Red #atozchallenge

The trapezoid from yesterday, because it’s red.

Every time I try to talk about the electromagnetic spectrum, I manage to snag my britches on my own pitchfork, as Andy Taylor would say on The Andy Griffith Show. Anyway, above the frequencies used for radio and television waves, but below the x-rays and gamma rays on the spectrum, is the visible segment of the spectrum, where you find our friend Roy G. Biv, i.e. the colors of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Red has the longest wavelength of the colors, roughly 675 to 700 nanometers (or 6750 to 7000 Angstroms, or 0.000027 to 0.000028 inches). Waves longer than those, from 1 to 10 micrometers, are infrared waves, which are handy for TV remotes.

Redheaded sisters. Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

Red is also a hair color, which occurs naturally in roughly 1-2% of the population. Among that 1-2% are my sister-in-law and about half the cousins on the Holton side of the family. When it wasn’t all white or gray, my hair had red highlights in it. Mom always used to say that I should have been a redhead, because, in addition to the red highlights, I have fair skin and lots of freckles and I burn really easily if I don’t use sunscreen.

(And here’s my annual reminder to everyone, regardless of what color your hair is: wear sunscreen. Melanoma is nothing to screw around with. And those of you who like tanning beds, for the sake of your friends and family, please stop using them. They’re more dangerous than the sun. People would rather see you with pale skin than see you in a hospital bed.)

Me in 8th grade. I don’t know if my hair was that red or if the colors faded over 50 years.

Wikipedia (which earns the title The Blogger’s Best Friend™ every day) has a list of redheaded people. It doesn’t include fictional characters, like Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables or Archie Andrews from the comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, and Riverdale. And speaking of Archie, here are The Archies with "Sugar, Sugar."

Natural redheads are almost all of Northern or Northwestern European descent. There are probably more redheads in Ireland than the rest of the world, with Scotland running a close second. There are quite a few in Germany, as it happens, and in Scandinavia. I once heard about a connection between the Vikings and red hair, but most of the sources I saw said that was largely a myth.

29 thoughts on “Red #atozchallenge

  1. I second your PSA for sunscreen. Melanoma is often a death sentence. Though our Grandma Sally survived that, she lost a chunk of her nose! She was a fair skinned strawberry blonde who like sunbathed. Red hair skipped me but runs in the family. My dad, oldest brother, both sisters and two nieces all had/have red hair.

    Like

    1. The trick is catching it early. You can imagine we check every lump, bump, wart, mole and skin tag, and if any of them changes, we’re off to the doctor. Mom finally sent my stepfather to the doctor when she saw all the blood on his undershirts. By the time they tested, it was at stage 4. That’s pretty much uncurable, though he went thru chemotherapy and they were able to put it into remission briefly, it came back…

      Like

  2. I’m finding your re-(letter) theme delightful John – it totally appeals to my love of word play. My grandfather had red hair, and I’m the one family member who lucked in on catching that little gene magic. While my hair has darken considerably as I’ve aged and now is auburn, my mother was going to name me Penny for my coppery baby locks.

    Like

    1. Better than her naming you Carrot, I guess. I’m happy you’re enjoying my theme. I generally choose this sort of theme for A to Z, because it’s like not having a theme, but it’s not just selecting random words, there’s a rule involved.

      Most of the redheads in my family are women, and a lot of them went blonde because they were starting to go gray. The men really didn’t care, of course, but my uncle went blond first (naturally, he didn’t dye it), then went white. I inherited the hair color thing from my mother, and all of them went gray young, so I did too.

      Like

  3. I have a niece (my brother’s daughter) who’s been a red-head since she was born. Now I think she is because her Uncle is one (her mother’s brother), so he must’ve on her mother’s side. We have red highlights on my mom’s side here and there, but nothing to really speak of. Cute song. Haven’t heard that one in a while that’s for sure. Have a great weekend my friend. Stay healthy & what a cute lil’ dude you were when you were younger.

    Like

  4. Hey, I´m having fun Reading your posts, and relearning a bit of geometry. although I have to confess that I needed to search for your theme reveal to understand the pattern in your AtoZ topics. Thanks for the sunscreen advice, this quarantine makes my skin pale yellowish, so, better use it if I need to go hunting for some veggies at the supermarket. Although my favorite color is green, I love having red hair, shame that my hair is dark Brown, but hair dyes (and wigs) make it easier. Enough random thoughts, have a great weekend. 🙂

    Like

  5. I married a redhead but none of our kids came out that way. Our oldest has her dad’s blue eyes. Hubby has had several melanomas removed too. Scary stuff. Great post as usual.

    Like

    1. Like with just about any cancer, catching it early is the key to beating melanoma. My stepfather tried to ignore the fact that he was bleeding from one of his moles until Mom saw his undershirts and ordered him to see the doctor (something she was never very good at, either). After that, if anything even looks suspicious, we go to the doctor.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In India, if you find someone who is redhead, it is surely an indication that the person uses Henna to hide the greys! Or maybe some hair dye /color.
    I liked the way you took the post from red in the electromagnetic spectrum to the redhead.

    Like

    1. I would guess that the majority of Indian people have very dark or black hair, so seeing a redhead would be a tipoff, although it’s possible they have a Scotsman in their lineage somewhere…

      Like

  7. I was a redhead. My father’s side of the family was Irish and believe it or not most of them had red hair, except for my father. I was called carrot top for years and hated it. When my hair color started to change, it faded to blond and then to white. I consider myself lucky that the color change was a smooth transition.

    Like

    1. All the red hair in my family comes from my dad’s side. As Irish as Mom and her family was, there were no redheads, and no one married a redhead (most of us married Eastern Europeans, in fact… Dad had black hair)…

      Like

  8. My son’s wife has red hair…Her pen name is The Chicagored…My mom also has red hair and my uncles ❤ There’s so much Irish in the DNA from Grandpapa Plunkett. But my Grandmama, Fanny (Frances Evangelisto i.e.maiden name) 100 percent Italian. She had 7 kids…6 boys and 1 girl, my mom. She use to call my dad her favorite son-in-law 😉 . Of course he was her only son-in-law. Only one of my uncles got alot of the Italian. All the other one’s got the Irish gene. The hair gene runs rampant in my family. My kids have the most amazing heads of hair ever. All the boys got the curls and my daughter is straight but her hair is so beautiful. Happy Saturday and AtoZ Challenge ❤

    Like

      1. Just like the husband I’m clueless about that… it’s like I say to him when he starts talking above my pay grade, “Sorry I only finished a year in community college 😉 .” I’m not Northwestern strong 😉😉. I should know that b/c of all the nursing 🤱 I was around. I’ll look it up. Another thing the husband alway tells me to do when I don’t know something he’s talking about. ;)…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Red is such an interesting passionate color. Talking of redheads reminds me of the twilight saga where one of the main characters had this distinct feature.

    Welfare unto all
    Rab rakha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You had hair colour I wished I had…auburn. Red haired people often have unique looks. Funny…I as never a major lover of red since I love blue but red is a passion colour

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They say that every star turns into a red giant eventually, and when that happens they end up swallowing up whatever planets are circling. I plan on being long gone by then…

      Like

  10. i also. like my grandfather, have red tones to my hair. i also have green eyes, and freckled skin, and have survived melanoma on my inner knee. i think i have the genes.

    Like

Leave a Reply to J-Dub Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s