Weekly Round Up: Cold War, Party Maths, Gas Gangrene, Nightmares, Gurus-and Ella Fitzgerald

stories we think will last beyond this week‘s news cycle

Getting Colder The Cold War did not end in 1991. Democracy is back under threat, as the Conversation makes clear.


Guess who’s coming to dinner Its funny when a purely intellectual problem suddenly has real world urgent relevance. But this piece from Nature Briefings Best answer to 100 year old Party Problem, does just that

How many people do you have to invite to a party to ensure that any given number of them are all friends, or all strangers? The best upper limit for this surprisingly hard problem, which has plagued mathematicians for almost 100 years, is (3.9995)k, with k being the size of the group of either all friends or all strangers. Until now, the best answer had been ‘at most 4k’, calculated in 1935. Even lowering the upper limit by this tiny amount is “a stunning success”, says combinatorialist David Conlon. The result is important for studying networks that have an element of randomness, which can crop up in real-world scenarios ranging from epidemiology to optimization and scheduling problems.Nature | 5 min read
Reference: arXiv preprint (not peer reviewed)

Getting Nightmares-and Dementia We all get nightmares from time to time, but could they be the sign of something more sinister? Medscape reviews the latest literature Thanks to G Herbert


Get Back to where they once belonged? With General Elections you can change your mind every few years or so. But a referendum is for life. So, while it’s interesting to see the changes of mood in this piece, we strongly doubt they will lead tom any consequences. thanks to P Seymour


Gas Gangrene A tiny hint of life in a world without antibiotics where bacteria run amok is provided by this flesh-creeping tale from the Daily Mail


Guru goes public Is AI about to replace us. or are we looking at the whole thing from the wrong way around? Top Tech guru Jaron Larnier has his own thoughts for the Guardian Thanks to L Charlton


Glimpse of stocking You’ll always find someone who’ll tell you how much worse things have got in the last fifty years. They said exactly the same thing fifty years ago. And fifty before that. Cole Porter has one of the wittiest takes on Nostalgia Pessimism Syndrome in Anything Goes, handled here by the talented Ella Fitzgerald


#bacteria #antibiotics #cold war #russia #china #usa #democracy #nightmares #dementia #brexit #AI #quantum computing

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