Skip to main content
Move the World.

Welcome back to another edition of This Week In Ideas, where we share with you the most compelling things we read this week. Have a suggestion for TWID? Hit us up on Twitter! (Also, follow us! We only tweet stuff that’s worth your attention.)

Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo: “The human-pig hybrid — dubbed a ‘chimera’ for the mythical creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail — was ‘highly inefficient,’ the researchers cautioned. But it's the most successful human-animal chimera and a significant step toward the development of animal embryos with functioning human organs.”

salkinstitute
Jun Wu and Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the lead researchers behind the chimera project (photo via Salk Institute)

How the Hubble Space Telescope changed the Universe: Before Hubble was launched skyward in 1990, “We had no idea how deep, how dense, and how full of stuff the Universe is.”

hubbletelescope
Hubble telescope (image via NASA)

Americans know cyber security is something they need to take seriously, so why aren’t they doing just that? “A majority of Americans have directly experienced some form of data theft or fraud, that a sizeable share of the public thinks that their personal data have become less secure in recent years, and that many lack confidence in various institutions to keep their personal data safe from misuse. In addition, many Americans are failing to follow digital security best practices in their own personal lives, and a substantial majority expects that major cyberattacks will be a fact of life in the future.”

infosecurity
A study shows people are concerned about online privacy, but aren't taking steps to protect themselves

How it feels to age alongside your favorite athletes: “Sports are great because commentators talk about athletes in their mid-thirties like they’re historical landmarks in need of restoration and repair, writes” writes Tim Carmody in a short meditation on aging alongside his favorite athletes.

Daily Routines of brilliant people, described: When was Mozart most productive? “During the night when I cannot sleep.” Hemingway, meanwhile, preferred to start writing “every morning as soon after first light as possible.” Brilliant minds, it turns out, are not all alike.

Up Next

Food
These Movers Fight Food Insecurity One Home at a Time
food insecurity
Food
These Movers Fight Food Insecurity One Home at a Time
The nonprofit Move for Hunger works with local moving companies to collect and donate food people would normally throw away during a move.

The nonprofit Move for Hunger works with local moving companies to collect and donate food people would normally throw away during a move.

Censorship
Minecraft Players Built a Massive Library for Censored News
censorship
Censorship
Minecraft Players Built a Massive Library for Censored News
Minecrafts’s Uncensored Library is exploiting a loophole in surveillance technology to sneak the news past government censorship.

Minecrafts’s Uncensored Library is exploiting a loophole in surveillance technology to sneak the news past government censorship.

Public Heath
China Is Responding to the Coronavirus in a Way Only China Could
China Is Responding to the Coronavirus in a Way Only China Could
Public Heath
China Is Responding to the Coronavirus in a Way Only China Could
China is using its vast surveillance network and near-total control over citizens to respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in a way perhaps no other nation could.

China is using its vast surveillance network and near-total control over citizens to respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in a way perhaps no other nation could.

Catalysts
Stopping Gang Violence with Love
Stopping Gang Violence with Love
Watch Now
Catalysts
Stopping Gang Violence with Love
This nonprofit is doing the impossible - finding the 10% of gang members responsible for 90% of the crime, and leading them to successful, positive lives.
Watch Now

“Society gave up on us” - but this community didn’t. Meet UTEC, the organization breaking the cycle of recidivism by helping hardened previously imprisoned gang members walk a better path in Lowell, Massachusetts. UTEC - or United Teen Equality Center - is a non-profit dedicated to stopping gang violence. Obviously, it’s not easy - in Lowell, MA there are over 25 gangs operating, and many gang members have been in prison...

Psychology
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Watch Now
Psychology
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Are things really worse than ever, or are we missing the bigger picture?
Watch Now

Author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker lays out what he see as a basic paradox. The news today seems worse than ever - but based on a number of key metrics, Pinker argues the world is better than it’s ever been. Pinker explores the data and makes the case for how can we tackle the world’s problems while not drowning in negativity. That’s the focus of his latest book, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science,...

Coalfield Development
Rebuilding Coal Country
Rebuilding Coal Country
Watch Now
Coalfield Development
Rebuilding Coal Country
Meet the nonprofit bringing jobs back to coal country.
Watch Now

Coalfield Development is a nonprofit on a mission to unlock the resources and potential of coal country. Partnering with local entrepreneurs, they've helped launch six new businesses and trained hundreds of workers across Appalachia. They provide education and training for unemployed workers, from college courses to trade skills, and partner with businesses to help them succeed on the job. The coal jobs might not be coming...

Crossing The Divide
Where Muslims and Jews Worship Together
Where Muslims and Jews Worship Together
Watch Now
Crossing The Divide
Where Muslims and Jews Worship Together
When a Jewish community lost its place of worship, help came from an unexpected place.
Watch Now

When an imam invited a Jewish congregation to worship in his mosque, many of his members left in protest. But the initial controversy has since given way to an inspiring example of tolerance and compassion.