comes to outdoor sports.

Here’s the low down on how each colour helps your vision, as well as which activities each hue is best suited for.

Blue and Purple Tinted Lenses

Golfers often sport cobalt-coloured specs due to the glare reduction and enhanced colour perception, but the tint is also beneficial for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts in general.

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Pink and Red Tinted Lenses

Rosier hues help reduce eye strain and improve both depth perception and road visibility, which is ideal for sports where speed is involved, such as biking or racing. Since red also enhances details and helps with contrast adjustment, the colour is a good choice for when you need to be sure of your footing, such as running, hiking, or rock climbing.

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Green Tinted Lenses

Emerald hues transmit the spectrum evenly, diminish glare, and brighten shadows, making them an optimal choice in low-light conditions.

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Grey Tinted Lenses

Contrary to what you might guess, grey helps provide better colour perception, as well as reduce fatigue and glare.

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Brown and Amber Tinted Lenses

Brown tones are quite popular because of their all-around benefits. Improved contrast, especially on green backgrounds, makes the colour a good choice for sports played on grass, such as golf and baseball. Most brown-tinted lenses also contain elements of red, which means that depth perception is improved.

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Yellow Tinted Lenses

Although they can cause colour distortion, lenses with a yellow tint filter out blue light, helping you to see better in fog and hazy conditions and even when using the computer.

1 March 2017 - When High-Class Ladies Wore Masks That Made It Impossible to Speak

Here's a fashion that I wouldn't like to see coming back...

In the 16th century, avoiding a sunburn meant being mute and looking super creepy.

For refined, upper-class ladies in 16th-century Europe, getting a tan, especially on your face, was not a good look.

The implication of such coloring was that one must work outside, and thus, quite possibly be poor (cue gasps and swooning faints). So to make sure they didn’t get burned, some 16th-century ladies wore face masks called visards (or vizards) that covered their delicate visages. Unfortunately, the masks also made it so they couldn’t speak. And, look as if they belonged to an evil cult.

The visard was a very simple mask that nonetheless made quite an impression. Only a handful of surviving visards have ever been found. Luckily, the most intact specimen, the “Daventry Mask,” gives a clear picture of a visard’s construction. Found tucked away in the wall of a 16th-century stone building near the town of Daventry in Northamptonshire, the mask consists of an outer layer of black velvet, followed by layers of pressed paper, with a lining of silk on the inside. The oval face covering extends out to accommodate the nose, and there are small holes for eyeholes and an opening for the mouth.

Along with the mask, a small glass bead was discovered that would have been attached to a string behind the visard’s mouth hole. This bead (sometimes a button) was how the visard was kept on the face. As opposed to unseemly head straps, a lady sporting a visard would hold the bead between her teeth to keep the mask in place. If she wanted to talk, she’d have to remove the mask. This had the side effect of essentially silencing the wearer. In the Elizabethan era, when visards were at their pinnacle of popularity, this silence was generally viewed as adding mystery to a lady’s character.

One of the earliest references to such masks comes from a 1575 text called Description of England in Shakespeare’s Youth. The author describes the wearing of masks coming to England from a trend that started in France. For a time after the trend caught on, the visard was a high fashion item among the rich and socially active. In fact, one of the only other surviving examples of a visard is an accessory for a doll, rather than a full-size mask. The visard had apparently become so popular that even children’s toys were incorporating them. But the inherent creepiness of a blank, black face mask was apparently not lost on everyone.

In 1583, the Christian polemicist Phillip Stubbes released a pamphlet called The Anatomy of Abuses. Among various other screeds (one chapter is titled “On the evils and punishment of whoredom”), Stubbes describes what he sees as the horrors of the visard, writing:

When they use to ride abrod they have invisories, or visors made of velvet, wherwith they cover all their faces, having holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they look. So that if a man, that knew not their guise before, should chaunce to meet one of them, hee would think hee met a monster or a devil, for face hee can see none, but two brode holes against her eyes with glasses in them.

Despite their unsettling and silencing influence, visards are believed to have remained in vogue until at least the 17th century before fading into historical obscurity. Similar masks can be seen in paintings as late the 18th century. Today’s fashion trends will no doubt look strange or creepy in a few centuries, but even in that far future, visards will still be high on the list of history’s most terrifying fashion moments.