Latest Ideas headlines

50 Words: 4-year-old twins wake at dawn . . .

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Cartoon | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

How to pray for the Trump administration

Here’s Beth Wolfensberger Singer’s take on the news.

An observation of Saturn on June 20 as the planet made its closest approach to Earth.


Big Data: Put a ring on it

Saturn’s rings? As old as the solar system itself.

Joe Biden visited with students at Texas Southern University in Houston on Friday.

Michael A. Cohen

Time to discuss the issue that shall not be named: Joe Biden’s age

Political insiders talk about it incessantly in private. Now, they need to take the conversation public.

50 Words: The Holocaust Memorial

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Ideas | Rachel Somerstein

Rates of maternal mistreatment in the US are high across the board — especially for women of color

Pregnant women of color are more likely to be harassed, yelled at, or otherwise mistreated by medical professionals, according to a new study.

A woman deported from the United States was greeted by family in Guatemala City in August.


Desperate Guatemalan women will not be deterred, even in the face of grave risk

What would you do to escape hunger? Would you rather be locked up with your children, or see them murdered, kidnapped, or turned into sex slaves?

An alien sculpture looms over The Alien Research Center, a retail souvenir shop located near the military testing base known as Area 51, in Rachel, Nev.


Big Data: I want to believe

Just in time for “Storm Area 51” planned for September.

The pushcart market in the East Side Ghetto of New York’s Jewish Quarter is a hive of activity.

Ideas | Aimee Ortiz

The long and twisted history of ‘ghetto’

It’s a loaded word carrying more than 500 years of baggage, at times becoming an emblem of hate and oppression, but with the passage of time, it’s also become a point of pride.

Ideas | Stephen Kinzer

The CIA chemist who sought the secrets of mind control

Sidney Gottlieb may be the most powerful unknown American of the 20th century.


Rich parents’ guide to the best colleges

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

How Donald Trump just might save the Republican Party — and the country

All eyes are on the daily eruptions in the White House — but a promising new, Trump-era conservatism is taking shape in his shadow.

Cal Brown stands with her husband Michael Brown, Sr. during a memorial program for Michael Brown, Jr. Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 in Ferguson, Mo. On the fifth anniversary of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, his father is urging the top St. Louis County prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the white police officer who fatally shot the black and unarmed 18-year-old. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)


Big Data: More than 1,100 lives

Up until 2015, social scientists and researchers had very little information on these deaths.

Ideas | Paula A. Johnson

Speaking with the enemy 101

Our nation has long looked to colleges and universities to serve a range of public goods. But at this historical moment, they also need to equip students to talk across difference.

Mood | Ideas

Rediscovering the joys of swimming in a pond

In a summer punctuated by alerts from the Sharktivity app, the Cape’s 1,000 lakes and ponds offer freedom and peace of mind.

A protestor uses a shield to cover himself as he faced policemen in Hong Kong on Aug. 31.

Ideas | Jonathan Kaufman

Are Hong Kong protests a preview of China’s uncertain future?

How long will a growing, educated and cosmopolitan Chinese middle class be satisfied with one-party rule, censorship, surveillance and a lack of government accountability?

Ideas | A.J.B. Lane

NFL fever: A seasonal malady

Are you suffering from critically unresolved pigskin devotion?

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Boston’s middle class is getting crushed — does anyone care?

A wave of white-collar unionization offers real hope for righting an economy that tilts to the 1 percent. So why are so many blue-state lawmakers and universities standing in the way?


Tweets of the Week: Bedbugs at the New York Times, nuking hurricanes, and Doritos

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

3d render illustration DNA structure in blue background.

Ideas | Viviane Callier

How gender makes a difference in disease

Many diseases affect one sex disproportionately, but the question has always been why.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Chutes and Ladders: College move-in day edition

A game in honor of the yearly flood of families moving students into local dorms.

Pro-Choice protesters hold a March For Reproductive Freedom rally in front of the State Capital in Montgomery, Alabama May 19,2019. - The state of Alabama passed a near-total abortian ban on May 14, 2019, one of the nation's most restrictive bans on abortions in decades. (Photo by Seth HERALD / AFP)SETH HERALD/AFP/Getty Images


Big Data: Majority of Americans support abortion rights

Despite the debate and ongoing tension over abortion, the majority of Americans still think it should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.

Illustration of the first American Labor parade held in New York City on September 5, 1882 as it appeared in Frank Leslie's Weekly Illustrated Newspaper's September 16, 1882 issue.

Ideas | Tiffany Shlain

The case for a tech Shabbat in a too-connected world

It’s time to reconsider what Labor Day actually means to us — what we define as work and as rest in our 24/7 always-on, always-available culture. We need to take a hard look at the boundaries we have let slide and some boundaries we might need to bring back.

Genetically modified mice - Hikers walk past a warning sign about ticks and Lyme Disease as they enter the

Ideas special report

Ending Lyme Disease

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are affected by Lyme disease each year, a number that will continue to grow as the ticks that carry the disease expand their territory. Researchers are taking steps to stop the disease, which has been surrounded by confusion and fear. How close are they to a solution?


Can a new Lyme disease vaccine overcome a history of distrust and failure?

As the threat of Lyme disease grows, researchers are working on new vaccine approaches. But don’t expect one soon.

While Walden looks blue and diamond-studded from the shore, immersion reveals it to be a backlit, deep-green abyss.

Ideas | Bina Venkataraman

‘The forest is not safe’: How Lyme disease struck fear into the heart of this nature lover

There’s much to worry about when we go outside: rising heat; disease-bearing ticks and mosquitoes; sharks and superstorms. But when fear keeps us indoors, there’s too much we stand to lose.


Know your ticks and how to avoid them

The number of tickborne illnesses in the US is increasing; the number of reported cases of Lyme disease alone have tripled since the 1990s. Here are the most common human-biting ticks in the United States:

Lyme disease

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Is ‘chronic Lyme disease’ real?

Advocates have played a vital role in bringing attention to Lyme disease. But have the #lymewarriors taken it too far?

for tick stroy -- reconyx doe & fawn -- info from source: pic was taken at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation on Nantucket. -- cutline from Beth: When deer poke their head between two rollers to feed at this experimental feeding station at Nantucket's Linda Loring Nature Foundation, their head, necks, ears and shoulders are painted with pesticide to kill and repel ticks.

Ideas | Allen Steere

Lyme disease: How we discovered it and where we go from here

Dr. Allen Steere led the research that led to the discovery of Lyme disease. Here’s what he thinks should happen now.

Eastern wolf pup, Algonquin Provincial Park. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ideas | Alan Wirzbicki

The free, all-natural, and quite handsome solution to Lyme disease and other tick maladies

Deer are needed to spread Lyme disease. What if we brought back their natural predators?


A tick detective wants to understand what drives tick abundance

What drives blacklegged, or deer, ticks’ abundance and infection rate with the Lyme disease bacteria?

Wild White-Footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) isolated on white background.

Ideas | Pro & Con

Should we use genetic engineering to prevent Lyme disease?

As Lyme disease casts a shadow over New Englanders’ outdoor expeditions, MIT researchers have proposed using gene editing to fight the disease.

In a time of #MeToo and “girl power,” teen girls may seem stronger and more empowered than previous generations. Yet, many remain susceptible to predators.

Ideas | Stephanie Ebbert

Girls today are seemingly the fiercest America has ever produced. Why can’t we protect them?

In a time of #MeToo and “girl power,” teen girls may seem stronger and more empowered than previous generations. Yet, many remain susceptible to predators.

06/27/2019 Boston MA -Piping Plovers are on a part of L Street Beach in South Boston.Jonathan Wiggs GlobeStaff/Photographer :Reporter:Topic:piping plovers


Big number: Saving the animals

On Monday, the Trump administration announced changes to the landmark act that would weaken the law and make it harder to protect wildlife from increasing threats like climate change.


Tweets of the Week: Curt Schilling’s Congressional musings, Trader Joe’s anxiety, and ‘circle back’

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Eva Kor, at a candlelight vigil in 2003, after an arsonist firebombed her Holocaust museum.

Ideas | Tony Rehagen

A Holocaust survivor built a remarkable monument to hope and memory. Now that she’s gone, who will remind us?

Who will preserve these memories? Who will warn us of our past, lest we repeat it? Who will keep Eva Kor’s story, and the story of the Holocaust, alive?

Ideas | Amy Crawford

Urban forests are crucial for combating climate change, but planting more trees is easier said than done

Even as cities incorporate trees into their climate change plans, the Forest Service recently calculated that we are losing as many as 36 million urban trees each year.

Ideas | Craig Richard

The blissful and bizarre world of ASMR

Have you ever stumbled upon an hourlong online video of someone folding napkins? Or maybe crinkling paper, sorting a thimble collection, or pretending to give the viewer an ear exam? They’re called ASMR videos and millions of people love them.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Fixing Boston’s traffic

Boston traffic is a total nightmare. These suggestions could help.

Ideas | Abraar Karan

The clinical value in listening

In medical school, we are trained to say, “I can’t imagine how that must feel,” to empathize with our patients, but the truth is we don’t know what it’s like at all.

Boston, MA--9/26/2016--US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz (cq) announced that a civil rights investigation found a pattern of race-based harassment and discrimination at Boston Latin School. The exterior is photographed, on Monday, September 26, 2016. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 27BLS Reporter: Milton Valencia


Readers React: ‘Why not better serve the larger number of students?’

Would Boston’s African-American and Latino students have a fairer shot at exam school admission if the school department used the MCAS?


Tweets of the Week: Mourning Toni Morrison, #OperationCleanSweep, 30-50 feral hogs

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Scituate, MA - 05/29/16 - A parishioner takes communion during the final service at St Francis X. Cabrini church in Scituate, MA, May 29, 2016. After 4,233 consecutive days in vigil, the parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini closed their spiritual home.(Keith Bedford/GlobeStaff)


Big Number: Eucharistic uncertainty

Most Catholics surveyed by Pew said they don’t believe in a central tenet of their faith.

Boston-03/02/18-A man walks slowly through a flooded sidewalk off Congress Street, where water was flowing over from Fort Point Channel in the Seaport district. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)

Ideas | Anthony Flint

Letting a thousand flowers bloom: innovations in building climate resilience

Here’s a sampling of the innovative projects that cities are developing to address climate change.

Boston, MA - October 27, 2018: Water from Boston Harbor floods Long Wharf during high tide in Boston, MA on October 27, 2018. The Nor’easter is expected to bring “widespread heavy rain, some urban and poor drainage street flooding, as well as damaging wind gusts on the coastal plain.” (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: sports reporter: RESILIENT BOSTON HARBOR: rendering of the city's climate-ready vision to enhance Boston’s waterfront. Credit: City of Boston

Ideas | Anthony Flint

Tired of waiting for national push, a buzzing hive of climate resilience innovators is at work in Boston

As California deals with increasingly intense wildfires, the Boston region’s most vulnerable areas wait their turn to confront disaster.

Members of a Jehovah's Witness community sing during a gathering at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in 2016.

Ideas | Amber Scorah

Losing my religion

The first couple years after I left the religion I was born into — the Jehovah’s Witnesses — I was still worried I might die at Armageddon. That was the punishment for those who left.