They also beat the Ancient Greeks to it, according to Australian academics
The Ancient Babylonians knew about a form of trigonometry more advanced than the modern-day version – about 1,000 years before its supposed invention by the Ancient Greeks, academics in Australia say.
The astonishing claim is based on a 3,700-year-old clay tablet inscribed with a table of numbers.
Known as Plimpton 322, it is already known to contain evidence that the Babylonians knew Pythagoras’ famous equation for right-angled triangles, long before the Greek philosopher gave his name to it.
In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is covered in lush, vine-laden forest.
A team led by Princeton University researchers surveyed the land 16 years after the orange peels were deposited. They found a 176 percent increase in aboveground biomass — or the wood in the trees — within the 3-hectare area (7 acres) studied. Their results are published in the journal Restoration Ecology.
Here’s another TED-Ed brain bender that can ruin your evening. I actually tried for a little while to solve the puzzle on my own, but I got bogged down and went for the answer. Yeah, there’s math involved, as well as logic, which is why I got bogged down.
Chimpanzees learn rock-paper-scissors
New study shows that chimps’ ability to learn simple circular relationships is on a par with that of 4-year-old children
Chimpanzees of all ages and all sexes can learn the simple circular relationship between the three different hand signals used in the well-known game rock-paper-scissors. Even though it might take them longer, they are indeed able to learn the game as well as a young child. Jie Gao of Kyoto University in Japan and Peking University in China is lead author of a study in the journal Primates, which is the official journal of the Japan Monkey Centre, and is published by Springer. The research compares the ability of chimpanzees and children to learn the rock-paper-scissors game.
Alfakennyone presented this puzzle a couple of days ago. … Then check out the answer and explanation.
Then you’ll want to see the animated version … Spoiler: eventually, your basement will be completely flooded. -via Boing Boing
Here’s every total solar eclipse happening in your lifetime.
On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the contiguous United States. It’ll be the first to traverse coast to coast in nearly a century. There will be 69 total solar eclipses visible from somewhere on the planet in the next 100 years, but only a few will be visible from North America. See how many total solar eclipses are left in your lifetime:
The brain continues to surprise us with its magnificent complexity. Groundbreaking research that combines neuroscience with math tells us that our brain creates neural structures with up to 11 dimensions when it processes information. By “dimensions,” they mean abstract mathematical spaces, not other physical realms. Still, the researchers “found a world that we had never imagined,” said Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, which made the discovery.
and from TeD
The manipulative tricks tech companies use to capture your attention
Diamonds are forever, unless you’re on Saturn or Jupiter. Loads of the super-hard precious stones may be floating among the gas giants’ fluid layers and melted into liquid further into their depths, say a pair of planetary scientists.
The research, being presented at the Division for Planetary Sciences conference this week [Oct, 2013] in Denver, sprang from very humble beginnings — soot in Saturn’s atmosphere, said Kevin Baines, a planetary scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the work’s coauthors.
New studies of ancient concrete could teach us to do as the Romans did
July 3, 2017
Around A.D. 79, Roman author Pliny the Elder wrote in his Naturalis Historia that concrete structures in harbors, exposed to the constant assault of the saltwater waves, become “a single stone mass, impregnable to the waves and every day stronger.”
He wasn’t exaggerating. While modern marine concrete structures crumble within decades, 2,000-year-old Roman piers and breakwaters endure to this day, and are stronger now than when they were first constructed. University of Utah geologist Marie Jackson studies the minerals and microscale structures of Roman concrete as she would a volcanic rock. She and her colleagues have found that seawater filtering through the concrete leads to the growth of interlocking minerals that lend the concrete added cohesion. The results are published today in American Mineralogist.
Romans made concrete by mixing volcanic ash with lime and seawater to make a mortar, and then incorporating into that mortar chunks of volcanic rock, the “aggregate” in the concrete. The combination of ash, water, and quicklime produces what is called a pozzolanic reaction, named after the city of Pozzuoli in the Bay of Naples. The Romans may have gotten the idea for this mixture from naturally cemented volcanic ash deposits called tuff that are common in the area, as Pliny described.
From tywkiwdbi from a story in The Atlantic about anthropology professor, Bill Schindler
The skills prehistoric peoples depended on seem exotic to today’s college students, who Schindler says arrive on campus each year with less and less of the sort of practical experience that he emphasizes in his class. He tells of the time he asked some students to crack eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. He returned to the kitchen 10 minutes later to find that not a single egg had been cracked. “I asked them if the problem was that nobody had ever told them how to separate the yolk from the whites, and received blank stares in return,” he recalled. “After a minute of silence, one of them said, ‘I’ve never cracked an egg.’ I was floored—how do you even make it to 19 without cracking an egg?