April 12, 2018 – “Cold Storage”

Hello, everyone.

I apologize for not posting sooner, but I have have been very sick for the last couple of days. I will spare everyone of the disgusting details, but know that this illness did not stop me from my volunteer work. Before entailing that experience, there is a bit of news regarding my potential hiring at the Library Special Collections and University Archives: Ms. Rubin notified me in two weeks, more concrete details of when the department will officially hire me will come to light. I will most certainly post those detail when they become available. Now with that announcement stated, the recalling of yesterdays events began.

When I eventually was prepared to do my work after “logging in,” the thought came to my mind that Wednesdays are increasingly becoming crowded. This issue was one I wanted to avoid and up until now,  I had done just that. That small detail has changed and unfortunately, the computer that had the only working audio programs was being used at the time. Rather than be disappointed, the idea of using the first-floor archive room’s computers was presented and I wholeheartedly agreed. After getting the keys, I rode the elevator down to the first-floor.

Now, I have been in this room before. A comparison to “cold storage” would be a fair one. The temperature is kept at a cool number, so to protect the collections from being damaged by warmer temperatures.  Fortunately, the computers in the room had a working audio program so I could listen to the Howard Eves Audio Collection with little interruption.

Resuming the audio lectures of Dr. Eves, the professor taught his class about the contributions of Georg Friedrich Grotefend and how he was able to translate the ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform clay tablets. He also spoke of Henry Rawlinson and the Behistun Inscription, plus the unfortunate risks of oxidization of the tablets made such inscriptions unreadable. Dr. Eves then introduced Otto Neugebauer and his contribution of deciphering mathematics from Babylonian sources. Dr. Eves followed those points by teasing the next lecture’s subject of the Plimpton 322 tablet before lecturing the study of mathematical tables and their relationship with Babylonian Geometry.

Disc Eight revealed Dr. Eves’ forte: geometry. After reviewing briefly on the concepts from the last lecture, Dr. Eves went into depth of how Babylonians would find the square of a circle, finding the base of a pyramid,  how analogies helped mathematicians step from a third dimension to a fourth dimension and how deductions made this process obsolete. He also taught about the Heronian average, named after Greek mathematician, Heron, and averages found in the Moscow Papyrus. The last lessons he taught regarded the Ancient Babylonian mile (one Babylonian mile equals seven miles), an in-depth examination of Plimpton 322 tablet and the contributions of Richard Gillings.

Disc nine began with a comparison of Babylonian and Egyptian societies before the main topic was announced: the mathematics of Ancient Egypt. Dr. Eves reminisced about visiting a friend who lived on a lake in Maine and how they used a level similar to one the ancient Egyptians used before discussing the Royal Egyptian mace, the Ancient Pyramids of Giza, and more information on the Moscow Papyrus. Unfortunately, the time had grown short and thus disc nine will have to be finished next week. I logged off from the computer, made sure the audio collection was secured, turned off the lights, and locked the door as I took the audio collection back to the fifth-floor.

Now knowing that there workable audio programs on the first-floor computers, I may have to go into cold storage again to work through the audio collection. Plus, there might be more information about my hiring status. In any case, this concludes this post for the week. Enjoy the weekend and stay safe! Bye!

 

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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