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The Simpsons' incredible predictions could be because creators are maths nerds

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The Simpsons' incredible predictions could be because creators are maths nerds

The secret to The Simpsons’ ability to predict the future may be linked to the creators’ affinity for mathematics.

From the invention of autocorrect and smartwatches, to the presidency of Donald Trump, it would be reasonable to wonder if someone in the writers’ room secretly moonlights as a time traveller.

Fans, particularly the maths whizzes among them, often spot plenty of Easter eggs and hidden references in shows that are all to do with numbers.

This is due to the fact that many of people involved in the production of The Simpsons are huge maths buffs, the Mirror reports.

In fact, the first-ever episode of the series in 1989 had plenty of mathematics references with jokes about calculus. And if your worst nightmare is maths then it seems fitting that the Halloween special “Treehouse of Horror VI” featured a pretty intense five minutes of maths.



Most recently they were right about Richard Branson being in space
Most recently they were right about Richard Branson being in space

In one scene, the letters P and NP can be seen over Homer’s right shoulder, which might not mean anything to most viewers, but it’s actually an unsolved theoretical computer science problem. The puzzle has a reward of $1million for whoever solves the mystery.

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As previously reported by The Guardian, many of The Simpsons writers have a pretty impressive mathematical background. Al Jean, who is now the executive producer, worked on the first series and studied mathematics at Harvard University at the age of just 16.

Jeff Westbrook was a writer and a producer for The Simpsons, and he’s a former academic and algorithms researcher at Yale University.



Producer Al Jean and writer/producer Matt Groening are very partial to maths jokes
Producer Al Jean and writer/producer Matt Groening are very partial to maths jokes

Get this, in the TV show they even suggested that Homer had solved the historical Fermat’s last theorem by 17th century French mathematician Pierre De Fermat. On the Treehouse of Horror VI, Homer seems to challenge the claim when he writes: 1,782¹² + 1,841¹² = 1,922¹².

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For all the geniuses out there, if you actually work out what Homer has written on your calculator, you’ll learn that his solution is ever so slightly incorrect with a small imbalance in the equation. It still takes a calculator to work this out though, so basically writer Joel Cohen is playing a Halloween prank on viewers – gotcha.

That’s not all of it though, in the 2006 episode “Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play” there’s a triple dose of secret mathematics. It’s all about Marge and Homer’s efforts to help baseball star Buck Mitchell and his wife Tabitha Vixx, who are experiencing marriage difficulties.

At the end of the episode, Tabitha appears on the Jumbo Vision screen at the Springfield stadium, but before she does, there is a question asking the baseball fans to guess the attendance.

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Maths may be behind secret the Simpsons' ability to predict the future
Maths may be behind secret the Simpsons’ ability to predict the future

The screen then displays multiple choice options of 8,128, 8,208 and 8,191, which may seem like random numbers, but they’re actually not. They represent a perfect number, a narcissistic number and a Mersenne prime.

There are so many mathematical references in The Simpsons, and a lot of them are through Lisa, certified maths nerd and trigonometry lover.

Let’s take a look at another example, in “Colonel Homer” (1992) you see the first appearance of the local movie theatre. Clever viewers noticed that the movie there is called “Googolplex”, and to understand this reference, you have to know about Edward Kasner, an American mathematician.

In 1938, he said to his nephew Milton that it would be useful to have a label to describe the number (or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). This is where Milton suggested the word googol. If you know you know – right?

Long story short, brain-box writers have packed in plenty of mathematics references, so give yourself a pat on the back if you spot any.


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World's deadliest bird with dagger-like toe was 'raised by humans 18,000 years ago'

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World's deadliest bird with dagger-like toe was 'raised by humans 18,000 years ago'

A dangerous wild creature commonly regarded to be the deadliest bird in the world was in fact one of the first to be raised by humans 18,000 years ago, new evidence shows.

In a new report, Kristina Douglass, an assistant professor at Penn State University in the United States, said that tell-tale signs in fossils from the cassowary bird suggest that humans had collected them at birth and then raised them to hatch.

This was possibly to harvest them for their meat or feathers.

The researcher said in a statement: “This behaviour that we are seeing is coming thousands of years before domestication of the chicken”

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0 Southern Cassowary
The researcher said: “this is not some small fowl, it is a huge… flightless bird that can eviscerate you”

“And this is not some small fowl, it is a huge… flightless bird that can eviscerate you”

Taking newly hatched eggs from the cassowary, native to Australia and Papa New Guinea, would not have been easy —its thick, sharp dagger-like toe makes it a powerful bird capable of killing much larger animals, including humans.

In 2019, an owner of exotic pets in Florida was killed by his cassowary after he fell over in his back garden.



An owner of exotic pets in Florida was killed by his cassowary after he fell over in his back garden
An owner of exotic pets in Florida was killed by his cassowary after he fell over in his back garden

The curious creature also likes to change where they nest every year.

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But the way the cassowary often seems to become attached to the first thing it sees when it hatches as a chick, a phenomenon called ‘imprinting’ by biologists, would mean that once early humans had the young birds it could have been quite easy to raise them to full adulthood.

Talking to CNN, Ms Douglass offered that they probably caught the cassowaries at a time when they were particularly vulnerable, saying: “People may have hunted the male and then collected the eggs. Because males don’t leave the nest unattended they also don’t feed much during the incubation period, making them more vulnerable to predators.”

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Cassowary eggs are a delicacy in Papa New Guinea
Cassowary eggs are a delicacy in Papa New Guinea

Cassowaries are still raised today in Papa New Guinea for their feathers, and their eggs are considered a national delicacy.

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Loch Ness Monster experts slam new 'sighting' as 'hoax' 24 hours after clip goes viral

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Sightings of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster date back almost 100 years

Loch Ness Monster experts have slammed the most recent ‘sighting’ of the infamous beast as nothing but a hoax, to hopeful believer’s dismay.

A YouTuber recently claimed he had caught a sinister figure near the banks of the loch on camera during a trip to the Scottish Highlands.

54-year-old Richard Mavor, who runs the YouTube channel Richard Outdoors, was shooting an aerial video with his 4k drone when he later realised he had caught the creature on film.

But just a few days after sharing his ‘sighting,’ critics and non-believers slammed the video as ‘fake’ and ‘another hoax’.

Steve Feltham, a self-proclaimed Loch Ness Monster expert, says he was sent the footage and had a team of experts pull the footage apart.

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Sightings of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster date back almost 100 years
Sightings of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster date back almost 100 years

He claimed that he has spent hours flying low over the loch and had never been able to see anything as clearly as the figure shown in the video.

Speaking to LADbible, Steve said: “Hoax. No question about it. I would expect a confession along the lines of, ‘Fair cop, it was just for a laugh, it was for charity, etc.’, any time soon.”

The expert claimed that the ‘fake sighting’ was debunked in less than twenty-four hours.

Steve said that Mavor had duplicated a bit of the film to give “us a perfect ‘before and after’ shot.”

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He continued: “Unfortunately for him, we now had two versions of the same part of the film, one with his ‘Nessie’ in it and one without. Impossible.



Loch ness
Loch Ness monster sighting reported from China


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“Soon after, someone else found an image online of a Plesiosaur that matched the look, colour and shape of creature in Mavor’s film exactly.

“Quite simply Mavor had overlaid some film of this Nessie image onto his drone shot sequence.”

Sightings of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster date back almost 100 years and experts claim they’re no closer to finding ‘the truth’.

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The dreaded creature is popularly described as long-necked and large, with one or more humps showing from the water.

For Steve Feltham, the search for the monster he became obsessed with as a boy continues, as another exciting sighting is debunked.


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Missing time and false teeth riddle – strange tale of first couple ‘abducted by aliens’

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When the Hills got home, Betty realised her dress was torn

Abductions by strange unearthly beings have been reported throughout history. But it was the 1961 experience of Barney and Betty Hill that first connected the experience with invaders from another world.

The couple had been driving along a country road in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

They seemed to have the road to themselves, they said, except for a strange light that appeared to be following them down the winding road.

At first, they didn’t know what had happened to them – they reported a chunk of “missing time”. Their clothes were inexplicably dirty and torn and both of their watches had stopped working.



When the Hills got home, Betty realised her dress was torn
When the Hills got home, Betty realised her dress was torn

Later, memories recovered by hypnosis revealed a strange tale of being taken up into a disc-shaped craft as wide, Betty said, “as her house was long” where aliens examined them before erasing their memories.

Sceptics have have identified numerous flaws in the Hills’ stories, and noted that their story shares some telling details with the 1953 film Invaders from Mars and an episode of the Outer limits broadcast after the abduction, but before the hypnotic regression that uncovered many of its most sensational details.

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But under hypnosis, Betty and Barney told remarkably similar stories, suggesting that something strange happened – whether an abduction or something else – to them on that fateful September night 60 years ago this year.

The visitors, recalled Betty, were baffled by her husband’s dentures and didn’t appear to be familiar with the idea.



The couple's memories of the experience were blank until they came to, around two hours later and 35 miles down the road
The couple’s memories of the experience were blank until they came to, around two hours later and 35 miles down the road

Since then thousands have claimed that while sleeping – or sometimes while driving in a remote area – they have been taken up into spacecraft and experimented on. Some say they have been given important messages about the future of mankind.

Barney’s description of the aliens; short and grey-skinned with large eyes, has over time become the most popular conception of extraterrestrial visitors – although other abductees have reported “robot-like beings” or “hairy dwarves” and in one memorable case beautiful humanoid women with “cherry-red pubic hair”.

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Betty claimed to have been shown a star map revealing that the visitors had come from a distant binary star system known as Zeta Reticuli.

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The couple's description of their abductor changed slightly over time
The couple’s description of their abductor changed slightly over time

As yet no planets have been definitively observed orbiting the two Sun-like stars in the Zeta Reticuli system, although a disc of material, possibly an asteroid belt, appears to have formed around one of them.

It was only in March 1963, nearly two years after the incident, that the Hills first publicly discussed their encounter with travellers from that twin star system just over 39 light-years from Earth .

Boston-based hypnotist Benjamin Simon first interviewed the couple in early 1964.



Barney described a 'flying saucer' with red lights on its sides
Barney described a ‘flying saucer’ with red lights on its sides

Under hypnosis, Barney recalled the aliens communicating with him by some form of telepathy.

“Oh, those eyes. They’re there in my brain,” he said.

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He later told Simon: “I was told to close my eyes because I saw two eyes coming close to mine, and I felt like the eyes had pushed into my eyes.

“All I see are these eyes…. I’m not even afraid that they’re not connected to a body. They’re just there. They’re just up close to me, pressing against my eyes.”

He described having a “cup” placed over his genitals and a sperm sample being taken. He also recalled an anal probe and said the aliens scraped his skin in a procedure that might now be described as a DNA sample.

The aliens inserted a long needle into Betty’s navel, telling her it was a pregnancy test.



Betty and Barney told how aliens removed their clothes, and took samples of their skin, hair and fingernails
Betty and Barney told how aliens removed their clothes, and took samples of their skin, hair and fingernails

The couple’s experiences set the tone for thousands of similar reports.

In 1975, US TV network NBC broadcast a TV movie based on Betty and Barneys experience called The UFO Incident. In the following two years reports of alien abductions soared by some 2,500%.

The Hills avoided publicity, for the most part, after their experience became public knowledge.

Barney Hill died of a cerebral haemorrhage on February 25, 1969, aged just 46. Betty Hill lived on until the ripe old age of 85, becoming quite a celebrity among the UFO community.

Explanations for the phenomenon range from flashbacks to childhood tonsil surgery to lucid dreaming.

Michael Raduga, a researcher with the Phase Research Centre in Moscow, says “abductions are real”>

He believes that the people that experience them, “they just don’t know how to explain it.”


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Mum thinks aliens are invading after photo of 'UFO' that turns out to be NASA satellite

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The spooked mum-of-two feared aliens were invading

A spooked mum-of-two feared aliens were invading when she photographed a huge UFO in the sky – which turned out to be a NASA rocket.

Jayne Dickinson, 47, had travelled to Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland to snap the Northern Lights when she spotted the bizarre aircraft overhead.

Dramatic pictures show the angel-shaped rocket soaring across the night sky at 10.30pm on Monday.

The postie, from Linton, Morpeth, Northumberland, said: “I’d gone in search of the Northern Lights but I couldn’t see any.

“I was walking back to my car when I suddenly saw this incredibly bright shape soaring up in the sky.



The spooked mum-of-two feared aliens were invading
The spooked mum-of-two feared aliens were invading

“It was amazing and grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of it. I must admit I thought the aliens were landing.

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“The shape of it was like an angel and it was bright white.

“As soon as I got home I checked what it could have been and realised it was the NASA Landsat-9 satellite which had launched in California.

“It was a pretty great feeling to see it from the other side of the world.”



She had travelled to Northumberland to snap the Northern Lights
She had travelled to Northumberland to snap the Northern Lights

Elsewhere in the UK, stargazers have claimed a massive cone-shaped ” UFO ” was spotted hovering in the sky above a Brit city.

Residents in Hull and East Yorkshire claimed to have witnessed the same aerial phenomenon on Monday night (September 27), which happened to be the launch night of Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

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The Atlas V rocket carried NASA’s most powerful Earth-imaging satellite, Landsat 9, to a sun-synchronous orbit to allow scientists to accurately compare two images at different times and track changes over time.

From what the stunned locals recorded, the footage shows a clear bright object with a conical shape.

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The UFO hangs above the sky for a short while and begins to move in a linear projectile.

Baffled locals told Hull Live : “It was a huge white triangle in the sky no noise at all, no planes showing up on the flight tracker.

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“It has to be something in orbit but was something I’ve never seen before, and to say how high it was the projected light must have been miles wide.”


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Curious Golden Retriever can't stop snooping on neighbours through fence hole

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Phoenix the golden retriever looking through her garden peephole

A curious Golden Retriever has been branded a nosey neighbour after taking advantage of a fence peep hole to keep an eye on proceedings.

The beautiful dog, called Phoenix, or PhiPhi for short, has gone viral after footage captured the dog snooping on the Samoyed next door.

The busybody pooch can’t stop staring through a tiny hole in the wooden fence to check what the other dog, called Bentley, is up to.

In a video posted to the TikTok account @phiphi_goldenretriever, PhiPhi, from Melbourne, Australia, smiles at her owner before returning to look through her fence hole, with the overlaying caption that reads: “I love spying on my bestie next door.”

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PhiPhi’s owner then points the camera through the gap to reveal what she found so interesting.



Phoenix the golden retriever looking through her garden peephole
Phoenix the Golden Retriever looking through her garden peephole

The video has proved extremely popular, with PhiPhi’s owner promising a “bestie reveal” soon, allowing their followers to meet Bentley close up.

Viewers were also telling the TikToker to make the hole bigger so the dogs can see each other better.

One said: “Maybe the peep hole could be larger for a better view!”

Another suggested adding “another eye hole”.

One follower even joked the spy dog could be the next James Bond, writing: “I can’t wait to see more of James Bond the dog, haha #spydog.”

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Mysterious ‘flashing lights’ spotted on moon spark conspiracy meltdown

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The video appears to show flashing lights on the moon's surface

Space buffs are analysing footage that appears to show bright flashing lights on the surface of the moon.

The video was posted on YouTube earlier this month by UFO Institute, and it immediately caught the attention of sky-watchers and conspiracy theorists.

The footage, which is nearly five minutes long and was filmed on September 2 by Ruben Ariza from Colombia, shows several lights repeatedly flashing.

The video has now been reviewed by Tyler Glockner of Secureteam10, who has more than two million YouTube subscribers.

He is not yet fully convinced of its authenticity, but he believes it is worth exploring further.

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The video appears to show flashing lights on the moon's surface
The video appears to show flashing lights on the moon’s surface

“When I first saw this on my cell phone when it popped up, I thought it was an immediate fake – almost like someone had just placed a still image of the moon in a video editor, made it to slowly move from right to left across the screen and added in these flashing lights,” he said.

“Because I was, like, ‘Where’s the movement? Where is the atmosphere distortion that you always get when recording the moon from a telescope?’



The video has grabbed the attention of conspiracy theorists
The video has grabbed the attention of conspiracy theorists

“But then when I played it on full screen there is indeed what appears to be some atmospheric wobble there, so that definitely piqued my interest.”

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Tyler added: “This is very clear and crisp footage of the moon. I’m not totally sold. What would sell [it to] me is if we had some corroborating footage of the exact same thing. There’s got to be another moon-watcher out there who caught this.



Conspiracies have abounded about the moon for years
Conspiracies have abounded about the moon for years

“If this is indeed authentic, just Wow! If it’s not, it’s just another one we can rule out, but we know there have been thousands of legitimate sightings and captures of strange things happening on the moon and above it.”

Comments made underneath Ruben’s original video included: “Looks like a whole damn civilisation.” Another said: “There’s ships or structures in those craters by the looks of it”.

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But another commentator – perhaps more realistically – said: “You know, those lights are awfully close to the Apollo 11 landing position. It’s possible that it’s just some debris reflecting light from the sun.”

Keep up to date with all the latest weird and wonderful goings-on in the universe by signing up to Daily Star’s brand new Spaced Out newsletter.


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