Latest Ideas headlines

Child with vintage suitcase and city map on summer vacation. Travel and adventure concept


Euphemism: ‘Travel designer’

Travel agencies struggling in the online world have gone upscale to survive.


How the Vandals got the handles

Primitive brutes? Not so much.

Apartment Houses and Buildings Set in Flat Style.


Big Data: 7.2 million empty rooms

It’s a classic mismatch of supply and demand.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Summertime fun on the Cape & Islands

Can you help this nice middle class family get to their vacation rental on time?

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches to Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


A Boston story in 50 words

Baseball in the summer of 1967.

This frame from the Fox animated series

Ideas | Mark Peters

The day Orrin Hatch channeled Ned Flanders

An old word resurfaces. (Yes, Trump is involved.)

The GOP gets its shots in

Uncommon Knowledge

The surprising power of political graphics

Do combative graphics help induce rivalry between political parties?

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

New flavors in celebration of National Ice Cream Day

Chilly confections especially for the summer of 2017.


On Second Thought: An anti-German plot?

Is a jealous cabal trying to torpedo the work of German researchers?

cocoa powder and wooden tea spoon


Innovation of the Week: Snortable chocolate

How far would you go for your chocolate fix?


Big Data: 717,527

Investigating the roots of “activity inequality.”

An ever-changing view of windows in the Seaport District.


Boston wants to fight climate change. So why is every new building made of glass?

Today’s dominant architectural form is shiny, seductive, and inefficient.


A Boston story in 50 words

Listening in to the political scandal of the century.

Ultrasound picture of baby isolated. Ultrasound scan of a twenty four week old fetus in a profile view lying on its back and sucking finger. Ultrasound of baby in pregnant woman.

Ideas | Chloe K. Fox

How children change their mothers — and their mothers’ DNA

During pregnancy, the placenta allows a small transfer of cells between mother and fetus. It’s called microchimerism.

DORCHESTER - APRIL 05: Dominique Entzminger, a physician assistant of family medicine, wears a stethoscope during an examination at the Codman Square Health Center April 5, 2006 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. State lawmakers approved a health care reform bill March 4 that would make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to require all its citizens have some form of health insurance. Governor Mitt Romney is scheduled to sign the bill next week. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Uncommon Knowledge

Give me your tired, your uninsured

Academic studies consider IRS data, smartphones, and juvenile offenders in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Ideas | Emily Kumler

Why artificial intelligence is far too human

Humans freak out about robotic Terminators, but scientists worry that AI is too much like us.

Open male hand on blue background. Care, support and help concept. Flat design. Vector illustration. EPS 8, no transparency


Innovation of the Week: Embedded transit passes

Fumbling in your bag for your pass can be annoying. There’s gotta be a better way.

Ice cubes isolated on a white background


Big Data: 5 percent

US companies are starting to cover the costs of human egg freezing.


Euphemism: ‘digital advice’

The robo-adviser has come to sound not only inhuman but anti-human.

On the Block

For sale: Properties on their second acts

Two pieces of local history in Hull and Danvers, reincarnated as condos.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

The joys of Boston in the summer

Open streets! Ziplines! Even . . . empty parking spaces?

Ideas | Ted Widmer

Democracy’s immigrant story

Like many newcomers, the word was first received with hostility, and took decades to assimilate.

People watched fireworks during Thunderfest at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

Ideas | Mark Peters

From gunpowder to profanity: the evolution of ‘fireworks’

Today we almost always say “fireworks,” but the singular form used to be more common — often in the phrase “piece of firework.”

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 25, 2015 shows an UBER application viewed as cars drive by in Washington, DC. Uber has agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle two class action suits filed by drivers who said they were employees entitled to benefits, rather than independent contractors. The suits challenged a pillar of the business model of the pioneer of the so-called gig economy -- relying on workers with no set schedule and only a loose affiliation with the San Francisco-based company offering ridesharing services.Uber said in a statement April 21, 2016 it had agreed on a settlement with the plaintiffs. / AFP PHOTO / Andrew Caballero-ReynoldsANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Ideas | Mark Peters

The long-term, part-time ‘gig’

For many, the freedom of side hustles is worth the risks. For others, a side hustle is simply better than no hustle at all.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development building in Washington, D.C., is one of several example of brutalism architecture in the city. Named after the first Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the first African American Cabinet member, Robert Weaver, the building was built by architect Marcel Breuer. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Astrid Riecken

Ideas | Henry H. Kuehn

The surprisingly non-egomaniacal gravestones of architects

Very few architects have grave markers that capture their own style.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

I’m a vegetarian. Bring on the lab-grown meat.

Can lab-synthesized meat ease vegetarians’ consciences — and erase ancient food taboos?


Innovation of the Week: Better ransomware

WannaCry was PrettyFlawed. The biggest problem: it included a kill switch.

Space junk orbiting around earth - Conceptual of pollution around our planet (Texture map for 3d furnished by NASA -


Big Data: Space junk at 17,5000 mph

There are about 17,000 pieces of space junk that the US military is worried enough about to track.

female boxer wearing gloves


On Second Thought: Don’t mess with CrossFit

The workout company won a series of recent victories stemming from a controversial 2013 paper.

Boston, MA 7/4/2014 Yehwi Joung (cq), 5, leading her mom, Paejin Joung (cq) and her grandmother, Sunyeo Joung (cq) through Copley Square during the rain soaked afternoon on Boylston Street on Friday July 4, 2014. The Joung's are here on holiday from South Korea. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)


A Boston story in 50 words

Some weird weather near Copley.

FILE-- Demonstrators protest against religious objections to offering contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act outside the Supreme Court in Washington, June 30, 2014. More states are putting birth control on the legislative agenda as the Affordable Care Act is weakened. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

Uncommon Knowledge

What happens to birth control if the Affordable Care Act is repealed?

From family values to municipal fines and more, in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

A rigorous Trumpcare analysis

At least there’s no death panels, right?

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Stop in the name of love

An end-of-the-school-year ode to a crossing guard.

Portrait of a funny displeased girl teenager with headphones over pink background. Studio shot. Teen's fashion.

Ideas | Kelly Kasulis

Why sad songs say so much

In this experiment, sad songs induced a strange mix of excitement and calmness.

Young saint woman with halo above head

Uncommon Knowledge

The impacts of religion, and more

From marijuana to religion: this week’s collection of insights from the social sciences.

Ideas | Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld

Calling it ‘brain disease’ makes addiction harder to treat

Addiction is a complex set of activities whose course can be altered when the user confronts foreseeable consequences.

Ideas | Mark Peters

The lexical history of leaking

It’s one of the most popular and controversial political words of recent times.


A Boston story in 50 words

A search for sunlight.

This artist rendering provided by World View Enterprises shows the World View Voyager balloon carrying a pressurized space capsule that will be transported to the edge of space. The Arizona company says it has successfully completed the first scale test flight of a high-altitude balloon and capsule being developed to take tourists to the edge of space. World View Enterprises of Tucson said Tuesday June 24, 2014 that it launched the flight last week from Roswell, NM. CEO Jane Poynter says the system broke the world record for highest parafoil flight, lifting a payload one-tenth of what is planned for passenger flight to 120,000 feet. (AP Photo/World View Enterprises)


Innovation of the Week: Fried chicken marketing in space

“Can you actually launch KFC’s world-famous Zinger chicken sandwich into space?”

This undated photo made available by Ascend on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 shows Valerie Huber. The prominent leader of the abstinence-only sex education movement has been appointed to a senior position at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, joining several other social conservative activists in the leadership ranks at HHS. (Paula Lyman/Ascend via AP)


Euphemism: sexual risk avoidance

The term may act as a cloaking device for increased funding to abstinence-only education.

Vintage wooden spool of thread and needle on white background


Big Data: 1 millimeter

Dressmakers may have superior 3-D vision.

Round flying bookshelf against blue sky


Big Data: A millennium of Venice

These records span more than 1,000 years.

May 26, 2016 - Logan International Airport Terminal A Travelers wait in the security check-point line at Logan International Airport terminal A Security lines have become hours-long waits at airports around the country due to TSA cutbacks, and although they have not been as bad at Logan, local airport officials are closely monitoring the situation as the busy summer travel season begins. business,27logan(2),johnston (Katherine Taylor for The Boston Globe)


A Boston story in 50 words

A moment of levity during TSA screening.

A member of the US Army's explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) unit scans the area around a burning M-ATV armored vehicle after it struck an improvised explosive device (IED) near Combat Outpost Nolen in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CONFLICT MILITARY) Library Tag 07242010 National/Foreign

Uncommon Knowledge

The pace of insurgent innovation

From crowdfunding to counterinsurgency and more in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Brain, cerebral disease; Shutterstock ID 61487839; PO: Monday Living 12/21

Ideas | Kelly Kasulis

Exploring truth and mind control

Scientists might have figured out how to make us more honest.


Innovation of the Week: Robo-counselor for couples

“Robots don’t judge,” said one test subject.