Game on. In the name of science
“Does someone riding a flying griffin react the same as a kid riding a city bus when infected with a deadly illness?” Such is the world in which we live that such a question is actually deadly serious. This fantastic, fascinating Nautilus piece looks at how the game World of Warcraft was infected by a design bug that might help scientists understand what would happen in the event of a real-life pandemic. (Hint: people will behave terribly.)

Forget Silicon Valley. Here’s the Euro valley
This is an interesting take on a dry report, the “EU Atlas of ICT Hotspots.” Paul Stasse argues that even though European tech leaders regularly get their knickers in a twist that they’re not keeping up with with Silicon Valley, that mythical shiny innovation factory in California, Europe isn’t such a deadzone after all. Instead of focusing on cities, he says, we should focus on clusters. Connected by high-speed rail, cities such as London, Paris and Amsterdam or Munich, Brussels and Eindhoven are enjoying a decent amount of activity. Maximize the flow of people between these areas, and everyone will benefit.

Help Massimo Vignelli read his own obituary
The designer of the New York subway map is gravely ill and will be spending his last days at home in Manhattan. His last request is a little bizarre, perhaps, but apparently he’d like to hear from anyone he’s influenced over the years. As Pentagram partner, Michael Bierut puts it: “I know that one of Massimo’s biggest fantasies has been to attend his own funeral. This will be the next best thing. Pass the word.”

About Helen Walters

Helen Walters is the ideas editor at TED. Previously the innovation and design editor at BusinessWeek, she writes about interesting people and what keeps them up at night.

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