Self Check Quiz
The Communist Manifesto
The German socialist thinker Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto as a pamphlet in 1848. In the following excerpt, he set forth what would become the basic doctrine of Socialists and Communists in Europe. Eventually, this radical plan provided a blueprint for Russian Communists when they established the Soviet Union.
We have seen that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to establish democracy.
The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.
These measures will of course be different in different countries.
Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of child factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms, and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.…
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
Working men of all countries, unite!
What is the definition of "wrest"?
to gain with difficulty
to take a break
to select or choose
to move around a central point
from The Borrowed House
Hilda van Stockum
Glencoe Literature Library
During World War II a young German girl, Janna, a member of the Hitler Youth, joins her parents in occupied Amsterdam and comes to realize that the war is about more than national pride and destiny; for some it means starvation, separation from loved ones, and gas chambers.
"Let's go on with the game," said Heinz. Janna proposed continuing it on the third floor, where there were no statues to break. It was her turn and the best hiding place she could think of was her own wardrobe. She hid behind Nella's dresses and leaned against the back panel. She wasn't comfortable and pushed and shoved a little. A small hard knob pressed into her shoulder blades. She groped for it with her fingers, twisting it accidentally. There was a click, the back panel swung away—and Janna felt herself falling into space.
For a moment she lay stunned. She had fallen smack onto a hard surface. She opened her eyes in a greenish twilight and found a face bent over her—a pale, angry face—while a voice whispered in Dutch, "What are you doing here? How did you get here?"
She felt dizzy and scared to answer. Her throat felt dry. Strong hands pulled her upright and shoved her against the wall, pinning her arms. The boy's face looked desperate. His straight red-blond hair was badly cut, his skin looked waxen.
"How did you find this room?" he asked, shaking her till her head banged against the wall.
"I…I was playing hide-and-seek," said Janna hoarsely, in her best Dutch, looking at the boy with terrified eyes.
"I could kill you," the boy went on, "except that people would go looking for you and find me anyway. But I warn you, if you ever breathe a word to anyone that you've seen me, I'll kill you…Whatever they to do me, I'll kill you first!" Janna did not doubt it, he looked and sounded so ferocious.
"I won't tell," she whispered.
"How do I know I can trust you?" The boy asked. "How do I know you won't run tattling to your mammy and pappy the minute I let you go?"
That was exactly what Janna had been planning to do and she didn't see how he could prevent it, for, as he had said himself, if she disappeared, her family would tear down the house to find her. Who was he anyway?
"Why should I keep your secret?" She asked, taking courage. "I don't know you. You're not one of the van Arkels, for you're not in their picture and you don't look like them." Notwithstanding her bad accent, the boy seemed to understand her, for he said, "I'm a friend of theirs. I've their permission to live here, which is more than you can say, I bet. I work for them."
"What work?" Janna asked. He pointed behind him, at the table. For the first time Janna was at leisure to take in her surroundings. They were in a small, hidden room. She could not see a door; it must have been closed after she fell through. There was a fold-up cot with blankets and a pillow, an empty fireplace, and a closet. In the middle stood a table and chair, all very close together in the cramped space. The window was completely covered with ivy. A shaded gooseneck lamp shone on the table, which was covered with a variety of papers. The boy must have been working there when she had come tumbling into his sanctuary. She guessed he was about Kurt's age. Janna took a closer look at the papers. The boy did not stop her. Janna saw identification papers and food-distribution cards. The boy had been copying the official stamp on them with the help of stencils, various inks, small brushes, and a penknife. She also saw a new razor blade among his tools. "So, you're falsifying papers," said Janna. "You belong to the Dutch Resistance." She looked at him curiously. What would Herr Frosch say! The boy shrugged his shoulders. "You could call me that. I'm just helping the van Arkels rescue innocent people from certain death. They need these identification papers and food cards to keep alive. If you betray me, all these people will either starve or be forced to give themselves up to be sent to the gas chambers of a concentration camp." "Gas chambers?" Janna looked at the boy with horror. "You mean…they are killed?"
The boy looked sternly at her. "Do you think," he said, "that Germany is sending Jews to a nice vacation in a spa, or to pretty villages with geraniums in the windows? That's what we were told at first, though in Holland we never believed it. We got the Jewish children that were chased over the Dutch border by frantic parents and left wandering through the woods of eastern Holland with no place to go. Mrs. van Arkel and other women collected them in their cars and found homes for them. Do you think those parents thought they were being sent to pretty villages? But even in Holland we did not know the worst till last year, through Radio Orange." "It may just be enemy propaganda…." began Janna.
The boy shook his head. "Not a hope. There is proof…much proof. Escapees smuggled photographs…." His lips quivered.
Why is Janna surprised to learn about the gas chambers?
She had never heard of such a thing before.
She had thought the war was about national pride and destiny.
She did not believe the stories.
She thought the Germans were sending the Jews to spas.
from Julie of the Wolves
Jean Craighead George
Glencoe Literature Library
This novel of adventure and suspense presents the clash between traditional Inuit values and those of the modern westernized world. When Julie decides that running away is her only alternative to a frightening situation, she becomes lost in the frozen Arctic tundra. Her knowledge of traditional Inuit ways and her understanding of the starkness and beauty of nature enable her to survive with a wolf pack. As she leaves for the wilderness, she decides that her new name is Miyax.
Miyax pushed back the hood of her sealskin parka and looked at the Arctic sun. It was a yellow disc in a lime-green sky, the colors of six o'clock in the evening and the time when the wolves awoke. Quietly she put down her cooking pot and crept to the top of a dome-shaped frost heave, one of the many earth buckles that rise and fall in the crackling cold of the Arctic winter. Lying on her stomach, she looked across a vast lawn of grass and moss and focused her attention on the wolves she had come upon two sleeps ago. They were wagging their tails as they awoke and saw each other.Her hands trembled and her heartbeat quickened, for she was frightened, not so much of the wolves, who were shy and many harpoon-shots away, but because of her desperate predicament. Miyax was lost. She had been lost without food for many sleeps on the North Slope of Alaska. The barren slope stretches for two hundred miles from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean, and for more than eight hundred miles from Canada to the Chukchi Sea. No roads cross it; ponds and lakes freckle its immensity. Winds scream across it, and the view in every direction is exactly the same. Somewhere in this cosmos was Miyax; and the very life in her body, its spark and warmth, depended upon these wolves for survival. And she was not so sure they would help.
Miyax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food. This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo hunter, had done so. One year he had camped near a wolf den while on a hunt. When a month had passed and her father had seen no game, he told the leader of the wolves that he was hungry and needed food. The next night the wolf called him from far away and her father went to him and found a freshly killed caribou. Unfortunately, Miyax's father never explained to her how he had told the wolf of his needs. And not long afterward he paddled his kayak into the Bering Sea to hunt for seal, and he never returned.She had been watching the wolves for two days, trying to discern which of their sounds and movements expressed goodwill and friendship. Most animals had such signals. The little Arctic ground squirrels flicked their tails sideways to notify others of their kind that they were friendly. By imitating this signal with her forefinger, Miyax had lured many a squirrel to her hand. If she could discover such a gesture for the wolves she would be able to make friends with them and share their food, like a bird or a fox.
What is a predicament?
a foretold event
a type of animal
a form of government
a difficult situation
After years of tedious trial and error, American inventor Thomas A. Edison finally developed a lamp filament in 1879 that could burn for long periods. That, of course, meant that a practical, long-lasting lightbulb could be produced. The first successful test of the filament—a piece of carbonized cotton sewing thread—is described in the following account, written by one of Edison's research assistants.
As the life test alone would decide the question of success or failure, Sunday passed without unusual excitement. We had tested many lamps before, none of which had attained the success expected by Edison; hence the lamp now under test might yet exhibit some of the antics of its predecessors. Lamps that had appeared fairly healthy as they came from the pump had developed deficiencies when put to the test; some had arced at the points where the filament legs were attached to the leads; some had shown bright spots, which were, in reality, weaknesses in the filament; some had broken down after a few minutes, because of bad sealing-off or deficient workmanship. In all cases, Edison had diligently sought the cause of failure.
Without much comment Edison now requested [that I] put the new lamp on the stand and to connect it for the life test. That Sunday night, long after the other men had gone, Edison and I kept a death-watch to note any convulsions or other last symptoms the lamp might give when expiring. The lamp, however, did not expire!
In the morning we were relieved by Batchelor, Upton, and Force. The lamp continued to burn brilliantly all that day, passing the twenty-four hour mark. We were stirred with hope as each hour passed, more and more convinced of progress. Bets were made and general good humor existed all round. All sorts of discussions of problems yet to be solved were the order of the day. The night of the 20th of October again brought quiet to the laboratory as the watch continued, this time composed of Edison, Batchelor and me. During the night between the 20th and the 21st, Edison, judging from the appearance of the lamp still burning without flaw, seemed satisfied that the first solid foundation of the future of electric lighting had now been laid. The lamp held out heroically that night and the following day until, between one and two o'clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, October 21, 1879, it had attained more than forty hours of life—the longest existence yet achieved by an incandescent lamp.
The "boys" from all departments came to take a squint at the little wonder and to express their joy. Edison now yielded to the temptation, as often before in his experimental work, to force the lamp with successively higher voltages, until in a dazzle of brightness it gave out. It was then examined in all its details, the globe broken open and the filament subjected to the microscope in accordance with Edison's custom. This method of testing lost the original lamp as a relic for the future. Its death on that fair afternoon nevertheless marked in history the birth of incandescent light and the attainment of a stable commercial filament that could with certainty be duplicated and developed further. October 21, 1879, has ever since been celebrated the world over as Edison Lamp Day.
To finish the experiment, Edison forced the lamp to burn out. He then broke the lamp globe and removed the filament to analyze it. By doing that, they could no longer use that lamp in the future. Why were Edison and his assistants okay with that?
They already had a second lamp ready to use.
Edison was upset that the lamp could not burn any further, so he wanted to destroy it.
Edison's assistants were very surprised and very upset that it was destroyed.
The lamp still marked an important achievement in history.
Life in the Trenches
Soldiers on both sides during World War I spent many miserable months in the trenches that formed the front lines. Robert Graves describes what happened when he reported for duty in the trenches.
We had no mental picture of what the trenches would be like, and were almost as ignorant as a young soldier who joined us a week or two later. He called out excitedly to old Burford, who was cooking up a bit of stew in a dixie [a large iron cooking pot], apart from the others: "Hi, mate, where's the battle? I want to do my bit."
The guide gave us hoarse directions all the time. "Hole right." "Wire high." "Wire low." "Deep place here, Sir." "Wire low." The field-telephone wires had been fastened by staples to the side of the trench, but when it rained the staples were constantly falling out and the wire falling down and tripping people up. If it sagged too much, one stretched it across the trench to the other side to correct the sag, but then it would catch one's head. The holes were the sump pits used for draining the trenches.
We now came under rifle-fire, which I found more trying than shell-fire. The gunner, I knew, fired not at people but at map-references–cross-roads, or likely artillery positions, houses that suggested [stations] for troops, and so on. Even when an observation officer in an airplane or captive balloon or on a church spire directed the guns, it seemed random, somehow. But a rifle bullet, even when fired blindly, always seemed purposely aimed. And whereas we could usually hear a shell approaching, and take some sort of cover, the rifle bullet gave no warning. So, though we learned not to duck to a rifle bullet because, once heard, it must have missed, it gave us a worse feeling of danger. Rifle bullets in the open went hissing into the grass without much noise, but when we were in a trench, the bullets made a tremendous crack as they went over the hollow. Bullets often struck the barbed wire in front of the trenches, which sent them spinning in a head-over-heels motion—ping! rockety-ocketyockety-ockety into the woods behind.
Reread the first paragraph of the narrative. What is another word for ignorant?
Gandhi on Nonviolent Protest
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Mohandas Gandhi, leader of India's nonviolent movement for self-government, delivered the following statement in court in 1922 to explain why he and his followers campaigned to end British colonial rule in India. Gandhi explains his nonviolent tactics of civil disobedience.
I wanted to avoid violence, I want to avoid violence. Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed. But I had to make my choice. I had either to submit to a system which I considered had done an irreparable harm to my country, or incur the risk of the mad fury of my people bursting forth, when they understood the truth from my lips. I know that my people have sometimes gone mad. I am deeply sorry for it, and I am therefore here to submit not to a light penalty but to the highest penalty. I do not ask for mercy. I do not plead any extenuating act. I am here, therefore, to invite and cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the judge, is, as I am just going to say in my statement, either to resign your post or inflict on me the severest penalty, if you believe that the system and law you are assisting to administer are good for the people. I do not expect that kind of conversation, but by the time I have finished with my statement, you will perhaps have a glimpse of what is raging within my breast to run this maddest risk which a sane man can run.
I owe it perhaps to the Indian public and to the public in England to …explain why from a staunch loyalist and cooperator I have become an uncompromising [rebel] and non-cooperator. To the court too I should say why I plead guilty to the charge of promoting disaffection toward the government established by law in India….
In fact, I believe that I have rendered a service to India and England by showing in non-cooperation the way out of the unnatural state in which both are living. In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. But in the past, non-cooperation has been deliberately expressed in violence to the evildoer. I am endeavoring to show to my countrymen that violent non-cooperation only multiplies evil and that as evil can only be sustained by violence, withdrawal of support of evil requires complete[ly avoiding] violence. Nonviolence implies voluntary submission to the penalty for non-cooperation with evil. I am here, therefore, to invite and submit cheerfully to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the judge, is either to resign your post, and thus dissociate yourself from evil if you feel that the law you are called upon to administer is an evil and that in reality I am innocent, or to inflict on me the severest penalty if you believe that the system and the law you are assisting to administer are good for the people of this country and that my activity is therefore injurious to the public [well-being].
Aside from his faith and personal creed, why is Gandhi against violent non-cooperation?
Gandhi feels that too many of his countrymen have been injured.
Gandhi believes that the legal system is unjust.
Nonviolent civil disobedience is easier.
Violent non-cooperation multiplies and sustains evil.
Bird Life and the Battlefield
Scottish writer H.H. Munro, who wrote short stories under the name "Saki," was killed in action while serving on the Western Front in World War I. This piece, written in 1916, cleverly compares the horrors of war with observations of the bird life on the battlefield.
Considering the enormous economic [disruption] which the war operations have caused in the regions where the campaign is raging, there seems to be very little corresponding disturbance in the bird life of the same districts. Rats and mice have mobilized and swarmed into the fighting line, and there has been a partial mobilization of owls, particularly barn owls, following in the wake of the mice, and making laudable efforts to thin out their numbers.
What success attends their hunting one cannot estimate; there are always sufficient mice left over to populate one's dug-out and make a parade-ground and race-course of one's face at night. In the matter of nesting accommodation the barn owls are well provided for; most of the still intact barns in the war zone are requisitioned for billeting purposes, but there is a wealth of ruined houses, whole streets and clusters of them, such as can hardly have been available at any previous moment of the world's history since Nineveh and Babylon became humanly desolate. Without human occupation and cultivation there can have been no corn, no refuse, and consequently very few mice, and the owls of Nineveh cannot have enjoyed very good hunting; here in Northern France the owls have desolation and mice at their disposal in unlimited quantities, and as these birds breed in winter as well as in summer, there should be a goodly output of war owlets to cope with the swarming generations of war mice.
Apart from the owls one cannot notice that the campaign is making any marked difference in the bird life of the countryside. The vast flocks of crows and ravens that one expected to find in the neighborhood of the fighting line are non-existent, which is perhaps rather a pity. The obvious explanation is that the roar and crash and fumes of high explosives have driven the crow tribe in panic from the fighting area; like many obvious explanations, it is not a correct one. The crows of the locality are not attracted to the battlefield, but they certainly are not scared away from it. The rook is normally so gun-shy and nervous where noise is concerned that the sharp banging of a barn door or the report of a toy pistol will sometimes set an entire rookery in commotion; out here I have seen him sedately busy among the refuse heaps of a battered village, with shells bursting at no great distance, and the impatient-sounding, snapping rattle of machine-guns going on all round him; for all the notice that he took he might have been in some peaceful English meadow on a sleepy Sunday afternoon. Whatever else German frightfulness may have done it has not frightened the rook of North-Eastern France; it has made his nerves steadier than they have ever been before, and future generations of small boys, employed in scaring rooks away from the sown crops in the region, will have to invent something in the way of super-frightfulness to achieve their purpose.
Crows and magpies are nesting well within the shell-swept area, and over a small beech copse I once saw a pair of crows engaged in hot combat with a pair of sparrow-hawks, while considerably higher in the sky, but almost directly above them, two Allied battle planes were engaging an equal number of enemy aircraft.
In the first paragraph of the passage, the author writes that the barn owls made "laudable" efforts to thin out the number of mice. What is the definition of laudable?
worthy of praise
requiring little effort
exceeding what is necessary
Defense of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
In this speech delivered in 1919, communist leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin defended his communist "dictatorship of the proletariat" in Russia against charges that it was undemocratic. He tried to turn the tables on his critics by claiming that Western democracies were in fact not democratic.
History teaches that no oppressed class has ever come into power, and cannot come into power, without passing through a period of dictatorship, that is, the conquest of power and the forcible suppression of the most desperate and mad resistance which does not hesitate to resort to any crimes, such has always been shown by the exploiters. The bourgeoisie [middle class], whose rule is now defended by the socialists who speak against "dictatorship in general" and who espouse the cause of "democracy in general," has won power in the progressive countries at the price of a series of uprisings, civil wars, forcible suppression of kings, feudal lords, and slave owners, and of their attempts at restoration. The socialists of all countries in their books and pamphlets, in the resolutions of their congresses, in their propaganda speeches, have explained to the people thousands and millions of times the class character of these bourgeois revolutions, and of this bourgeois dictatorship. Therefore the present defense of bourgeois democracy in the form of speeches about "democracy in general," and the present wails and shouts against the dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of wails about "dictatorship in general," are a direct mockery of socialism, and represent in fact going over to the bourgeoisie and denying the right of the proletariat to its own proletariat revolution, and a defense of bourgeois reformism, precisely at the historic moment when bourgeois reformism is collapsing the world over, and when the war has created a revolutionary situation.
All socialists who explain the class character of bourgeois civilization, or bourgeois democracy… express the thought which Marx and Engels expressed with the most scientific exactness when they said that the most democratic bourgeois republic is nothing more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie, for the suppression of the mass of the toilers by a handful of capitalists. There is not a single revolutionist, not a single Marxist of all those who are now shouting against dictatorship and for democracy, who would not have sworn before the workmen that he recognizes this fundamental truth of socialism. And now, when the revolutionary proletariat begins to act and move for the destruction of this machinery of oppression, and to win the proletarian dictatorship, these traitors to socialism report the situation as though the bourgeoisie were giving the laborers pure democracy, as though the bourgeoisie were abandoning resistance and were ready to submit to the majority of the toilers, as though there were no state machinery for the suppression of labor by capital[ists] in a democratic republic.
Lenin writes of "the suppression of the mass of toilers by a handful of capitalists." What does it mean to toil?
to work long and hard
to make or put use to
to ruin or spoil
to make easier
Dropping the Bomb on Nagasaki
William T. Laurence
Writer William T. Laurence was aboard one of the U.S. Air Force bombers during the mission that finally ended World War II. He could not see the tidal wave of horror and human suffering the atomic bomb had caused when it was dropped on Nagasaki, August 9, 1945.
We removed our glasses after the first flash, but the light still lingered on, a bluish-green light that illuminated the entire sky all around. A tremendous blast wave struck our ship and made it tremble from nose to tail. This was followed by four more blasts in rapid succession, each resounding like the boom of cannon fire hitting our plane from all directions.
Observers in the tail of our ship saw a giant ball of fire rise as though from the bowels of the earth, belching forth enormous white smoke rings. Next they saw a giant pillar of purple fire, 10,000 feet high, shooting skyward with enormous speed.
By the time our ship had made another turn in the direction of the atomic explosion the pillar of purple fire had reached the level of our altitude. Only about 45 seconds had passed. Awe-struck, we watched it shoot upward like a meteor coming from the earth instead of from outer space, becoming ever more alive as it climbed skyward through the white clouds. It was no longer smoke, or dust, or even a cloud of fire. It was a living thing, a new species of being, born right before our incredulous eyes.
At one stage of its evolution, covering millions of years in terms of seconds, the entity assumed the form of a giant square totem pole, with its base about three miles long, tapering off to about a mile at the top. Its bottom was brown, its centre was amber, its top white. But it was a living totem pole, carved with many grotesque masks grimacing at the earth.
Then, just when it appeared as though the thing had settled down into a state of permanence, there came shooting out of the top a giant mushroom that increased the height of the pillar to a total of 45,000 feet. The mushroom top was even more alive than the pillar, seething and boiling in a white fury of creamy foam, sizzling upward and then descending earthward, a thousand Old Faithful geysers rolled into one.
It kept struggling in an elemental fury, like a creature in the act of breaking the bonds that held it down. In a few seconds it had freed itself from its gigantic stem and floated upward with tremendous speed, its momentum carrying it into the stratosphere to a height of about 60,000 feet.
But no sooner did this happen when another mushroom, smaller in size than the first one, began emerging out of the pillar. It was as though the decapitated monster was growing a new head.
As the first mushroom floated off into the blue it changed its shape into a flowerlike form, its giant petals curving downward, creamy white outside, rose-colored inside. It still retained that shape when we last gazed at it from a distance of about 200 miles. The boiling pillar of many colors could also be seen at that distance, a giant mountain of jumbled rainbows, in travail. Much living substance had gone into those rainbows. The quivering top of the pillar was protruding to a great height through the white clouds, giving the appearance of a monstrous prehistoric creature with a ruff around its neck, a fleecy ruff extending in all directions, as far as the eye could see.
Mother brought her bronze flower vase that stood in the Tokonoma (alcove), where flowers were always elegantly arranged. She began to pull the lovely arrangement of irises out one by one, and dumped the vase and heavy metal frog inside into the box. Mother's eyes were fixed on that box, but she was silent.
The head one noticed Mother's wedding ring and he demanded that. Then her spectacles, gold-rimmed, though she told him she could see nothing without them. They went into the box.Finally the head police picked up the Mount Fuji paperweight holding my calligraphy copy. That paperweight had been sent to me by Father's mother. She said it had been passed on to my father from way back and she could still see my father, when young, using it to practice brush-writing. Through this Mount Fuji paperweight I dreamed of seeing majestic mountains and imagined the beauty of my homeland.He glanced at my writing, "Bu Un Cho Kyu" (Good Luck in War), then left the sheet and tossed the paperweight into the box. I had stood there hopeless, fists clenched, seething, and the iron weight smashing Mother's important lenses released my fury. I jumped at the head policeman's hand and bit it as hard as I could.
Reread the sixth paragraph of the narrative. What is the stratosphere?
a round object used in mathematics
a part of the earth's atmosphere
a part of the earth's core
a piece of land
The Discovery of "1470"
Richard E. Leakey
The earliest humans left us virtually no record of their existence at all, and what little we know of them has been pieced together, quite literally, from fragments of their skulls and other bones. The following personal account by Richard E. Leakey, son of the famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, provides a fascinating look at the work of tracking down human ancestors from millions of years ago. The important discovery reported here, known as skull 1470, belonged to a hominid ancestor called Homo habilis and was found in 1972 at Koobi Fora, a site in Kenya.
The 1972 discovery of "1470" has had tremendous publicity and is certainly the best-known fossil from Koobi Fora. When found, however, it caused no real excitement other than the usual good feeling that another hominid had been discovered. I was away in Nairobi at the time, but when I visited the site several days later on 27 July … nothing had been disturbed. The specimen was badly broken and many fragments of light-coloured fossil bone were lying on the surface of a steep-sided ravine. None of the fragments was more than an inch long, but some were readily recognizable as being part of a hominid cranium. One good thing that was immediately apparent was that some were obviously from the back of the skull, others from the top, some from the sides, and there were even pieces of the very fragile facial bones. This indicated that there was a chance that we might eventually find enough pieces to reconstruct a fairly complete skull. It was clear, however, that a major sieving operation was required to recover other fragments that might be lying buried in the top few inches of soil or which had been washed down the steep slope. This sieving operation was not begun until a fortnight later and it continued over many weeks.
A number of fragments were collected in the first few days of sieving. On the fifth day, Meave, Bernard Wood (a friend who had been with me on several previous expeditions) and I flew to the site to help. At lunch time we returned to Koobi Fora with a number of fragments and after eating and a welcome swim we retired to the shady verandah of our house to examine the pieces. Meave carefully washed the fragments and laid them out on a wooden tray to dry in the sun and before long we were ready to begin to find which pieces could be joined to others. In no time at all, several of the bigger pieces fitted together and we realized that the fossil skull had been large, certainly larger than the small-brained Australopithecus such as we had found in 1969 and 1970. By the end of that exciting afternoon, we knew that we could go no further with the reconstruction without more pieces from the sieving. Over the next few weeks more and more pieces were found in the sieving and Meave slowly put the fragments together. Gradually a skull began to take shape and we began to get a rough idea of its size. It was larger than any of the early fossil hominids that I had seen but the question was, how large was the brain?
We decided to attempt a crude guess. Beginning by carefully filling the gaps in the vault with Plasticine and sticky tape, we then filled the vault with beach sand and measured the volume of sand in a rain gauge. By a most complicated conversion we came up with a volume of just under 800 cubic centimetres. The actual value for the brain size of "1470" has since been established by accurate methods as 775 cubic centimetres, so we were very close. This was fantastic new information. We now had an early fossil human skull with a brain size considerably larger than anything that had been found before of similar antiquity.
How did the anthropologists determine the volume of the skull once they pieced it together?
They measured each piece and added up the measurements.
They weighed the skull fragments on a scale.
They compared it to the Australopithecus skull.
They filled the skull with sand and measured the sand in a rain gauge.