Hakai Magazine discusses the interesting relationship between humans and seashells, going beyond art and collections.
Humans’ affection for shells is older than our species. Half a million years ago, Homo erectus, a precursor to modern Homo sapiens, sharpened the edge of a freshwater mussel shell on what’s now the Indonesian island of Java. Archaeologists found this simple tool among a pile of shells surrounding Homo erectus bones, invoking a vision of an archaic human squatting in the jungle, prying open mussels and slurping down the calories he needed to survive.
Homo erectus weren’t just using mussels for tools and food, though. Among the shells, archaeologists also found one bearing a remarkable zigzag pattern. Analysis revealed it to be the world’s oldest-known engraving, predating similar carvings by 300,000 years. That means before Neanderthals painted abstract designs onto cave walls in Spain, before people even mastered the art of making fire, someone created beauty by drawing on a shell, projecting some part of themselves onto the natural world.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.