Education

# 3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

### They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

Mansfield and his team are, understandably, incredibly proud. What they discovered is that the tablet is actually an ancient trigonometry table.

Mansfield said:

"The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet. Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius."

"The tablet not only contains the world's oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new."

The tablet predates Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who has long been regarded as the father of trigonometry. Mansfield's colleague, Norman Widberger, added:

"Plimpton 322 predates Hipparchus by more than 1,000 years. It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education. With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trigonometry that has clear advantages over our own."
"A treasure trove of Babylonian tablets exists, but only a fraction of them have been studied yet. The mathematical world is only waking up to the fact that this ancient but very sophisticated mathematical culture has much to teach us."

People were understandably excited by the news.

Some mathematicians actually think studying the Babylonians back then could help us improve the way we do trigonometry today.

Of course, there were the haters...

But all in all, Twitter users were pretty impressed with the Babylonians' skills.

And they figured it out 3,700 years ahead of me...and counting.— Marty (@Marty) 1503631905

Congratulations to Dr. Mansfield and his team on their incredible discovery... and for making trigonometry exciting!

Science

## Astronaut shares the profound 'big lie' he realized after seeing the Earth from space

### This change in perspective could change humanity.

Our home, from space.

Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”

The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.

In a compelling interview with Big Think, astronaut, author and humanitarian Ron Garan explains how if more of us developed this planetary perspective we could fix much of what ails humanity and the planet.

Garan has spent 178 days in space and traveled more than 71 million miles in 2,842 orbits. From high above, he realized that the planet is a lot more fragile than he thought.

“When I looked out the window of the International Space Station, I saw the paparazzi-like flashes of lightning storms, I saw dancing curtains of auroras that seemed so close it was as if we could reach out and touch them. And I saw the unbelievable thinness of our planet's atmosphere. In that moment, I was hit with the sobering realization that that paper-thin layer keeps every living thing on our planet alive,” Garan said in the video.

“I saw an iridescent biosphere teeming with life,” he continues. “I didn't see the economy. But since our human-made systems treat everything, including the very life-support systems of our planet, as the wholly owned subsidiary of the global economy, it's obvious from the vantage point of space that we're living a lie.”

It was at that moment he realized that humanity needs to reevaluate its priorities.

“We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That's when we're going to continue our evolutionary process,” he added.

Garan says that we are paying a very “high price” as a civilization for our inability to develop a more planetary perspective and that it’s a big reason why we’re failing to solve many of our problems. Even though our economic activity may improve quality of life on one end, it’s also disasterous for the planet that sustains our lives.

It’s like cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Actor William Shatner had a similar experience to Garan's when he traveled into space.

"It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered," Shatner wrote. "The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna … things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind."

“We're not going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality,” Garan said.

However dire the situation looks from the surface of Earth, the astronaut has hope that we can collectively evolve in consciousness and wake up and embrace a larger reality. “And when we can evolve beyond a two-dimensional us versus them mindset, and embrace the true multi-dimensional reality of the universe that we live in, that's when we're going to no longer be floating in darkness … and it's a future that we would all want to be a part of. That's our true calling.”

Pop Culture

## Woman presents a gym mystery so gripping even celebrity author John Green wants it solved

### "This is a great American drama.”

@katherout/TikTok

Just another unsolved mystery

Who doesn’t like a good mystery?

A video creator known as @katherout certainly does. At the gym Kath frequents, there’s a whiteboard with a revolving prompt with simple questions like “What are you listening to?” or “What city were you born in?” Gym goers then write their responses anonymously on the board.

Kath recently became enthralled—and tickled—by a person who somehow manage to write the word “monke” (as in the word describing a group of monkeys, apparently) on every single one of their answers.

“No matter what the prompt is, somebody always finds a way to write the word ‘monke,’” Kath said in a TikTok video. “This is very amusing to me because I’m very attracted to commitment to the bit.”

Determined to solve who this “mystery monke gymgoer” was, Kath hatched a plan. First, she waited for the right whiteboard opportunity. When the staff wrote, “Who would you like to spend dinner with?” she knew to strike while the iron was hot. So in her reply, she wrote, “Monke Man.”

@katherout my life is very whimsical and fantastical becaise i make it that way by engaging in these sorts or charades #crush#gym#gymtok#dating#truecrime#mystery♬ original sound - katherout

Much to her surprise, that got a response. Next to her entry, the name Wes was written. At last, a lead!

Keen on aiding Kath in her pursuit of answers, a gym worker at the front desk revealed that there were currently seven or eight people named Wes in the gym’s database. Kath then left a secret admirer note for "Monke Man" at the front desk. She then wrote on the board that whoever kept writing “monke” should go there and pick up their letter.

At this point, several million viewers on TikTok were also invested in Kath’s puzzle, including New York Times best-selling author John Green, who wrote “The Fault in Our Stars.”

"This is a great American drama,” he commented.

@katherout Replying to @literallyjohngreen life is stranger than fiction etc #mysterymonkegymgoer♬ original sound - katherout

The official TikTok for the highly acclaimed sitcom “Ghosts” also chimed in, writing, “Putting our entire afterlives on pause until we get a monke update.”

Alas—when Kath returned to the gym, she discovered her whiteboard note had been erased, thus bringing her search back to square one. Just as the plot began to thicken, it sizzled out.

Though we might never know Monke Man’s true identity, Kath’s relentless pursuit of whimsy and fun is what people really seemed to respond to anyway. That, and her insatiable curiosity.

Pop Culture

## Airbnb host has world riveted over stolen painting that was replaced inside her own home

### Who is this Airbnb Bandit?

@allbelongco/TikTok

How bizarre, how bizarre.

It should go without saying that it’s not cool to steal from your Airbnb. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen.

However, when one Airbnb host recently discovered a guest had—for some strange reason—stolen one of her paintings, then replaced it with a completely different painting, she decided to make the best out of a very uncool situation by sharing the story on TikTok.

As a result, viewers got to witness an continuously unraveling, truly bizarre modern-day art heist.

Okay, let’s get into it.

"OK the weirdest thing just happened," host Amy Corbett says at the beginning of her video.

She then shows what the living room in the listing normally looks like—with a painting of a map hanging on a wall over a couch.

But when Corbett shows up to the unit, we see that it is definitely not a painting of a map hanging on a wall over a couch. Instead, there’s a painting of an orange airplane.

“I have never seen the picture before in my life!” Corbett exclaims in the video.

@allbelongco The weirdest thing a guest has ever done. #airbnb#airbnbstory#airbnbguest#airbnbthief#crazystory#story#fyp♬ original sound - allbelong.co

Creeped out, she looks around the apartment to see if the oil painting is anywhere to be found. Nada. Zilch.

Needless to say, commenters had their theories. Several mentioned hearing similar stories involving the same painting, leading them to believe this was all part of some long and involved paint-swapping prank. Others went the more traditional route of assuming this guest was trying to cover up some damage inflicted to avoid fees. Others still thought this person was an artist trying to do some sort of clandestine self-promotion.

In a follow-up video, Corbett debunked those theories, saying that not only could that airplane image be found “all over the web,” but the wall it was hanging on was “pristine,” not to mention the fact that the original artwork was next to impossible to accidentally damage.

@allbelongco Replying to @exploration_of_love Let’s debunk some theories while we wait to hear from Airbnb… #airbnb#airbnbguest#fyp♬ original sound - allbelong.co

As for whether or not this person had swapped out other paintings, Corbett has reached out to one of the guest’s previous hosts, who confirmed that it had not taken place there.

Corbett kept audiences in the loop with several follow-ups, including actual security footage of the guest caught in the act.

The video shows a man (now dubbed the Airbnb Bandit) walking from his car carrying the airplane painting. Next, he’s seen in a different-colored hoodie carrying out the map painting, which is bundled up in a blanket.

@allbelongco Camera footage doesn’t lie…🤷🏻‍♀️ #airbnbstory#airbnbguest#fyp#airbnb#airbnbthief#allbelongco#story♬ original sound - allbelong.co

As if things couldn’t get any stranger, when Corbett sent an official claim through Airbnb about the artwork, the Airbnb Bandit did pay, but only a portion of what was asked. Then when she asked when he could pay the rest of it…he asked for a 5-star review.

Wow. Just…wow.

While the actual identity of this unusual art thief remains a mystery, Corbett is being reimbursed by Airbnb. Plus, she has decidedly made her “negative story into a positive one” by hiring a local artist to create a new painting to hang above her couch, one that features a waterfall view and the Jamestown River visible just outside the listing. Plus, she’s raffling off the airplane painting to raise funds for affordable housing in her area.

This might be one of the weirder Airbnb stories out there, but at least it has a pretty happy ending.

Internet

## 11-year-old is the world's youngest opera singer and can sing in eight different languages

### She even sings in her sleep, according to her mom.

11-year-old girl is the youngest opera singer in the world.

The majority of 11-year-olds are perfectly content balancing the pre-teen life with Barbie dolls and tinted lipgloss. But one pre-teen is busy breaking records. Victory Brinker is an 11-year-old opera prodigy who was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's youngest opera singer in 2019 when she was almost 8 years old.

If you like opera—or even if you don't—hearing her vocal range of three octaves and voice control is impressive. When it comes to singing, control of your breath, pitch and tone can be difficult, especially when you're without years of classical training. Victory's skill is so impressive that when she appeared on America's Got Talent last year, she was given the "golden buzzer," which sends you straight to the finalist round in Hollywood.

Her impressive chops have also landed her trips around the country, an opportunity to sing at the Steelers game and even a couple of flights across the globe.

"I've gone to Paris. I've gone to Milan, Italy," Victory told ABC4. As for the Steelers game, she said it was cold.

Victory is one of 11 children, and while the rest of the world is just finding out about her talent and want to hear more from her, her siblings would like for her to cut back on the singing. This shouldn't come as a surprise since most siblings are less impressed by what their brother or sister can do than people who don't have to live with them.

Victory's siblings being over her constant singing doesn't deter the pint-sized opera powerhouse; she simply sings to her stuffed animals. The singer is also able to sing in multiple languages, so when she's done annoying her siblings in English she can choose from a list of languages to sing in.

"English, of course. Latin, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Korean and Ukrainian," Victory revealed to ABC4.

Listen to Victory belt out a familiar opera tune below:

Family

## Wife cooks nachos for 'picky' husband who refused to eat her salmon. But she has a point.

### Should she be cooking two meals?

Brianna Greenfield makes nachos for her husband.

A viral video showing a woman preparing nachos for her "picky" spouse after he refused to eat the salmon dinner she cooked has sparked a contentious debate on TikTok. The video was shared on April 26 by Brianna Greenfield (@themamabrianna on TikTok) and has since earned over 2.5 million views.

Brianna is a mother of two who lives in Iowa.

The video starts with Brianna grating a massive hunk of cheese with a caption that reads: “My husband didn’t eat the dinner that I made…So let’s make him some nachos.”

“If I don’t feed him, he literally won’t eat,” she wrote. “This used to irritate me. Now I just blame his mother for never making him try salmon,” Greenfield wrote. The video features Meghan Trainor’s single “Mother” playing in the background.

At the end of the video, she hands her husband a huge plate of nachos while he lies on the couch under a blanket.

The video received over 11,000 comments on TikTok, primarily people saying that she shouldn’t have made a second meal for her husband and that he appears to be entitled.

@themamabrianna

Moral of the story: always serve your kids allllll the food, even if they say they dont like it after the first time. 25 years from now your child’s spouse will thank you. 😉 #momsoftiktok #momtok #momlife #workingmom #sahm #marriedlife #marriage #marriagehumor #wifelife #wivesoftiktok #happywifehappylife #pickyeater #pickyhusband #nachosfordinner #wivesoftiktok #cuisinartairfryer #humpday #guesswhatdayitis🐪 #guesswhatdayitis #eattherainbow

"If my husband came home after I cooked dinner and told me he wasn’t eating it to make something else I’d laugh in his face," Rebecca Rose wrote. "This ain't a marriage it's a caretaker internship," Ad Trèz added.

"It got worse with him wrapped in the blanket being served," Lauren Becker wrote. "Ohhh...now I know what people mean when they refer to 'the ick,'" Tara Townsend commented, referencing the moment when people realize that their attraction to someone has turned to repulsion.

However, Brianna believes that people are missing the point of her video. "Moral of the story: always serve your kids allllll the food, even if they say they don't like it after the first time. 25 years from now your child’s spouse will thank you," she captioned the post.

Brianna wasn’t trying to paint her husband as infantile but call attention to the fact that when parents don’t expose their children to different types of food, they can wind up with a relatively unsophisticated palette. She knew he didn't like salmon when she made the dinner for her and her kids, so it wasn't a surprise that he didn't want it.

“If you have parents who don’t really like to try anything new, you will also be exposed to fewer new foods,” Marcia Pelchat, Ph.D. told Self—adding that the reverse is also true. When we have positive experiences with new foods, we are more likely to try unfamiliar tastes in the future.

Even though many took shots at Brianna and her husband, they took it all in stride and aren’t bothered by people who don’t know them.

"Thankfully, my husband and I have an excellent sense of humor and know the truth (that he is a wonderful husband and even better father), so we just think the reaction is genuinely entertaining,” she told Newsweek. “Some of the rude comments are hilariously clever!"

After the first video went viral, she posted another where she serves him macaroni and cheese, while he lays on the couch, under a blanket with numerous electronic devices around him.

@themamabrianna

Brianna on TikTok

Pop Culture

## Guy buys chair on Facebook Marketplace for \$50 and finds out it could be worth \$50,000

### Best \$50 ever spent.

@miztermiller/TikTok

Now THAT'S a deal.

Let's be real—buying secondhand allows us to save a few bucks, which is great. But the real thrill is the possibility of snagging that ultra-rare, one-of-a-kind item that’s worth a bajillion times more than we originally paid for it. Yes, that kind of shopping is a lottery unto itself. But man, what a jackpot, should you win.

And of course, it’s not a totally far-fetched fantasy. Costly things get thrown out or donated all the time, ready to be procured at the nearby thrift store, garage sale…

…or, in this case, Facebook Marketplace.

In February 2023, Los Angeles-based designer and container creator Justin Miller posted a TikTok sharing a listing he found for a dark tan leather wingback chair going for \$50.

Miller immediately felt the piece was “unique” and dove into some online research. The brand, he discovered, was Frits Henningsen, with the design dating back to the 1930s. Miller would later discover (thanks to a helpful commenter) that the same chair showed up during Kirsten Dunst’s hour tour for Architectural Digest, where the actress mentioned that only 50 of the chairs were ever made.

@miztermiller Can’t believe I just found this amazing designer chair on Facebook Marketplace for \$50! Could be worth \$100,000 🙃 #homedecor#interiordesign#diy#homerenovation#thrifted#vintage#thrifthaul#facebookmarketplace#antiques♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) - CKay

With all that info, the prices for the chair were expectedly “insane,” ranging from \$9,634 to \$60,000, to even a whopping \$223,943 for a pair of the exact same chair in the listing—meaning that, theoretically, one chair would be worth around \$100,000. Yowza.

Of course, with a few scratches in the leather, Miller knew he wouldn’t be getting anywhere near \$100,000. But still, he seemed in for a pretty penny. So he of course bought the chair and has documented the ongoing journey in subsequent TikToks.

@miztermiller Replying to @minnymau5 UPDATE on the \$100k chair, and answering some questions! #homedecor#interiordesign#diy#homerenovation#thrifted#vintage#thrifthaul#facebookmarketplace#antiques#sothebys♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) - CKay

As he explained in an interview with Insider, the seller, located in Beverly Hills, gave Miller a quick heads up that the chair was potentially worth a lot of money. They had been tasked with selling a family friend's unwanted items in exchange for a percentage of the profits and had set up a yard sale, only to have to quickly pack everything up again after finding out that the city didn’t allow them. At that point, the only goal really was to sell everything as quickly as possible.

“She knew, she just wanted to get rid of it,” he said.

After procuring the chair, Miller submitted it to auction houses, and, according to Sotheby’s, it is estimated at…drumroll please…between \$30,000-\$50,000.

Best \$50 ever spent.

@miztermiller Replying to @scramli3 Such a great find, and I love that you’ve been along for the journey. More to come! #homedecor#interiordesign#diy#homerenovation#thrifted#vintage#sothebys#antiques♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) - CKay

Miller is still waiting to get the final price for his chair, but he is undoubtedly patting himself on the back for trusting his gut. And he’s sure to post how much it ultimately sold for on his TikTok, which you can find here.

Meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be perusing Facebook Marketplace.