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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!

Family

## Mom recalls the uncomfortable moment an older man complimented her 6-year-old's appearance

### When she didn't say "thank you," he accused her of having bad manners.

@yourejustliz/TikTok

“Nice is different than kind."

It might have been pretty universally accepted during our childhood for daughters to be expected to reciprocate affection from adults, whether they liked it or not. A non consensual kiss to grandparents here, a forced “thank you” there. But times have changed.

However, this change in parenting style can sometimes make for some, well, awkward or even downright uncomfortable situations as moms and dads try to advocate for this kid’s autonomy.

Recently, a mom named Liz Kindred detailed just such an incident with her six year old daughter, which has a whole lotta other parents discussing how to navigate these unideal interactions.

As she recalls in a video posted to TikTok, Kindred was waiting in line with her daughter when a grown man turned around and said “My goodness, you sure are pretty” to the child.

“My six-year-old is gorgeous, yes, but she is also very in tune and perceptive, and she's an introvert so she grabbed my leg really tight,” Kindred said.

Doubling down, the man repeated himself, saying “You sure are pretty. Look at those blue eyes,” which only made her shy daughter grab her leg harder.

Noting that being in a 12 step program has taught her to be less “knee jerk reactionary,” the mom bit her tongue and offered a polite smile to the man, hoping that would be the end of it. It wasn’t.

“He's a boomer and, God love him, he said, ‘I guess your mom didn't teach you manners.’ And I let out an uncomfortable little [chuckle], and the pause was long. It was long. And under his breath he said, ‘Guess not,’” she said.

In what she called the most ”Jesus loving way” she could muster, while still bluntly making her point, Kindred told the man "If you assume that I didn't teach my six-year-old daughter to say ‘thank you’ to a grown, consenting man when he compliments her appearance, then you would be correct."

What followed was the “longest silence” of Kindred’s life.

The video, which has been viewed over 6 million times now, prompted a ton of parents to share how their own kids have established boundaries in similar situations—with their support, of course.

“An old man called my 4 yr old daughter a sweetheart at the store…she boldly responded ‘I am NOT YOUR sweetheart!’ I was so proud,” on person recalled.

Another added, “My 3 year old says ‘NO THANK YOU MY BODY DOESN’T LIKE TAHT.’”

Still another said “My 2 yo knows the boundaries song and just starts singing that anytime someone talks to her.”

While the response to Kindred’s video was overwhelmingly positive, there were a few comments defending the man as simply being “kind.” This prompted Kindred to do a follow-up video doubling down on her decision.

In the clip, she shared how she herself has dealt with seemingly innocent compliments in her life from men, which later turned into something else. Feeling like she “didn’t have a voice” to say something, “because I’m a nice Christian, Southern girl,” Kindred ended up being in unsavory situations (she didn't explicitly say what those situations were, but it's easy enough to piece together). She doesn’t want her daughter to have the same issues.

“Nice is different than kind. The kind thing to do is to teach our daughters and our children in this next generation that when you are uncomfortable with something you listen to your body and you set a firm boundary with that and you provide language around that. And you start that really really young.”

Yep. Well said.

Pop Culture

## Video shows how Gummy Bears are made in reverse

### You’ll never look at a gummy bear the same way again.

Photo by Amit Lahav on Unsplash

Another type go gummy... Gummy Bears.

The first gummy bears were created in the 1920s by Hans Riegel, owner of the Haribo candy company in Bonn, Germany. Since, gummy candies have become popular worldwide and evolved to take the shapes of fish, sour patch kids, frogs, worms, and just about anything a clever candy maker can imagine.

But unlike the popular Disney '80s "Gummi Bears" cartoon, these sweet little guys don't come from a hollow tree in the forest. Sadly, their creation is a bit more terrifying.

In the video below, Belgian filmmaker Alina Kneepkens shows how the colorful snacks you bought at the movie theater actually began as pigskin. Yes, an NFL football and a gummy bear have the same humble beginnings. But if you're a vegan or vegetarian, there's no need to worry; there are candy manufacturers that make gummy bears out of agar and pectin so you can enjoy these fruity delights minus the swine skin.

Now, you know you want to sing along to this tune.

Family

## Heartbroken wife files for divorce after DNA test reveals 2-year-old son isn't hers

### She first became suspicious when her son didn't have blue eyes.

A woman in distress contemplates her future.

It’s pretty common to hear a story about a man whose life is turned upside down after a DNA test proves that he’s not the father of a child he thought was his. However, hearing a mother dealing with the same scenario is rare. That’s why a recent post on Reddit has so many people talking.

A user named ThrowRA-3xbetrayal claims that a DNA test shows her husband is the father of the 2-year-old boy they’ve raised but she isn’t the biological mother.

The story began 6 years ago when the couple tried to conceive but had no luck. The woman then discovered she had a “medical condition” that meant she couldn’t bring a baby to term, which resulted in a partial hysterectomy. The woman, who refers to herself as the family’s “breadwinner” took on multiple jobs to pay a surrogate to have their child.

“I still had my ovaries so we started looking into cost of a surrogate. It is really expensive! My close friend since college who'd already had 2 kids of her own, offered to serve as the surrogate for us to cut down on costs. After two disappointing IVF sessions that did not result in pregnancy, she became pregnant on the 3rd try and carried a boy to term for us,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote.

The couple was over the moon after the birth of the boy and the surrogate became a bigger part of their lives.

A woman in distress being comforted.via Liza Summer

“My friend and my husband started talking more and I would sometimes come home from my weekend job to find her already hanging out at our house when my husband was there,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote. “I chalked it up as innocuous and it's good for her to know my husband better since she was in the process of hopefully carrying our child for us. I was grateful to have someone helping us have a child.”

But the mother became suspicious because the baby’s eyes were brown when she and her husband’s were blue.

The mother took the child to a doctor’s appointment and she received some devastating news. She discovered that her son’s blood type is B+ while his father’s is O+ and She is A+. The doctor said it was “biologically impossible” for her son to have that blood type given his parents’.

ThrowRA-3xbetrayal thought the fertility clinic made a horrible mistake. She took a DNA test and found that her husband was the boy’s father, but she was not the mother. “Then my husband confessed that he'd slept with my friend (our surrogate) on a few different occasions during our struggle to have her get pregnant with our embryos,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote. “This means what I thought was our son conceived by IVF and carried with a surrogate isn't my son at all and was, in fact, conceived the old-fashioned way, which I can't ever do.”

The woman says that the terrible news felt like a triple betrayal. The woman has decided to divorce her husband and wants to give up any parental rights to the child. Her husband, the surrogate and her family all believe that she’s wrong to give up rights to the child that she’s raised for 2 years.

She asked Reddit’s AITA forum to tell her if she was in the wrong and the community responded with overwhelmingly positive support, affirming her tough decision.

A happy toddler playing on the beach. via Taryn Elliott/Pexels

The most popular commenter said that she should sue the surrogate for taking her money without having her baby. “One of the things that gets me is that you were working extra jobs to pay for the surrogacy which I am assuming included her medical bills and financially supporting her. I would speak to a solicitor about suing her for your money back. She knew that if she was having sex then there was always a chance that the child was biologically hers,” they wrote.

Another affirmed the wife’s decision to leave her husband and to surrender any parental rights. “He cheated... it's not yours. I will absolutely tell you what I tell men posting this. It would be wonderful if you love the kid enough to stay, but if you're in shock and damaged too much to do so, you aren't the A**le for walking away,” they wrote.

Another pointed out that if a man were in this position, no one would judge him for giving up his parental rights. “If these roles were reversed and you were a man saying that his wife had cheated and had another man’s baby, people would have no problem telling him that he’s within his rights to leave and have nothing to do with the child if he doesn’t want to,” the commenter wrote.

If the story that ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote tells is true, it’s an incredible tragedy. She fought so hard to have a child only to realize she was living a lie two years later. So, let’s hope she found some solace in the hundreds of people who supported her decision to move on with her life while also sharing some great advice on going forward.

Science

## Neil DeGrasse Tyson gives awesome answer to 6-year-old on how kids can save the planet

### "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." — Albert Einstein

Neil DeGrasse Tyson at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

I recently spent some time with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's known not only for breaking down stereotypes about what kinds of people go into science, but he has actively stood up and spoken against those who would close its doors, especially to young women.

So when Neil was asked this question by a little girl during a public speech, he gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. It may drive some parents crazy, but it also might just help change the world.

Identity

## Homosexuality in the Bible: Here's what six passages say and how to interpret them.

### The video does a really great job of contextualizing each reference.

Looking into the text of the Bible.

Matthew Vines' "God and the Gay Christian” video at the bottom of this article analyses six passages related to homosexuality in the Bible. It does a really great job of contextualizing each reference (because we all know that Scriptures out of context can cause misinterpretation at best and d-r-a-m-a at worst).

We've also broken down each reference to homosexuality in the Bible here:

## The Story of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19)

This story in Genesis 19 is probably the most popular passage used to condemn homosexuality. Here is how Vines explains it:

"God sends two angels disguised as men into the City of Sodom where the men of Sodom threatened to rape them. The angels blind the men, and God destroys the city. For centuries, this story was interpreted as God's judgment on same-sex relations, but the only form of same-sex behavior described is a threatened gang rape."

So gang rape = not good (also not the same thing as homosexuality). But the recap of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Ezekial 16:49 highlights what Vines believes is the real point of the story:

"Now, this was the sin of your sister, Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy."

In other words, everyone using this story as evidence of the sin of homosexuality, might be missing the point entirely.

## When God calls homosexuality an abomination(Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13)

Yep. We've all heard that Leviticus is where the Bible straight-up says that homosexual behavior is an abomination. And yes, it does. It also says that homosexuals should receive the death penalty (!!!). It also says the same thing about eating pork or shellfish, charging interest on loans, and a whole bunch of other restrictions that were a part of the Old Testament Law Code. But for Christians, the Old Testament doesn't (dare I say "shouldn't?") settle any issue because Romans 10:4 says that Christ is the end of the law. Which is probably why most Christians today eat meat, use credit cards, wear makeup, and support equality for women. Because, as Hebrews 8:13 says, the old law is obsolete and aging.

## When people turn away from God (Romans 1:26-27)

"Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones; in the same way, men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

This is where Vines really digs in on the the cultural context angle. In Biblical times, same-sex behavior was primarily seen as happening between adult men and adolescent boys (masters and servants — yikes), via prostitution, and by men who were married to women. In all of those cases, we can see why it would have been viewed as sinful, excessive, lustful, and against God's law. But he makes no mention of love, commitment, faithfulness, or the type of same-sex relationships that are at question in the debate around marriage. (By the way, Paul also says that men having long hair is "unnatural" and that women shouldn't speak in church, so it's clear Paul himself may have had some issues of his own.)

## Uses of the Greek works "Malakoi" and "Arsenokoitai"(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) (1 Timothy 1:10)

These words are included in the New Testament's lists of people who will not inherit God's kingdom. And there has been much debate over their original meaning. (Translating ancient words is hard, guys.) Some believe them to mean homosexuality and sodomy, whereas others have said that the closest modern translation would be "dirty old men." Ha! Here's how Vines explains it:

Many modern translators have rendered these terms as sweeping statements about gay people, but the concept of sexual orientation didn't even exist in the ancient world. Yes, Paul did not take a positive view of same-sex relations (nor did he support women speaking in church...), but the context he was writing in is worlds apart from gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. The Bible never addresses the issues of sexual orientation or same-sex marriage, so there's no reason why faithful Christians can't support their gay brothers and sisters.

Fascinating, right? If you'd like to learn more about homosexuality in the Bible or hear Matthew Vines' personal story check out his book "God and the Gay Christian."