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The Beauty of Bacteria

IF we’re to believe half a century of daytime TV commercials, housekeeping is war — a perpetual battle against the sneaky soldiers of nature. For decades, we’ve armed ourselves with cleaning products to slay bacteria, scrape away fungus and torture mites. As our household organisms move up the evolutionary ladder, acquiring wings and faces, we hire mercenaries to drive them out.

Two recent developments, however, suggest a détente between nature and domestic culture.

This month, Pantone, a company best known for its color-matching system, announced that the color of the year for 2013 is emerald green. Never before, in 14 years of these selections, has a true green been named, possibly because it is also the color of mold, lobster liver and brussels sprouts.

Pantone was not put off. “No other color conveys regeneration more,” the company’s news release noted about the “vivid, verdant” hue known as Pantone 17-5641. It seems that as we become more environmentally considerate (and possibly also more susceptible to the color of money), we’re ready to ignore the ick factor and welcome green into our homes.

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