PhotoHunter: Technology

This week’s PhotoHunter theme is “Technology”. I wasn’t sure what to do for this, at first but then I remembered having entered a photo of mine for the same theme on Fotki, the photo-sharing site I use. I thought I would use the same photo and contrast it with a photo of something else.

When I initially thought of this, I was looking at the images as contrasting “low tech” and the other as “high tech”. On the other hand, both are really representative of the highest technology of their times. In fact, the first photo, in its own way represents technological skill and true craftsmanship, whereas, the second represents brute force on the grandest scale.

Perhaps you will see other contrasts and other meanings. Let me know your thoughts.

The first image is of stone points, scrapers, and flakes from the making of points and scrapers. Created by Eastern Woodland Indians, perhaps 700 -900 years ago. Found along the Upper Ottawa River, near Fort William, Quebec.

Stone points

The second image is of one of the old Cold War air raid sirens sitting outside the main door of the Diefenbunker (pronounced Deefenbunker), in Carp, Ontario.

The Diefenbunker was Canada’s official government nuclear fallout shelter.

In the event of nuclear war, government officials and designated military personnel would have descended underground while the rest of Canadians fried. Formerly top secret, it is now a museum open to the public and is designated a national historic site. It was dubbed the Diefenbunker after Canada’s Prime Minister when it was built, John Diefenbaker (familiarly known to most Canadians as “Dief the Chief”). It operated as a secret facility for 33 years before it was “decommissioned” and the land sold to the Township of West Carleton, which is now part of the city of Ottawa.

Until it was decommissioned, the Canadian public, even residents of the nearby town of Carp were unaware of its existence. Interestingly, my friend Carol (who did earlier this year) was unaware that for the entire time she and her family lived in Ottawa, her father had spent every working day in the Diefenbunker and, should nuclear war have broken out, he would have been obligated to continue working while the family would have had to fend for themselves.

Siren, the Diefenbunker, Carp, Ontario

I should say that these sirens and the Cold War were what caused me nightly terrors and nightmares as a child living along the St. Lawrence River in Southeastern Ontario. I was small during The Cuban Missile Crisis. We had a bomb shelter in the basement — basically, a cot, cook-stove, and provisions under the basement stairs. We’d not have survived anything.

Sirens were tested with regularity and scared the crap out of me all those years.

Years later, in 1978, when I was living in Toronto one of the few remaining sirens went off, I am guessing by accident, and I sat bolt upright. The friend I was with looked at me quizzically. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

Air raid siren… We don’t hear those very often any more!”

“What’s that?” Not only did she not recognize the sound she didn’t even HEAR it until I pointed it out. I had to EXPLAIN about the Cold War…. about air raids… about bomb shelters… She had never ever heard a siren in a war movie!

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