Latest Ideas headlines

orthognathic dental occlusion on white background

Ideas | Kelly Kasulis

When Neanderthals French-kissed humans

Teeth are being used to rewrite some of what we know about our ancestors.

Painted ice cream stick made chair with clipping path.


A Boston story in 50 words

Where did that popsicle go?

Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo (9) drives towards the basket past Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) during the second quarter of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game in Boston, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Uncommon Knowledge

Detecting bias in basketball

Subliminal messaging, inequality, and dunce caps in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Isometric Maze with white, black and green edges. Endless labyrinth. Seamless pattern for background, design, print and textile. Vector illustration.


Innovation of the week: A maze to dodge liquor laws

Aiswarya Bar in Kerala has a unique approach.

THIS IS AN AGENCY PHOTO. TELEVISION SHOWS: SEINFELD -- NBC Series -- From left -- MICHAEL RICHARDS as Cosmo Kramer, JASON ALEXANDER as George Costanza, JERRY SEINFELD as Jerry Seinfeld and JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS as Elaine Benes, in an undated episode. PHOTO CREDIT -- Photofest Published in NYT 08/20/04 - WEEKEND Section Published Caption: WALKING TOURS -- A ''Seinfeld'' tour is planned on the Upper West Side. (Photo by Photofest) NYTCREDIT: NBC, via Photofest 09backward -- 05SEINFELD -- 19Buzzsaw -- 10buzzsaw 23tickettv 28crit -- 01TicketTV


Testing the limits of an unsolicited invitation

John McCool decided to troll right back.


Big Data: 24,970

Finding a way to predict heart attacks.

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 18: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at Facebook's F8 Developer Conference on April 18, 2017 at McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. The conference will explore Facebook's new technology initiatives and products. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Ethical dilemma: Facebook Live

Two perspectives on the ethics of Facebook Live.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Updated mood ring chart for 2017

A groovy mood ring decoder for the fabulous now.

Mark Zuckerberg during the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy S7 in Barcelona.

Ideas | Nicholas Carr

How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

We live in a time defined not by concord, but by conflict.

Ideas | Mark Peters

Getting your Fitbit fix

Trackaholism is a sign of the times.

Boston Red Sox fans react to runs scored during the fourth inning of Game 6 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts October 30, 2013. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)


A Boston story in 50 words

Will they make it into Fenway Park for the game?

Protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities Friday, April 14, 2017, in San Francisco. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick has scheduled a hearing on Friday on San Francisco's request for a court order blocking the Trump administration from cutting off funds to any of the nation's so-called sanctuary cities. (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

Ideas | Peter Skerry

Opposing immigration wasn’t always racist

Not long ago, liberals and progressives felt far more conflicted about immigration.

Attend an introductory class on Google Adwords on Monday.

Uncommon Knowledge

In search of affirmation and attention

Examining race, the media, and more in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Glass eye prosthetic or Ocular prosthesis with reflection on black

Ideas | Elsa Sjunneson-Henry

My artificial eye

Every morning, Elsa Sjunneson-Henry wakes up and puts in her artificial eye.

07charlestown - One Charlestown Renderings by Stantec. (Stantec)

Ideas | Tim Snyder

One Charlestown and the future of public housing

Government housing in the United States never really worked as intended, a promising idea poorly maintained.

“Some of the boys that climbed the Hill at San Juan,” Cuba.

Ideas | Alex Kingsbury

The cutting edge of war photography

Photographs gave a glimpse of who they were fighting, even if the reasons why weren’t always clear.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Marathon Monday is upon us!

It’s a day to feel humbled and support the athletes.

smart phone as a gravestone, 3d illustration


Innovation of the week: Digital tombstones

Some are gravely concerned.

Boston Ma 03/04/2017 Binder's with women resumes from Mitt Romney 2012 Campaign. Jonathan Wiggs /GlobeStaff) Reporter:Topic


Same news, three ways: Metaphors are hard

It’s good to know when to let go.

This Sunday, April 9, 2017, image made from a video provided by Audra D. Bridges shows a passenger being removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago. Video of police officers dragging the passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight sparked an uproar Monday on social media, and a spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man. (Audra D. Bridges via AP)


Euphemism: “re-accommodate”

That’s one way to clear up an incident.


Big Data: 65 million years

Ants are eminently persistent.

Thin line Smart idea icon suitable for info graphics, websites and print media and interfaces. Line vector icon.

Uncommon Knowledge

Finding ways to elect more women

Immigrants in Hollywood, tax returns, and more.

A young woman lies on her bed while eating a pint of ice cream. She is smiling at the camera. Vertical shot.


A Boston story in 50 words

Love and ice cream on Valentine’s Day.

Alan Chinchar's 1991 rendition of the Space Station Freedom in orbit. The painting depicts the completed space station. Earth is used as the image's backdrop with the Moon and Mars off in the distance. Freedom was to be a permanently crewed orbiting base to be completed in the mid 1990's. It was to have a crew of 4. Freedom was an attempt at international cooperation that attempted to incorporate the technological and economic assistance, of the United States, Canada, Japan, and nine European nations. The image shows four pressurized modules (three laboratories and a habitat module) and six large solar arrays which were expected to generate 56,000 watts of electricity for both scientific experiments and the daily operation of the station. Space Station Freedom never came to fruition. Instead, in 1993, the original partners, as well as Russia, pooled their resources to create the International Space Station.

Ideas | Jacob Haqq-Misra

Why the US is failing at space

With every presidential administration, space policy shifts.

KIGALI, RWANDA - APRIL 05: Thousands of people gather at the Kicukiro College of Technology football pitch to commemorate the 2,000 people who were abandoned by United Nations troops during the 1994 genocide April 5, 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda. On April 11, 1994, Belgian paratroopers who were part of the UNAMIR mission were ordered to leave the school grounds, abandoning the people to the national police and Interahamwe militia, who lead their victims to a garbage dump and slaughtered them. Rwanda is preparing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country's 1994 genocide, when more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered over a 100 day period. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ideas | Tonny Onyulo

In Rwanda, growth is the only option

Decades after a genocide, the country is remarketing itself as the region’s economic miracle.

Ideas | Mark Peters

What makes ‘milk’ milk?

One person’s almond milk may be another person’s alleged FDA violation.

In this Monday, April 3, 2017, photo, Tim Berners-Lee poses outside his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, is this year's recipient of the A.M. Turing Award, computing's version of the Nobel Prize. The honor comes with a $1 million prize funded by Google, one of many companies that made a fortune thanks to Berners-Lee's efforts to make the internet more accessible and useful. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Same news, three ways: Belated recognition

What do the Turing prize, Twitter, and Framingham have in common?

Snapchat co-founders Bobby Murphy, left, and CEO Evan Spiegel ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as the company celebrates its IPO, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)


Innovation of the week: IPO edition

A “growing power grab” by technology companies.

Boston, MA 4/14/11 Dr. Michael Dansinger (cq) is photographed, on Thursday, April 14, 2011. The Tufts physician is also the weight loss and nutrition doctor for the NBC show


Integrity in peer review

It’s a way to give back to the scientific community.


Big Data: 1 nanometer

The possibilities of straining the salt out of seawater.


The Russian connection

Someday we’ll find it.

Thief stealing a womans handbag in a city street concept for crime, pickpocketing and security


A Boston story in 50 words

Cracking down on local crime.

epa05839442 Protester Barbara Stern, of New York, carries a US flag while joining others in walking around the Federal Building where Ravi Ragbir, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City and a legal immigrant who does not have a normalized status, was attending a check-in meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York, New York, USA, 09 March 2017. Ragbir, who legally immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago more than 25 years ago, a conviction for wire fraud in 2001 put his green card under review and created the threat that he could be deported as a result of this meeting. Following the meeting he was not detained for deportation. EPA/JUSTIN LANE EPA/JUSTIN LANE


Finding a welcome sanctuary

A digest of big ideas in little bites, from the Ideas team.

Concord, MA -- 6/99 -- DESCENDANTS OF FAMOUS NEW ENGLANDERS -- John Esty, Jr. keeps a copy of Mary Esty's (his ancester) clemancy plea and a poster reproduction of this 1855 painting by T.H. Matteson of the August 5, 1692 Salem witch trial of George Jacobs. (Jacobs is depicted lower right.). Esty was hanged September 22, 1692 for being a witch. (copy photo by Pat Greenhouse) (Story by Nathan Cobb)

Uncommon Knowledge

The origins of witch trials

Surprising insights from the social sciences.


Interview: Laila Ali

An Ideas interview with the champion boxer and author.

Ideas | Bonnie Rochman

Customized babies are closer than you think

The race is on to edit genes and prevent disease. But this technology is ripe for abuse.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Science has some complaints

An imagined conversation between the “Science” and “Art” sculptures outside the Boston Public Library.

PBS FRONTLINE: United States of Secrets (Part One) Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET How did the government come to spy on millions of Americans? In FRONTLINEÕs ÒUnited States of Secrets,Ó a two-part series from Michael Kirk and Martin Smith, FRONTLINE tells the inside story of the U.S. governmentÕs massive and controversial post-9/11 secret surveillance program. Credit: Courtesy of Frontline 13crit

Ideas | Mark Peters

Learning to love the ‘deep state’

Shadowy cabal or just lifelong civil servants? Either way, the deep state has deep roots.


A Boston story in 50 words

Re-learning the Boston commute.

FILE Ñ Hillary Clinton delivers a national security policy address in San Diego, June 2, 2016. Clinton on June 12 called the mass shooting which left 50 dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando an act of terror, saying that the country needed Òto redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroadÓ and calling for more stringent restrictions on guns. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

Uncommon Knowledge

Exploring the ‘Hillary doctrine’

Honest conversations, the flow of immigration, and more in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Ideas | S.I. Rosenbaum

How to revive Massachusetts’ first language

For more than a century, the language of the Mashpee Wampanoag had no living speakers.

A man uses an automatic toilet paper dispenser that uses facial recognition technology at a public toilet at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on March 21, 2017. A years-long crime spree by Chinese toilet paper thieves may have reached the end of its roll after park officials in southern Beijing installed facial recognition technology to flush out bathroom bandits. / AFP PHOTO / WANG Zhao (Photo credit should read WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)


Toilet paper at the Temple of Heaven

A digest of big ideas in little bites.


We are the war on terror, and the war on terror is us

A global war, by definition, must also be waged at home.

Zombies rally the streets during the Venice Carnival, in Venice, Italy, Saturday, Feb.11, 2017. The Venice carnival in the historical lagoon city attracts people from around the world. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

The Word

Zombies have never been more alive

A zombie has also been an idiot, a conscripted Canadian soldier, and a fruity drink.

Jo Anne Amoura on Leavenworth Street, which the city unpaved in 2014, by her home in Omaha, Neb., Feb. 17, 2017. To cut upkeep costs the city converted roads in some neighborhoods from pavement to gravel. As in many big cities, the infrastructure here is crumbling, a problem exacerbated by decades of neglect and residential roads that have never met code. (Ryan Henriksen/The New York Times)


When ‘reclaiming’ actually means ‘ruining’

A digest of big ideas in little bites.

16names - After realizing that the candy he has been handing out in baskets is actually filled with artificial ingredients, corn syrup, preservatives and other junk, the Easter Bunny has decided to apologize. A-list friends like Jillian Michaels, John Legend, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tom Brady have come to his support as he launches the official 2013 Easter Bunny Apology Tour. The Tour is proudly sponsored by Boston-based UNREAL, the unjunked junk food company, which has remade America's favorite candies by replacing the junk with all real ingredients, reducing the sugar, adding nutrition – and making it taste just as good. (CRAIG ORSINI)

Uncommon Knowledge

Apology tours, charity, and more

Surprising insights from the social sciences.