Latest Ideas headlines

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Questionable marketing moves that we could soon see — but probably won’t

Inspired by recent news developments. Who knows what the marketing team has up its sleeve?

Color image of some people voting in some polling booths at a voting station.


Euphemism: ‘Majority sign-up’

The labor movement offers up a new electoral tactic.

A Walther handgun is displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada in this file photo taken January 29, 2011.


Big Data: A fateful study

The CDC found that people in households with guns were 2.7 times more likely to become homicide victims.


Innovation of the Week: An alternative to advertising

Salon is experimenting with a solution to online ad blockers.

BOSTON MA. 02/11/13: MORNING GRIDLOCK at 11am on Storrow Drive in both directions looking towards Charles Circle. Conditions after the storm ( David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC 12snowmainphoto


A Boston story in 50 words

Evening rush hour in pouring rain. How can things get worse?

Leonardo DiCaprio is Jordan Belfort in the 2013 film THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, directed by Martin Scorsese, from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures. TWOWS-07897R


Uncommon Knowledge: Wolf dens of Wall Street

In this week’s issue: Prejudice, synonyms, and narcissism.

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Is infidelity always bad?

Among some therapists and sociologists, even “the last sexual taboo” comes under reconsideration.

Ideas | Tara McClellan McAndrew

When valentines were for haters

In Worcester and New York, card makers debated: Are valentines for love — or honest appraisal?

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Genetic testing is about to redraw a lot of family trees

Thanks to DNA testing, there’s a whole forest of family trees waiting to be cut down.

A tweet by President Donald Trump is displayed behind FBI Director Christopher Wray as he testifies during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Ideas | Marcus Banks

The hashtag of the right: overusing Capital Letters

When President Trump said the FBI’s reputation “is in Tatters,” it was part of a trend.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Finding political soul mates

Love isn’t the only thing in the air this Valentine’s Day. There’s a hint of Watergate as well.

THIS HANDOUT FILE HAS RESTRICTIONS!!! From left, RUPERT GRINT as Ron Weasley, EMMA WATSON as Hermione Granger, MATTHEW LEWIS as Neville Longbottom, DANIEL RADCLIFFE as Harry Potter and BONNIE WRIGHT as Ginny Weasley in Warner Bros. Pictures' 2009 film

Ideas | S.I. Rosenbaum

Why the Jewish students at Hogwarts have to be invisible

The more inclusive the Potterverse gets, the less believable it is.

Stop by General Assembly for Boston’s first Machine Intelligence Reading Group.


Academic popularity contests

If true, this would be a glaring case of citation manipulation.

The second wave of combat helicopters of the 1st Air Cavalry Division fly over an RTO and his commander on an isolated landing zone during Operation Pershing, a search and destroy mission on the Bong Son Plain and An Lao Valley of South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. The two American soldiers are waiting for the second wave to come in. (Photo by Patrick Christain/Getty Images)


Big Data: Investigating drug effectiveness

Thousands of people with PTSD used this drug to try to ward off nightmares.

Bar of soap


Innovation of the Week: The armpit transplant

There’s an armpit microbiome, and this researcher is trying to master it.

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 4: Snow falls in the South End neighborhood during a massive winter storm on January 4, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Schools and businesses throughout the Boston area are closed as the city is expecting over a foot of snow and blizzard like conditions throughout the day. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


A Boston story in 50 words

“Fear of Missing Out” is overrated.

This Starbuds Dispensary is located in the low-income neighborhood of Elyria-Swansea in Denver. Elyria-Swansea has the highest concentration of marijuana licenses in Colorado.


Uncommon Knowledge: The impacts of legalization

Collected insights from the social sciences, on marijuana, unions, and vaccines.

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., in December 2015.

Ideas | Pasquale S. Toscano

Stop using disability as a political club

References to disability are increasingly being deployed as a political tactic.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

The six New England attitudes about winter

Boston’s statues are buried in snow but full of personality.

Steel and concrete containers hold spent fuel rods at the site of the former Maine Yankee nuclear power plant, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Wiscasset, Maine. The U.S. government has been required to pay out $160 million to the operators of defunct nuclear plants in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts over its failure to find a national dumping ground for nuclear waste. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)


Euphemism: Community investment funding

Otherwise known as “a bribe.”

A portion of the Strava Labs heat map from Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, made by tracking activities. MUST CREDIT: Screenshot from


Loose apps sink ships? Strava flap poses awkward dilemma for military

Military and intelligence planners scrambled to assess the impacts.

In this photo taken Feb. 15, 2013, Danny M. Leipziger, center, teaches a macro economics class at George Washington University in Washington. Football player Derrick Dockery, his wife Emma Dockery, and Will Witherspoon, are in the class as they pursue Masters of Business Administration at George Washington as part of an NFL back-to-school program. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Uncommon Knowledge: I know what she did last summer

Researchers examined discrimination at an elite MBA program. Also: charity and relaxation in this week’s issue.


A Boston story in 50 words

One cheerful moment on the MBTA.

EVERETT, MASSACHUSETTS -- 10/21/2012 -- Bikers take the first turn down Revere Beach Parkway wearing costumes as part of the 24th annual Halloween Witch Ride from Everett to Shetland Park in Salem to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Brian Feulner for the Boston Globe


Innovation of the Week: Preventing broken hips

This could help with a huge and costly problem.


Big Data: A first-of-its-kind experiment

Imagine talking with someone that you perceive is always yelling.

Ideas | Kelly Kasulis

Urban living at a bargain price, but how small is too small?

In Seoul, the tradeoff between space and location is stark. Could Americans live in such tight quarters?

Patriots fans were in the spirit Saturday during a pre-Super Bowl rally in downtown Minneapolis.

Ideas | Craig Fehrman

The psychology behind Patriots fans — and all their haters

The more Patriots fans knew about football, the more likely they were to buy into conspiracy theories surrounding their team.

Ideas | Mark Peters

When naming, do a disaster check

Nobody wants to be a laughing stock on Twitter.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

A celebration of those wired a bit differently

Cartoonist Sage Stossel attends an unusual party.

Ideas | Amitha Kalaichandran

Teaching empathy via temporary tattoos

If being jaded is a learned behavior, the ability to share in patients’ feelings may be as well.

two little decorative rats on white background


On Second Thought: Different mouse, different genes

Some similarities are only fur deep.

This photo provided by the Dan Smalley Lab at Brigham Young University in January 2018 shows a projected image of the earth above a finger tip in Provo, Utah. Scientists have figured out how to manipulate tiny nearly unseen specks in the air and use them to produce images more realistic than most holograms, according to a study published on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in the journal Nature. (Dan Smalley Lab, Brigham Young University via AP)


Innovation of the Week: 3D volumetric images

They’re not quite holograms. But they do appear straight out of a sci-fi fantasy.



Uncommon Knowledge: Follow the money

Examining different outcomes between loan-funded and grant-funded students, plus more, in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.


Big Data: 33,782 refugees

Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab tried to better understand why some refugees flourish and others falter.

Hanging boxing gloves isolated on white background


A Boston story in 50 words

Cold weather, dry hands.

Influenza victims at Fort Riley, Kan., during the 1918 epidemic.

Ideas | Alex Kingsbury

Why we haven’t gotten over the Spanish flu

Pandemic preparedness suffers from cycles of panic and neglect, once the immediate threat has passed.

Ideas | Thomas Levenson

Antibiotics gave us routine surgery. Growing resistance could change everything

When drugs brought infection under control, more bodily ills became fixable — at least for a while.

Protesters rallied in Fullerton, Calif., in October near the site of a speaking appearance by far-right blogger Milo Yiannopoulos.

Ideas | Cathy Young

How campus politics hijacked American politics

The campus-bred identitarian left is leaving its mark on society.

Bullet breaking a light bulb, 3D rendering isolated on white background

Ideas | Pardis Sabeti

For better science, call off the revolutionaries

When an entire field shifts, researchers need room to recalibrate their work. Don’t shout them down.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Trillions of dollars have sloshed into offshore tax havens. Here’s how to get it back

Offshore tax havens are a powerful engine of inequality.

Ideas | Zachary Davis

We need better cynics

Cynicism has a bad reputation, but it has its benefits.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Has the movement gone too far?

In revolutionary France, dissent will not be tolerated.

The scrunchie just got a rebrand.


Euphemism: ‘Hair cloud’

The scrunchie just got a rebrand.

Three Olive Martini


Innovation of the Week: ‘Stock-tails’

Mixologists are offering some unusual combinations this winter.

US President Donald Trump speaks live via video link to the annual


Uncommon Knowledge: He had us at ‘great again’

Unusual insights from the social sciences, including the political establishment, heart rates, and parenting.


Big Data: 100,000 words

Complete recitations can sometimes take six hours.