Latest Ideas headlines


Innovation of the Week: Skipping ahead to the good parts

Plot. Character development. Who needs it?

Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living transparent nematode (roundworm), about 1 mm in length. Fluorescence micrograph.


Big Data: 1 millimeter

Just like humans, this worm experiences withdrawal symptoms.

Tow Truck pulling a car in silhouette


A Boston story in 50 words

Parking in Boston? Never a dull moment.

the concept of education of children. the generation of knowledge


On Second Thought: Supportive colleagues

Academics are notorious for infighting — but not always.


Uncommon Knowledge: Municipal police spending

In this week’s issue: police leniency, the EPA, and frontier voting patterns.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Can’t we all just get along?

A helpful guide to making civil conversation with your relatives this Thanksgiving.

August 1980: Ballet dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lesley Collier perform a pas de deux in 'Rhapsody' at Covent Garden in London. Choreography was by Sir Frederick Ashton and music by Sergei Rachmaninoff. (Photo by Mike Lawn/Evening Standard/Getty Images)


A Boston story in 50 words

Celebrity sighting at Filene’s.

Ideas | Alexander P. Cole, M. Carlton, and Quoc-Dien Trinh

If hackers attacked the hospital

Advanced devices come with advanced risks.

Ideas | Zachary Davis

The long, empowering history of selfies

For the vast majority of human history, most people lived their whole lives without really knowing what they looked like.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Angrily-drawn protective gear

Defensive tools for interacting with offensive . . . tools.


Big Data: 53.54kg

There’s an alarming annual decline in the number of insects.

Concept of organ transplant. Buying kidneys. Hand holding human kidneys, buyer holding money.


Euphemism: Paid donation

In Iran, you can do this — and without the stigmatizing term “organ sales.”

The Brain; Shutterstock ID 68178979; PO: 0331_steinberg; Client: op-ed


Excerpt: The future of medicine

Some predictions from the recently published report.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a Healthcare Symposium at the Pine Barn Inn on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa., Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Clinton served as the keynote speaker. (Larry Deklinski/The News-Item via AP)


Uncommon Knowledge: More with her than ever

In this week’s edition: Obamacare, race, and the Peter Principle.


A Boston story in 50 words

The limits of locking your door.

Published in 1907. Thor as depicted (1907) by Lorenz Frølich.

Ideas | Mark Peters

The Norse gods’ unlikely comeback

Rested and ready, Thor is back.

BOSTON , MA. 05/ 10/13: PRETTY WEEDS , dandelions made for a pleasant resting spot on a hill at Castle Island for L-R Sapna Saxena ( cq) and Amanda Holm ( cq) both of Boston. ( David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC stand alone photo

Ideas | Peter Del Tredici

Amnesty for plants

Yank or spray all you want, the dandelion is here to stay.


Same news, three ways: Gone fishin’

Tuna has been in the news a lot lately.

In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, photo, a man walks by a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in New York's Times Square. Ruby Tuesday is being bought by private-equity firm NRD Capital, in a deal that will take the struggling restaurant chain private. Like other sit-down restaurant chains, Ruby Tuesday has had a hard time attracting diners who are increasingly eating at cheaper, faster and more casual places. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


Big Data: 620,000 restaurants

Big-time investors have poured billions of dollars into the sector.

Businessman looking at himself in mirror to encourage and find himself confident.


Uncommon Knowledge: Anything for a tax cut

In this week’s edition: narcissism, harassment, and free trade.

The 1973 horror film 'The Exorcist' based on William Peter Blatty's novel is being re-released September 22, 2000 with 11 minutes of never-before-seen footage and completely redesigned sound. Directed by William Friedkin, the movie stars Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow, pictured in a scene from the movie. REUTERS/Warner Bros/Handout Published in NYT 02/22/04 - ARTS & LEISURE Section Published Caption: A scene from the original 1973 movie ''The Exorcist,'' rereleased in 2000. (Photo by Reuters) 25menfeature


Innovation of the Week: Freelance exorcisms

It’s getting harder and harder to find a church-licensed exorcist.

This undated image provided by Toys R Us shows Big Hugs Elmo. Big Hugs Elmo made the Toys R Us’ list of the best holiday toys for 2013. (AP Photo/Toys R Us)


On Second Thought: ‘Retract and replace’

Brian Wansink and Elmo don’t get along very well.

Ideas | Zachary Davis

When ‘normal’ means ‘white’

The assumption has consequences, and not just in politics.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

The ongoing political drama

Media, culture, and politics continue to swirl together.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

18-year-olds can barely rent cars. Are they old enough for jail?

Daniel Almodovar had just turned 18. Did that make him an adult?


A Boston story in 50 words

Remember to Pokemon Go outside for some fresh air.

Ideas | Zachary Davis

Long before Uber, efficiency was divine

Whatever it is you want — a burrito, a ride, a date — there are well-financed companies working feverishly to make it easier and faster to satisfy your desires.

Ideas | Courtney Humphries

What does it take to believe the world is flat?

Modern flat-earthism means believing in a vast conspiracy devoted to hiding the true nature of the earth.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Social math: Why would anyone oppose this?

Numbers are always up for grabs, but the rules of math are strict.

Maltese newspapers' front pages read, in English and Maltese langage,


Uncommon Knowledge: No news is bad news

In this week’s edition: Media coverage, gambling, and car safety.


Innovation of the Week: Noise-cancelling forks

Slurp no more.


Euphemism: Paranormal investigator

Some apparition attackers prefer more elevated language.

Ideas | Amitha Kalaichandran

Facial recognition may reveal things we’d rather not tell the world. Are we ready?

Could AI someday replace a professional human diagnostician?

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Thoroughly modern monstrous cereals

Halloween cereals inspired by the boogeymen of the moment.

Cold and creamy hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and cherry in a bright yellow bowl -- CROPPED


A Boston story in 50 words

This is the best way to wait for a train.

A bride poses for her wedding pictures on a pier along the shore of Lake Paranoa, on the 100th day without rain in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. The capital's drought record occurred in 1963, when the capital was without rain for 164 days, or about five months. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Ideas | Mark Peters

The ‘sologamy’ trend: ‘Love yourself’ is more than just good advice

“Sologamy” is part of a family of marriage-centric words going back centuries.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Wirds’

In honor of this traditional season of spookiness.


Pollution of the past may have been even worse than we knew

The study is from different time periods when the amount of industrial air pollution was at its worst.


Innovation of the Week: Liquid democracy

If elected, this candidate will turn over his seat to an app.

silhouette with analog photo camera vector illustration


Uncommon Knowledge: Leaving money on the table

In this week’s edition: unmarried workers, digitized documents, and the breakthrough CEO.

Acalabrutinib is a novel experimental anti-cancer drug and a 2nd generation Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor. It is more potent and selective than ibrutinib, the first-in-class BTK inhibitor


On Second Thought: Falsified results for a promising trial

Acerta made an unusual admission earlier this month.

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2016 file photo, Iran's Revolutionary Guard troops march in a military parade marking the 36th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in front of the shrine of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran. While U.S. President Donald Trump angered Iran with his speech on refusing to re-certify the nuclear deal, Tehran won't walk away from it in retaliation. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

Ideas | Thanassis Cambanis

The dangers of escalation with Iran

We’re about to witness a real-life test of an Iran policy that eschews diplomacy and embraces confrontation.

Amarillo, TX

Ideas | Matthew Muspratt

What I saw traveling across America in Google Street View

It’s one thing to read about our national fracture. It’s another to actually see it.

Boston, MA- October 12, 2017: Alice Kaanta relaxes in a Pop-up Play Cube while exploring HUBweek on City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA on October 12, 2017. (CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF) section: metro reporter:

Ideas | Mark Peters

The charming evanescence of the pop-up

A pop-up event can make consumers feel like they’re making memories rather than just spending money.

4/30/09 Cambridge, MA -- A tractor trailer on Memorial Drive collided with and became stuck under a pedestrian bridge in Cambridge Thursday afternoon April 30, 2009. According to workers on site the truck was carrying a shipment of computer equipment bound for Micro Center when it missed its turn and collided with the overpass. State Troopers said the driver was carrying paperwork instructing him to disregard signs warning motorists about the bridge's clearance height. Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe Library Tag 05012009


A Boston story in 50 words

Be careful driving on Memorial Drive.

Ideas | Kelly and Zach Weinersmith

The perils of augmented reality

What happens after augmented reality spreads across the world?