Irrational Death

The Most Irrational Number

Jordan Ellenberg | Slate | 8th June 2021

The number π, defined as the ratio between the circumference and the diameter of a circle, approximates to 3.142, but defies exact expression; it is an "irrational" number. The golden ratio is like π, but more elusive still. It approximates to 1.618, and gives intuitive pleasure to the human eye when encountered as a proportion in nature and in art. It seems to be the key to something. But what? (2,100 words)

Could You Survive The Black Death?

Cody Cassidy | Smithsonian | 13th June 2023

How to deal with the worst that History can throw at you. If you are in London during the Black Death of 1348-50, stay home and wash often. If you are in Rome in 410 AD, escape to the West when the Visigoths arrive from the North. But should you be in Constantinople in 1453, your goose is cooked. Even with the wisdom of hindsight, there is no dodging the Ottoman onslaught (2,070 words)

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