Latest Headlines in Ideas


Big Data: Air pollution is getting worse

After reaching a two-decade low in 2016, air pollution in the United States has increased according to a new report from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ideas | Mea Dols de Jong

Why are emojis so popular?

Think of emojis as the body language of the digital age.

Ideas | Mea Dols de Jong

How do new emojis happen? A look inside the mysterious group that approves them

You’ve heard about the emoji committee, right? They’re the mysterious group of gatekeepers that decides whether to include a period emoji or one that’s gender neutral in the emoji keyboard. Used by 2.9 million people around the world, emojis help us communicate across cultures and continents. But who are these gatekeepers? And do we really want to give them the power to decide who and what is represented in this burgeoning global language?

50 Words: Driving down Hancock . . .

An ongoing series of stories about Boston in 50 words.

Cartoon | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

A different take on the haunted house

Beth Wolfensberger Singer’s take on the news.

Ideas | Stephen Kinzer

Our misunderstanding of the hostage crisis still poisons US-Iran relations

The Carter-era incident has had an effect on our national consciousness — and foreign policy — comparable to the 9/11 attacks

Big Data: The cost of Costco’s rotisserie chicken

The price of a Costco rotisserie chicken hasn’t changed in 10 years. The retailer has gone to new lengths to keep costs low.

Ideas | Caleb Gayle

What a conservative state can teach us about progressive criminal justice reform

Oklahoma has commuted the sentences of more than 500 inmates convicted of low-level crimes. If a deep-red state like Oklahoma can take criminal justice reform seriously, so can others.