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!

Pop Culture

## Folks are admitting that Boomers weren’t totally wrong. Here are 19 things they got right.

The gaze of the approving Boomer.

Over the past few years, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) have been getting a lot of grief from the generations that came after them, Gen X (1965 to 1980), Millenials (1981 to 1996), and now, Gen Z (1997 to 2012). Their grievances include environmental destruction, wealth hoarding, political polarization, and being judgemental when they don’t understand how hard it is for younger people to make it in America these days.

Every Baby Boomer is different, so it's wrong to paint them all with a broad brush. But it’s undeniable that each generation shares common values, and some are bound to come into conflict.

However, life in 2023 isn’t without its annoyances. Many that came about after the technological revolution put a phone in everyone’s hands and brought a whole new host of problems. Add the younger generations' hands-on approach to child rearing and penchant for outrage, and a lot of moden life has become insufferanble.

These problems weren’t created by Boomers but by their hyper-online children and grandchildren who can’t seem to get their faces out of their phones.

A Reddit user named AnitaVodkasoda took to the AskReddit forum and asked posters to admit there were some things that Boomers got right. “What is something you can say 'I'm with the boomers on this one' about?” they asked, and many responses came from people fed up with the modern-day frustrations caused by technology and social media.

Here are 19 things that people think that Boomers got right.

### 1. App exhaustion​

"Any business which requires you to use an app. I don’t want to download an app, make an account, and remember said password for the account. Especially because the app doesn’t even work a lot of the time or is extremely convoluted with the frontend design." — Sammy_Henderschplitz

### 2. Let kids play

"Kids do great with totally unstructured outdoor play. They don’t need an organized game or activity. If you take a bunch of kids to a park and keep an eye on them they’ll figure out stuff to do together and often come up with creative and interesting things that adults wouldn’t have thought of. Just keep them physically safe and let them run around and do kid stuff. You don’t need to curate everything." — HeavyHebrewHammer

### 3. Pricey concerts

"Concert ticket pricing is too high. Once you get in a beer is \$17!" — Whatabout-Dre

### 4. Tip creep

"Every business asking for tips at checkout. Digital menus. Not being able to own things anymore like software or having to pay monthly fees for car features." — mutualbuttsqueezin

### 5. Phones at concerts

"Phones at concerts. I take one pic when the artist comes on and then I just enjoy the show. You’re never gonna look back at your sh**** videos with you singing off-key in the background lol just enjoy the music." — Used_Eraser

### 6. Kids online

"Social media is unhealthy and children shouldn't have unrestricted access to the internet." — horrorflowers

### 7. Lazy tablet parents

"Parents who let their kids use tablets in public spaces with the volume all the way up, no headphones, and not doing it to stop an imminent tantrum (if they truly cannot get the kid out of that shared space for some reason) are trashy af. Fight me." — kishbish

### 8. Bring back knobs

"Touchscreens in cars suck." — sketchy_painting

"Calling any business and getting an automated system that takes you 12 minutes to get through, doesn’t answer your question, and you can’t get a real person." — SexyJesus7

### 10. Raising entitled kids

"The 'my kid is never wrong' attitude every parent seems to have now. And we wonder why there’s a teacher shortage." — Cinderjacket

### 11. Emojis in work emails

"Learn to write a professional email. The number of Gen Z kids I’ve had who send me emails without salutations, with emojis and shorthand like lol omg etc, without proper spelling and punctuation, is crazy. That is fine for texting or exchanges with people you’re friends with, but it’s not for the workplace." — pistachiobees

### 12. Paper straws

"Paper straws suck." — JohnYCanuckEsq

### 13. Face tattoos

"Don't get tattoos on your face." — Disastrous-Aspect569

### 14. Gender reveals

"Just tell us if you are having a boy or girl. Or wait until the baby is born. We don’t need to assemble for some ridiculous reveal. I don’t want pink or blue dust all over the place." — Kevin Dean

### 15. People are too sensitive

"I think people tend to be too sensitive, personal outrage shouldn't be so important. It's disheartening to see so many people whine and cry and fight over inconsequential nonsense while pressing issues remain unaddressed." — Empathetic_Orch

### 16. TV sounds terrible

"Movies, and some TV shows for that matter, are mixed idiotically these days. I don't appreciate having to crank the volume way up to hear the whispered dialog, only to have a music swell or explosion or something blow my head clean off. No amount of tweaking my sound system has fixed this." — broberds

### 17. Affordable housing

"Being able to afford a house." — The-Black-Douglas

### 18. Blinded by the lights

"Headlights are too damned bright now." — 15all

### 19. The people on your lawn

"Get off my lawn." — Disastrous_Motor_189

Pop Culture

## Little boy steals the show at his sister's end-of-year dance school concert

### This kid was born to dance.

Klein Kwagga understood the assignment at his sister's concert.

Some kids are too shy to ever want to get on a stage, some will spend most of a performance staring awkwardly at their shoes, and some kids love the opportunity to show off what they've practiced in front of an audience.

And then there are the kids were simply born for the spotlight. You know them when you see them.

When Dirkco Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen hopped on stage with all of the other brothers and sisters of the dance students at René’s Art of Dance in South Africa, no one expected a viral sensation. According to Capetown Etc, it was the school's year-end concert, and siblings were invited to come up and dance to Bernice West’s Lyfie—a popular song in Afrikaans. And Dirkco, who goes by Klein Kwagga, took the assignment and ran with it.

Or rather, he danced with it. From the moment the music started, the 7-year-old was all in, expertly demonstrating his moves with intent seriousness. Nothing seemed to faze him—not the other kids around him, not the whoops from the crowd—he was just on.

Watch:

@kleinkwagga1

Doen dit lyfie doen dit! @Bernice West #Dans #fun #show Die Here het my mooi gemaak🎊🥳

Translated into English, the song begins with the lyrics "The Lord made me beautiful" and goes on to celebrate our bodies and dancing before God. But you don't have to understand a word of Afrikaans to enjoy Klein Kwagga's enthusiasm for the song and for dancing his little heart out.

"I can’t get enough of this, I want this vibe everyday," wrote one commenter.

"Jumped straight out of his Toyota land cruiser and owned the show 😁," wrote another.

After someone at the concert shared the video, Klein Kwagga's family set up a TikTok channel for him and shared some other videos. As one video shows, hamming it up is clearly in the kid's nature. Check out this clip of him as a ringbearer at a wedding:

@kleinkwagga1

#wedding #Ringbearer #Twist #Dance #funny@Die_Swart_Kat_ @boerboelwear @Robbie wessels @Bernice West

Gotta love a kid who instantly shines in the spotlight. Keep on dancing, Klein Kwagga. We love to see it.

Education

## Sweden’s landmark new proposal will stop the world from mixing it up with Switzerland

### Honestly, do you know the difference?

True

After over a thousand years of peaceful relations, European semi-superpowers Sweden and Switzerland may finally address a lingering issue between the two nations. But the problem isn’t either country’s fault. The point is that the rest of the world can’t tell them apart. They simply don’t know their kroppkakor (Swedish potato dumpling) from their birchermüesli (a Swiss breakfast dish).

This confusion on the European continent has played out in countless ways.

Swedish people who move to the United States often complain of being introduced as Swiss. The New York Stock Exchange has fallen victim to the confusion, and a French hockey team once greeted their Swiss opponents, SC Bern, by playing the Swedish National Anthem and raising the Swedish flag.

Skämtar du med mig? (“Are you kidding me?” in Swedish)

To help the world finally recognize the differences between the two nations, Sweden has created a landmark proposal to end the confusion once and for all.

“If people struggle to separate our two countries, we need to help them. We can’t change the names of our nations, but we can become more distinct. Sweden offers the luxury of a different nature, that’s why we think it’s time to decide who promotes what, and hopefully, we can reach an agreement,” said Susanne Andersson, CEO of Visit Sweden.

The Swedish proposal is simple and practical, just like its citizens. The country hopes to make a clear distinction between the two countries by deciding who talks about what. “We will be able to communicate things like sandbanks, rooftops and silence. Meanwhile, Switzerland will focus on banks, mountain tops, and loud noises,” Andersson said in a statement.

The Northern Lights in Sweden.Photo: David Schreiner/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

The Swedes hope that people will learn to distinguish Switzerland's technological advancements, such as particle accelerators and luxurious watches, from Sweden’s natural phenomena that, instead of winding you up, help you wind down.

The first draft of the official settlement was presented to Switzerland and can be read at the Visit Sweden website. “We’re hoping that Switzerland will negotiate with us on this important matter. But if they want contemporary fashion, the answer is no. They get to have leather couture, and we think that’s fair,” Andersson said, referencing the yellow-painted leather pants traditionally worn by herdsmen in Appenzeller.

A rooftop in Stockholm, Sweden. Emmie Bolmstedt/Visit Sweden

If Sweden and Switzerland come together on an agreement to distinguish their national identities, it’ll be a big win for the entire world. But, until then, the best way for you to truly learn the difference is to visit Sweden yourself.

Sweden’s calming, beautiful nature will refresh your spirit like no place on Earth. Imagine sailing on its pristine lakes while a sharp breeze runs through your hår (hair). Enjoy a hike in perpetual daylight during the Midnight Sun Period, or feast your ögon (eyes) on the mesmerizing Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland.

Looking for some high-altitude adventure? You and a friend could even take a yodeling tour in the Alps in the shadows of the magnificent Matterhorn. Sounds like fun? Sorry, got you. The Matterhorn is in Switzerland, and Swedish people don’t yodel; it throws off their lagom—a unique brand of Scandinavian chill.

Community

## People share the most practical ways to support new parents after giving birth

### Sometimes the best gift is practicality.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

People share the most practical ways to support new parents

There's a lot of preparation that goes into having a child well before they're even born. First there are the physical changes your body makes to clear up some space for a tiny human roughly the size of a watermelon. Then there's preparing the nursery, buying lots of extremely small clothes, diapers and an expected understanding that while sleep may be your friend, you won't be getting any of it for about a year.

Lots of people give plenty of advice to help you cope in the early days but after the baby arrives, the focus shifts to solely the baby. It's obviously not a deliberate shift. Babies are just more shiny and new that the parents. But not everyone forgets about the parents once baby makes their grand entrance–some go out of their way to make sure the parents feel supported.

Upworthy asked its audience, "what was the best non-baby related gift you received as a new parent," and the answers were a masterclass on how to care for new parents.

Usually when people think of new babies, they often stop short of thinking of the person that just gave birth. All of the gifts that come in are typically for the new infant, which is helpful but in the early days it can feel like you're invisible. This means that the small gestures to focus on the parent or parents can really make a big impact and it looks like the Upworthy audience is acutely aware of this fact. Here are some of the most meaningful and practical gifts:

##### 1. Everyone has to eat, especially when you've just birthed a human

"My best friend came by a day or two after I’d given birth with fresh washed and precut fruits and veggies and this is the only thing I remember being given. I was so thirsty and depleted and that gesture was everything," Emmanuelle Hertel writes.

"My grandma brought me groceries. Right to my third floor apartment. She was way old and it was probably a big hassle for her but incredibly helpful and thoughtful. She knew it was hard to leave the house and that I was a single mom of a baby," Kristina Scott remembers.

"A basket of easy to grab finger foods, cheeses, sparkling cider. It was a godsend," Peggy Auerbacher says.

##### 2. Cleaning is a gift of love

"A house keeping crew for a month from my sister-in-laws," Evelyn Strimel Durkin says.

"My mother had someone come in and deep clean my house right before I delivered. It stayed clean with little effort right through the first couple of weeks. And those last couple of weeks of pregnancy, I was definitely not able to clean the way that I would have liked to. It was a blessing. And a fabulous gift," Patrice Powers King writes.

"My mom came and cleaned my house top to bottom, let me shower, kept our crockpot full of healthy food, and helped me learn how to breastfeed. Best gift I’ve ever received," Casi Dixon Hitchens admits.

##### 3. Giving parents a much needed break from their littles to do wild things like nap.

"When my sister in law came & took our two little ones & said “do what you want but I’m taking your kids for a few hours “ These kids are now in their 50 ‘s and I still think about that. Best gift ever," Esther Keber says.

"A friend picked up my kids and took them to her house for dinner and play when she delivered dinner for husband and me," Mara Capuano writes.

"After a C-section w my first, my Mom came to help. I needed groceries AND I just needed to get out. She said “ take your time, no rush, I’m here”. She knew, I just needed a minute to myself, even if it was just getting groceries. She’s long gone, but she saw ME," Sandy Corr reminisces.

Of course people were happily taking notes of the thoughtful gifts other's received so they could pass along the practical joy. Is there a gift you received that simply made your life a little easier with a newborn? Tell us about it but most importantly, remember these ideas when you find yourself curious what to gift your expecting friend or relative.

Family

## A mom seeks doctor's help for postpartum depression and instead gets a visit from the cops

### Too many women lose out on much needed support because of unwarranted stigma.

Canva

Postpartum depression is very common, and treatable.

Jessica Porten recently visited her doctor four months after giving birth to her daughter, Kira. She wasn't feeling quite like herself.

She had been dealing with overwhelming sadness and fits of anger, which she knew was likely stemming from a case of postpartum depression.

In a Facebook post, Porten recounts the story of that appointment.

"I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby," she writes. "I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this."

In other words, she went to her doctor to ask for help for an extremely normal and treatable issue that affects an estimated 1 million women in the U.S. each year in one form or another.

But instead of getting help, as Porten tells it, the office did something pretty unexpected: They called the police.

Because of her admission to "violent thoughts," staff wanted the police to escort Porten to the ER for evaluation.

The cops, according to Porten, were skeptical of the need for their presence when they arrived and allowed her to drive herself to the hospital.

But the ordeal continued.

"We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me," she writes.

She says she waited for over an hour to get a room, all while wrangling her months-old baby. After some brief tests, a lot of waiting, and a super-short interview with a social worker, she was deemed mentally fit enough to be discharged.

Porten and her 4-month-old didn't leave the hospital until after midnight.

The worst part? Porten never got the help she asked for.

Postpartum depression is as serious as the stigma it carries

Canva

In addition to the undue stress and wasted time, Porten left the hospital without having received any medical help whatsoever.

"Not once during all of this has a doctor laid eyes on me," she writes. "Not once. Not even before they decided to call the cops on me."

Porten says that, for all her time and effort, she received some papers and pamphlets and was sent on her way.

"I’m still processing all of the emotions that are coming with being treated this way. I’m not exactly sure what to do here. I will say I am deeply hurt and upset, and above all angry and disgusted and disappointed by how this whole thing went down."

She also points out that if she had been a woman of color, her ordeal probably would have been even more drawn out and traumatic.

Postpartum depression is a serious issue - as is the stigma it carries.

Postpartum depression is common. The condition, and even the scary violent thoughts that sometimes accompany it, may even have an important evolutionary purpose. Some argue that new moms are on high alert for danger and that stress can sometimes visually manifest itself in their thoughts.

But, as with most mental health issues, postpartum depression can carry a lot of shame, embarrassment, and guilt for the women affected by it — leading them to ignore their symptoms instead of seeking help. One study even found that countries that don't recognize postpartum depression by name actually see women more likely to come forward with their symptoms.

Stories like Porten's show exactly why many women would rather suffer in silence than be poked, prodded, and treated inhumanely. And of course, not getting proper treatment will only make things wore.

It's time for a different approach.

It may be a common policy to call the police in the interest of the child's safety. But a policy that better addresses the mother's concerns and gets her the help she needs, without being shamed, is definitely a better way to go.

To get there, we need to help more honest and brave women feel comfortable coming forward about the aspects of postpartum depression that are hard to talk about. And we all need to better educate ourselves on the complexities of mental health issues and, more importantly, the human beings behind them.

This story originally appeared on 01.24.18

Identity

## Formerly enslaved man's response to his 'master' wanting him back is a literary masterpiece

### "I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters."

A photo of Jordan Anderson.

In 1825, at the approximate age of 8, Jordan Anderson (sometimes spelled "Jordon") was sold into slavery and would live as a servant of the Anderson family for 39 years. In 1864, the Union Army camped out on the Anderson plantation and he and his wife, Amanda, were liberated. The couple eventually made it safely to Dayton, Ohio, where, in July 1865, Jordan received a letter from his former owner, Colonel P.H. Anderson. The letter kindly asked Jordan to return to work on the plantation because it had fallen into disarray during the war.

On Aug. 7, 1865, Jordan dictated his response through his new boss, Valentine Winters, and it was published in the Cincinnati Commercial. The letter, entitled "Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master," was not only hilarious, but it showed compassion, defiance, and dignity. That year, the letter would be republished in theNew York Daily Tribune and Lydia Marie Child's "The Freedman's Book."

The letter mentions a "Miss Mary" (Col. Anderson's Wife), "Martha" (Col. Anderson's daughter), Henry (most likely Col. Anderson's son), and George Carter (a local carpenter).

Dayton, Ohio,
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jordon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy, — the folks call her Mrs. Anderson, — and the children — Milly, Jane, and Grundy — go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

Jordon Anderson