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Math Gets Around: Preventing the Zombie Apocalypse

If pop culture has taught us anything, it is that in the event of a zombie outbreak, we are royally screwed. When faced with an onslaught of classical zombies (of the type first made famous by Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead), films have shown again and again that we are no match for hordes of cannibalistic undead. With the more recent interpretation of zombies that are faster and smarter, our hopes for survival have diminished even further.

Despite overwhelming odds, however, it is not in our nature to simply roll over in the face of adversity. While the body count is usually high in films chronicling the eventual war between the living and the dead, in most cases there are a few who survive to continue the fight after the credits roll. But how realistic is this depiction? How prepared are we to . . . → Read More: Math Gets Around: Preventing the Zombie Apocalypse

Math Gets Around, and So Does Disease (Both Real and Virtual)

Most of us are familiar with the story of Chicken Little, the young chicken turn Disney sellout who one day has a major panic attack because she (or he, depending on the version you’re told) believes that the sky is falling.

No doubt this fable has conditioned many of us to be wary of chickens that try to warn us of impending crises. But given the recent media frenzy surrounding swine flu, perhaps we should turn our attention away from the chicken, concerns over avian flu notwithstanding, and focus a bit more on the humble pig.

There is some debate on this issue: while everyone seems to be in agreement that the swine flu outbreak is, so far, milder than many had anticipated, health officials have cautioned that we may not yet be out of the proverbial woods (or pigpen, as the case may be). At the same time, however, . . . → Read More: Math Gets Around, and So Does Disease (Both Real and Virtual)