Just over 30 years ago I heard an architect denounce blackboards. ‘How’ he asked ‘can you expect a child to transpose white on black to black — or blue‐black — on white without causing strain.’ All his blackboards (he was designing a school) were to be yellow, and the chalk blue. There was sense in his view: for when the Medical Research Council's Applied Psychology Unit studied the legibility of various combinations of colours for use in fighter control operation rooms, they came up with the same answer. ‘Time’ as Robert Lowell put it ‘makes ancient good uncouth’ and some will now maintain that the blackboard has now outlived its couthfulness.
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