Learn How to Write (Very Basic) Cuneiform via YouTube

Behrouz Mehri // AFP // Getty Images
Behrouz Mehri // AFP // Getty Images

Dr. Irving Finkel is an expert on cuneiform, the world's oldest known writing system. It was developed by the ancient Sumerians roughly 5000 years ago. The word "cuneiform" itself derives from the Latin cuneus, or "wedge"—the writing was traditionally done by pressing a wedge-shaped stylus onto a clay surface, which then dries and preserves the mark.

In the video below, Finkel shows Tom Scott and Matt Gray how to read and write just a bit of cuneiform. (Finkel says it takes about six years of training to become fully fluent...yikes!) It's a fascinating review, including the vital information that cuneiform script is syllabic, so you can represent English using cuneiform, minus a few vowel sounds—in the video, "Tom" becomes "Tam" (ta-am) due to a lack of the English "o" sound.

Tune in for a delightful lesson in an ancient writing system:

If you'd like to get started with cuneiform writing, this tool from the Penn Museum is handy. You'll also want some more training and a sample alphabet. Also interesting is this table of cuneiform numbers (note the Sumerian base 60 numbering system!).

Artist Celebrates the Poop Emoji's 10th Birthday by Reimagining It in 50 Different Forms

Justin Poulsen, YouTube
Justin Poulsen, YouTube

Even as new emojis are added to mobile keyboards each year, the poop emoji remains a beloved go-to for phone users with an appreciation for toilet humor. Artist Justin Poulsen recently honored the icon's 10-year anniversary by depicting the poop emoji 50 different ways, designboom reports.

In the the video below, which he created with the Canadian creative agency Rethink, the poop emoji takes multiple forms, including a candle, a cupcake, a trophy, a marshmallow, and a piñata. Poulsen is mainly a photographer, but he also built his own props and scenery for the project, and the video serves as kind of a poop-themed resume showing off his capabilities.

The smiling swirl of cartoon poo has been inspiring people since shortly after its debut in 2008. Poop-emoji baked goods, including donuts and cupcakes, have grown into a trend, and in 2017 a 3-year-old in St. Louis even celebrated a poop-themed birthday party with emoji decor.

[h/t designboom]

Are Your Kids Struggling to Tie Their Shoes? Teach Them the Cheerio Method

iStock.com/Maica
iStock.com/Maica

When kids don't know how to tie their own shoes, getting them out the door is a struggle. But parents don't have to choose between tying their children's shoes for them every morning or converting to Velcro. According to Lifehacker, there's an alternative technique that makes life easier for kids who struggle to how to tie their shoes. Instead of using the bunny-ear or bow methods, show your kids the super-simple Cheerio trick, which you can see in the tutorial video below.

First, have your child cross one shoelace over the other and tighten as they typically would when starting to tie their shoes. Next, instead of making two loops, tell them to make a knot but stop short of tightening it all the way. This should leave them with a small, Cheerio-sized hole—hence the name. From there, they can finish the job by poking the ends of the laces through the hole one at a time, then pulling the resulting bunny ears to finish the knot.

Though it's more time-consuming than the traditional way of tying shoes, the Cheerio method doesn't require using both hands at the same time, making it a more approachable option for kids still developing their hand-eye coordination.

The Cheerio method isn't the only alternative shoe-tying technique. More advanced users can teach themselves to tie their laces with one hand, as demonstrated by Paralympian Megan Absten here.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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