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!

## 10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

### Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

Not quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

## Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

### 273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

## Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

### 345 calories | 20 minutes

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

Plant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

## Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

### 568 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

Sometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

## Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

### 513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

## Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

### 509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

These mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

## Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

### 187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

Move over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

## English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

### 327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

This pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

## Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

### 313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

Did we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

## Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

### 283 calories | 10 minutes

2 slices prosciutto

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

Vegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

## Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

### 444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Education

## In 125 years, millions of people have looked at this painting. No one really saw it until recently.

### Van Gogh saw something it took scientists another 100 years to see.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Van Gough never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

## I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.

But I found this and I thought, "Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing." And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

We've got the set up here, but you have to watch the video for the full effect. It's all the way at the bottom.

## Get this: Van Gogh was a pretty cool artist (duh), but as it turns out...

What’s the truth behind when you take off an ear?

assets.rebelmouse.io

*Pretty much.

## Here's the story.

While Van Gogh was in an asylum in France, after he mutilated his ear during a psychotic episode*...

(*Or, and I'd like to thank the entire Internet for pointing this out, there's a theory that his friend Paul Gauguin actually cut off his ear, in a drunken sword fight, in the dark. The more you know!)

Animated a thinking one-eared Van Gogh.

All Van Gogh GIFs via TED-Ed.

...he was able to capture one of science's most elusive concepts:

## ~~~TURBULENCE~~~

Animated "Starry Night."

assets.rebelmouse.io

Turbulence expressed through art.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Although it's hard to understand with math (like, REALLY HARD), it turns out that art makes it easy to depict how it LOOKS.

So what is turbulence?

Turbulence, or turbulent flow, is a concept of fluid dynamics where fluid movements are "self-similar" when there's an energy cascade — so basically, big eddies make smaller eddies, and those make even smaller ones ... and so on and so forth.

It looks like this:

Pictures explain science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

See? It's easier to look at pictures to understand it.

## Thing is, scientists are pretty much *just* starting to figure this stuff out.

Animation of referencing art to science.

assets.rebelmouse.io

## Then you've got Van Gogh, 100 years earlier, in his asylum, with a mutilated ear, who totally nailed it!

Science studying Van Gogh.

assets.rebelmouse.io

The folks who noticed Van Gogh's ability to capture turbulence checked to see whether other artists did the same. Most impressionists achieved " luminance" with their art (which is the sort-of *pulsing* you see when you look at their paintings that really shows what light looks like).

## But did other artists depict turbulence the way Van Gogh did?

NOPE.

Animated “The Scream."

assets.rebelmouse.io

## Not even "The Scream" could hold a candle to Van Gogh!

Capturing concepts of nature.

assets.rebelmouse.io

Even in his darkest time, Van Gogh was able to capture — eerily accurately — one of nature's most complex and confusing concepts ... 100 years before scientists had the technology to observe actual star turbulence and realize its similarity to fluid turbulence mathematics as well as Van Gogh's swirling sky. Cool, huh?

Joy

## Jennifer Garner shows how a random act of kindness begins with a simple Ziploc bag

### Now, you're prepared to help at any time.

Jennifer Garner's Ziploc care package.

Homelessness has been on the increase in America since 2016 and the numbers exploded in 2020. On a single night in January 2020, there were more than 580,000 individuals who were without a home.

There are many reasons for the increase in homelessness and one of the leading causes is a lack of affordable housing across the country. Housing prices have been on a steady increase and, according to PBS, we are about 7 million units short of affordable housing in the country.

So what can the average person do about this human tragedy taking place in America’s streets? Some people who would like to help don’t feel comfortable giving money to homeless people, although experts in the field say that most of the time it is OK.

“If you don’t have money or time, or capacity to donate, I still think it’s nice to be respectful and say hello,” Diane O’Connell, a community lawyer for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, told the Chicago Tribune.

Actress Jennifer Garner, 49, shared a great idea on Instagram for those who would like to help homeless people but aren’t sure how to do so.

The actress posted a video where she filled zip-up plastic bags with everyday items that homeless people need.

"Random act of kindness: gather these essentials in a quart sized ziploc bag and keep them in your car to give away when you see someone in need,” she captioned the post. “A pair of thick socks. Kleenex. Hand wipes. Disposable toothbrushes. Chapstick. A couple of granola bars. I forgot this time, but like to add feminine hygiene products, too. Add \$5, \$10, \$20 and a smile.”

For those not comfortable giving money, they can put a gift card in the bag for a local restaurant. O’Connell says that one thing most homeless people desperately need is a hot meal.

“Simple, cheap foods like bagels and doughnuts aren't that helpful,” O’Connell said. “People who are homeless can usually buy things like that for themselves." Often what people experiencing homelessness need is a hot meal, she said, because that’s more difficult for them to buy.

Greendrop says that the items most commonly requested by homeless people are socks and undergarments. Homeless people are always walking and have a hard time accessing laundry facilities so their socks and undergarments are often dirty or falling apart.

Here are some other items that will help make homeless people more comfortable:

Shampoo and conditioner

Toothpaste

Hair brushes and toothbrushes

Soap

Lotions

Nail clippers

Feminine hygiene products

Reusable containers

Garner’s Ziploc bag tip is a great idea because it’s a simple way for people to lend a hand when they encounter someone on the streets. How many times have you been driving around, saw someone in need, but didn’t have any way to help? This way you can easily brighten someone’s day when you see them at a freeway on-ramp or in a parking lot without having to ask yourself whether you feel comfortable giving them money.

Identity

## Gen X advice for Gen Z: Woman shares the things she wishes 'somebody told me in my twenties’

### 'You date people you think you deserve. You deserve better.'

Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

Here is some of the timeless advice that Smith shares in the video.

Perfection is bullshit.

You will never be more good-looking than you are today.

Don't change for anybody.

Laugh at yourself.

If somebody shows you their true colors, believe them.

Travel.

You end up dating the people you think you deserve. Usually, you deserve better.

Don’t forget to always wear your sunscreen.

@melodynotevintage

This might only help one person and thats ok. Advice I wish somebody told me in my twenties. #genx advice for #genz and late #millennials #adviceforyour20s #lifeadvice #fyp dont be an asshat in the comments if you are older, its not helpful.

She followed up the video with a sequel with even more sage advice.

Know who's on your side and who you can ask for help.

Don't smoke.

Don't spend longer than one year with the wrong person.

Don't stress over the small stuff.

Good manners don't go out of style.

Do the work that it takes to be really good at something.

Your happiness is more important than other people's disappointment.

@melodynotevintage

This might only help one person and thats ok. Advice I wish somebody told me in my twenties part 2 #genx advice for #genz and late #millennials #adviceforyour20s #lifeadvice #fyp

Identity

## Rural Texas dad shares what he told his son when they saw a trans woman for the first time

### His simple message is an example for all parents.

James Barlow shares his story on TikTok.

A dad is sharing his first encounter with a transgender woman in his small Texas town, and the simple lesson he taught his son is inspiring hope in others.

James Eric Barlow (oddragon226 on TikTok) shared a video from his car describing how he and his son saw a trans woman in real life for the first time. "We all know that there's people that are disgusted whenever they see a trans person," Barlow begins. "And we all know of the people who don't care if they see a trans person.

"But apparently, we're a third type of person (or at least I am, I can't speak for him)," he says, indicating his son in the backseat who chimes in with "I am, too!"

Barlow then goes on to explain how they had just had their first experience with a trans woman. It wasn't anything major—she just walked through a door behind them and Barlow held the door for her, just as he would any other person. He didn't even notice she was trans at first, but once he did, his immediate reaction was one we can all learn from.

"When I tell you how happy it made me," he says, beginning to tear up, "to be able to see somebody be out and open to the world here in small town Texas. You just gotta know how much bravery that takes. Right, Mikey?"

"Hell yeah!" the son agrees.

Barlow wanted to say something to her, but he didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable, either.

"But if you're a trans woman and you came here to the Landmark truck stop in Clyde, Texas, just know we're proud of you," he concludes.

@oddragon226

our first trans woman experience #trans #transwoman #transpeoplearepeople #transrights #translivesnatter

Barlow's video was shared on Reddit, where it's received 37,000 upvotes and a slew of comments that prove parents set the tone for their kids' sense of acceptance.

"Indoctrinate your children with kindness, compassion, consideration and respect for others." - Toddthmpsn

"When I was younger I would get my hair cut by a woman named Liz. She spoke Spanish so it was hard for to understand her English sometimes. My dad spoke Spanish so would translate for her and me. I noticed Liz looked a little different then other women. But I never said anything, I never felt any differently about her. She never scared me, or made me question anything. She was just Liz. As I got older I realized she was a trans woman. And it literally changed nothing. She was still just Liz. Liz was always kind and treated everyone warmly. I havnt seen her in years but I hope she is doing well. I really liked her." - PerplexedPoppy

"This literally happened to me as a child in the 80s. A cashier at a store we visited suddenly started dressing in a feminine style and it appeared that they were transitioning. My mom explained to me in an age appropriate way that sometimes people decide they want to be a man instead of a woman, or a woman instead of a man. She told me that people would probably be mean to the cashier and it was important for us to remember that and always be polite to her, as we would anyway. This was way before trans issues were as mainstream as they are now, but my mom had seen an episode of Phil Donahue where transwoman discussed their stories, and she recognized it as a medical issue. Core memory for me." - ZipCity262

"As a trans woman, im deathly afraid whenever I have to go to rural areas. I can instantly feel physical tension when I walk into a gas station or a restaurant in these areas. Thank you for being supportive. Trans people need you now more than ever." – rainbow_lenses

It really is a simple matter to accept people as they are and treat all humans with dignity, kindness and respect, even if we don't fully understand them. And as this dad and son show, it's a simple matter to demonstrate non-judgmental acceptance in front of our kids so they hopefully will grow up without being bound by chains of bigotry they'll later have to learn to unload.

Science

## Canadian man captures the 'one in a million' moment when a moose sheds both its antlers

### The man calls himself a shed hunter.

It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

According to The Guardian, Burgoyne was flying his drone through a remote patch of forest in Canada when he spotted three moose in a clearing. His drone followed one of the bulls, who began doing the wobbly little shake thing that signals these antlers are going bye-bye.

Burgoyne knew he had to keep his camera on the moment—but he had no idea that he’d hit the jackpot.

Watch below:

It’s hard to tell which is more fun to watch— the super rare moment in nature or Burgoyne’s pure passion for his hobby.

“I shook a little bit. It was an adrenaline rush for sure,“ he told CBC News, sharing that he has previously found hundreds of shed antlers in his life.

Antler hunting has become a hot and profitable pastime over the past few years, although Burgoyne affirms that his shed hunting ambitions are born from a desire for well-being, not monetary gain.

“I enjoy being in the woods. It’s great exercise and it’s fun tracking the moose through the winter and looking for their sheds in the spring. Each one you find feels like the first one. It never gets old,” he told The Guardian.

Well Derek Burgoyne, thank you for doing what you love. Thanks to your passion, we too can share this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Here’s to good moose news!

Education

## 9 of the most intriguing Christmas-time traditions from around the world

### From the log that poops out Christmas presents in Catalonia to a towering cat that eats lazy children in Iceland, here are some fascinating holiday traditions that have emerged around the globe.

The Tió de Nadal eats food scraps and poos candy and presents.

Christmas is celebrated around the world, but it looks a bit different everywhere you go. While there are some fairly universal traditions, such as decorating a tree and giving gifts, there are some traditions specific to different cultures that are both unique and intriguing.

Check these out:

### 1. ITALY—La Befana: The Good Witch

Women dressed up as La BefanaEleonora Gianinetto/Wikimedia Commons

In Italy, La Befana is a good witch who flies around on a broomstick on January 5th, the night before Epiphany. Children put their shoes out with a glass of wine and a piece of bread for La Befana, and fills their shoes with candy or small gifts—or chunks of coal, onions or garlic for the naughty ones

Iceland’s 13 Yule Lads are merry and mischievous troll-like figures, each with a different name and personality. They visit children one at a time during the 13 days leading up to Christmas, leaving gifts and playing tricks, including leaving rotten potatoes in the shoes of kids who don’t behave. According to the Smithsonian, the Yule Lads used to be a lot creepier, but in 1746, the country outlawed scaring children with monstrous tales about the 13 lads. (Would love to know what prompted that law!)

### 3. ALSO ICELAND—The Yule Cat

Yule Cat on display in downtown Reykjavik, December 2022

ProcrastinatingHistorian/Wikimedia Commons

As if the Yule Lads weren’t enough, a towering, fearsome cat roams the Icelandic countryside around Christmastime, peeking into homes to spy on children’s presents. In Icelandic tradition, if kids get all of their chores done, they are gifted some new clothes. If the Yule Cat (aka Jólakötturinn) sees that a child wasn’t given clothes (in other words, a child was lazy), the cat proceeds to eats the child’s dinner and then moves on to eating the child. Yes, you read that right. It eats the child. Icelandic folklore doesn’t mess around.

### 4. PHILIPPINES—The Giant Lantern Festival

Giant Lantern Festival 2012

Ramon FVelasquez/Wikimedia Commons

In the Philippines, the Giant Lantern Festival is held in San Fernando City (dubbed the Christmas capital of the Philippines) every year the week before Christmas Eve. According to Travel & Leisure, the lantern tradition is rooted in the history of Filipino Catholics building small, colorful lanterns to light up the procession to Christmas Eve mass. The giant parol lanterns for the festival, however, are huge—up to 20 feet tall—and it can take up to 10,000 light bulbs to illuminate them.

### 5. SPAIN (CATALONIA)—The Tió de Nadal (pooping log)

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Some cultures have a yule log. Catalonia, Spain, has the Tió de Nadal—a log with a hat, a blanket, a smiley face and a penchant for pooping out presents. Children feed the smiling log scraps of food at night and it poop out presents on Christmas Day. There's even a song kids sing to the log, imploring it to not poop out salted herring (too salty), but nougats in instead, all while hitting the log with a stick. According to Catalan tradition, the eating of the scraps and the beating with the stick leads to Tió de Nadal pooping out presents and nougat on Christmas. And apparently, no one questions it.

### 6. BAVARIA—The Krampus

Krampus costume

Anita Martinz/Wikimedia Commons

In Bavaria (which includes Austria, Germany, Switzerland and some of the surrounding area), the Krampus is a centuries-old tradition that has been revived in modern times. The Krampus is a horned, hairy, hellish creature who follows St. Nick on his rounds to punish naughty children by scaring them (or tossing them in a sack and beating them). Many cities hold Krampus festivals each year, where people parade around in Krampus costumes like the one above.

### 7. VENEZUELA—Roller Skating to Christmas Mass

Venezuelans roller skate on Christmas

Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

Most of us don't association Christmas with roller skating, but that's not the case for Venezuelans. Christmas is an all-night roller skating party, which includes singing Christmas songs and culminates with everyone rolling their way to Christmas Mass at dawn. Most interestingly, according to a Venezuelan woman's explanation in America Magazine, it's not even like Venezuelans are a big roller skating culture the rest of the year—it's just a Christmas thing.

### 8. JAPAN—A Finger Lickin' Good Tradition

KFCs are packed for Christmas in Japan

Photo by Stabel Webel on Unsplash

Japan doesn't have a long history with Christmas and thus no long-standing traditions associated with it. What they do have is 50 years of eating KFC for Christmas, thanks to a "Kentucky for Christmas" marketing campaign launched by the first KFC restaurant owner in Nagoya, Japan, in 1970. Somehow, it stuck and is now a beloved tradition for millions of Japanese families.

### 9. UKRAINE—Spider Webs on Christmas Trees

Ukrainians celebrate spiders at Christmas.

Erika Smith/Wikimedia Commons

According to Ukrainian legend, an impoverished widow and her children grew a tree from a pinecone outside of their house, but they were too poor to decorate it for Christmas. The household spiders heard the children's sobs and spun their webs into decorations overnight. When the children awoke on Christmas morning, they cried out “Mother, mother wake up and see the tree. It is beautiful!” As the day went on and the sun's rays hit the delicate webs, they transformed into silver and gold and the widow never wanted for anything again. Today, Ukrainians decorate trees with spider webs for good luck and fortune in the new year.

Whatever your family or cultural holiday traditions are, let's celebrate the differences that make our world so interesting.