Archive for October 1st, 2010

October 1, 2010

Olduvai Gorge

hand axes

The Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania is commonly referred to as ‘The Cradle of Mankind.’ The old name for the Gorge was Olduvai Gorge, which was a mispronunciation of Oldupai. The Gorge was re-named in 2005 to correct this mistake. Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild plant which grows in the gorge that is used as an antiseptic and natural bandage. Excavation work there was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey beginning in 1931 and continued into the twenty-first century by Professor Fidelis Masao of the Open University of Tanzania supported by Earthwatch; there have also been teams from Rutgers University.

The earliest archaeological deposit, known as Bed I, has produced evidence of campsites and living floors along with stone tools made of local basalt and quartz. Since this is the site where these kinds of tools were first discovered, these tools are called Oldowan. It is now thought that the Oldowan toolmaking tradition started about 2.6 million years ago. Above this, in Bed II, pebble tools begin to be replaced by more sophisticated handaxes of the Acheulean industry and made by H. ergaster. This layer has not yet been successfully dated, but likely falls between 1.75 and 1.2 million years.

October 1, 2010

Unit 731

unit 731

bio chem

Unit 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel. Unit 731 was the code name  of an Imperial Japanese Army unit officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army. It was initially set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and possibly Soviet forces.

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October 1, 2010

Scratchophone

scratchophone

The Scratchophone is a portable scratch instrument, featuring a turntable, a special tonearm, scratch mixer, and a pair of speakers, a battery, and a harness. They are hand-made in Quebec, Canada and feature a direct drive Numark turntable, a 2-channel Vestax mixer, and a Stanton cartdidge needle. It sells for $2,179.99.

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