Latest Ideas headlines

A Boston story in 50 words

A story about the circus at the old Boston Garden.

Ideas | A.J.B. LANE

How Russia hacks our politics

As revealed by recent intelligence reports, and explained by a cartoon.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

An address with a perfectly Trumpian tone

It was a speech that couldn’t have broken more sharply with the past administration both in style and substance.

Washington Street in Boston was buried in snow on Feb. 6, 1978. The Blizzard of ‘78 dropped 27.1 inches of snow on the city.

A Boston story in 50 words

This one involves the Blizzard of ‘78.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Has pot lost its cool?

Illegality was part of marijuana’s rebel appeal. So what happens now?

Puzzled | Aloni Cohen, Sunoo Park and Adam Sealfon

Can you even find this puzzle?

In secret communications, as in life, you don’t always get a clear set of instructions.

Fresh raw Clam close up on white


What sizes and shapes say about seashells

Humans may have reversed the way the ocean and the atmosphere naturally interact.


A dress for the occasion

The princess gets some help preparing for the Inauguration.

Uncommon Knowledge

Grin and bear it

Harvard experiments, parents’ education choices, and fake smiles.

Ideas | Kovie Biakolo

Brain drain, brain waste — immigration policy gone wrong

Immigrants are welcome only up to a point.


Coming in on a high note

The National Cannabis Industry Association held its “Cannabis Caucus” in Cambridge.

A supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hoists a poster during an election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on November 8, 2016. Billionaire populist Donald Trump was poised for a possible shock victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's historic US presidential election, as a string of swing state victories for the Republican jolted world markets and stunned her supporters. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Ideas | David M. Shribman

Can the white working class lead?

There is a new identity group in American life. It’s the white working class.

Ideas | Adam Tanner

Patient power through records

The rapid adoption of electronic medical records hasn’t proved the cure-all that tech evangelists promised.

Sarah Obama, step-grandmother to USA's President elect, Barak Obama, speaks to journalists flanked by friends and members of her family on November 7, 2012 in the hamlet of Kogelo in western Kenya during a press conference that followed media-anouncements of Obama's apparent victory. President Barack Obama swept to a emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney on November 6, 2012 forging new history by transcending a dragging economy and the stifling unemployment which haunted his first term. AFP PHOTO / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)

IDEAS | Tonny Onyulo

Kenyans will be sad to see Obama’s presidency end

Most Kogelo residents are thankful for the nongovernmental organizations that have descended on the village to address poverty, lack of shelter, and other problems common to rural Kenya.

Close up of red ant opening his mouth


The secret life of ants

How ants use crowdsourced decision-making to run their colony.

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, holds a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Uncommon Knowledge

Facing up to your politics

“Tough” faces, “attractive” faces, and more factors that seem to determine relationships.

funny rat isolated on white background


A Boston story in 50 words

Ugh, rats on the street.


Our commitment: The Globe editorial board’s resolutions for 2017

What readers can expect from the Globe’s editorial pages in 2017.


The Globe’s 2016 editorials revisited — some 20/20 hindsight required

The Globe’s editorial board looks back at 2016.


In bots we distrust

Can simple adjustments overcome an aversion to algorithms?

Uncommon Knowledge

Listen to your heart, matchmakers

Matchmaking based on voice recordings, obesity’s influence on academics, and more.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Equity One

A short time ago, in a city not so far, far away (i.e. Cambridge) ...

SANTA CRUZ PROVINCE, ARGENTINA - NOVEMBER 27: The Perito Moreno glacier stands in Los Glaciares National Park, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest ice field in the world, on November 27, 2015 in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Certain areas of glacial ice take on a bluish hue due to light refraction. The majority of the almost 50 large glaciers in Los Glacieres National Park have been retreating during the past fifty years due to warming temperatures, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that over 68 percent of the world's freshwater supplies are locked in ice caps and glaciers. The United Nations climate change conference begins November 30 in Paris. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Ideas | Ann Berwick

The Paris deal is not enough, and time is running out

Despite a few positive developments, too much damage has already been done.

Melting glacial ice floats in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. The majority of the almost 50 large glaciers in the park have been retreating during the past fifty years due to warming temperatures, according to the European Space Agency.

Ideas | Jacob Haqq-Misra

Trump and climate change — a vicious circle

It’ll be highly ironic if, instead of curbing the flow of immigrants, Donald Trump’s climate policy ends up accelerating it.

Ideas | Thanassis Cambanis

Moscow is ready to rumble

In the next Cold War, America must once again contend with Russian power.

bright rainbow eye close up


Roses are red; violets are — red? How color terms arise

Does our language shape our worldview, or does our worldview shape our language?


Movie night during the holidays

What are all these classic Christmas movies really about?


A Boston story in 50 words

The aftermath of a devastating fire.

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, reindeer pasture in the Yamal region, Russia. The indigenous reindeer herders in Russia’s northern Yamal Region, a remote section of Siberia where winter temperatures can sink below minus 50 degrees Celsius, are facing a man-made threat as officials push ahead with an unprecedented culling that calls for at least one in seven of the Yamal’s reindeer to be slaughtered. Regional government spokeswoman Olesya Litovskikh denied the oil and gas industry lobbied for increased culling. Energy companies spend “billions of rubles” developing far-flung areas and supporting Nenets culture, Litovskikh said. (AP Photo/Igor Novikov)

Ideas | Ray Cavanaugh

Rudolph on the run

Siberia has more than 700,000 reindeer. It’s led to overgrazing, increased risk of anthrax, and so-called zombie diseases.

Uncommon Knowledge

How psychology can save lives

Drug use, interrogations, and supply-side economics in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.


The 2016 words of the year

An examination of some of the words and terms that defined 2016.


Everyone thinks you should read this

People support policies because they think other people support them — as Donald Trump seems to know.


Words of the Year for 2016

A look at some of the terms that defined, propelled, and illustrated our year.

Dante Ramos

2016 Words of the Year: Alt-

As 2016 closes, the big debate raging on copy desks across the country is whether and how to use “alt-right.”


2016 Words of the Year: Rigged

What the pumpkin-spice obsession was to consumables in 2016, the “rigged” label was to politics.

An Old Order Amish woman in a blue dress and black cape and apron walks in a grassy field on a sunny afternoon

Uncommon Knowledge

Make Earth great again

Conservatives and environmentalists are generally at odds these days, but new research suggests that much of this disagreement heals with time.

Scott Gilmore

2016 Words of the Year: Leaks

In April, over 30 years of confidential legal documents were stolen from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

Alex Kingsbury

2016 Words of the Year: Snake oil

It is a term forever tarnished by its association with con men, grifters, and politicians.

Mark Peters

2016 Words of the Year: Woke

Are you woke?

Alex Kingsbury

2016 Words of the Year: Burkini

French designer Louis Réard named his 1946 swimsuit the bikini after the Pacific atoll where atomic bombs were then being tested.

Alan Wirzbicki

2016 Words of the Year: Fentanyl

The sudden emergence of fentanyl as a deadly street drug got a grim confirmation in April.

Pedro Reina-Pérez

2016 Words of the Year: Zika

This year, Zika fought well above its weight class.

Renee Graham

2016 Words of the Year: Becky (with the good hair)

One lyric from her breakup anthem “Sorry” made us prick up our ears.


CSI: Chem trail

Scientists tried to identify every chemical to create a lifestyle profile that tells us what the cellphone owner likes to eat, wear, and do.


The nine concentric circles of New England winter hell

In the central core of Hell, you won’t need your ice scraper.

The accident blue bike with a blue car. The motorcycle crashed into the bumper of the car on the road. The motorcycle lies on the road near the car.


A Boston story in 50 words

Enduring a motorcycle crash.