Monday, January 14, 2008

Yuan Dynasty

Yuan Dynasty, the Chinese under the Mongols

Map of the Yuan Dynasty

Reasons for take-over

Yuan Dynasty was the only time that China was completely ruled by the foriengners, the Mongols. Ghengis Khan led the Mongols in their defeat of China. The Mongols succeeded in controling China due to their superior militaly capabilities. However, the Chinese army had been fighting the Mongols for 40 years until their defeat. Kublai Khan began to defeat the Southern Song in 1271, but his success was 8 years later when Guangzhao was conqured by the Yuan. The invasion of the Mongols was the main reason. The Song didn't have enough military force to defend themselves. The Song grew too wealthy and lazy so they were ready to collapse like the previous dynasty.

Leader of Civilization

Portrait of Kublai Khan, the first Yuan Emperor

The actual founder of the Yuan Dynasty was Ghengis Khan. However, the Yuan was ruled by Kublai Khan, his grandson. Ariqe Boke, his brother was attempting to be the Khan, but after Kublai heard this, he went to China before he was supposed to and was elected as the Khan. Boke kept on fighting and was captured in 1264 where he died two years later. During Kublai Khan ruling of the Yuan, he was pressured by his advisors because he wanted to expand the territory further. Kublai Khan died in 1294 and Chengzhong(1294-1307), Zhenjin’s son (brother of Kublai), became the emperor. The corruption began during his reign. Wuzong (1307-1311) became the emperor after the death of Chengzhong. He rejected Kublai Khan’s work and China ran into financial problems which was partly due to his decisions. China was in debt when he died and was replaced by Renzong(1311-1320), the fourth emperor of the Yuan dynasty. He made many reforms which led to the execution of 5 hihgest ranking officials. After him, Yingzong(1321-1323) became the emperor followed by Jinzong(1323-1328), Wenzong(1329-1331), Mingzong (1329-1331),Ningzong(1332) and Huizong (1333-1368)respectively.

A Leader from another civilization

Portrait of Marco Polo, an Italian traveler

Marco Polo was the son of an Italian merchant who lived during 1254-1324. He was a trader and an explorer. He was the most famous Westerner and the first to travel on the Silk Road to China. Polo visited Kublai Khan and spent 17 years in China acquiring wealth in gold and jewels. He entertained the Khan with the story of his exploration and the land he had traveled. As Marco Polo mastered four languages, Kublai Khan made him a governor of the city of Yangzhou as well as serving in Khan’s court. He became famous for the book of his journey on the Silk Road. Finally, he took a ride to Persia and go back home. He returned with varieties of inventions from China such as astrolabes, mechanical clocks, telescopes, paper, and muskets. His journey took him 24 years altogether. His book,II Milione, influenced the Europeans to start trading with China and Far East.



Hand cannon from the Yuan dynasty

The Yuan was known for their war technology. The hand cannons were built during the Yuan dynasty. It was a simple weapon that is effective for surrounding the enemy and secretly attacking them. However, it could kill people only in a short range (maximum of 300m).

The earliest known bronze gun, 1332

The first Bronze hand-held was recored first during the Yuan Dynasty even though the Tang dynasty had used metal barrels earlier. The earliest evacuated gun was from the Yuan dynasty as well. The gun was placed on the wooden housing.


Canal built by peasants during the Yuan Dynasty

The restriction in trade and the excessive spending drained the economy during the Yuan dynasty. During that time, more canals and palaces were built which required the peasants to pay higher taxes and leave their home to work on the construction. The fighting against the Japanese was going on where the Chinese were not successful which destroyed many of their ships. External trade was made difficult because the Chinese were not allowed to learn other languages so traveling outside for commercial reason was almost impossible. However, foreign merchants were able to trade within China and were given the privileges by the Mongols. There were no taxes and they were allowed to travel through China without limitation. It was this time that Marco Polo came to China and explored the land. The Mongols took over China when it was wealthy and left a hundred year later when the country was under privileges.

Social changes

The Yuan was the period of cultural changes between China and Europe which were marked by the visit of Marco Polo. However, the interaction was not a cultural exchange. Since the Chinese were not allowed to occupy a government position, they were viewed as second class. The priority in trade were given to the Mongols and foreigners. However, the punishment for crimes and other illegal things were less severe during the Yuan dynasty due to the large gap in the cultural differences. If the Mongols punished the Chinese too harshly, there might be a dreadful consequences followed by.

Government changes

The Mongols spoke difference language from the Chinese. These made ruling difficult and it was almost impossible to overcome. The Mongols and other foreigners were given positions in the government, but there were no Chinese in the government officials. The Mongol realized that if they wanted to be successful in ruling China, they had to think and do things from the Chinese perspectives. However, Kublai Khan made several transition for government. Han Chinese was not allowed in any of the government positions. The Chinese Emperor used to rule by example, but Kublai Khan ruled by decree. He also created a new ministry which was used to rule the empire and advised him.

Current religion or philosophy

Stupa, Buddhist symbol

The Yuan has religious freedom. The Mongols, who ruled them, favored Daoism and Buddhism. However, Confucianism continued and Taoism remained important in the Empire. To play safe in ruling China, the Mongols had agreed to use the Chinese ways of thinking. Many Mongols, including Kublai Khan had adopted Chinese names. This indicated the Chinese influences on the Mongols' rules. The Mongols decided not to force the Chinese to use their lifestyle, social structure, or religion because it would cause more trouble for them. Later on, the Mongols saw that too many Buddhist were escaping military services, so they established a literacy test on Buddhist principles. This put pressure against the Buddhist and the Mongols.


The Orphans of Chaos, an opera written during the Yuan dynasty

As the Chinese nobility were not allow to be participated in the government, they had time to concentrate on art and literature. The forms of literature that were most dramatically improved during this period were novel, opera and theater (drama). Theater was a favorite place of entertainment for the wealthy people. Many wealthy people began to write the lines for the opera. They wrote them under the pen name because scholar didn’t accept playwright back then. Several famous operas that exist today are The Story of the Orphan of Chao, The Romance, The Western Chamber and The Story of Lute.

Reasons for fall

Portrait of Huizong, the Last Emperor of the Yuan dynasty

There were many reasons for the fall of the Yuan dynasty. They were on the downfall sides which were marked by the struggle and famine. The difference between the rich and the poor became larger during the Mongol rule so the economic situations got worsen during the beginning of the 14th century. The overtaxing in the area that experienced crops failure, infiltration, and the flooding along the Yellow river were some of the reasons to the downfall. Then, the rebellion broke out by the peasants who were repairing the barrier along the Yellow river. Zhu Yuanzhang joined the revolt with the Red Turbans and the Han Chinese group. Later, Zhu was able to capture the city of Nanjing. The dynastic head of the Red Turbans suspiciously died so Zhu sent the army toward the Yuan capital. The last Yuan emperor fled to Mongolia which also marked the end of the Yuan dynasty in 1368. However, the fall of the Yuan dynasty was mainly due to its once most powerful military who were lack of financial support to maintain housing, farming, and many slaves either died or fled. The uprising broke up with Zhu as a leader along with groups of united nobility and they overthrew the Yuan. The fact that the Chinese government officials contain no Chinese was the main problems. They treated the foreigners better than the Chinese.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Frightening Disaster, Tsunami

*~Shaking the Shore with Tsunami !! ~*

The name, tsunami, comes from Japanese word, tsu (harbor) and nami (wave) combining together to form the word Tsunami. The term derives from a fisherman who sees the area surrounding the harbor has been damaged, but hasn’t seen any wave when he is in the open sea. Tsunamis form only a small hump in the open sea and travel at the speed of 500- 1000 km/h. They slow down to 10 km/h when they are getting near the coastlines forming large destructive waves.

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There are countless causes for the tsunami to occur. Tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by the movement of the earth’s crust when plate below the water is pushed up. Large earthquake with epicenter near or under the ocean is the cause for the most disastrous tsunami. Volcanic eruptions and landslides are also responsible for the occurrence of the tsunami, but the effects are localized. Moreover, testing the nuclear weapons at sea could highly increase the risk of having tsunami. Lastly, the large meteorite impact also has a potential to generate tsunami.

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The effects of the tsunami could vary from unnoticeable to devastating. The waves obviously cause the severe destruction of properties and extensive loss of lives along the shore. Tsunami has major impact on the human, social and economic of the communities as well as the countries. Furthermore, the places along the shore also lose their beauties which strongly affect the tourism of that particular place and will take a few years to recover. Landscape is also destroyed. Large amount of money will be put to repair the destruction along with helping the homeless people. This will ruin the economic of the place. When such a disaster hit a place, some people will lose their jobs while many will be more likely to get injured and even losing their family members. It is difficult to deal with this physically and emotionally because the tsunami occurs within a few seconds with a small notice ahead of time.

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Areas Affected
Many regions in the world get affected by the tsunami especially the countries on the Pacific coast line where most tsunami usually occur. Tsunami occur frequently in the Pacific Ocean, but it is also possible to happen where large bodies of water are found. Japan is a country that has the highest records of Tsunami. Other countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean that also experience the same problems are Philippines, Hawaii, Chile and Canada. The countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean such as Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Wales, England, and Jamaica also have the chance of getting Tsunami. Lastly, the Indian Ocean is the origin for the Tsunami that hit Sumatra, Indonesia, India, and Thailand as well as the other countries.

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The Effects of Tsunami on LEDC's and MEDC's

In some places, the effects of tsunami on LEDC's and MEDC's are equal, but in most cases, the LEDC's are more affected by the waves. As LEDC's have less money to spend, they often face a more severe problem. They do not have an effective warning system or lack of it. Human's response time in MEDC's are faster than in LECD's due to the preparation of the country. According to this, more people are affected and killed in the LEDC's. Most of the LEDC's are unprepared since they do not have the evacuation plan, rescuing team, and food storage. They rely on the international aid (MEDC's) since the MEDC's have better rescuing team that have experiences. These problems happen because of the lack of money since they have a lot of corruption problems within the countries . The economy of the LECD's will be more affected than MEDC's because the ratio of the money that is used for reparation is higher. Furthermore, it will take LEDC's a longer time to recover from a disaster like a Tsunami.

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Why do people live in the areas that are likely to experience Tsunami?

There are many reasons why people live in the areas that are more likely to encounter Tsunami. The rapid growth and development on the coastal areas is a factor that attracts people to the coastline. Population explosion inland forces people to move the place that is less crowded as like the coast areas. Moreover, fishing industry also make great uses of the coastal areas because it will be cheaper for transportation when they are located beside the ocean. The interior lands of many countries surrounding Pacific are mountainous, but there are good flat lands in form of coastal plain in the coastline where the weather also seems to be nicer. The technological and economic development also make use of the land along the coast. These are why the coastal area is populated.

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Case Study: 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

Date: December 26, 2004

Place: The origin is the under sea earthquake in the Indian Ocean where the epicenter is off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar are the most affected areas by the Tsunami. Somalia, Maldives, Malaysia, Tanzania and some other countries who get affected only a little.


The earthquake that occurs between Australian and Eurasian Plate is the cause of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This is a conservative margin. It causes the sea floor to break apart creating large waves traveling across the Indian Ocean over 7 hours away from the epicenter. The Tsunami move at 800km/h in the open sea and slow down when they are getting near the shore as well as increasing their height. There were no warning along the coasts, the only sign that was seen is when the waterline suddenly retreated. Between 5 to 40 minutes, the large waves hit the shore.
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The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami has the impact on human, economy and environment. Houses are damaged leaving more than millions of homeless people. The tsunami kill approximately 283,100 people where 229,866 are missing and 1,126,900 are homeless. Indonesia has the death toll of 130,736 people, 37,063 missing and more than 500000 displaced. Sri Lanka has 35,322 death, 21,411 injured, and 516,150 displaced. The confirmed death in India is 12,405 people where 5,640 are missing and 647,599 displaced. These are the top 3 countries that are severely damaged. The waves cause the widespread of food and water shortages. The coastal area of Sri Lanka relies mostly on water from wells but they are destroyed and contaminated by the Tsunami. Epidemic is the most concerned problems due to high population density and the tropical climate of the areas that get affected. Drinking water are likely to contain diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, and typhoid. The 2004 Tsunami has the impact on coastal fishing communities. Boats and ships along the shore are destroyed. Poor people along that region face terrible situation since they lose their income. In some area, drinking water is contaminated for years by salt water. Some resorts in Thailand that are completely untouched by the waves face cancellation problems due to fear of tsunami. Tourisms are high affected since the coral reefs under the ocean are damaged and lose their beauty which attract tourists. Hotels and areas along the shore require several months for the repairation. The shipping in Malacca Strait has been affected due to the change in the depth of the sea floor. Furthermore, the Indian Ocean Tsunami has great impact on the environment. The mangroves, coral reefs, forests, rock formations and groundwater are damaged. There are also pollution in water due to the spread of solid and liquid waste as well as industrial chemicals. Salt water causes the death of plant and important soil micro-organisms. The water washes away a 1200-year-old sand of the old lost city at Mahabalipuram on the south coast of India. The city is believed to be an ancient port city swallowed by the sea hundred years ago. Only several hours of waves can severely effect large communites and the countries since a lot of money will be put in to help the areas that are affected.

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Warning Systems

There is no Tsunami warning systems in the area surrounding the Indian Ocean during the occurrence of the 2004 tsunami. It is several hours between the earthquake and the hit of the tsunami on the shore so the victims are taken completely by surprise. The last earthquakes that occur in the Indian Ocean was in 1883 and it was not a major one, so people do not expect a destructive tsunami to hit them so there was no effective warning systems back in 2004. In 2005, the United Nations started working on the Indian Ocean Tsunami warning system which includes the evacuation plan of the people and a warning sign along the areas on the shore which are at risk of being hit by tsunami.
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Conclusion !!
Global warming causes the earth atmosphere to be hotter due to greater amount of carbon dioxide in the air. This results as the sudden change of climate from cold to hot or hot to cold. As this process keeps on occurring, the ground will shrink and expand in a short amount of time which causes the crack to occur faster. The earthquakes are more likely to happen in this case and if it happens under sea, it might have the power to generated tsunami. Most earthquakes occur more than a 100 year faster than expected due to climate change and global warming. As the global warming and climate changes continue to happen, the world will experience the decreased in population since more natural hazards are likely to appear in a shorter time.

As a citizen, we have to cooperate together to work on the global warming problems so that we can save our world and there will be less natural disaster happening in the future. The easy way that we can accomplish this is by saving papers, plant more trees, carpool, turn off all unused electrical items, use paper bag, avoid the use of Styrofoam, and many more things. Let's help each other to save the world!

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Monday, November 13, 2006

*+Russia Propaganda+*

*~Propaganda in the Hands of Stalin~*

According to, propaganda means "information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause". In this project, propaganda is basically the ideas that people were allowed to think, but was told what to believe. Many nations in history used it to get people to belive in ideas, or practices.This also happened in the period of time where Stalin was in power. Stalin used propaganda to get people to believe in his powerfulness and that people should follow the Karl Marx's idea, Communism. In education, people were taught that Communism is the best type of government in the history. Propaganda were mostly controlled by the state and parts of it taught that Stalin was all-knowing and all-powerful. Propaganda were spreaded in many types of media such as newspapers, posters, radios, and films. During Stalin's reign, propaganda were mostly controlled by the state.

Poster # 1
Stalin was holding the PRAVDA, the Communist newspaper in the poster. The title of the poster was Stalin's full name, Josef Vissarionovich Stalin. The picture basically showed the powerfulness of Stalin and how he was looking ahead to the light by raising his eyebrows as if he was waiting for the great things to come. As we can see, he was holding the communist newspaper and along with the red background labeled VKPB, communist party, which represents revolution, and communism. This means that he was trying to get people to believe and accepted the concept of communism and made it on a positive side. The color red, represent blood, revolution, strength, and communism. Stalin's expression also means that he was so confident about what he was doing, and never think the changes he will make is wrong. The color and the looks in the face of Stalin made the poster became very effective because it shows the strength and the importance of his powerfulness and so people must respect him.


Poster # 2

This propaganda shows that Stalin had came up with the Five-Year-Plan to improve Russia's agriculture and industrial production and this plan had happened, but was unfavoured by many rich farmers, kulaks. All the lands were collected to form a large farm where workers worked together, but the kulaks didn't like this because they originally owned the farm by themselves before. There were some force against this especially the capitalist which was saying "fantasy, nonsense, and utopia" in the picture. There's 2 point of view for this poster. First is to get people to think that the Five-Year-Plan will work. Other one is also to say that it wouldn't work because it's nonsense and is only a dream. It used the picture of machinery to represent the industrialization, and banners which says collectivization farm. The color, orange, made the poster became attractive. The picture of industrial area is effective in a way that it shows how the town would looks like if the plan works and the 2 men represent people who wouldn't like the plan that Stalin had came up with.


Poster # 3

This poster was trying to convey the people that life under Communism was happy and life was getting better everyday. The caption in the poster said, "Repeat after me: I'm happy...". It persuaded the people to believe that communism was the best way out of their current economic and industries problems. The women in the picture was looking ahead to the light that life will be better if the communism came in control. Farm land in the background shows how the town would improved from an unfertilize land to a productive land. The poster showed its message by making the women looking ahead for a better life and used of twilight to make it seemed like the new day was starting. The poster was effective in a way that the woman in the picture looked very happy, not faking, so it convinced the people to believe its message.


Poster # 4
In this poster, Stalin was sailing a ship with a big red flag at the back of him. The red flag obviously symbolized communism. The caption reads, "The captain of the land of the Soviets leads us from one victory to the next", which means that Stalin controlled many aspects of life because the caption represents the leader of the particular thing, but in this case it was the Soviet Union. The caption showed that Stalin will lead the lives of the Russain to be better. If Stalin wanted to turn the ship to the either direction, he may do so. The message of the poster was that Stalin was looking ahead at the light for a great future of the USSR that he was about to bring. It was trying to tell people that Stalin will make a success for the country. CCCP is the Latin term which stands for USSR. The ship represented USSR under the hand of Stalin. The color, red, of the flag also shows that communism is the best and it represents the strength of the leadership. The effective thing about this poster was the fact that Stalin was controlling the navigation wheel which means that he was holding the country future and his face showed that he'll make it as good as possible.

Poster # 5
The poster showed that Stalin was making a plan for something huge for the country. He was having the plan set by looking at the map he had. This picture showed that he had everything planned before he actually do it so it means that he was organized. It also proved that he was doing things that was perfect and things were checked carefully by him. In the picture, he was making some changes to the plan to improve it. Stalin's face looked serious which means that the plan was also serious for him and for the country as well. The poster conveyed its message by making Stalin holded the pencil and looking serious at the plan ahead of him. The plan looked professional which represents the profession of Stalin. The effectiveness of this poster was the fact that Stalin was making some changes to the plan ahead of him which showed how careful he was with the plan.

Poster # 6

In the picture, it shows that Stalin gained alot of support from the people of the USSR and many of them respected him. Many people were holding his picture and smiled at him. The caption below the picture reads, "Beloved Stalin--Happiness of the people". This mainly said that with Stalin's government, it will lead a better life in which people will become happy and enjoy their life. The picture was trying to get people to be believe that Stalin was powerful and a bunch of people did respect him. It presented its message by making a crowd of people clapping for Stalin and showing the red flags which represents powerfulness and communism. The effectiveness of this poster was the way it showed all the people looking, smiling, paying attention, and clapping for Stalin which means that they loved what he was doing.


Final part!

In conclusion, Propaganda was mainly used to convince people to believe or to do something. It was a powerful force during many periods in the history including Stalin's ruling period of the USSR in 1917 to 1955. The Russia government used propaganda to control people's believe towards many things because the government didn't want to have any opposition against the communism. All the posters used almost the same concept which were communism was the best type of government, Stalin was all-powerful and all-knowing, and it told people what to believe. These caused the people to lose their freedom of thoughts because they were told what to believe. The Russia government used propaganda to promote what they thought is best for them. Since people were told what to believe, they didn't have much courage to go against the communism. If looking closely at each poster, we can see that the posters leaned on one side which in Stalin's side!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Exploring The Sixties!!

Exploring the Sixties!!

Events of the Decade:
1.Peace Corps
Peace Corps started when men and women from the America volunteered to work abroad for 2 years to help solve main problems that the communities were facing and developing the world. They helped people to be more educated by being a teacher in elementary and secondary school. The volunteers also helped people to protect their environment and how to use it in a useful way. This people also brought back the better knowledge of the cultures and people of other countries.
2.Vietnam War
As the 1960s began, the Vietnam War had started as well. There was a debate between politicians. The problem started when North Vietnam wanted to take over South Vietnam and turned South Vietnam into Communists. The South didn’t like that actions and so they tried to fight back, and so American came in and started to fight and supported the South Vietnam. Everything was getting worse in 1968 when North Vietnam began to attack South Vietnam and it was know as “Tet Offensive”
3. France Becomes a Nuclear Power
Due to the wars in Indochina in the 190s, France was determined to develop nuclear weapons. With the help from Britain and the orders President De Gaulle, France created a fission type nuclear bomb and first exploded it on February 13, 1960 in Algeria. France then develops its own hydrogen bombs, and first detonated it on August 24 1968 over the Pacific.

People of the Decade:
1. Martin Luther King Jr.
He believed in Human rights in which all human should have equal rights and opportunities. In 1963, he made a speech “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…” He tried to get equal right for black people in America including his son. People should be judged by their talents, not skin color.
2. Dr. Denton A. Cooley- Pioneer of Heart Transplants
Dr. Cooley was the first one to be success at removing pulmonary embolisms. He also tried to develop artificial heart valves and so he got the highest honor. Later in May 3, 1968, he had his first human heart transplants performed to a 15 years old who had died and her heart still beating and giving the heart to a 47 years old man. The old man actually survived for 207 days after the transplanted heart.
3. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
John F. Kennedy was a famous politician of the 1900s, and was elected for President in November 1960. In 1961, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, a plan to invade Cuba, caused a major embarrasment to the Kennedy Administration. Then came the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Russian ballistic missiles were placed in Cuba. Kennedy chose to create a naval blockade of Russian ships, and in a few weeks the Russians agreed to withdraw and tensions were relieved. During the Cold War Kennedy established the Hot Line, a direct communications system between him and the Russian President. The Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963 to ban atmospheric nuclear tests. Kennedy was assassinated on Novermber 22 1963 by a sniper, and until this day the exact details of the event are still unknown.
Technological Improvement of the Decade:
1. Invention of Computer Mouse
The very first computer mouse was invented between 1963 and 1964 by Dr. Doug Engelbart as part of his experiment to find a better way to point and click on the computer’s screen. The first mouse was made by wood with only one button like shown in the picture.
2.Air Purifiers
In the beginning of 1960, many people got sick because of the air pollution inside the house. In 1963, Klaus and Manfred Hamme had come up with the residental air purifiers. Manfred had asthma so he was finding a solution to it so that he would had better conditions. The air purifiers help filter the dust so that people won't take it in their body and get sick easily.

Famous Musician:
1.The Beatles
The Beatles become international rock music in 1961. It was one of the most famous bands in the world that influenced today’s music. The Beatle consisted of 4 members which were John Lennon (guitar/harmonica), Paul McCartney (guitar and piano), George Harrison (guitar and sitar), and Richard Starkey (drums). Their first single was “Love me do” which become popular world wide.

Popular Consumer Product:
1. Timex
In the 20th Century Timex created watches that are durable, easy to produce and cheaper than Swiss watches, making it the most popular brand in America in the 1960s.

Important Scientific Discoveries of the Decade:
1.Neil Armstrong- Discoveries of the Moon
In July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first one to step on the moon’s surface and he came up with his most famous statement “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. Armstrong and Aldrin collected some samples from the moon’s surface to do experiment on it and also took some photographs. There were 11 astronauts altogether in this trip and after returning to the earth, they all were being honored as the first to explore the moon.

Extra Information:
1. Clothes
In the 1960s, or the sixties, people mostly wear....
-Go-go boots
-Pill box hats
-Shift dress
-Baby doll dress
-3/4 length sleeves
-Nehru Jackets
These were the fashion of the sixties.

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