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Archaeologist May Have Found the First Protractor

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the where's-the-compass? dept.

Math 78

If physicist Amelia Sparavigna is correct, in addition to frogs, lice, and locusts, Egyptian schoolchildren were also plagued with useless geometry instruments in their new notebooks at the beginning of every school year. A mysterious object was found in the architect Kha's tomb in 1906 and its function has remained the subject of debate ever since. Sparavigna is certain the object is actually the world's first protractor. From the article: "The key, she says, lies in the numbers encoded in the object's ornate decoration,(Pdf) which resembles a compass rose with 16 evenly spaced petals surrounded by a circular zigzag with 36 corners."

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78 comments

Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (0)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948394)

... all they have is a protractor.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

Cogita (1119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949280)

... all they have is a protractor.

Now really, this is definitely cause to worry. Everyone knows the overpowered force with the incredible super weapon will be defeated at the last second, usually with that same super weapon.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (2)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949496)

Indeed. Tha'ts exactly what is said in all the movies and literature put out by the over-powering force.

Well, almost (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950148)

Actually, the original quote is something along the lines of "[They] have nuclear weapons, all we have is a protractor" ... but I kinda expected some people to recognize it anyway.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36951092)

Meh I must have been playing too much Bioshock I&II lately because I thought it said protector and thought "There is something earlier than the Alpha series? Can i kill it?" as hunting Big Daddies and Alphas is my idea of a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

As for TFA I wonder if they used this to "teach to the test" back in the olden days? Because while they may have been able to use protractors then I doubt today's kids would have a clue unless it was part of "no child not left behind". Hell you want to see sad just watch what happens when their little electronic cash registers fail at any store. the HS grads often can't even count out basic change without a calculator. Memorization may get them through the test but it sure as fuck don't help them with everyday life. All I have to say is thank God for Turbo tax as I'd hate to see these kids try to fill out a tax form without hand holding!

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952728)

I've used a protractor before, when I was in elementary school. I cannot imagine a practical use for one today. Arithmetical calculation is far from a necessary task and does nothing to further human knowledge or ennoble the human spirit. It is a drudge task, for which we invented mechanical and, later, digital calculators beginning over a century ago. They are far faster and more accurate than the best human computers, to use the term in its old sense.

But I realize that anyone that disagrees with you is an idiot, so I'll just don my dunce cap and go lick a window or two.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#36953444)

Work in remodeling very long and you'll figure out how to make protractors and compasses from random scraps laying around the job site, since you can't really do without one. Well, not if you do quality work, anyway.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956154)

I've used a protractor before, when I was in elementary school. I cannot imagine a practical use for one today.

This says more about the paucity of your imagination than it does about the utility of protractors. Do any sort of work where you (not a machine) have to produce a material object and you'll soon come across situations where you need them. Same if you only design or specify the objects.

digital calculators beginning over a century ago. They are far faster and more accurate than the best human computers,

If and only if they are used correctly. And very often, working out how to present a calculation (including checking if you've got the appropriate number of parentheses if you have a calculator which does parentheses ; I've never had one) takes longer than doing the maths in your head, to the first couple of significant digits at least. If you're then punching the problem into the machine (to get the 5th and 6th significant digits, say), then you've got a "road map" of the problem to check whether you've entered the numbers correctly.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#36972634)

I've used a protractor before, when I was in elementary school. I cannot imagine a practical use for one today.

Well, I used one just a few days ago. The occasion was a piece of patio furniture, mostly made of wood, with a piece that was getting old and feeble. I had some pressure-treated boards in the shed, so I decided to just cut a replacement part. One of the tools I used was one of those gadgets that consists of a metal ruler with a rotatable protractor attached. I used it to copy the angles of the original piece, so it would fit correctly. It worked fine, and the patio chair has a bright new segment that I should probably stain to match the rest.

A few days before that, I decided that the old grape arbor in our back yard (over part of the same patio) was leaning a bit much, due to having been built years before without all the diagonal supports that it should have had. I used the same tool to cut a board to the right shape, though in that case I didn't have to measure anything on the arbor itself. The only angles needed were 45-degree angles, and I did this by setting the same gadget to 45 degrees, using its protractor component.

This is probably why that sort of protractor-based tool is still manufactured in large numbers, and sold in hardware stores everywhere. And there's a simple reason that those hardware stores exist: There are still enough people capable of building things that they can stay in business. Those people need the appropriate tools, which hardware stores sell. And among those tools there are a number that include protractors as a component. Look at any table saw, for example; you'll find a protractor built into the blade-tilting mechanism. And lots of us know how to use it. Even us computer geeks.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#36953546)

When I used to cashier a million years ago I made a point of counting out change to people, and the younger ones would generally give me a 'What the hell are you doing?" look, while older customers would look pleased. Caught myself making a mistake more than once. I make a point to compliment the few people who still know how to give change correctly.

Want to really confuse a cashier? If your total is (for example) $9.62 give them a ten and twelve cents. Stand back though, their brain may explode before they finally figure out that you want two quarters for change.

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956146)

Want to really confuse a cashier? If your total is (for example) $9.62 give them a ten and twelve cents.

Sadist. (In a good sense.)

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956610)

Oh lord I've done that and I only wish I'd had a camera at the time, as it is like you found their off switch or something! They just stare and stare at the money, like they know there is a reason for what you've done but their brains just can't process it. The smarter ones will just ask "Why did you give me X?" or say "You've given me too much" and the others just sit there in vapor lock until you get tired of watching their gears slip and explain what you wanted.

It is a pretty damned sad state of affairs though when you see how widespread that is among HS grads. Last year a farmer cut through the fiber line to my home town and for 3 days the electronic registers would NOT work, for about half a day NO store was doing ANY business until the managers went and got a hold of pocket calcs and even then you'd have to explain what change you'd get as they were so used to the machines spitting out the change they'd try to give you dimes for everything.

It just shows you how worthless "teach to the test" is when you have to stand there behind someone and say "No M'am you don't need to give 8 dimes and 3 pennies for 83 cents, you can give her 3 quarters, a nickle, and 3 pennies. Yes I'm sure that's right". while I was at one shop I saw a manager give up an tell an employee to go get him $60 worth of dimes from the bank!

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (1)

JimFive (1064958) | more than 2 years ago | (#36958568)

I made a point of counting out change to people, and the younger ones would generally give me a 'What the hell are you doing?" look, while older customers would look pleased.

I'm no longer young, but I hate it when people count my change back. I can count the change in my hand a lot faster than you can count it into my hand. (I've usually counted it as they're pulling it out of the register anyway.)

Want to really confuse a cashier? If your total is (for example) $9.62 give them a ten and twelve cents.

I do this all the time. It is hilarious.
--
JimFive

Re:Don't worry, we have nuclear weapons ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37030036)

The existence of quarters is TRWTF.

But seriously, providing $10.12 for $9.62 is dumb with or without sane coinage. I'm fairly certain that you at least have 10-cent pieces... if you want to make things easier, which is ostensibly the point behind providing $10.12 in the first place, even if seemingly misapplied here, just give them $10.02 for 4 10c pieces in change. If you want to make things harder on them, then just give them the plain $10. In theory it should be harder to work out $10 - $9.62 than it is to work out $10.12 - $9.62.

The cash register not indicating the amount paid - the amount owed is TRTRWTF.

Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (1)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948408)

Seriously.

Re:Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36948666)

thank you. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one to notice that.

Re:Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948934)

Yes, duh. Everything involving human knowledge is implicitly prefaced with "known". Stating it is unnecessary.

Re:Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (1)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949166)

I'm mostly referring to the headline stating it is the "first" but I would also argue that the "known" is not implicit.

Re:Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950360)

Yes I know, "First known", and yes it is implied. It's always implied. "Biggest meat-eating dinosaur", "earliest hominid", "most spectacular bosoms", "fastest man on earth" -- everything regarding these statements has an implicit "known" qualifier.

In cases where there is actually some reason to believe that there cannot possibly be something earlier, bigger, faster, etc -- i.e. cases where they are going beyond the implicit claim of "known" -- they will use some other qualifier. Like, "most massive star possible". Of course even then it's "to the best of our knowledge", whether they explicitly state that or not.

Re:Earliest known...the earliest known protractor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36950740)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Not useless (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948472)

Seriously, this is supposed to be news for nerds and the summary gets a gratuitous attack on protractors? They aren't useless now and they certainly weren't useless in the past. Before electronic systems, protractors were needed for all sorts of applications in architecture and engineering. In other areas, the way stars were carefully charted used protractor-like instruments. This last was particularly important in many ancient cultures because they relied on the stars to figure out just when to plant. Later, in the age of navigation, the sextant (again a protractor variant) was used to help accurately estimate latitude, a critical ability for sailors allowing the exploration and trade which eventually gave us the modern world. Moreover, aside from these applications, having children work with protractors helps them improve their ability to estimate things at a glance and improve their geometric intuition something that is important in daily life as well as all sorts of jobs, whether as things like carpenters or more academic jobs like engineers and physicists.

Re:Not useless (5, Funny)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948558)

That's quite a passionate and protracted argument. I think you covered all the angles.

Re:Not useless (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948730)

I couldn't follow the arc of his somewhat obtuse argument, but the poster seems pretty rad and probably has a few advanced degrees.

Re:Not useless (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948814)

Posting to undo wrong mod (I picked a fine day to learn emacs - have lost all mousing ability already).

Re:Not useless (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949190)

I'd say you've paid him quite a complement, but to supplement your point, I'd say any difficulties are simply an acute problem, and not a sine of things to come.

Re:Not useless (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949478)

The original post was measured, but then you all went on a tangent. On a scalene of 1 to 10 I rate this thread just over 3.14.

Re:Not useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36951522)

As a Tauist [tauday.com], I rate the original post a 6.28

Re:Not useless (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948632)

I think they were considered useless as in most math classes when students study Trig. they are taught to do the math and not measure it on a projector... (As values are not to scale) So in school it was a useless tool... However in real life where you do need to make things to scale they are quite useful... Even today. But if you were to use one in real life you are probably going to get something better then that $0.25 plastic protractor

Re:Not useless (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948944)

Thanks, Yeah I never could figure out why they sell them in the school supply aisle. Every trig problem I had to solve went to great efforts to say angles are not accurate. In fact I think they would intentionally make the angles inaccurate to catch people. All those classes I would sit there wondering why do they even sell this or show us how to use them.

I'd like to see a professional protractor.

Re:Not useless (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949228)

>I'd like to see a professional protractor.

It's steel and it goes in my toolbox.

There are those with vernier or electronic measurement so you can get resolution smaller than a degree. For measuring real-world things and for setting up machining and woodworking.

--
BMO

Re:Not useless (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950702)

So you could almost use a protractor ownership to determine what kind of work a person does. I don't use a protractor, I deal with the ideal, with equations, with concepts. You on the other hand live in the real world and have to account for my screwups ;)
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."

Re:Not useless (1)

Plainswind (2089218) | more than 2 years ago | (#36952904)

Or this one we had on a large sign in woods&metalcrafts in school:
"Theory is when nothing works, and you know exactly why.
Practice is when you don't know how or why, but it works.
Here we combine the two, nothing works, and noone knows why"

Re:Not useless (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950858)

>I'd like to see a professional protractor.

We have dial indicators for calibrating machine tools (aircraft tolerances). This kind of tool doesn't look like a school supply protractor but it measures the same thing. There are also tools that use a laser strobe to measure stuff like jitter on rotating machine parts.

In my VW toolbox I keep a homemade protractor. It's an aluminum one-legged arc that shows a few (experimentally derived) specific angles used for setting timing.

Re:Not useless (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956300)

Every trig problem I had to solve went to great efforts to say angles are not accurate.

On exam papers, in text books etc?

Look at any properly made engineering drawing. Somewhere there should be an injunction "DO NOT SCALE", meaning "Do not measure anything on this paper and correct for scale ; if you think you need a measurement, and it is not written in the drawing, consult your supervisor."

That applies to CAD-generated drawings as much as hand-drawn ones. The problem isn't in the drawing itself ; it's in the fact that paper isn't a stable medium. It changes size and shape with changing environment, particularly humidity. The same applies to drafting film (sometimes called "sepia paper").

So, on a properly made drawing, if an angle is needed, the value of the angle is written on the drawing, or the angle is defined in some other way (distances along a straight edge from some reference point, etc). "Dimensioning" drawings is a non-trivial subject. Firstly, you have to define your object unambiguously (not always simple ; many apparently sufficient dimensioning schemes can have multiple solutions), and secondly, you have to arrange your dimensions in a way that is efficient for the manufacturer to mark up the raw material, and that minimises the effects of additive errors. And no doubt there are other matters too. Specifying a bolt hole requires about 6 dimensions before you even get started on special treatments.

Re:Not useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36948858)

Agreed, Samzenpus should be posting on TMZ instead of /. What's next, denigrating the slide rule?

Re:Not useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36959154)

The come in very handy in the woodworking shop in my basement. Not sure how you make anything with an angle in it without some form of protractor (integrated into the machine tool, made of plastic or some other way).

Re:Not useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36986372)

Seriously, this is supposed to be news for nerds and the summary gets a gratuitous attack on protractors? They aren't useless now and they certainly weren't useless in the past.

Shh - the State Science Institute might hear you.

samzenpus (0)

Captain.Abrecan (1926372) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948588)

You are ignorant. pff "Egyptian schoolchildren were also plagued with useless geometry instruments in their new notebooks at the beginning of every school year." You really are handicapped aren't you?

Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948650)

I read the fine pdf. Appears to be a degree system of measurement. Eat that, grad and radian fans...

How she has ruled out a flower with 18-fold symmetry, or just random decorative stuff, is not described. I'd like to see a table of intervals vs measured degrees, I wonder how accurately it measures up.

Re:Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949700)

I read the fine pdf.

I read the image captions. Although it looks like english, it lacks a few important details, and even with those it would be gibberish. I refer to the caption that talks about the 16-fold symmetry (which it does not have) and the "18 corner" line, which they eventually admit actually has 36 corners.

With that kind of writing, I didn't bother reading the body of the text.

I'll save the point that the object lacks any reasonable means of use as a protractor for a different day. Oh, why not now. If there is a plumb line required for use, and the plumb line needs to pass through the center of the device, then the center of the device would have had a hole from which to hang the plumb line. That way it is always passing through the center, and nobody would have had to try to align the plumb with the device and the slope being measured.

Re:Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950178)

This object could have just been the case for such a tool. (Which, in itself could be a neat find, but I doubt the object in the picture was the actual tool. The markings on the straight edge do not get further apart as you get to the edges and this is something you'd notice if it was used in the way described. (ie: With a plumb.)

Re:Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956540)

This object could have just been the case for such a tool.

TFA states that the object is a case, but for a balance, not a protractor. You can see the joint along the length of the body, but the hinges aren't illustrated. I'd guess leather, but not necessarily. And not important to the question at hand.

Re:Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956504)

Although it looks like english, it lacks a few important details, and even with those it would be gibberish.

Could you please translte you post into Italian. Your English is imperfect and confusing, and may actually be gibberish, and it would be so much more convenient for me if you wrote in Italian. Or Russian. Or French.

The article is obviously written by someone working in a non-native tongue, English. So before you criticize, ask yourself if you could do any better.

and the plumb line needs to pass through the center of the device, then the center of the device would have had a hole from which to hang the plumb line.

TFA describes how Egyptians plumbs were constructed in general and how the examples in this particular architect's tomb were used. You point is addressed in TFA.

TBH, I'm very unconvinced that this balance case had an actual protractor carved into it. I think it's just a geometrical design. But then, I did RTFA, despite the admittedly fractured English. Then again, sharing today's office with a Frenchman and a Philipeno, working with Romanians, Tanzanians, and even bloody Australians, perhaps I'm a little less bigoted about languages than you are.

Re:Degrees beats grads and radians (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36956516)

Appears to be a degree system of measurement. Eat that, grad and radian fans...

I've heard that electrons can only spin in one of two directions. That means that they count in binary. Eat that, trinary, octal, decimal and hex fans ...
Same argument ; same relevance. They're different tools for different jobs.

Gradians (grads) were introduced to make artillery calculations simpler in the days when the calculations were done years before the gun was built and put into tables for use at the gun emplacement.
Radians emerge naturally from the geometry of the circle and make the maths of trigonometry much simpler (if you don't have enough mathematics to know this already, get back to making change at your checkout in Walmart!).
Degrees were convenient to Babylonians counting on their fingers. But otherwise they are just as arbitrary as gradians.

Multi-Tool (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36948750)

I would considered it multi-tool.

You could use it a balance scale, a straight edge, a measuring unit, a protractor... Probably more. It would seem like a good tool for a Foreman to carry around and make sure the workers are getting things right or they need to be beaten more, heck by the look of it it could work as a nice club too.

Re:Multi-Tool (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949024)

Considering the WIDE variety of protractors and "squares" throughout history which perform more than one function, your explanation makes perfect sense. So does robust construction since job sites are rough on gear.

Carpenters, ironworkers, and other tradesmen are still fond of the tools of their trade. No surprise one would be buried with them.

Re:Multi-Tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36950190)

The club was an important tool back in those days. Chariot theft was a real problem.

Why didn't Africans invent any of this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36949104)

The Egyptians who built the pyramids were white (or at least, the people who DESIGNED them were white). The Egyptians in power decided to import thousands of non-whites to work as slaves for them... and they outbred and took over, and destroyed everything. Now they claim to be 'Egyptians', and reap the benefits of the people who USED to live there.

Sound familiar?

Re:Why didn't Africans invent any of this? (2)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949188)

The Egyptians who built the pyramids were white (or at least, the people who DESIGNED them were white)

White? Really? Can you please explain why Scandinavians were living in Egypt?

Re:Why didn't Africans invent any of this? (1)

cusco (717999) | more than 2 years ago | (#36953606)

r.e. your sig: I think it was mostly his employees he tortured, and some poor elephant he electrocuted to "prove" that AC electricity was dangerous. However, if the 'puppies' statement is true I'd be interested in learning more (he really was something of a bastard).

Re:Why didn't Africans invent any of this? (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36958288)

The only useful thing Edison actually invented was the lightbulb. Most everything else was invented by his staff and patented under the Edison company. His rejection of AC in the face of its clear benefits and his insistence on 'magnetic ore mining' as the future way to dig for gold shows he didn't have much creative talent.

He killed thousands of dogs and cats, including horses and an elephant. Read the book "The Electric Chair: An Unnatural American History". Here's a link to an electronic version from Google: http://books.google.com/books?id=nSLU3ge91NoC&source=gbs_navlinks_s [google.com]

Specifically pages 74 and 77-79 (and others) talk about the animals he murdered. He really was a sadistic bastard.

Re:Why didn't Africans invent any of this? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#36954164)

The Egyptians who built the pyramids were white (or at least, the people who DESIGNED them were white)

White? Really? Can you please explain why Scandinavians were living in Egypt?

There for protracted tanning?

Still unsolved (2)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949260)

How do we know that this isn't the world's second protractor?

Re:Still unsolved (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#36950222)

The numbers on the top are obviously patent numbers. Since there are no serial numbers it's also, obviously, a prototype. No other device such as this could ever have been made.

Bah! (2)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949332)

Hidden within the article is that this is an empty case that might have held something. Looking at the outer shape, it could just as easily have been a cannon. If they wanted to be helpful, they shou'd have shown pictures of the opened case. There is also no scale for this object, but it appears fairly large. Why would an empty box be put into a tomb? It could be hollow as a way to make it lighter, instead of making it a box. It could have been a childs see-saw. I'd look for wear patterns on this, ubkess it was made new for the funeral. Is this the only one of these ever seen? If they were being commonly used, they would have shown up in one of the numerous paintings the Egyptions were known for.

Re:Bah! (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#36953552)

Looks to me like it's sitting on a sheet of quarter-inch plexiglass, so it's maybe 18 inches, ie. a bit over a cubit. I'd guess that the tool itself was exactly one cubit in length, making it multipurpose.

And I don't know what the mystery is, when it's stated that the case was with a bunch of related tools and is of such an obvious shape for the tool. When I was in high school lo those several decades ago, we still used protractors of this exact same type in Geometry class; if I look in enough boxes, I probably still have mine. It's basically this thing -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Protractor2.jpg [wikipedia.org] -- with an extended straight-edge.

Did they also find... (2)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#36949430)

The worlds first pocket protector too? I'm also missing a "Dukes of Hazzard" lunchbox and Thermos so if the archaeologists see it, let me know.

Freemasons world-wide will rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36950586)

Yet another "working tool" to add to their arsenal!

Egyptian schoolchildren (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 2 years ago | (#36953064)

If this is such a mystery, why don't they just go to Egypt and ask these schoolchildren? They know Egypt is a country right? "Egyptian schoolchildren" from which era?

Protractors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36957830)

I really lost interest in the franchise after Aliens vs Protractor.

LOOK at the sun-o-meter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36975306)

It's a portable sun-o-meter - the "sticks" that were held INSIDE stick into the ends (two on one end, one on the other) to keep them straight with the "shadow" telling the tale and the angles needed to get those darn stones straight with the north and south orientation as they went up the slopes

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  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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