The Ecologically Destructive Technique of Blast Fishing and Cyanide Fishing

Blast fishing was introduced in Southeast Asia post World War II, by American soldiers who threw grenades into bodies of water to yield a large cache of fish, a technique which is used  during the modern day to produce fish as a food resource in local markets. Dynamite is often used but any explosive will perform the task effectively, even improvised devices which utilize an explosive chemical within a glass drinking bottle with an improvised wick lit by a cigarette. Cyanide fishing is an ecologically destructive method of catching fish in which a diver takes bottled cyanide and pumps it into reef areas where fish reside, stunning the fish and making them easier to catch, so that they can be extracted for the pet and live fish trades. These techniques result in coral reefs losing their color and ultimately dying, eliminating a major food source for marine life within the region. Both methods are extremely damaging to the ecosystem and left unchecked, can decimate entire ecosystems within a few short years. Portions of and entire coral reefs which have slowly built over thousands of years can be destroyed in a matter of seconds by using either of these harmful techniques. Fortunately, both methods of fishing are illegal in most of Southeast Asia

Timbuktu, Mali and its Cultural and Commercial Traditions

Timbuktu, Mali is located at the precise point where the Niger River flows northward into the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, which is an incredibly difficult place to reach and is why it is often used in the English language as a representative of a far away place. In Timbuktu, men keep their faces veiled while in the presence of women at all times, not even lowering their veils to eat, instead taking in food from underneath the veil. Women predominantly make familial decisions and hold the position of power within society. Timbuktu is made up of various ethnic tribes including the Kel Tamasheq, Songaï (pronounced “sore-eye”) (sometimes spelled as “Songhai”) and Arabs primarily. Timbuktu was founded by the Tuareg people however their numbers are vastly outweighed by the 3 main tribes of Timbuktu during the modern era. Despite once being a trading hub of both of salt and gold, Timbuktu now primarily trades in salt as the price of gold has made gold inaccessible for the average inhabitant. Timbuktu is slowly being buried in the sands of the Sahara Desert as these sands blow in and slowly but surely bury Timbuktu’s structures a little bit at a time. Fortunately, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has been helping to preserve the city of Timbuktu and its buildings from the elements of sand, wind, and rain which have eroded its structures made from natural materials, mainly adobe and mud brick

The First Mass Produced Items of the Ancient World

The first mass produced pieces of artwork were the ancient Egyptians shabtis which were essentially miniature mummies that the ancient Egyptians believed had magical powers and were therefore buried with the dead. Shabtis were comprised of Egyptian faience which is a type of glass ceramic material made from sand. Egyptian faience is referred to as such in order to distinguish it from faience, which is a tin glazed pottery associated with Faenza, Italy. The idea of Egyptian faience was to replicate semiprecious stones like turquoise lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, which at the time was more expensive than gold. The recipe for Egyptian faience is 90% crushed silica, crushed fine natron salt to act as a flux, crushed limestone, and then the coloring with blue being the most popular, a color achieved through the use of pure copper oxide. Water was introduced to turn this composition from a granular mix into a dough like substance. Natron salt which is a type of baking soda, is the key ingredient to this recipe as it rises to the surface when baked and lowers the overall temperature at which sand melts and becomes glass. The statues are left to stand for 24 or more hours as this helps the salt grow on the surface through a chemical reaction process as oxygen within the ambient environment mixes with the ingredients inside the Egyptian faience

The Reason Beer Bottles Are Brown and Green

Alcoholic beverages like beer are brown in color because clear glass allows ultraviolet light to penetrate which can alter the flavor profile. Bottles inevitably became tinted brown to prevent ultraviolet light from achieving full penetration. After World War II, green bottles became popular due to shortages of brown glass