This Week on the Internet

Here at Chicago Ideas, we’re constantly reading, researching and consuming—all as we work to put together a stellar lineup of programming. In Consumables, we share a few of our favorite places on the Internet each week.

Think we’ve left something out? Share the news, think pieces and trivia that most interested you this week in the comments!


The case against alleged Silk Road founder Ross W. Ulbricht was complex even before the court had to decide how to interpret those pesky emojis that kept showing up in his text messages.

Super Bowl Sunday

Between the absurdity of Deflategate and the hilarity of Conan, Marshawn Lynch and Gronk’s Mortal Kombat review, the buzz about Superbowl XLIX has very little to do with the game itself. Continue that trend and prepare for Katy Perry by reliving some of the best (and worst) halftime performances of all time.

Dennis Hong's Robot Evolution

Here at CIW, we’ve long had a pro-robot stance. Still, the AP’s robot journalists are making our managing editor very, very nervous.

Changing the Game

On November 25, 1905, three college football players died of injuries sustained while playing, setting off a firestorm of changes and emergency meetings involving college coaches, players and President Theodore Roosevelt. The Atlantic’s Jeff Nussbaum looks at what the NFL can learn from turn-of-the-20th Century football.

Rain or Shine, Snow or Sleet…

One interesting fact we learned from Winter Storm Juno: New York City’s MTA subways never stops running, whether the subway cars have passengers or not.

The Art of Mathematics

The New Yorker profiles Yitang Zhang, who rose from obscurity to solve a math problem that had stumped others for 150 years.

Robot Takeover: News Edition

This post was brought to you by a real live human, but what about the rest of the items on your newsfeed? This exploration into AP’s robot journalists has us rethinking how we get our news.

Not Impossible

In advance of Monday’s Chicago Ideas Conversation, we spoke to Mick Ebeling about how he went from producing films to creating medical innovations like the EyeWriter, which allows paralyzed individuals to create art using only eye movement.

Brooke Scheyer is the director of programming.

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