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Trigonometry Revisited

from PHYS.ORG

Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved

UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals.

The new research shows the Babylonians beat the Greeks to the invention of trigonometry – the study of triangles – by more than 1000 years, and reveals an ancient mathematical sophistication that had been hidden until now.

Known as Plimpton 322, the small tablet was discovered in the early 1900s in what is now southern Iraq by archaeologist, academic, diplomat and antiquities dealer Edgar Banks, the person on whom the fictional character Indiana Jones was based.

It has four columns and 15 rows of numbers written on it in the cuneiform script of the time using a base 60, or sexagesimal, system.

“Plimpton 322 has puzzled mathematicians for more than 70 years, since it was realised it contains a special pattern of numbers called Pythagorean triples,” says Dr Daniel Mansfield of the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the UNSW Faculty of Science.

“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.

[ click to continue reading at PHYS.ORG ]

Posted on September 16, 2017 by Editor

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Jim Carrey Awesome

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Editor

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The What?

from KCET

The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying ‘the’ Before Freeway Numbers

by Nathan Masters

1939_parkway_plan_1920.jpgThis 1939 plan, developed by the city of Los Angeles, refers to its proposed freeways by name rather than number. Priority parkways are highlighted in color in this 1943 reprinting of the plan from “Freeways for the Region.” Courtesy of the Metro Transportation Library and Archive.

Southern Californians have a distinctive – “Saturday Night Live’s” Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig might say funny – way of giving directions. To get from Santa Monica to Hollywood, take the 10 to the 110 to the 101. Burbank to San Diego? The 134 to the 5. And, if you can, always avoid the 405.

Why the definite articles? After all, a resident of the Bay Area enjoys coastal drives along “101” or takes “80 east” to Sacramento. Most of North America, in fact, omits the “the” before route numbers.

The answer begins with the region’s early embrace of the freeway. Long before the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 gave most U.S. cities their first freeways, Los Angeles had built several. These weren’t simply extensions of federal interstate highways through the city; they were local routes, engineered to carry local traffic and (partly) paid for by local funds. It only made sense that, as they opened one by one, they’d get local names, ones that succinctly denoted their route or destination. The freeway through the Cahuenga Pass thus became the Cahuenga Pass Freeway, and Angelenos knew the freeway to San Bernardino as the San Bernardino Freeway.

State highway officials did affix route numbers to these freeways. But clarity dictated that Southern Californians continue to use their descriptive names. In their early years, most Los Angeles-area freeways bore signs for multiple numbered highway routes. The Pasadena Freeway, for example, was Route 6, 66, and 99, all at once. The Harbor Freeway carried both Route 6 and Route 11. The Hollywood, Route 66 and 101. Who wouldn’t prefer the simplicity of a name over a confusing array of numbers?

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Editor

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Puppies Or Kitties?

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Editor

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Creepy.

from The Telegraph

‘Inspirational’ robots to begin replacing teachers within 10 years

by Henry Bodkin

Robots will begin replacing teachers in the classroom within the next ten years as part of a revolution in one-to-one learning, a leading educationalist has predicted.

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children will soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant.

The former Master of Wellington College said programmes currently being developed in Silicon Valley will learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication to what works best for them.

Automated teaching machines would be “extraordinarily inspirational”, Sir Anthony said.

“You’ll still have the humans there walking around during school time, but in fact the inspiration in terms of intellectual excitement will come from the lighting-up of the brain which the machines will be superbly well-geared for.

“The machines will know what it is that most excites you and gives you a natural level of challenge that is not too hard or too easy, but just right for you.”

He expected the National Union of Teachers to be “very alarmed” by the prospect.

[ click to read full article at The Telegraph ]

 

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Editor

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Still Unbelievable To Know This Day Actually Happened

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Editor

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Don Ohlmeyer Gone

from DEADLINE

Don Ohlmeyer Dies: ‘Monday Night Football’ Producer, Former NBC West Coast President Was 72

by Dino-Ray Ramos

Don Ohlmeyer, former NBC West Coast president and the man who transformed Monday Night Football into a pop culture phenomenon, died today at age 72. Sportscaster Al Michaels announced the news during the telecast of the Giants-Cowboys game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Ohlmeyer was born in New Orleans on February 3, 1945 and grew up in Chicago. He began his career with ABC Sports, working on Wide World Of Sports, and was the first producer of Monday Night Football. He also produced Olympics broadcasts.

In 1977, he went to NBC where he worked as the executive producer of the network’s sports division through 1982. He served as EP of NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl and World Series and created many series including SportsWorld, Games People Play, and produced the made-for-television movie The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story. He expanded sports coverage, introduced innovative production techniques including a 1980 NFL telecast with no announcers.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 10, 2017 by Editor

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Despicable.

from The New York Times

‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Reported Killed in Brazil

By

Members of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil in 2008. Indigenous groups in the Amazon are under increasing threat. CreditFunai/Associated Press

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — They were members of an uncontacted tribe gathering eggs along the river in a remote part of the Amazon. Then, it appears, they had the bad luck of running into gold miners.

Now, federal prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation into the reported massacre of about 10 members of the tribe, the latest evidence that threats to endangered indigenous groups are on the rise in the country.

The Brazilian agency on indigenous affairs, Funai, said it had lodged a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in the state of Amazonas after the gold miners went to a bar near the border with Colombia, and bragged about the killings. They brandished a hand-carved paddle that they said had come from the tribe, the agency said.

“It was crude bar talk,” said Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, Funai’s coordinator for uncontacted and recently contacted tribes. “They even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river.”

The miners, she said, claimed that “they had to kill them or be killed.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on September 9, 2017 by Editor

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Pierre Bergé Gone

from Architectural Digest

Remembering Pierre Bergé

The multitalented creative died today at age 86

Pierre Bergé at his retreat in Normandy. / Photo: Pascal Chevalier

Pierre Bergé had no nickname that I know of, but the pugnacious industrialist—a cofounder and longtime pilot, professional and personal, of fashion god Yves Saint Laurent—could have been dubbed Il Magnifico.

Few people juggled so much so well (give or a take a few upsets) as Bergé, who died today, age 86, at his home in Provence. He was a magazine publisher and a restaurateur (I can’t resist his Caviar Prunier outlets). A dynamo since his adventuresome youth—when he was the lover and successful promoter of French artist Bernard Buffet before defecting to Saint Laurent in a coup-de-foudre passion—he founded museums, ran opera houses, chaired foundations, and agitated French politics as an unrepentant Socialist with about as much tact as a hand grenade. He was a literary lion, had his own publishing company, and launched an auction house. He was a pioneering force in AIDS research and treatment in France, and a major figure in combating racism and discrimination. In short, Bergé was a whirlwind, a magician, a man who built mountains as easily as he moved or demolished them.

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Editor

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Don’t Mess With The Bell

from CBS Pittsburgh

Police: Taco Bell Employees Fatally Shoot Armed Robber

Stock image (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (AP) – Police say three employees of a Cleveland Taco Bell opened fire on two armed robbers, killing one.

Police have said two masked robbers entered the restaurant early Wednesday and ordered three employees to lie on the floor. Police say three other employees pulled out handguns and opened fire, shooting one of the suspects six times. The other suspect ran off.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday said the man killed was 24-year-old De’Carlo Jackson.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Pittsburgh ]

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Editor

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Oral Marley

from the Los Angeles Post-Examiner

Safeguarding Bob Marley with “So Much Things to Say”

BY STEPHEN COOPER

In reviewing Roger Steffens’s latest book, So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley, Hua Hsu asserts in The New Yorker that Steffens’s contribution to the Marley canon is his “nerdish monomania.” But Steffens, who invited me to tour his overstuffed “Reggae Archives” in L.A., epitomizes cool – as does his magnum opus on Marley – right down to its subtle red, green, and gold binding. Moreover, it is Steffens’s avidity and accuracy that allow readers to “really know the man” as Steffens did when he toured with Marley, subsequently devoting his life to safeguarding his legacy. Jamaican poet laureate Linton Kwesi Johnson writes in his introduction to Steffens’s oeuvre, that Steffens shows “how serious Marley was about his art: his single-mindedness and his consummate professionalism.” Steffens’s book exudes those same qualities.

On July 29, 2017, Steffens blessed me with a return invitation to the Reggae Archives to interview him. The topics we discussed included what got him interested in reggae; how his passion for the music developed; The New Yorker’sreview of his new book; the book’s main dramas and themes; and finally, Steffens’s hopes for “So Much Things to Say”’s enduring legacy. What follows is a transcription of our discussion modified only slightly for clarity and space considerations.

[ click to continue reading at LA Post-Examiner ]

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Editor

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The Most Revolting Recipe Ever

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Editor

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Ass-smoke

from Gizmodo

“Blowing Smoke Up Your Ass” Used to Be Literal

by Terynn Boulton

When someone is “blowing smoke up your arse” today, it is a figure of speech that means that one person is complimenting another, insincerely most of the time, in order to inflate the ego of the individual being flattered.

Back in the late 1700s, however, doctors literally blew smoke up people’s rectums. Believe it or not, it was a general mainstream medical procedure used to, among many other things, resuscitate people who were otherwise presumed dead. In fact, it was such a commonly used resuscitation method for drowning victims particularly, that the equipment used in this procedure was hung alongside certain major waterways, such as along the River Thames (equipment courtesy of the Royal Humane Society). People frequenting waterways were expected to know the location of this equipment similar to modern times concerning the location of defibrillators.

Smoke was blown up the rectum by inserting a tube. This tube was connected to a fumigator and a bellows which when compressed forced smoke into the rectum. Sometimes a more direct route to the lungs was taken by forcing the smoke into the nose and mouth, but most physicians felt the rectal method was more effective. The nicotine in the tobacco was thought to stimulate the heart to beat stronger and faster, thus encouraging respiration. The smoke was also thought to warm the victim and dry out the person’s insides, removing excessive moisture.

[ click to continue reading at Gizmodo ]

Posted on September 4, 2017 by Editor

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Blainef†ckery

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Editor

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Money Moon

from Nautilus

The Moon Is Full of Money

Capitalism in space.

BY POPE BROCK / ILLUSTRATIONS BY VEDANTI SIKKA

Brock_BREAKER

I was slung in my favorite deck chair, drink in hand, having a gawk at the night sky. Andromeda, Pisces … I trawled the constellations, mind abandoned, still aware in some curve at the back of my brain that the world is coming apart at the seams and we’re all fucked, and enjoying the gentle paradox of it, the clink of the ice in my glass and the slumber of the dog.

By and by I found my gaze resting on the moon. There it was, the great provider: breeder of wonder, werewolves, and all those songs. The place where beauty meets philosophy, where hope and despair alike are lost.

Gnawing through the romance though was a little something I’d read not long before. An astrophysicist had claimed that the moon could save our planet. Not immediately: This would be in about 4.5 billion years when the sun explodes and roasts us in wrath and fire unless we get out of the way.

Frankly, the notion of Earth making a break for it seemed implausible to me, but this Canadian professor said we could do it by shooting off an army of rockets on the far side of the moon. Slammed out of its orbit by the collective blast, the moon would sail off with Earth, yoked by gravity, trailing behind it. A thousand years’ travel and we’re out of harm’s way—albeit dark and freezing unless we initiate phase two of the plan. As the sun receded in the distance, we would replace its rays with a trillion lunar argon arc lamps. A flip of the switch and the moon would become the sun: blue sky, puffy clouds, everything just as before.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on September 2, 2017 by Editor

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Help me, Obi X Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

from Vanity Fair

Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope

Caught between vast, self-regarding waves of boomers and millennials, Generation X is steeped in irony, detachment, and a sense of dread. One of their rank argues that this attitude makes it the best suited to preserve American tradition in these dark new days.

by RICH COHEN

Collage of movie posters, album covers, photographs, books, and logos.Some of Generation X’s enduring cultural artifacts.

Demographics are destiny. We grew up in the world and mind of the baby-boomers simply because there were so many of them. They were the biggest, easiest, most free-spending market the planet had ever known. What they wanted filled the shelves and what fills the shelves is our history. They wanted to dance so we had rock ‘n’ roll. They wanted to open their minds so we had LSD. They did not want to go to war so that was it for the draft. We will grow old in the world and mind of the millennials because there are even more of them. Because they don’t know what they want, the culture will be scrambled and the screens a never-ending scroll. They are not literally the children of the baby-boomers but might as well be—because here you have two vast generations, linking arms over our heads, akin in the certainty that what they want they will have, and that what they have is right and good.

The members of the in-between generation have moved through life squeezed fore and aft, with these tremendous populations pressing on either side, demanding we grow up and move away, or grow old and die—get out, delete your account, kill yourself. But it’s become clear to me that if this nation has any chance of survival, of carrying its traditions deep into the 21st century, it will in no small part depend on members of my generation, Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds.

[ click to continue reading at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on September 1, 2017 by Editor

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