meeting up with friends,so i felt very managerial for most of the week, and as a result, got very little done. every time i was intent on finishing up a $\LaTeX$ writeup, there seemed to be another meeting or appointment to take.

colleagues (new and old) coming to visit,

even an ex-girlfriend showing up to town.

that said, this week's roundup is pretty bare. there are only 3 articles instead of a maximum of 5, and i've made no comments about them. then again, the summaries seem to speak for themselves ..

**a hidden**

*biological*invariant?"Life is short for small creatures, longer in big ones. So algae die sooner than oak trees; elephants live longer than mayflies, but you know that. Here's the surprise: There is a mathematical formula which says if you tell me how big something is, I can tell you — with some variation, but not a lot — how long it will live. This doesn't apply to individuals, only to groups, to species. The formula is a simple quarter-power exercise: You take the mass of a plant or an animal, and its metabolic rate is equal to its mass taken to the three-fourths power."

**algorithm as flow.**

"

*The outcome is greatest stiffness shape possible for a given amount of material. And amazingly it’s a nuanced truss that isn’t far removed from the look of most motorway bridges. That’s pretty reassuring, actually.*

**You are watching an optimisation algorithm come up with the best design completely automatically.**The engineering-y name for this process is ‘topology optimisation’ - essentially making the best use of shape for structures. It’s been the aim of structural engineers since their existence and evolutionary algorithms are a modern development to help this."

~ from "algorithms that design structures better than engineers" @jordanburgess

**a teaser, for a forthcoming lecture series.**

"Markov was abrasive, confrontational, and iconoclastic, “Andrew the Furious,” one contemporary called him. "

~ from "an idea that changed the world" @news/harvard

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