Latest Ideas headlines

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Proper parenting revisited with Amy Vanderbilt

Test your parenting instincts against tips from Vanderbilt’s 1952 masterwork.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by PATRICK SEEGER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9710531c) Iodine tablets are placed on a desk at a college in Fessenheim, France, 12 June 2018. The nearby nuclear plant in Fessenheim is the oldest and most efficient nuclear power plant that is still in operation in France.

Brainiac

Retraction Watch: The problem with repeat publishing

For Barislav Momcilovic, the third time definitely was not the charm.

This study investigates whether people actually have a fictional childhood memory.

Brainiac

Seeking fictional first memories

This study investigates whether people actually have a fictional childhood memory.

Men are doing more of the grocery shopping, but the experience doesn’t seem tailored to this increasingly important demographic.

Brainiac

Innovation of the Week: The male grocery experience

Men are doing more of the grocery shopping, but the experience doesn’t seem tailored to this increasingly important demographic.

FILE-- A math camp at Murry Bergtraum High School in New York, Aug. 5, 2016. Studies have shown that increased high school math graduation requirements have been linked to higher future earnings. (Alex Wroblewski/The New York Times)

Brainiac

Can simple phrasing reverse gender bias?

This week in Uncommon Knowledge: gender bias, upward mobility, and teasing trivia.

TRUMP SLIDER Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHRISTIAN BRUNA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9757696ew) US President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, 12 July 2018. NATO member countries' heads of states and governments gather in Brussels on 11 and 12 July 2018 for a two days meeting. EU Nato Summit, Brussels, Belgium - 12 Jul 2018

IDEAS | Mark Hannah

Did Trump just destroy NATO? If so, should we care?

The real threat to European democracy and unity comes not from Russia but from within the West itself.

Hands pointing to midday on clock face

Brainiac

Digestive cycles out of order

Working nights can really throw off your digestion.

An employee stands at a control panel as robotic arms, manufactured by ABB, operate inside the MAN factory operated by Volkswagen in Munich, Germany, on May 16, 2018. MUSTS CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Matthias Doering.

Brainiac

Electoral impacts of robot workers

Oxford researchers found out how robot usage can influence how humans vote.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Finding our humanity in animals

Our president dismisses certain groups as “animals,” but most of us learn from a young age to identify with our fellow creatures.

When a marriage ends, who gets the family pet?

Ideas | Elisa Orzac Shoenberger

When a marriage ends, who gets the family pet?

The history of pets and the law has been contentious.

Cambridge, MA 01/12/2016 – A wild turkey stands at a doorway on Mt Auburn St. in Cambridge , MA, on January 12, 2015. (Globe staff photo / Craig F. Walker) section: Lifestyle reporter: Arnett

Ideas | Aditi Shrikant

When wild animals urbanize

As the territorial boundaries between humans and animals begin to overlap in cities, both sides are devising strategies for coexistence.

3/5/1964-Jim Buck, professional dog walker, walking in and around Central Park. Sack 69480. Staff photo. NYTCREDIT: Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Are we making our pets crazy, too?

Captivity is hard on exotic species, but what about dogs and cats? They’ve been bred for life with humans. But they also need to be themselves.

LYNCHBURG, VA - JANUARY 18: Thousands of students, supporters and invited guests sing songs of Christian praise before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers the convocation in the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University January 18, 2016 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A billionaire real estate mogul and reality television personality, Trump addressed students and guests at the non-profit, private Christian university that was founded in 1971 by evangelical Southern Baptist televangelist Jerry Falwell. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Ideas | Cathy Young

Is liberal democracy failing? No, it’s a victim of its own success

Is Western democracy failing? The march of right-wing populism has spawned a cottage industry of pessimism. But the real problem is that liberalism has been a rousing success.

Once, women were taught to bake; men, to skin moose and fell trees. Now, as gender-specific survival skills give way to gender-neutral “adulting,” how will society react?

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

The triumph of gender-neutral ‘adulting’

Once, women were taught to bake; men, to skin moose and fell trees. Now, as gender-specific survival skills give way to gender-neutral “adulting,” how will society react?

Forget about shooting a bow and arrow or sailing a boat. Modern humans, men and women alike, need a different set of skills to get by.

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

17 survival skills for modern adults

Forget about shooting a bow and arrow or sailing a boat. Modern humans, men and women alike, need a different set of skills to get by.

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

Welcome to hell. Remember to take a selfie

Even the realm of Hades deserves to make it onto Instagram.

Brainiac

Big Data: 88 percent accuracy rate

Scientists claim this blood test can assess whether a child is on the autism spectrum.

 This Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015 image provided by NASA shows Saturn’s moon Enceladus as the Cassini spacecraft made a close flyby of the icy moon. The U.S.-European spacecraft skimmed within 30 miles of the south pole. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute via AP)

Brainiac

Which icy moon should NASA visit?

NASA is launching two missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Could more useful data be hidden on a different moon?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by WU HONG/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9727521a) An elder Chinese investor watches an electronic board showing the stock index and prices at a securities brokerage house in Beijing, China, 26 June 2018. The Shanghai composite index closed at 2,844.51, down 0.52 percent. The Shenzhen composite index closed at 9,339.37, up 0.16 percent. China stock markets results, Beijing - 26 Jun 2018

Brainiac

Looking for negative signals

Despite global progress, a team of psychologists observed that “the majority of people believe that the world is getting worse.”

1,000 words for happiness

Ideas | Tim Lomas

1,000 words for happiness

You’re entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what kind of happiness? This scholar has documented nearly 1,000 ways of describing it.

Cambridge, MA--11/15/2015--Boston's night skyline is viewed from Cambridge, on Sunday, November 15, 2015. The sewer pipes are stacked on Memorial Drive near Amesbury Street. The blader/skater is unidentified. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: standalone run Reporter: XXX

Ideas | Justin Chen

Justin Chen: How robots turn sewers into sensors

Water-sampling robots, placed at strategic points in a sewer system, are capable of delivering ever-more precise information about a community’s health.

How ice cream made America

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

How ice cream made America

The history of the nation’s favorite frozen dessert is also the history of the nation itself: a triumph of ingenuity, technology, and mass marketing.

Homemade sweet pea ice cream has a lovely texture and a natural sweetness.

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Recipe: Sweet pea ice cream

A reporter learned about homemade ice cream from local civil rights leader Mel King, and incorporated his enthusiasm into her own recipe.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

What happened to Roseanne?

Weeks after the furor around the comedian’s canceled show, this cartoon catches up with Roseanne.

stack of casino ships isolated on white background

Brainiac

Retraction Watch: Fall from grace

From a favorite son to a finding of scientific misconduct, Jasti Rao fell far.

Rally goers wave signs as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in Fargo, N.D. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Brainiac

Big Data: Not-so-wealthy Republicans

How accurately do the two political parties understand each other?

This Rite Aid came up with a solution to discourage loitering.

Brainiac

Innovation of the Week: Musical anti-loitering system

This Rite Aid came up with a solution to discourage loitering.

Unusual insights from the social sciences in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Brainiac

Most likely to prosecute

Unusual insights from the social sciences in this week’s Uncommon Knowledge.

Photo of singer, actress and vaudeville performer Edith Wilson as Aunt Jemima at a personal appearance for the Seattle Kiwanis club's Pancake Festival. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ideas | Sonia K. Katyal

The sudden rush of vulgar trademarks

A 2017 Supreme Court ruling has unleashed a flood of trademarks using ethnic slurs and other bad words. Who knew there was so much demand for branded vulgarity?

January 31 1933 / Boston Globe Photo Files / Prohibition / Wine seized by police at 5 Langdon Place in the North End 060216

Ideas | Stephanie Schorow

What should marijuana opponents do when their cause fails? A lesson from Prohibition

In the years after Repeal, true believers in banning alcohol waged an ever-lonelier crusade.

First lady Melania Trump arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on June 21, after visiting the Upbring New Hope Children Center in McAllen, Texas.

Ideas | Amy Carleton

Melania Trump speaks the language of fashion. She knows what she was saying

Fashion communicates. It makes claims, it signals authority, and it invites engagement.

Couple kissing outdoors - Lovers on a romantic date at sunset,girls stands on tiptoe to kiss her man - Close up on shoes

Brainiac

Big Data: Changing norms for teenagers

The mix of risks that teens take changes over time.

In this June 14, 2018 photo soccer fans ride in the metro near the Luzhniki stadium before the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Brainiac

Innovation of the Week: Smiling lessons in Russia

As the World Cup comes to Russia, there’s a new focus on hospitality.

Boston Ma 05172016 A Latte at La Colombe Coffee Roasters Cafe. Globe/Staff Photographer Jonathan Wiggs

Brainiac

Examining liberal lattes

This week in Uncommon Knowledge: coffee, context, and helicopter parents.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Free-range vs. caged parenting

American citizens and border-crossing migrants may inhabit one country, but the realities they live are worlds apart.

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot from a vaccine vial at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. Most doses of vaccine are made in a production process that involves growing viruses in chicken eggs. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Brainiac

A perplexing pseudonym

Why would this researcher submit their findings under a false name?

Roboter Arme am leeren Fließband

Brainiac

Dreading automation

This week in Uncommon Knowledge: tweet analysis, racial awareness, and “doers” vs. “thinkers.”

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

The rise and fall of a tech bro

Everything started off so well . . .

IDEAS | THE BIG TECH ISSUE

What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy

Labs long ago worked out how to keep research data private. Tech companies should adopt their strategies.

editorial

The case for breaking up Google

Never in the history of the world has a single company had so much control over what people know and think.

Editorial

The case for breaking up Google

Never in the history of the world has a single company had so much control over what people know and think.

Is Google a monopoly, and should it be broken up?

A Boston Globe editorial asserts that “Google accounts for about 90 percent of all Internet searches; by any honest assessment, it holds a monopoly at the very gateway to information in the modern world.” The best way to deal with the company, the editorial asserts, is to break it up.

IDEAS | THE BIG TECH ISSUE

Why Facebook and Google should pay you for your data

Users’ clicks and posts built Facebook and Google’s online empires. Isn’t it time they got paid for their labor?

IDEAS | THE BIG TECH ISSUE

Don’t break up Google — the market will sort everything out

Sooner or later, every Goliath is displaced by a David. That goes for Google, too. And it won’t require government intercession to make it happen.

Ideas | The Big Tech Issue

When the GOP fought against monopolies

Republicans, in both Congress and the White House, led the way to finding an effective regulatory system for big businesses.

IDEAS | THE BIG TECH ISSUE

How do you regulate a tech company?

Jonathan Taplin, author of “Move Fast and Break Things,” explains how tech giants could be regulated.