Saturday Morning Links

1. Ever heard of Mayotte Island? Me neither. Apparently it is a territorial collectivity of France, which is a lot of word salad to say that it was colonized by France back in the day and it’s off the east coast of Africa, east of Mozambique and north of Madagascar. Regardless, 84% of the population live under the poverty line, which is stunning and 40% of the dwellings are corrugated sheet metal shacks. Sounds like France is definitely taking care of their own.

Photo by Ben Jung on Unsplash

2. There is a fire that has been burning for 6,000 years. Via Futility Closet, a brush fire caused by a lightening strike on Australia’s Mount Wingen has been burning for 6,000 years.

3. Via Interesting Engineering, apparently the Pythagorean theory was around a thousand years before Pythagoras of Samos.

Authored by Dr. Daniel Mansfield, a researcher at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales in Australia, the study speaks about two archaeological discoveries, Plimpton 322 and Si.427. These are contemporary tablets from about 3,700 years back that contain inscriptions that are currently the oldest records of applied geometry that we currently have.

The Plimpton 322 was found earlier, and in 2017, Mansfield and his team had hypothesized that this “zoo of right-angle triangles with different shapes” was a unique kind of trigonometric table that had some practical purpose, such as constructing palaces and temples, building canals, or surveying fields. While it is believed that Greeks used trigonometry to study the sky, their predecessors, the Babylonians were using it to solve matters on the ground.

4. Mel Magazine on Adam Sandler playing pick-up basketball.

No matter where you live, so long as there is a basketball game happening somewhere in the vicinity, there’s a nonzero chance that Adam Sandler will show up. And unlike other celebrities who might call ahead to reserve the courts for themselves or make a PR event out of the appearance, Sandler, by all accounts, respects the hallowed, universal rules of pickup basketball. He just shows up, hoops and dips.

5. In the category of things that we are still discovering, via Live Science, researchers have discovered a previously unknown blood red jellyfish 2,300 feet below the surface.

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