The Ideas Report - The Atlantic
. NASA/Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility

The Next Big Thing for Exploring the Distant Universe: Balloons

A way to get 99 percent of the way into space, at 1 percent of the cost of a satellite | Megan Garber


Fiftysomethings Reflect on Twentysomethings popsugar social/Google images

Fiftysomethings Reflect on Twentysomethings

Summary: Everyone's been there. Oh, and Girls is horrifying.

The George W. Bush Years Summed Up in One Image Reuters

The George W. Bush Years Summed Up in One Image

Can you guess what word he used most in his annual State of the Union addresses?

Her Big Idea: Gabby Giffords The Aspen Institute

Her Big Idea: Gabby Giffords

Why is she so optimistic?

'The Mom Test' Robert Scoble/Flickr

'The Mom Test'

Need to field test your tech product? Look no further than your mom.

Here's One Example of What Free Media Can Do in Afghanistan Ahmad Masood/Reuters

Here's One Example of What Free Media Can Do in Afghanistan

Saad Mohseni on incidental causes of social change

Her Big Idea: Madeleine Albright The Aspen Institute

Her Big Idea: Madeleine Albright

International cooperation and foreign aid are key to solving the Middle East, she says.

Data Visualization, Inspired by ... Jack Kerouac Jer Thorpe/Flickr

Data Visualization, Inspired by ... Jack Kerouac

One artist is putting the humanity back in data -- with a little help from literature.

Anna Deavere Smith Recites MLK's 'Letter From a Birmingham Jail'

Anna Deavere Smith Recites MLK's 'Letter From a Birmingham Jail'

"I think I should give the reason for my being in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the argument of 'outsiders coming in.'"

Obama: More George H.W. Bush Than George W. Bush? Getty Images

Obama: More George H.W. Bush Than George W. Bush?

Despite his campaign style and oratory, the 44th president has been more of a transactional than transformative leader, says Joseph Nye.

Asa Hutchinson's 'Small Government' Case for Marijuana Prohibition Reuters

Asa Hutchinson's 'Small Government' Case for Marijuana Prohibition

The former drug czar warns that if we legalize pot, it might lead to kids getting scholarships. Would that really be so bad?

WiFi Capabilities Aside, Don't Plan on Skyping From the Sky Anytime Soon Shutterstock/Steve Collender

WiFi Capabilities Aside, Don't Plan on Skyping From the Sky Anytime Soon

We may be technologically capable of broad in-flight connectivity. The question is whether we want to take advantage of it.

Why Is Jack Lew So Optimistic About the Economy? Wikimedia Commons

Why Is Jack Lew So Optimistic About the Economy?

The treasury secretary's upbeat predictions about growth, immigration reform, and U.S.-China relations

Should the U.S. Have a Secretary of Culture? Shutterstock/silver-john

Should the U.S. Have a Secretary of Culture?

Some 50 other countries carve space in their governments for artistic advancement -- the case that the U.S. should follow suit

Tahrir Square Redux: A Tipping Point for Democracy in Egypt? Amr Abdallah/Reuters

Tahrir Square Redux: A Tipping Point for Democracy in Egypt?

Mona Eltahawy vs. Madeleine Albright on the future of the Arab Spring in the Middle East's most populous country

Debated: Does America Pay Too Much Attention to the Middle East? Reuters

Debated: Does America Pay Too Much Attention to the Middle East?

The President of the Council on Foreign Relations says yes. The head of the Woodrow Wilson center says no.

The GOP Can't Win With Eric Cantor as Its Ambassador Reuters

The GOP Can't Win With Eric Cantor as Its Ambassador

Whatever his strengths, communicating a compelling vision to the American people isn't one of them.

His Big Idea: James L. Brooks The Aspen Institute

His Big Idea: James L. Brooks

Binge-watching TV makes it better.

Apple's Power Over Design, in 4 Words Reuters

Apple's Power Over Design, in 4 Words

Even Silicon Valley's most influential designers are Apple fanboys.

'We Might Be Martians' Moon, Regulus, Mars, Saturn (Florian/flickr)

'We Might Be Martians'

Dimitar Sasselov and Catharine Conley on life beyond Earth

Her Big Idea: Annie Lennox The Aspen Institute

Her Big Idea: Annie Lennox

We can overcome HIV/AIDS, she says.