HUMAN BEHAVIOR

On a recent Saturday, comedian Jocelyn Chia owns the room of about 100 people at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain. “I went to this all-girl Catholic high school in Singapore. Anyone else here … a slut?” she asks, pausing for just the right sliver of time before delivering the punch line to a roaring audience.

Roseann Sdoia, who lost part of her right leg in the Boston Marathon blast five years ago, says it's still sometimes hard to comprehend how her annual outing to watch the race on that sunny Spring day changed her life forever.

"I still wake up in the morning five years later and go 'Oh my God, I don't have a leg,'" she says. "Even though I live it every day, and every day I have to put this stupid [prosthetic leg] on and lug it around ... I still have a really hard time thinking to myself what really happened."

Dennis Rainear was 10 miles into the Grand Valley Marathon when he was hit. Something struck the top of his head and nearly knocked him over. He staggered for a few steps.

“Put my hand immediately to my head, and it was just like in the cartoons, where you see a guy get a big goose egg on his head when he gets bonked,” Dennis says. “Sure enough, I had a big goose egg on my head.”

Dennis’ head started throbbing, his ears ringing, and his vision blurring. But he looked at his hand and didn’t see any blood. So, he kept running and trying to figure out what happened.

An app transforms the unsmiling face of Robert Chipkin into several other images, including a forced smile.
Upper left: Josh Sowalsky / Courtesy Robert Chipkin / FaceApp

"Why does he look so constipated? Everyone else looks so happy except for Mr. Constipated," my family invariably asked when looking at pictures of me in family albums.

A sign held at a Washington, DC, demonstration organized by Teens For Gun Reform, in the wake of the February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/number7cloud

It was not lost on students who attend an online public school in Massachusetts that an attack like at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month in Parkland, Florida, could never happen to them.

A row of buildings on Main Street in Hartford, Connecticut, in 2013.
John Phelan / Creative Commons

The city of Hartford, Connecticut, is planning changes around its new downtown baseball stadium. The once-busy, historic North End neighborhood now has a lot of vacant lots and boarded-up buildings. We check in with Hartford residents about what should come next, what the area needs and what might be lost.

In 1967, over 100 cities, large and small, exploded in fire and violence, the result of decades of discrimination against black populations in places like Cleveland, Nashville, Boston and Newark. The biggest riot at the time was in Detroit. After five days of rioting, 33 blacks and 10 whites were dead and property damage totaled more than $100 million.

Scientists at Yale University think they’ve found one factor in what puts some people at higher risk of opioid addiction. It’s a genetic variation that works on the central nervous system.

Samuel Bowles was a dynamo, known for his wit, intelligence, and dashing good looks.
unknown / Bowles-Hoar Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections,Amherst College

Samuel Bowles was the editor of The Springfield Republican. As a young man in the 1850s, he transformed the Republican into one of New England’s most admired newspapers.

Facebook’s plan to fight fake news may have a fatal flaw. That’s according to a Yale study on how people read and react to news on the social media platform.

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