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

## In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

The site was left untouched and largely unexamined for over a decade. A sign was placed to ensure future researchers could locate and study it.

## 16 years later, Janzen dispatched graduate student Timothy Treuer to look for the site where the food waste was dumped.

Treuer initially set out to locate the large placard that marked the plot — and failed.

The first deposit of orange peels in 1996.

Photo by Dan Janzen.

"It's a huge sign, bright yellow lettering. We should have been able to see it," Treuer says. After wandering around for half an hour with no luck, he consulted Janzen, who gave him more detailed instructions on how to find the plot.

When he returned a week later and confirmed he was in the right place, Treuer was floored. Compared to the adjacent barren former pastureland, the site of the food waste deposit was "like night and day."

The site of the orange peel deposit (L) and adjacent pastureland (R).

Photo by Leland Werden.

"It was just hard to believe that the only difference between the two areas was a bunch of orange peels. They look like completely different ecosystems," he explains.

The area was so thick with vegetation he still could not find the sign.

## Treuer and a team of researchers from Princeton University studied the site over the course of the following three years.

The results, published in the journal "Restoration Ecology," highlight just how completely the discarded fruit parts assisted the area's turnaround.

The ecologists measured various qualities of the site against an area of former pastureland immediately across the access road used to dump the orange peels two decades prior. Compared to the adjacent plot, which was dominated by a single species of tree, the site of the orange peel deposit featured two dozen species of vegetation, most thriving.

Lab technician Erik Schilling explores the newly overgrown orange peel plot.

Photo by Tim Treuer.

In addition to greater biodiversity, richer soil, and a better-developed canopy, researchers discovered a tayra (a dog-sized weasel) and a giant fig tree three feet in diameter, on the plot.

"You could have had 20 people climbing in that tree at once and it would have supported the weight no problem," says Jon Choi, co-author of the paper, who conducted much of the soil analysis. "That thing was massive."

## Recent evidence suggests that secondary tropical forests — those that grow after the original inhabitants are torn down — are essential to helping slow climate change.

In a 2016 study published in Nature, researchers found that such forests absorb and store atmospheric carbon at roughly 11 times the rate of old-growth forests.

## Treuer believes better management of discarded produce — like orange peels — could be key to helping these forests regrow.

In many parts of the world, rates of deforestation are increasing dramatically, sapping local soil of much-needed nutrients and, with them, the ability of ecosystems to restore themselves.

Meanwhile, much of the world is awash in nutrient-rich food waste. In the United States, up to half of all produce in the United States is discarded. Most currently ends up in landfills.

The site after a deposit of orange peels in 1998.

Photo by Dan Janzen.

"We don't want companies to go out there will-nilly just dumping their waste all over the place, but if it's scientifically driven and restorationists are involved in addition to companies, this is something I think has really high potential," Treuer says.

The next step, he believes, is to examine whether other ecosystems — dry forests, cloud forests, tropical savannas — react the same way to similar deposits.

## Two years after his initial survey, Treuer returned to once again try to locate the sign marking the site.

Since his first scouting mission in 2013, Treuer had visited the plot more than 15 times. Choi had visited more than 50. Neither had spotted the original sign.

In 2015, when Treuer, with the help of the paper's senior author, David Wilcove, and Princeton Professor Rob Pringle, finally found it under a thicket of vines, the scope of the area's transformation became truly clear.

The sign after clearing away the vines.

Photo by Tim Treuer.

"It's a big honking sign," Choi emphasizes.

19 years of waiting with crossed fingers had buried it, thanks to two scientists, a flash of inspiration, and the rind of an unassuming fruit.

Family

## Mom's video on why parents should give their kids adult names, not baby names, has parents debating

### Over 11 million people have watched the video.

Parents are debating over whether to give children "adult" or "baby" names.

The names we choose to give our children can significantly impact their lives. Multiple studies from across the globe have found that a person’s name can influence their employment, social and economic outcomes.

Unfortunately, humans make snap judgments about one another, and having an unusual name can lead people to make unflattering assumptions. “We’re hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody,” Northwestern University researcher David Figlio said, according to Live Science.

However, an increasing number of parents are giving their children non-traditional names to help them stand out. “Parents are trying to be original, almost branding their kids in an era where names are viewed on the same level as Twitter handles or a website URL,” writer Sabrina Rogers-Anderson said.

Ruby, a mother on TikTok, took a hard stance on parents giving their children names that sound childish in a post that’s received over 11 million views. Ruby says she named her kids as “adults, not babies” hoping they would never “outgrow” their names.

@rubyyvillarreal

#stitch with @nikkiruble love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesnt mean they will perfer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options 🤷🏻‍♀️ #nicknames #babynames #babytok #adultnames #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #momtok #momlife #babynames #babyname

“The whole concept when I was trying to look for a name and choose a name for her is I did not want her to outgrow her name,” she said in the viral video. “I wanted the name to fit her as a baby, as a toddler, as a child, and into adulthood. So, it's like I really am happy with what I ended up with naming her and it just fits her so well.”

She captioned the video, “love having nicknames as they are younger and it doesn’t mean they will prefer it over their name as they get older. Just gives them options.”

People in the comments responded with modern names they think that kids will outgrow.

"My name is Koazy and I’m here for a job interview," Stalker joked. "Hello sir, I am Bluey Mason Garrison! I was called in for a job interview last Tuesday," Pastel Purr added.

"I can’t imagine knowing [a] 30-year-old named Emma or Posie," Mikey wrote.

However, a lot of people commented that names that seem like they’ll be outgrown will sound fine in the future when those names are popular with the new generation. “Kids grow up with their generation having their own names on trend. They will be normal adult names when they are grown,” Kerry wrote.

“Names grow with the generation,” Lauren added. “The name Dennis sounded like a baby name once too. Names grow up just like generations.”

@rubyyvillarreal

Replying to @19eighty_5 my kids name and the process 😬 #babynames #nicknames #babytok #adultnames #momsoftiktok #momlife #momtok #pregnancytiktok #toddlersoftiktok #babyname #babyfever

In a follow-up video, Ruby shared the names she gave her children. Her girl is named Karla Esmerelda and her boy is called Deluca.

“I just really liked how simple, how bold, and strong that the name by itself just really kind of is. Doing some research names with the letter K tend to be like very bold and powerful names, so I really wanted it with a K and not with a C,” she said.

She named her son Deluca, after a doctor on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She said she chose the name because there was nothing to connect it to, and it sounded “nice.”

Science

## The longest — and probably largest — proof of our current climate catastrophe ever caught on camera.

### It was the largest such event ever filmed.

All GIFs and images via Exposure Labs.

## Photographer James Balog and his crew were hanging out near a glacier when their camera captured something extraordinary.

They were in Greenland, gathering footage from the time-lapse they'd positioned all around the Arctic Circle for the last several years.

They were also there to shoot scenes for a documentary. And while they were hoping to capture some cool moments on camera, no one expected a huge chunk of a glacier to snap clean off and slide into the ocean right in front of their eyes.

A glacier falls into the sea.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Massive swells created by large chunks of glacier falling away.

assets.rebelmouse.io

## It was the largest such event ever filmed.

For nearly an hour and 15 minutes, Balog and his crew stood by and watched as a piece of ice the size of lower Manhattan — but with ice-equivalent buildings that were two to three times taller than that — simply melted away.

A representation demonstrating the massive size of ice that broke off into the sea.

assets.rebelmouse.io

As far as anyone knows, this was an unprecedented geological catastrophe and they caught the entire thing on tape. It won't be the last time something like this happens either.

## But once upon a time, Balog was openly skeptical about that "global warming" thing.

Balog had a reputation since the early 1980s as a conservationist and environmental photographer. And for nearly 20 years, he'd scoffed at the climate change heralds shouting, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"

"I didn't think that humans were capable of changing the basic physics and chemistry of this entire, huge planet. It didn't seem probable, it didn't seem possible," he explained in the 2012 documentary film "Chasing Ice."

There was too much margin of error in the computer simulations, too many other pressing problems to address about our beautiful planet. As far as he was concerned, these melodramatic doomsayers were distracting from the real issues.

That was then.

The glacier ice continues to erode away.

assets.rebelmouse.io

## In fact, it wasn't until 2005 that Balog became a believer.

He was sent on a photo expedition of the Arctic by National Geographic, and that first northern trip was more than enough to see the damage for himself.

"It was about actual tangible physical evidence that was preserved in the ice cores of Greenland and Antarctica," he said in a 2012 interview with ThinkProgress. "That was really the smoking gun showing how far outside normal, natural variation the world has become. And that's when I started to really get the message that this was something consequential and serious and needed to be dealt with."

Some of that evidence may have been the fact that more Arctic landmass has melted away in the last 20 years than the previous 10,000 years.

Family

## Women are cheering on a mom who left her husband after he refused to clean the house for 6 days

### Her video highlights a big problem women face.

via @5kids5catssomedogstoo/TikTok

Lynalice Bandy shares what her home looks like after working six 10-hour days and getting no help from her husband.

A viral TikTok video highlights an extreme version of inequality that many wives and mothers in heterosexual relationships face. However, the mom in this story hit her limit and won’t deal with it anymore.

Lynalice Bandy, who goes by @5kids5catssomedogstoo on TikTok, posted a video that showed her home looking like a disaster after she worked six 10-hour days straight while her husband did nothing to help.

Her time-lapse video shows every room in the house completely trashed, with toys, food and laundry scattered everywhere. "Shampoo on the carpets in the girls' room, nail polish all over Nugget covers, hair, and carpet. Scissors were used to cut hair, the down comforter, the mattress cover, and two Nugget covers," wrote the mom.

“I’ve worked six, ten-hour days in a row with only one day off being a sick day,” she captioned the video. “I’d like to pretend I’m not the only person who cleans here, but as you can see…These rooms don’t get much attention when I’m not here.”

@5kids5catssomedogstoo

#divorce #parentingfail #messyhouse #whenwomen #depressionanxiety #clean #satifying

She says her husband’s excuse was that he was focused on doing his schoolwork and couldn’t pay attention to the kids. "Now, that school is out for a break, he doesn't have that excuse anymore," Bandy says, noting that all of his attention has been focused on “the four vehicles in our driveway that he wants to work on continuously.”

In a follow-up video, Bandy announced that she left her husband after the debacle. The original video received over 17,000 comments, many of which were from supportive women.

"You deserve much better, and he deserves to be alone. Much love to you from someone that left that life behind almost 20 yrs ago. You'll get here, too," Angela LaRoche wrote.

"Ma’am, you are nothing short of amazing! Hang in there!" Japanese with Jenny wrote.

"That home is beautiful because of YOU," Hillary added. "You put in so much work, and it is not unseen by me and so many others. But, you DO deserve better. Proud of you."

@5kids5catssomedogstoo

Even though Bandy’s experience with her husband is an extreme case of a couple whose domestic duties are way out of balance, it points to a problem that plagues many households. Even though it’s 2023 and families are becoming more equal, women still do significantly more housework than men.

A study utilizing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey found that women 15 years and older spend 5.7 hours daily doing housework and looking after kids and elders. Men in the same age group do an average of 3.6 hours of daily domestic work.

That’s a 37% difference in time spent on household responsibilities.

Further, women who work an average of 35 hours a week spend 4.9 hours a day on household chores and child care, while men who work the same amount spend an average of 3.8 hours.

The comments show that there are a lot of women out there who are frustrated with their husbands for not doing their fair share. Hopefully, this video will encourage more people to speak out about domestic inequality and for more men to step up and do their part.

Humor

## Woman sends her mom pictures of random babies in an effort to get her to an eye doctor

### The series went on for a full week before the new grandma got suspicious.

Woman pranks mom with pictures of random babies

Every once in a while it's fun to play pranks on people you love so long as they're harmless and everyone gets to laugh, including the person being pranked. It can turn into a funny story to share with other people or you can accidentally start a never ending prank war. It's a toss up really but one that will certainly cause belly laughs.

When Emily Haswell had her first child a little over a year ago, she noticed that her mom seemed to need glasses but refused to see the eye doctor. Instead of nagging her mother who visits weekly to see her grand baby, Haswell decided she would pull a prank designed to force her mom to admit she needed glasses. The new mom decided to share the results of her prank on her social media pages.

Haswell admitted to her followers that her mother not only visited once a week to see the baby but would ask for daily pictures of her new grandchild. But instead of sending pictures of her daughter, Sadie every time, Haswell started sending pictures of random babies she found on the internet to see how long it would take for her mom to notice.

"Hi guys! My mom asks for pictures of my baby every day, she also refuses to go to the optometrist so I have decided to start sending her pictures of random white babies I find on the internet until she notices," Haswell reveals in her intro to the short lived prank series. "Just to be clear, I also send her real pictures of my baby and she sees my baby like once a week."

By day three, grandma seemed to suspect but didn't outright deny the baby that was sent was Sadie so the prank continued. It lasted a full seven days before the silly series ended but commenters were invested.

"Nah, girl. You need to double down. Something like "Wow, really, mom? Not recognizing your own granddaughter? Nice...," someone wrote.

"This is just truly chefs kiss of quick entertainment 🤌. The investment is real and heavy," another person said.

There doesn't seem to be a conclusion on the series but with a new baby, mom brain is real and we're just glad Haswell gifted us with this comical multi-day prank.

popular

## Woman shares the very real struggle of trying to do yoga with a Bernese Mountain Dog

### Dogs love to exercise with us and on us.

Grizzly Bane attempts yoga with a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Anyone who has a dog knows that they will never leave you alone when you are exercising. When you pull out the workout mat, the dog knows you’re about to get active and absolutely has to be involved. They see you stooped down to their level and assume you've stooped to their level and it's time to wrestle.

A TikTokker named Grizzly Bane, 27, showed how much dogs love to play with us while we’re trying to exercise in a clip where she has to fight a Bernese Mountain Dog off her yoga mat. Her efforts are unsuccessful, but the video is adorable. The video also gives her a great excuse next time she doesn’t feel like like working out: “My dog wouldn’t let me!”

“Exercise with your dog they said,” Grizzly Bane captioned her video.

### Exercise with your dog they said 😅

@grizzly.bane

Exercise with your dog they said 😅 #exercisedog #bernesemountaindog #mydogsloveme #yogadog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an impressive canine that can reach a height of 27 inches and weigh up to 120 pounds. Even though they can be intimidating, they're usually calm but always ready to play. They are true people-pleasers who love to have fun with their owners, especially when they’re just trying to do a little yoga on the porch.

These lovely dogs are especially gentle with kids.

"He’s testing your core strength," Jeff Craigen joked in the comments. "Lmfao this is why I rejoined the gym because I can’t do it at home anymore," Rae and Remmy added.

"She said you are doing downward dog all wrong!" Mrbravo75 commented.