Smoke signal

The smoke signal is one of the oldest forms of long-distance communication. It is a form of visual communication used over long distance. In general smoke signals are used to transmit news, signal danger, or gather people to a common area.

Frederic Remington smoke signal
Native Americans on a painting by Frederic Remington

History and usage

In ancient China, soldiers stationed along the Great Wall would alert each other of impending enemy attack by signaling from tower to tower. In this way, they were able to transmit a message as far away as 750 kilometres (470 mi) in just a few hours.

Misuse of the smoke signal is known to have contributed to the fall of the Western Zhou Dynasty in the 8th century BCE. King You of Zhou had a habit of fooling his warlords with false warning beacons in order to amuse Bao Si, his concubine.[1]

Polybius, a Greek historian, devised a more complex system of alphabetical smoke signals around 150 BCE, which converted Greek alphabetic characters into numeric characters. It enabled messages to be easily signaled by holding sets of torches in pairs. This idea, known as the "Polybius square", also lends itself to cryptography and steganography. This cryptographic concept has been used with Japanese Hiragana and the Germans in the later years of the First World War.

The North American indigenous peoples also communicated via smoke signal. Each tribe had its own signaling system and understanding. A signaler started a fire on an elevation typically using damp grass, which would cause a column of smoke to rise. The grass would be taken off as it dried and another bundle would be placed on the fire. Reputedly the location of the smoke along the incline conveyed a meaning. If it came from halfway up the hill, this would signify all was well, but from the top of the hill it would signify danger.

Smoke signals remain in use today. In Rome, the College of Cardinals uses smoke signals to indicate the selection of a new Pope during a papal conclave. Eligible cardinals conduct a secret ballot until someone receives a vote of two-thirds plus one. The ballots are burned after each vote. Black smoke indicates a failed ballot, while white smoke means a new Pope has been elected.

Colored smoke grenades are commonly used by military forces to mark positions, especially during calls for artillery or air support.

Smoke signals may also refer to smoke-producing devices used to send distress signals.[2][3]


Native Americans

Lewis and Clark's journals cite several occasions when they adopted the Native American method of setting the plains on fire to communicate the presence of their party or their desire to meet with local tribes.[4][5]


Yámanas of South America used fire to send messages by smoke signals, for instance if a whale drifted ashore.[6] The large amount of meat required notification of many people, so that it would not decay.[7] They might also have used smoke signals on other occasions, thus it is possible that Magellan saw such fires (which inspired him to name the landscape Tierra del Fuego) but he may have seen the smoke or lights of natural phenomena.[8][9]

Noon Gun

The Cape Town Noon Gun, specifically the smoke its firing generates, was used to set marine chronometers in Table Bay.

Aboriginal Australians

Aboriginal Australians throughout Australia would send up smoke signals for various purposes.[10][11][12][13] Sometimes to notify others of their presence, particularly when entering lands which were not their own.[10] Sometimes used to describe visiting whites, smoke signals were the fastest way to send messages.[13] Smoke signals were sometimes to notify of incursions by hostile tribes, or to arrange meetings between hunting parties of the same tribe. This signal could be from a fixed lookout on a ridge of from a mobile band of tribesman.[12] "Putting up a smoke" would often result in nearby individuals or groups replying with their own signals.[11][12] To carry information, the colour of the smoke was varied, sometimes black, white or blue depending on whether the material being burnt was wet grass, dry grass, reeds or other, and the shape of the smoke could be a column, ball or smoke ring. This message could include the names of individual tribesmen.[12] Like other means of communication, signals could be misinterpreted. In one recorded instance, a smoke signal reply translated as "we are coming" was misinterpreted as joining a war party for protection of the tribe when it was actually hunting parties coming together after a successful hunt.[12]


Modern avionics has made skywriting possible.


  1. ^ Sima Qian. Records of the Grand Historian. 4.
  2. ^ Pyrotechnic device (US3120183 A), Feb 4, 1964, retrieved 2017-02-01
  3. ^ Smoke signal (US3354829 A), Nov 28, 1967, retrieved 2017-02-01
  4. ^ "Nation Park Service Fire History Timeline".
  5. ^ "Lewis and Clark Journals, July 20, 1805".
  6. ^ Gusinde 1966:137–139, 186
  7. ^ Itsz 1979:109
  8. ^ "The Patagonian Canoe". Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  9. ^ Extracts from the following book. E. Lucas Bridges: Uttermost Part of the Earth. Indians of Tierra del Fuego. 1949, reprinted by Dover Publications, Inc (New York, 1988).
  10. ^ a b Myers, 1986: 100
  11. ^ a b "Report on Patrol to Lake Mackay Area June/July 1957". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  12. ^ a b c d e Idriess, Ion L (1953). The Red Chief. ettimprint.
  13. ^ a b Idriess, Ion L (1937). Over the Range. ettimprint.


  • Gusinde, Martin (1966). Nordwind—Südwind. Mythen und Märchen der Feuerlandindianer (in German). Kassel: E. Röth.
  • Itsz, Rudolf (1979). "A kihunyt tüzek földje". Napköve. Néprajzi elbeszélések (in Hungarian). Budapest: Móra Könyvkiadó. pp. 93–112. Translation of the original: Итс, Р.Ф. (1974). Камень солнца (in Russian). Ленинград: Detskaya Literatura. Title means: “Stone of sun”; chapter means: “The land of burnt-out fires”. (Leningrad: "Children's Literature" Publishing.)
  • Myers, Fred (1986). Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self. USA: Smithsonian Institution.
Emporia Gazette

The Emporia Gazette is a daily newspaper in Emporia, Kansas.

William Allen White bought the newspaper for $3,000 ($90.3 thousand in 2018 dollars) in 1895. Through his editorship, over the next five decades, he became an iconic figure in American journalism and political life. The paper rose to national prominence and influence in the Republican Party following the 1896 publication of "What's the Matter With Kansas?", a White editorial that harshly criticized Populism and the Presidential campaign of William Jennings Bryan. White struck up a friendship with US President Theodore Roosevelt who stayed at the White home, called Red Rocks, during cross country trips.

White won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for editorials after he was arrested for a free speech violation of a newly enacted law pushed by Kansas Governor Henry Justin Allen. White's autobiography, published posthumously, won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize.

The newspaper is still published by the White family.

Besides owning The Emporia Gazette, The White family owns The St. Marys Star, in St. Marys, Kansas, The Chase County Leader-News, in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, and as of 5 November 2013, The Westmoreland Recorder, in Westmoreland, Kansas. The White Corporation added the Junction City Union, The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle and the Wamego Smoke Signal to its newspaper family in March 2016.

FLEX (operating system)

The FLEX single-tasking operating system was developed by Technical Systems Consultants (TSC) of West Lafayette, Indiana, for the Motorola 6800 in 1976. The original version was for 8" floppy disks and the (smaller) version for 5.25" floppies was called mini-Flex. It was also later ported to the Motorola 6809; that version was called Flex9. All versions were text-based and intended for use on display devices ranging from printing terminals like the Teletype Model 33 ASR to smart terminals. While no graphic displays were supported by TSC software, some hardware manufacturers supported elementary graphics and pointing devices.

It was a disk-based operating system, using 256-byte sectors on soft-sectored floppies; the disk structure used linkage bytes in each sector to indicate the next sector in a file or free list. The directory structure was much simplified as a result. TSC (and others) provided several programming languages including BASIC in two flavors (standard and extended) and a tokenizing version of extended BASIC called Pre-compiled BASIC, FORTH, C, FORTRAN, and PASCAL.

TSC also wrote a version of FLEX, Smoke Signal DOS, for the California hardware manufacturer Smoke Signal Broadcasting; this version used forward and back linkage bytes in each sector which increased disk reliability at the expense of compatibility and speed.

Later, TSC introduced the multitasking, multi-user, Unix-like UniFLEX operating system, which required DMA disk controllers, 8" disk, and so sold in only small numbers. Several of the TSC computer languages were ported to UniFLEX.

During the early 1980s, FLEX was offered by Compusense Ltd as an operating system for the 6809-based Dragon 64 home computer.

Hanno, son of Bomilcar

Hanno (Punic: 𐤇‬𐤍‬𐤀‬‬, ḤNʾ), distinguished as the son of the suffet Bomilcar, was a Carthaginian officer in the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC). He was a nephew of Hannibal Barca, Carthage's leading general. Hanno's mother was one of Hannibal's three elder sisters. When Hannibal's army reached the Western bank of the Rhône River, they began preparations to cross. A group of Gauls gathered on the Eastern bank, intent on preventing the army from crossing. Hanno led a small group north, which crossed in small rafts they built. Once across, they headed south toward the Gauls. Hanno sent a smoke signal to inform Hannibal that his force was ready. Hannibal began to send his cavalry across in canoes. As the cavalry attained a foothold on the Eastern bank, the Gauls approached, ready to fight. At this point, Hanno's force attacked the Gauls' rear, causing enough confusion to force the Gauls to retreat.

At the Battle of Cannae, Hanno led the Numidian cavalry on the right (northern) side of the Carthaginian army. Hasdrubal led the Spanish and Celtic cavalry on the left (south near the Aufidus river) of the Carthaginian army. Hasdrubal was given about 6,500 cavalry, and Hanno had 3,500 Numidians. Hasdrubal's force was able to quickly destroy the Roman cavalry (on the south), pass the Romans' infantry rear, and reach the Roman allied cavalry while they were engaged with Hanno's Numidians. Once the Romans' allied cavalry was destroyed, Hanno and Hasdrubal were able to lead their cavalry into the Roman infantry's rear.

List of communities on the Navajo Nation

This is a list of communities on the Navajo Nation, including the checkerboard, arranged alphabetically. Places whose names are an anglicized or misspelled version of the Navajo name have been marked with *. Places whose names are a literal translation of the Navajo name are marked with ‡. Names which appear Navajo but are actually different in Navajo have been marked with x.

Matching Mole's Little Red Record

Matching Mole's Little Red Record (1972) is the second album of the English Canterbury Scene band Matching Mole. The band was formed in 1971 by Robert Wyatt after he left Soft Machine. Compared to their first album, Little Red Record was more of a team effort, with Wyatt taking a less involved role. It was produced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson, and features Brian Eno as a guest musician.

The album title refers to Chairman Mao's Little Red Book (1964). This reference is also carried over to the faux-Chinese style of the album cover, which is reminiscent of posters created during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.


Microware was a US corporation based in Clive, Iowa that produced the OS-9 real-time operating system.

Microware Systems Corporation existed as a separate entity from 1977 until September 2001, when it was bought by RadiSys Corp., and became a division of that company. The rights to Microware OS-9 and related software were purchased by a group of Distributors on March 1, 2013. The new owner is Microware LP. Microware initially produced a version of BASIC and a real-time kernel for the Motorola 6800 processor, and was asked by Motorola to develop what turned into BASIC09 for the then-new Motorola 6809 processor. Having written BASIC09, they decided it needed an operating system underlying it, and created the first version of OS-9.

OS-9 went on to versions for the 68000 family of processors and, rewritten mostly in C, to the Intel 80x86, PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, and some of the Hitachi SuperH (SH) series processors. Initially, in the days of the SS-50 bus and SS-50C bus systems such as SWTPC, Gimix, and Smoke Signal Broadcasting, OS-9 was used more as a general purpose microcomputer operating system and had a large, active hobbyist-user population. OS-9 was also popular with industrial and embedded-system users. This was especially true when OS-9 was available for popular 6809-based computers such as the FM-7, FM-77, and the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer and its near-clone, the Dragon. Over time, Microware concentrated on industrial customers and neglected the hobbyist base that was porting a great many Unix packages and utilities to OS-9.

Minnechaug Regional High School

Minnechaug Regional High School (MRHS) is a public high school located in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and has a student population of approximately 1,200. It is the flagship school of the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. The current principal is Mr. Stephen Hale. The school's official colors are green and white. Its school mascot is the Falcons.

Mission San Jose High School

Mission San Jose High School (MSJHS or MSJ) is a public, co-educational, four-year secondary school founded in 1964. It is located in the Mission San Jose district of Fremont, California, United States. It is one of the five comprehensive high schools of Fremont Unified School District. Mission San Jose High School is the 3rd largest high school in Fremont.

Namsan (Seoul)

Nam Mountain (pleonastically Namsan Mountain or Mount Namsan, lit. "South Mountain") is a peak, 262 metres (860 ft) high, in the Jung-gu district of south central Seoul, South Korea. Although known as Mongmyeoksan, or 목멱산, in the past, it is now commonly referred to as Mt. Namsan. It offers some hiking, picnic areas and views of downtown Seoul's skyline. The N Seoul Tower is located on top of Mt. Namsan.

The mountain and its surrounding area is Namsan Park, a public park maintained by the city government, which has panoramic views of Seoul. It is also the location of a smoke signal station called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae' (Mongmyeoksan Beacon Tower, Hangul: 목멱산 봉수대), which was part of an emergency communication system during much of Seoul's history until 1985. From 1925 to 1945 the Shinto shrine known as Chōsen Jingū was situated on Mt. Namsan.In 2011 a survey was conducted by Seoul Development Institute, which included 800 residents and 103 urban planners and architects. It ranked Mt. Namsan as the most scenic location in Seoul by 62.8 percent of residents and 70.9 percent of the experts surveyed.The park and the fountain were used as the filming location for Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)'s drama Lovers in Paris.Namsan is mentioned in South Korea's National Anthem.

Nildottie, South Australia

Nildottie is a locality in the Australian state of South Australia located on the east side of the Murray River about 99 kilometres (62 mi) east of the state capital of Adelaide and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north-east of the municipal seat in Mannum.Nildottie’s boundaries were created on 27 March 2003 for the “long established name” and include the sites of the Kroehns Landing Shack Site and Scrubby Flat Shack Site. On 22 December 2011, Nildottie was enlarged by the addition of land on its northern side after the locality of Greenways Landing was abolished following a request from residents and local government.The name is derived from the Aboriginal word 'ngurltartang', which means 'smoke signal hill'.

The 2016 Australian census which was conducted in August 2016 reports that Nildottie had 189 people living within its boundaries.Nildottie is located within the federal division of Barker, the state electoral district of Chaffey and the local government area of the Mid Murray Council.

Pascack Valley High School

Pascack Valley High School (PVHS) is a four-year comprehensive regional public high school located in Hillsdale in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as one of two secondary schools in the Pascack Valley Regional High School District. Pascack Valley High School serves the residents of both Hillsdale and neighboring River Vale, while its counterpart Pascack Hills High School serves the communities of Woodcliff Lake and Montvale. As part of its 1:1 eLearning Initiative, the school has provided a laptop to every student, teacher, and administrator for educational use.

As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,224 students and 95.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1. There were 19 students (1.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 11 (0.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

Piper Laurie

Piper Laurie (born Rosetta Jacobs; January 22, 1932) is an American stage and screen actress known for her roles in the films The Hustler (1961), Carrie (1976), and Children of a Lesser God (1986), all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. She is also known for her performances as Kirsten Arnesen in the original TV production of Days of Wine and Roses and as Catherine Martell in the cult television series Twin Peaks, for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 1991. In 2018, she appeared in the film White Boy Rick. In addition, she appeared with Dana Andrews, Rex Reason, William Talman, Milburn Stone, Douglas Spenser, and others in the 1956 Western "Smoke Signal".

Riverdale High School (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)

Riverdale High School is a public high school operated by the Rutherford County School system located in the southwestern part of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, It is on Warrior Drive which intersects with South Church Street (US 231 South). Riverdale is one of the older high schools in Murfreesboro, along with Oakland High School (the brother school) which was also built in 1972. These schools were constructed to replace the outdated former Murfreesboro Central High School, which was then converted to a junior high school (later middle school) facility. It is home to 12 academic departments, 40 extracurricular clubs, and 19 TSSAA athletic teams.

SS-50 bus

The SS-50 bus was an early computer bus designed as a part of the SWTPC 6800 Computer System that used the Motorola 6800 CPU. The SS-50 motherboard would have around seven 50-pin connectors for CPU and memory boards plus eight 30-pin connectors for I/O boards. The I/O section was sometimes called the SS-30 bus.

Southwest Technical Products Corporation introduced this bus in November 1975 and soon other companies were selling add-in boards. Some of the early boards were floppy disk systems from Midwest Scientific Instruments, Smoke Signal Broadcasting, and PerCom Data; an EPROM programmer from the Micro Works; video display boards from Gimix; memory boards from Seals. By 1978 there were a dozen SS-50 board suppliers and several compatible SS-50 computers.

In 1979 SWTPC modified the SS-50 bus to support the new Motorola MC6809 processor. These changes were compatible with most existing boards and this upgrade gave the SS-50 Bus a long life. SS-50 based computers were made until the late 1980s.

The SS-50C bus, the S/09 version of the SS-50 bus, extended the address by four address lines to 20 address lines to allow up to a megabyte of memory in a system.Boards for the SS-50 bus were typically 9 inches wide and 5.5 inches high. The board had Molex 0.156 inch connectors while the motherboard had the pins. This arrangement made for low cost printed circuit boards that did not need gold plated edge connectors. The tin plated Molex connectors were only rated for a few insertions and were sometimes a problem in hobbyist systems where the boards were being swapped often. Later systems would often come with gold plated Molex connectors.

The SS-30 I/O Bus had the address decoding on the motherboard. Each slot was allocated 4 address (the later MC6809 version upped this to 16 address.) This made for very simple I/O boards, the Motorola peripheral chips connected directly to this bus.

Smoke Signal, Arizona

Smoke Signal is a populated place in Navajo County, Arizona, in the United States.

Smoke Signal (film)

Smoke Signal is a 1955 American Technicolor Western film directed by Jerry Hopper and starring Dana Andrews and Piper Laurie.

Smoke pot

Smoke pot may refer to:

To smoke pot refers to cannabis smoking

A smoke pot refers to a smoke signal device, usually a canister

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