Latest Ideas headlines

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Welcoming universal child care

Ultimately, affordable, accessible child care could benefit all of us.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 6, 2018 a voter casts his ballot in the midterm election at the East Midwood Jewish Center polling station in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. - Foreign meddling and hacking attempts had


From the Comments: The voting age

A son remembers a decades-old debate with his father.


By The Number: A herd of Twitter followers

The @DevinCow account mentioned in Devin Nunes’s lawsuit originally had about 1,200 followers. That was before.


Tweets of the Week: JK Rowling, Devin’s cow, and opioids

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

(NY117) (02/14/97_12.39_USA) FILE--Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, bargains with space gangster Jabba the Hutt in this digitally recreated scene restored to the film 'Star Wars Special Edition.' Twenty years after its initial release, and two weeks after its reissue with several minutes of new scenes, George Lucas futuristic blockbuster crossed the $400 million mark Thursday, Feb. 13, 1997, surpassing Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extraterrestrial to reclaim the all-time No. 1 spot at the box office. (AP Photo/) Library Tag 09212004 Living/Arts

Opinion | Paul Krugman

Holy Voodoo, Batman!

The 2019 Economic Report of the President is out, and everyone is having fun with the bit at the end that acknowledges the help of student interns — a list that includes Peter Parker, Aunt May, Bruce Wayne, and Jabba the Hutt.

6/18/98 Globe staff  story/ Projects. Lawrence Ma. Irish 'Help Wanted / No Irish Need Apply' sign at O'Riley Hibernian Pub in Lawrence Ma,#9 Appleton St. / irish employment RAN WITH GLOBE SERIES: REMEMBERING THE FAMINE.

Ideas | Chris Klein

The stubborn assimilation of the Boston Irish

The immigrants, fleeing a humanitarian disaster, were unlike any newcomers the United States had seen before.

Mark Harris fights back tears as his son John Harris testifies during a public hearing before the North Carolina State Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C., Feb. 20, 2019. Harris testified that he had warned his father, the Republican candidate in North Carolina's ninth Congressional district, in April 2017 about his misgivings over L. McCrae Dowless Jr., a campaign operative. (Travis Long/Pool via The New York Times) -- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Ideas | Tony Rehagen

Red state betrayal: Is this the beginning of a new post-partisan era?

On February 20, a tearful drama between Mark Harris and John Harris played out in what felt like a high-profile, reality TV version of America at this intensely partisan moment. But there was a twist.


Readers respond: ‘could these folks be saved with a few Strong-Ties and Sonotubes?’

Last week’s “A letter from Tornado Country,” helped shed light on how “some of the deadliest tornado disasters in history have taken place not on the prairie, but in the densely wooded hills of what storm chasers refer to as “‘Dixie Alley.’”


The week in tweets: Tucker Carlson, the college bribery scandal, and Captain Marvel

A look back at the week in 280 characters snapshots.


By The Number: Clearly she knows what a racket is

One of the students embroiled in the college bribery scandal submitted an application that claimed to have been ranked among the “Top 50” in the US Tennis Association Junior Girls Team since her sophomore year.

Screen grab from 'humansofny' Instagram.

Ideas | Amitha Kalaichandran

In America, becoming a doctor can prove fatal

Bullied and abused, medical residents are taking their own lives at an astounding rate.

FILE - In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Tucker Carlson, host of

Opinion | Luke O’Neil

Hey Fox, give Tucker Carlson a raise

You can make a lot of money selling the most vile opinions imaginable in America.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

The cautionary tale of the Novaxx

The children, it seems, aren’t the problem — see, look!

6th October 1976: American soul singer Marvin Gaye (1939 - 1984) walking ahead of his Rolls Royce in Notting Hill, London. (Photo by John Minihan/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Ideas | Ryan Walsh

Homage or plagiarism? A worrisome pop music precedent.

A federal court has ordered Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams to pay $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s estate for ripping off one of the soul singer’s songs. But did they?

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Too old to be president? Science says yes.

Sanders, Biden, Weld, Trump, even Warren are too old to lead this country. And with all the wisdom they’ve ostensibly accrued over their years, they should know that.


Uncommon Knowledge: ‘First’ drafts, Limousine liberals, and IQ tests

A collection of unusual insights from the social sciences.

FILE - This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. According to a study released on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)


Tweet of the Week: #SeedMAbaby

Must-read Twitter commentary from this week’s news.

TOPSHOT - Damage is seen from a tornado which killed at least 23 people in Beauregard, Alabama on March 4, 2019. - Rescuers in Alabama were set to resume search operations Monday after at least two tornadoes killed 23 people, uprooted trees and caused

Ideas | Brantley Hargrove

A letter from Tornado Country

In the Southeast, people die when poverty meets the planet’s most ferocious winds.


Big Data: Opium-addicted parrots raid India’s poppy fields.

Farmers have tried to scare the birds away by setting off firecrackers and screaming at them through loudspeakers.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Reviewing my more gung-ho Michael Jackson moments with sincere unease

Teen me was enchanted . . . like so many others.

Opinion | Luke O’Neil

$50 could have saved him, but his GoFundMe pitch didn’t get the clicks

Sickness and death are boring, but sickness and death with an angle? Now we’re talking.


If colleges won’t protect women, we need laws that will

At Harvard Law School last Saturday, it seemed clear that things may be heading in a new direction in the battle against campus sexual violence.

TOPSHOT - Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, ends his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2019. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

Ideas | S.I. Rosenbaum

A shocking number of Jews have become willing collaborators in white supremacy

The last temptation of Michael Cohen.

Ed Rowe, left, Rebecca Wilson, Robin Hager and Jill Zundel, react to the defeat of a proposal that would allow LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage within the United Methodist Church at the denomination’s 2019 Special Session of the General Conference in St. Louis, Mo., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. America’s second-largest Protestant denomination faces a likely fracture as delegates at the crucial meeting move to strengthen bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT clergy. (AP Photo/)


Big Data: 54 people decided the United Methodist Church vote

A church’s narrow reckoning.

Fruit flies on squeezed lemon slice


Uncommon Knowledge: The Downside of Identity Politics, Thinkers vs. Doers, and Testosterone

A collection of unusual insights from the social sciences.

11/05/12 Daily Dose Kotz Antidepressants and pregnancy CREDIT:


On Second Thought: Plagiarism is harder now, but it still happens

The result, however, is the same.

Ideas | Inderveer Mahal

Medical students wanted: Only the ethical need apply

We want our doctors to be compassionate and principled. A new test is weeding out medical school applicants who lack those critical qualities.

Taunton-09/16/17- The Boston Globe new printing press in Taunton has been plagued by a host of mechanical problems. The Sunday business section of the Globe runs through a press. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)

Ideas | Brian Bergstein

Tax credits for your news subscription? It’s not that radical.

Print gets all the breaks. Maybe it’s time to shift our 200-year-old journalism subsidies to the digital world.

Ideas | Robert L. Tsai

Abortion goes on trial, again

As the Supreme Court swings further to the right, reproductive rights advocates will have to battle it out in the states. That’s where the anti-abortionists have been hacking away at freedoms for decades.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

2019 Oscars BINGO

Here’s a better way to watch the Academy Awards.

Ideas | Marcela García

‘Roma’ expone el secreto más siniestro de México

En la era de Trump, el racismo americano y el racismo mexicano pudieran ser materia y antimateria. ¿Cómo pueden existir los dos al mismo tiempo?

The Singapore Flyer ferris wheel is seen in clouds before the National Day in Singapore, Saturday, July 19, 2008. Singapore Flyer is the world's largest observation wheel, standing at 165m (541.3 feet) from the ground. The National Day in Singapore is observed every year on the 9th of August since the time Singapore gained her independence from Malaysia in the year 1965. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Ideas | George Thrush

The global Ferris wheel craze stops here

It seems that you don’t need to have a wheel to play with the big boys.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: A general view of Oscar Statuettes backstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)


Big Data: What’s the cost of winning an Oscar?

It’s too late to try to win an Oscar for the 91st Academy Awards, but are you hoping to win a gold statuette next year?


On second thought: ‘delisting’

It’s hardly the sort of thing the Nobel committee will find compelling, but a journal has set a new record for most retractions.

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, an Oscar statue appears at the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. A spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday that the awards for cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstyling and live-action short will be presented off-air. The winning speeches will air later in the broadcast and will also be live-streamed on and the film academy’s social accounts. The plan to change up the format in service of a truncated three-hour runtime was announced in August. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)


Uncommon Knowledge: Railroaded, arrested development, and Oscar speeches

A collection of unusual insights from the social sciences.

Ideas | Marcela García

‘Roma’ exposes Mexico’s darkest secret

In the age of Trump, American racism and Mexican racism can seem like matter and antimatter. How can both exist at the same time?

1915: From left to right, Mrs James Leeds Laidlaw, Mrs Albert Plimpton, Mrs A Hughston, Mrs Frank Stratton and Helen Rich lead the Manhattan Delegation on a Woman Suffrage Party parade through New York. (Photo by Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Ideas | Tina Cassidy

White women skewing conservative is a decades-long trend, but their power may be waning

For 100 years, the predominantly male political machine has been wrestling with that question. Now, women may finally get to answer it themselves.

Author Isaac Asimov autographs books at the Mysterious Book Store stall on February 2, 1984 during the Fifth Avenue Book Fair held in New York City, United States. The 64-year-old science fiction writer will publish his 300th book in 1984. (AP Photo/Mario Suriani)

Ideas | Aimee Ortiz

Why the FBI investigated Isaac Asimov

Scientists know things. Important things. And for years, that’s terrified the FBI.


The Republican president who alienated Republicans

Benjamin Harrison had an illustrious family name and a gift for public speaking. He also had a personality problem.


The emojis we really need

A look at some of the emojis missing from the latest batch of Internet symbols.

People walk at the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas, June 23, 2016. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, upheld the practice of considering race in college admissions, rejecting a white woman's challenge to a University of Texas affirmative action program designed to boost the enrollment of minority students. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz


On Second Thought: No take-backs

The University of Texas can dish out degrees, but it can’t take them back — at least not without a court order.

FILE - This March 23, 2018, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident as part of the nation's only test run of the 2020 Census. A trial will begin in federal court on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in San Francisco, over the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census. (AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith, File)


Uncommon Knowledge: Wayward Soldiers, the God Excuse, and Joking While Female

A collection of unusual insights from the social sciences.

In this Jan. 27, 2016 file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. The number of Zika virus cases has crossed 100 in Rajasthan, a state in northern India where palaces and forts draw large numbers of tourists each year. The agency says that the new cases come amid a state health department investigation to track the outbreak of Zika in pregnant women in their first trimester. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)


Big Data: Putting mosquitoes on a diet

Frequent feedings can lead to the spread of diseases like yellow fever, dengue, and Zika.

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - AUGUST 31: St. Peter's Basilica stands in Rome on August 31, 2018 in Vatican City, Vatican. Tensions in the Vatican are high following accusations that Pope Francis covered up for an American ex-cardinal accused of sexual misconduct. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a member of the conservative movement in the church, made the allegations and has called for the pontiff to resign. Many Vatican insiders see the dispute as an outgrowth of the growing tension between the left leaning Pope and the more conservative and anti-homosexual faction of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Ideas | Michael Rezendes

With so much of its leadership compromised, is the Catholic Church irredeemable?

The sexual abuse crisis has become the scandal that never ends. If the church can’t address it, a revolt of the laity — or even a schism in the church itself — could be coming.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

The difficulties of Valentine’s Day in 2019

Though billed as a celebration of love, most of us know from experience that Valentine’s Day, in fact, can be a purveyor of angst.

cute funny Syrian fluffy hamster lies and sleeps. isolated on white background


Big Data: Similarities between hibernation and Alzheimer’s

A rodent brain offers insights on Alzheimer’s.