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

## Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

### The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

In a TikTok that's been viewed over 17 million times, the Gardiner Brothers don cowboy hats while they step in time to "Texas Hold 'Em," much to the delight of viewers everywhere.

Watch:

@gardinerbrothers

Beyoncé 🤝 Irish dancing #beyonce #countrymusic

Michael and Matthew Gardiner are professional Irish-American stepdancers and choreographers who have gained international fame with their award-winning performances. They've also built a following of millions on social media with videos like this one, where they dance to popular songs, usually in an outdoor environment.

The melding of Irish dance with country music sung by a Black American female artist may seem unlikely, but it could be viewed merely as country music coming back to its roots. After all, country music has its roots in the ballad tradition of the Irish, English and Scottish settlers in the Appalachian region of the U.S. And despite modern country music's struggle to break free from "music for white people" stereotypes, it has roots in African-American traditions as well. For instance, the banjo, which has long been used in bluegrass and country music, was created by enslaved Africans and their descendents during the colonial era, according to The Smithsonian.

People are loving the blending of genres and culture that the TikTok exemplifies.

"Never thought I’d see Irish step dancing while Beyoncé sings country," wrote on commenter. "My life is complete. ♥️"

"So happy Beyoncé dropped this song and exposed my timeline to diversified talent 👏🏽👏🏽," wrote another.

"Beyoncé brought the world together with this song 😭," offered another person.

"Ayeeee Irish Dancing has entered the BeyHive chatroom… WELCOME!! 🔥🔥🔥" exclaimed another.

"I don’t think I can explain how many of my interests are intersecting here," wrote one commenter, reflecting what several others shared as well.

The Beyoncé/Gardiner Brothers combo and the reactions to it are a good reminder that none of us fit into one box of interest or identity. We're all an eclectic mix of tastes and styles, so we can almost always find a way to connect with others over something we enjoy. What better way to be reminded of that fact than through an unexpected mashup that blends the magic of music with the delight of dance? Truly, the arts are a powerful uniting force we should utilize more often.

And for an extra bit of fun, the Gardiner Brothers also shared their bloopers from filming the video. Turns out stepping in the rain isn't as easy as they make it look.

### Beyoncé Bloopers #texasholdem #gardinerbrothers

@gardinerbrothers

Beyoncé Bloopers #texasholdem #gardinerbrothers

Internet

## Kellogg's CEO called out for suggesting people hit by rising food prices should eat cereal for dinner

### This is not the financial advice people were looking for.

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

Americans have been feeling excess pressure at the grocery store as prices continue to climb as companies rake in record profits, while wages stay the same. This may make for some resentment with consumers, especially when the CEO of a large company like Kellogg's promotes their own product as a solution for saving money.

“The cereal category has always been quite affordable, and it tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure,” Pilnick tells CNBC. "We gotta meet the consumer where they are so we're advertising about cereal for dinner. If you think about the cost of cereal for a family versus what they might otherwise do, that's going to be much more affordable."

It's true, grabbing a family size box of Frosted Flakes and a gallon of milk is much more affordable than cooking a pot roast with all the fixings. The problem is, people probably don't want to hear money saving tips from a CEO that makes millions a year who is pushing a solution that essentially increase his company's earnings. "Squawk on the Street" host, Carl Quintanilla seemed to try to hint to Pilnick that his strategy may upset some people by asking if he was worried his approach may, "land the wrong way."

While the CEO said the approach was "landing really well right now," people on the internet are having some big feelings. A TikTok user who goes by the name PinkWigCorporategirly, uploaded the clip featuring the CEO's comments along with a caption that read, "Rich CEO of Kellogg's telling the poor and all of the laid off workers to eat cereal for dinner while standing in front of a mansion. This is what companies think of you."

The TikTokker was not alone in her feelings. Several commenters chimed in with their own thoughts.

"Give the peasants cereal for dinner," one person writes.

"Even cereal is \$5+/box and the bags hold LESS cereal now, like 45% of the bag, so Kellogg's can kick rocks," someone else says, while others were worried about the sparse nutritional value in cereal.

"You don't need vegetables. Especially not kids. Who needs to be healthy," another sarcastically asks.

PinkWigCorporategirly wasn't the only one to make a video about the CEO's remarks. The general consensus seems to be that Pilnick should not give out financial advice that will enhance his own company's profits.

Health

## We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Bozeat started vomiting one evening and couldn't stop, unable to even keep water down. "My symptoms showed no signs of abating," he wrote. "At this point I had to seek medical treatment, I knew I had to go to the hospital."

"I wanted to avoid it," he added. "I had no idea how different Taiwanese hospitals would be, whether I would be able to find an English speaking doctor, or what it would cost me (my US health insurance has lapsed and I don't qualify for Taiwanese NHI)."

Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) is a single-payer system that covers all residents of Taiwan. Foreigners can take part in the system immediately upon obtaining a work permit, or after six months of living in the country. Bozeat was a student and hadn't lived there long enough to be eligible yet.

But he needn't have worried.

## Bozeat's bill for his entire hospital stay was a fraction of many insured American's copays for emergency services.

And it's not like he received substandard service for what he paid.

"My Taiwanese roommate called a taxi and took me to the ER at NTU Hospital," Bozeat wrote. "I was immediately checked-in by an English speaking nurse. Within 20 minutes I was given IV fluids and anti-emetics. They took blood tests and did an ultrasound to ensure it wasn't gall stones or appendicitis. From there I was given a diagnosis: a particularly severe case of Acute Viral Gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu). After about 3 hours on an IV, I began to feel slightly better, my nausea disappeared and my stomach began to calm down."

Bozeat was discharged with a prescription for anti-emetics and pain medication, and after a few days he was back to normal. This is when most of us would start panicking as we wait for the hospital bills to start arriving. But Bozeat was pleasantly surprised:

"The bill for the ER visit?...US \$80.00. Eighty. American. Dollars. Out of pocket. Full cost. No discounts. No insurance. At one of the best hospitals in Taiwan. And if I had NHI, it would have been a fraction of that. This could have easily cost me hundreds or even thousands in the US without insurance. But here in Taiwan I was able to receive speedy, quality care comparable to what I would have gotten in a US hospital for relatively small amount of money."

And it's not like he received substandard service for what he paid.

"My Taiwanese roommate called a taxi and took me to the ER at NTU Hospital," Bozeat wrote. "I was immediately checked-in by an English speaking nurse. Within 20 minutes I was given IV fluids and anti-emetics. They took blood tests and did an ultrasound to ensure it wasn't gall stones or appendicitis. From there I was given a diagnosis: a particularly severe case of Acute Viral Gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu). After about 3 hours on an IV, I began to feel slightly better, my nausea disappeared and my stomach began to calm down."

Bozeat was discharged with a prescription for anti-emetics and pain medication, and after a few days he was back to normal. This is when most of us would start panicking as we wait for the hospital bills to start arriving. But Bozeat was pleasantly surprised:

"The bill for the ER visit?...US \$80.00. Eighty. American. Dollars. Out of pocket. Full cost. No discounts. No insurance. At one of the best hospitals in Taiwan. And if I had NHI, it would have been a fraction of that. This could have easily cost me hundreds or even thousands in the US without insurance. But here in Taiwan I was able to receive speedy, quality care comparable to what I would have gotten in a US hospital for relatively small amount of money."

I did some research, and the cost of living overall in Taiwan is about half what it is here. There is not a hospital that I know of in the U.S. where you can be admitted and discharged for anything close to \$160, even for something as simple as a bee sting. (Seriously, an ER visit for a bee sting can set you back \$12,000 in the U.S.)

## Bozeat also pointed out that the taxes that pay for Taiwan's health system are not that high.

Responding to the common complaint that we'd have to raise taxes to pay for universal healthcare, Bozeat continued his list:

"5: Yes, taxes pay for the healthcare here. No, they are not high. Try for yourself: The formula for the NHI monthly premium contribution for a single employed adult is: [your monthly income] x 0.0469 (4.69%) x 0.3 (30%) = Your monthly out-of-pocket healthcare premium."

I did the math for a \$60,000 per year income—it comes to \$70.53/month. [Sigh.]

But Bozeat wasn't done:

"6: It's not perfect. Not everything is 100% covered. I had a good experience, but Im sure many people have had [non-financial] medical horror stories here.

7: This system exists because the Taiwanese government believes that healthcare is a right for all of its citizens, rather than a privilege for those who can afford it. Those aren't my words, thats what the Ministry of Health said in its English language brochure. Every Taiwanese citizen and foreign permanent resident is entitled to, and required to enroll in the National Health Insurance Program (NHI). Everyone is covered, regardless of employment status, no one is uninsured, no one ever goes bankrupt due to medical bills."

## And the quality of care does not appear to be compromised in this system, either.

"I have yet to meet a Taiwanese person who wasn't satisfied with, or even outright proud of their healthcare system," Bozeat wrote. "My expat friends praise it, even those from countries with universal healthcare systems of their own. "

But Bozeat wasn't done:"6: It's not perfect. Not everything is 100% covered. I had a good experience, but Im sure many people have had [non-financial] medical horror stories here.7: This system exists because the Taiwanese government believes that healthcare is a right for all of its citizens, rather than a privilege for those who can afford it. Those aren't my words, thats what the Ministry of Health said in its English language brochure. Every Taiwanese citizen and foreign permanent resident is entitled to, and required to enroll in the National Health Insurance Program (NHI). Everyone is covered, regardless of employment status, no one is uninsured, no one ever goes bankrupt due to medical bills." And the quality of care does not appear to be compromised in this system, either."I have yet to meet a Taiwanese person who wasn't satisfied with, or even outright proud of their healthcare system," Bozeat wrote. "My expat friends praise it, even those from countries with universal healthcare systems of their own."

Pop Culture

## Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

### The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.

In a campaign aptly titled “You’ve Got The Power,” Lewinsky models fabulously chic and structured workwear pieces—blazers, pencil skirts, one badass leather trench coat—all while posing in a sky rise office building.

“Monica’s been empowering women to use their voices and feel powerful for a long time. So it just makes sense that she’d help us do the same."

Reformation

There are even subtle (or not-so-subtle) nods to Lewinsky’s previous chapter during the Clinton era: one image where she’s clad in vivid scarlet, head-to-toe, and another wearing large sunglasses as though she were thwarting the paparazzi.

On the campaign website, Reformation wrote: “Monica’s been empowering women to use their voices and feel powerful for a long time. So it just makes sense that she’d help us do the same. And while great clothes won’t fix everything, putting them on and going to the polls is a pretty good place to start.”

“Voting is using your voice to be heard, and it’s the most defining aspect of democracy."

Reformation

On the same page, Lewinsky is quoted saying “Voting is using your voice to be heard, and it’s the most defining aspect of democracy. If you wanna complain for the next four years, you gotta go out and vote."

Lewinsky told Elle in an interview published Monday that her decision to join the campaign was inspired by an evident rise in voter frustration and apathy.

“We all have to be reminding each other that we can’t let that get in the way of needing to vote, that that’s how we use our voice. That’s where our power is,” she shared.

"If you wanna complain for the next four years, you gotta go out and vote."

Reformation

For many women, clothing is a powerful form of expression. The fact that we have so many unapologetically feminine elements coming together to encourage women to use their voices, spoken in a language that many women understand on a visceral level…that in itself feels like progress.

Voting is sure to be tenuous this year. Whether this campaign serves as a reminder to get out there and let your voice be heard, or gave you inspiration for your election-day look, it’s a pretty worthwhile collaboration.

FYI: Though not modeled by Lewinsky, Reformation is also selling a limited edition "You Got The Power" sweatshirt. A portion of the proceeds made will got towards Vote.org, which works toward making voting more accessible.

Pop Culture

## Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

### People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra \$3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

The changes in pricing are part of a \$30 million effort to launch digital menu boards at all of its U.S. company-run restaurants by the end of 2025 and to enhance its digital menus at restaurants across the globe.

Many people feared the worst after the reports, but Wendy’s hadn’t provided any specifics on pricing during its announcement. “Dynamic pricing can allow Wendy’s to be competitive and flexible with pricing, motivate customers to visit and provide them with the food they love at a great value,” a Wendy’s spokesperson told The New York Post. “We will test a number of features that we think will provide an enhanced customer and crew experience.”

The news caused a lot of outrage on Twitter, where many railed against what they saw as a plan to start price gouging. They also feared that surge pricing would become ubiquitous in the fast-food industry, where consistency and low prices keep people returning to the drive-thru.

If you can’t depend on the price of a burger and fries on the drive home from work, then what can you depend on?

Prices at fast food restaurants are already on the rise. McDonald's raised its prices by 10% over the last year, and, according to PriceListo, Wendey’s prices have soared by 35% between 2022 and 2023 due to a rise in the cost of labor and supplies.

Adding surge pricing on top of higher prices would force many people to abandon the drive-thru altogether.

After the public backlash against its new pricing strategy, Wendy’s clarified that it has no intention of implementing surge pricing. “Wendy’s will not implement surge pricing, which is the practice of raising prices when demand is highest. We didn’t use that phrase, nor do we plan to implement that practice,” the company said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday, February 28.

However, it did add that its new digital menu boards may offer more dynamic menu offerings throughout the day that could save consumers a few bucks for stopping by during non-peak hours. The company said the new digital menus “could allow us to change the menu offerings at different times of day and offer discounts and value offers to our customers more easily, particularly in the slower times of day.”

Pop Culture

## What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

### There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

Here are some of the top things that are experiencing a "golden age":

## Astronomy

The amount that scientists have learned about the final frontier in recent decades is mind-blowing.

"Astronomy is currently experiencing a golden age. It has changed radically in the last 30ish years. Think on this, if you are 30 + years old, you were born into a world that wasn't sure if planetary systems were rare or common. We now know that nearly all stars are likely to have planets. We know of 5000+ exoplanets. Mars was not considered a place we could find signs of life by most. The generation of spacecraft exploring Mars since the year 2000 changed that. Now some argue that discovering signs of past life on Mars is a matter of when, not if. We found multiple worlds in our solar system with liquid water oceans. This is just scratching the surface. New technologies like JWST promise to keep the momentum for the foreseeable future." – Slimjerry

"A hundred years ago, we were debating if the Milky Way was the entire universe. It’s crazy to think about how far astronomy and cosmology have come. And it’s not just huge existential topics either. Galaxy evolution has been completely reversed in the past 20 years. Elliptical aka 'early type' galaxies are the end result of mergers of spiral and irregular aka 'late types.'" – snoogans235

"42 year old, you're not even doing the scope justice. When I was a little kid, it's not that we didn't know if planetary systems were rare or common, it's that we didn't know if there were other planetary systems! It was just an assumption we extrapolated from the fact that THIS star had them, a statistical contrivance! It could have just as easily proven true that our sun was profoundly weird, the only one this happened with. Think about that next time you're watching some classic B sci fi flick about going to another planet; that was a MUCH bigger leap in logic when that film was made than it is now." –Of_Mice_And_Meese

## Knitting and Crocheting

The fiber arts have been around a lonnnng time, but it's never been a better time to be a knitter.

"Knitting. First, we're in the golden age of yarns. There are hundreds of indie dyers putting amazing colors on a truly mind-boggling range of yarn bases (both fiber content and weight). Even "cheap" yarn is better quality, and comes in a wider range of colors and bases, than ever before. There's an abundance of wool yarn soft enough to wear next to your skin (although you can get scratchy yarn if that's your jam).

Then there are the patterns. Thousands of them, many of them free online. Think of what you want to make, and there's a pattern out there.

Tools, too. How do you like your needles - wood, bamboo, steel, aluminum, plastic, casein? Circular with 15 sizes of interchangeable tips, straight, long short? They're out there.

If you're a knitting nerd, it's a great time to be alive."

"I believe it's both crochet and knitting!! i might be a lil biased as i crochet and not knit but all the points you made apply to crochet!"

## Paleontology

DINOSAURRRRRS!!! Who knew?

"Paleontology! So much tech bringing new stuff to light."

"And archaeology. LiDAR's power to identify probably human-made structures under layers of jungle canopy is just incredible."

"And completely overhauling existing knowledge. DNA studies have changed to much in paleontology that there are joke papers published about it.

A lot of people's life work has been proven incorrect because of a few DNA studies despite those folks using the best methodologies available to them at the time."

## Cooking

So many recipes. So many documentaries. "The Great British Baking Show." All at our fingertips.

"Cooking! I'm 30 now and it's so easy to find amazing recipes, good cooking supplies, and with so much information I can save money on food in so many ways. Literally youtube is teaching me to make so many great things."

"Yup, and this influx of easy information has created a nexus of global cuisines in almost all major cities. the blending of ingredients and techniques from Asia, Europe, latin America, etc is creating some really incredible stuff. I worked at a three Michelin when I was younger that had a classically trained French chef who focused on Japanese ingredients, it was really quite something."

"Dietary options. No matter what issue you have, there's a pantry full of food that will meet that restriction AND taste good."

## Board Games

This one might be surprising, considering the internet and digital entertainment and screen usage. Perhaps board games are having a great run because of, not in spite of, those things?

"Board games have been having a great run for the past 10 years, tons of amazing games coming out every year."

"The combination of the internet and the inability to copyright rules have opened a floodgate of innovation in board games." – SuperPants73

"Here are some great modern games that are considered gateway games. I would definitely call them favorites also. (Edited for formatting)

Ticket to Ride
Carcassonne
Pandemic
Dominion
Splendor
Azul

King of Tokyo"

## Music Production Equipment

Excellent news for creatives with little \$\$\$.

"Playing guitar and recording music. You can buy a quality guitar online for crazy cheap now and some pro recording software out there is free." – leatherwolf89

"Seriously! 'Starter' instruments these days are so far ahead of the starters of the 90's/00's- it's insane how much quality you can get these days for much, much less." – Fortune090

"Keyboards, both synthesizers and mechanical.

It's possible to get a synth that sounds identical to a \$5000 Minimoog for \$200 and a decent mechanical keyboard for less than that." – the_slanted_slope

"To add to that, DAWs (sound/song editing software, like photoshop for music) are amazing these days!

Some have plug-ins that can mimic orchestras so accurately that you can tell them which way a violin bow's stroke is moving and configure valve sounds into saxes. Some digital flautists come with breath sounds! Like it'll blow a long riff, then a sound like the musician is lightly inhaling.

Off key? Add a little auto-tune. Drummer's all 'not quite my temp' on you? Align it to a digital metronome. Now your drum tracks sound like they're made by an app? Add a little random error into the mix to "humanize" it.

That shit used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now \$5k gets you a moderately professional studio rig. (But the price for top-end stuff will always be 'how much ya got?')" – hendergle

## Home Television Sets

For real. We've all experienced the opposite of inflation with home TVs and it's been a glorious thing.

"Home TVs. The sort of hardware you can get for even \$300 is absolutely absurd compared to what the 1980s through 2000s knew." – NotAnotherEmpire

"32-inch, 2006 from Best Buy for \$1,700.

I can’t come to terms with the fact that only 18 years later I’m watching a TV twice as big that cost 40% less and carries a picture quality that’s so good it gives me chills sometimes." – frawgster

"Accurate. Just got a 55" Samsung LCD for \$350. Hard to beat that value." – Pac_Eddy