What's in a color?

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Bubble gum pink is the new color-of-the-year. This is the most radical color news since they stopped painting automobiles black. The first person to paint an automobile pink now ranks in importance with the first person to eat an oyster.

Plain pink is bad enough. But ''bubble gum'' pink suggests something to be eschewed.

But it is definitely the new color. According to tests made at San Bernardino County Correction Department and elsewhere, BGP (we hate to keep saying those words) has a moderating and soothing effect on people, especially children. Persons who tend to be violent become calm and relaxed in rooms painted bubble gum pink. Chewing pink bubble gum, however, does not necessarily produce the same effect.

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Allegedly, other colors have different effects. Not everyone agrees with the test results. Some color experts (the color of the experts is not indicated) believe the outcome is never a simple case of black and white.

But there are certain guidelines. Evidently the reason a lot of restaurants are painted deep red is that the color increases the appetite. People in red restaurants eat more. Not only more, but faster. This makes things easier for the restaurant but not necessarily for the customer.

Because of the association with gum, one might think that a restaurant done in bubble gum pink would cause people to masticate voraciously, but apparently this is not the case. Or else it results in a lot of chewing but not much swallowing.

Colors have also been tried on schoolroom walls. According to some authorities, all the rowdy children can be found in rooms of orange and white. On the other hand, rooms painted in different shades of blue, with floor coverings of soft gray, result in well-behaved children. This seems like a nice thing to know.

But then, why go to all the trouble and expense of painting schools, where children spend only part of their time? Why not paint the children? Children associating with other blue children in gray jackets might be well mannered even outside of school. It ought to be worth trying. At least up to the age of eight.

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