The Indigenous People of Tanna Island, Vanuatu and Their Religious Cult Honoring and Deifying the U.S. Military

Tanna-Island Vanuatu-Religious-CultOn Tanna Island, Vanuatu, every year on February 15th, residents of the Pacific Ocean island chain engage in a military parade with the term “USA” painted in red or tattooed upon the chest of men who carry large bamboo spears with red tipped, pointed ends, a tradition which began more than 60 years ago, inspired by events which took place during World War II, when the U.S. military descended upon the island with modern machinery and supplies (e.g. canned food and cotton clothing etc.). The native inhabitants were in awe of these technologies which lead them to believe that the Americans were in possession of magic. Science fiction author Arthur Charles Clarke’s Third Law states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. When World War II ended, the U.S. closed its bases in Vanuatu and left seemingly overnight, taking their technologies and goods with them. In honor of U.S. soldiers in the hope that it would entice them to return, the indigenous people created a cult which honored those who had appeared from beyond the horizon. These inhabitants started to create replica U.S. military items (e.g. wooden bandolier designed to mimic artillery shell bandoliers, straw aircraft, U.S. military insignia shoulder patches denoting rank which are painted onto skin etc.). Virtually all religions begin with a miraculous event (e.g. comet in the sky fortelling of calamity) followed by the creation of monuments which exemplify the event observed (e.g. large statue of the Buddha as a deity). Religions developed by cultures which worship other beings which have descended upon them are often referred to as a “cargo cult”

The Reason Why Hurricanes and Thunderstorms Form

hurricane-thunderstorm

Hurricanes are caused by clusters of thunderstorms consolidating together, developing over warm, tropical seawater, typically in late summer. These storms merge together into a spiral shape to form a hurricane. Because intense pressure draws in warm, moist winds towards the center of the storm, this wind spiral upwards and spin faster and faster. The rapidly rising air then cools, forming towering storm clouds and torrential rains. Thunderstorms form in large cumulonimbus clouds which carry water vapor high into the atmosphere where it condensed into hail and ice. The movement of hail and ice in thunderclouds causes an electric charge to build up which zaps down as lightning

The Decaying Sewage Infrastructure of Calcutta, India

Calcutta-India-sewer-cleanerKolkatan sewers were once the envy of the world, built during the Victorian era and spanning 90 kilometers below the city. Because the Kolkatan sewer system is now 130 years old, it no longer functions as it should, especially when accounting for the increasingly large modern day population of Calcutta, India. Due to this, teams of workers with buckets enter the sewers every night all over Calcutta to shovel and remove excrement so that blockages don’t occur. Workers typically work 11:00 PM – 5:00 AM because this is when the least amount of people are awake to use the bathroom. The problem is becoming increasingly worse as time progresses, being that more and more people are now connecting into the central city sewage line as incomes and quality of life increases throughout India

 

The Reason Why Underground Caves Naturally Form

cave

Cave systems form when acidic water etches its way through rock. Rainwater becomes acidic as it takes in carbon dioxide and groundwater can become acidic due to the acids found in nearby soil. Water causes existing cracks within the rock to widen into passages which the water flows through to create even wider channels. Over time caverns begin to form as the rock weakens and falls

The Reason Behind the Anglo-Burmese War

Burmese-woman

The annexation of Burma, which is modern day Myanmar, by England, occurred in 1885. The conquering and colonization of Burma was a long and drawn out process involving 3 wars in 1824 – 1826, 1852, and finally 1885, each a pivotal part of the Anglo-Burmese War. After successfully dominating Burma, the British made the decision to annex all of Upper Burma as a colony and to make the country as a whole, a province of British India. During the 19th century, Burma was a matriarchal society and the majority of commerce was run and ruled by Burmese women, a society which was notorious in the west for shrewd business practices. Burma was during this period a matriarchal society, and it is believed that this is due in large part to the fact that the country as a whole was primarily Buddhist and Buddhist cultures tend to hold women in higher regard than other parts of the world. The conflict between the British and the Burmese erupted because of trade, as the British wanted the absolute shortest route to China which involved crossing through Burma to avoid the Bay of Bengal

The Most Successful Pirate In Human History

Ching-Shih

The most successful pirate in human history was Ching Shih (pronounced “ching-she”) colloquially known as “Cheng I Sao” (pronounced “jung-ee-ss-ow”) which means “wife of Cheng I” in Mandarin. During the 19th century, Ching commanded 80,000 sailors, 1500 ships, and was able to talk herself out of imprisonment when finally captured by the Chinese monarchy. After acquiring amnesty from the Chinese state, Ching opened a casino, moving from notorious and infamous pirate, to legitimate business mogul in one swift motion

The Etymology of Guatemala and Traditional Guatemalan Fishing Techniques

Guatemala

The term “Guatemala” comes from the Nahuatl term “Cuauhtēmallān” which means “place of many trees”, a derivative of the K’iche’ Mayan language term for “many trees”. In Guatemala, those who fish commonly do so by using a technique not seen in many other places. People who fish slap the water with the horizontal edge of their machete to stun fish who are swimming nearby. Once stunned, the fish is caught and brought out of the water so that it can be cleaned and consumed

The Abhorrent​ Canadian Chinese Head Tax Law of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century

Canadian-Chinese-Head-Tax

97,000 people paid the Chinese Head Tax when implemented in Canada in 1885. The tax was effectively a discriminatory practice in which only those of Chinese descent would pay a fee when entering Canada. The purpose was to deter Chinese immigrants from coming to Canada. The fee started out as $50.00 in 1885 which was equivalent to 1 year worth of salary, but by 1904 the price had ballooned to $500.00, a modern day equivalent of 2 years salary