Dept. of Good Clean Fun
Swedish import Boda Borg will bring 'questing' to Boston area
Boda Borg is a chain of indoor "questing" facilities. (Photo courtesy of the company.)
Ready to go questing? Brookline entrepreneur Chad Ellis is planning to open an indoor “questing” center this summer, importing a concept from Sweden called Boda Borg, which blends obstacle courses with puzzle-solving. Some of the quests are so challenging, says Ellis, that only one percent of visitors can complete them — and that’s usually after a few attempts. Read More
Cambridge students study science with a CSI-inspired crime lab
Cambridge eighth graders Nellisha Leonce  and Patrina Eugene examined their fingerprints on a brushed plastic cup during a week-long forensics workshop at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge. (Wendy Maeda/Boston Globe)
A little after noon on Wednesday last week, two technicians from the Cambridge Police Department crime lab arrived at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, kits in tow. But the famed center was not the scene of a crime. Rather, it was hosting a four-day vacation science camp for middle-schoolers, and the two crime-lab techs were participating in a session called “Get A Clue” to introduce 22 adolescents to scientific skills such as microscopy and dissections. And to make the session all the more engaging for the kids, the Whitehead and its partner in the program, the educational group Science from Scientists, had cooked up a whodunit: the theft of a candy recipe they would solve using technical sleuthing taught by real-life CSI types. Read More
Making brain waves
Thync shares science behind its brain-zapping wearable
Thync execs Sumon Pal and William “Jamie” Tyler. WEBB CHAPPELL
Boston device-maker Thync has been steadily gathering attention for its far-out claim that its next-gen gadget, a wireless wearable electrode for your brain, can tune your mood. It comes in two settings, “Calm” or “Energize,” and Thync claims their device can amp up your alertness like a shot of caffeine, or mellow you out like a good massage — all with a precisely designed pulse of current. By and large, according to reports from the tech media and various tech and health professionals who’ve tried the device, it seems the company is delivering on its promise (I tried it myself and felt significantly blissed-out afterward). But for the first time, Thync has published a study that explains some of the magic behind their mad idea. And while it's still pending peer review, it does provide an appetizer of experimental evidence that their device, so far trialed by an army of some 3,000 test subjects, actually works. Read More
Snowbound
Localytics finds app usage spiked during snowstorms
App usage spike during the recent bout of snowstorms.
It's been difficult to accomplish anything in the past few weeks, what with the broken MBTA, snow-blocked roads, and the blistering cold. However, while we've been trapped indoors thanks to snow, we've still been able to distract ourselves with games, books, and news -- on our phones. The Boston-based marketing and analytics platform Localytics reports that on our snowiest days this February, overall app use by consumers increased by upwards of 30 percent. Read More
Medical Innovation
Harvard’s InciteHealth fellows work to rethink health care
(iStockphoto)
Harvard Medical School’s Center for Primary Care has launched the InciteHealth Fellowship, a new program that brings together 22 talented individuals eager to transform the delivery of health care in the United States. During this part-time, one-year program, the InciteHealth fellows, or “inciters,” will focus on broad themes such as patient-doctor communication, the management of complex care, and health care costs. Read More
Community Building
Harvard’s new Ed Portal serves as a conduit to the community
The science room at the new Harvard Ed Portal, opening this weekend in Allston. (Photo via Harvard Ed Portal)
The perks of having a world class university as your next door neighbor are getting even better for the residents of Allston. On Saturday, Harvard University will celebrate the opening of its new Ed Portal community center, a 12,000-square-foot space that will be a hub for tutoring programs, education efforts, and performances. Read More
Programmatic Mad Men
Clypd opens up more programmatic television tools to ad firms and media companies
The clypd team (Photo via clypd)
Just as the Internet has learned to track your digital habits, sending you ads that follow your buying and surfing patterns, programmatic television advertising promises to make television ads more direct and personalized to consumers' habits. This week, Somerville-based programmatic TV advertising company clypd announced that it has released a standalone enterprise-focused product that it hopes will allow the company to tap more deeply into the $80 billion television ad market. Read More
Orange Crayon
Crayon opens new palette to web designers and marketers
Image via @Crayon Twitter account
For the first part of Jonah Lopin's life, the color orange loomed large. The Newton native grew up to become a Newton North Tiger, and was surrounded by the school's signature orange and black. Fast forward a decade, and you would have found him walking through the doors of Cambridge-based, orange-loving HubSpot as the inbound marketing company's sixth employee. While one would think that Lopin would keep the tangerine-tinged streak going with his latest project for his startup M80 Labs, he actually dipped into the entire color palette for the rainbow-hued design sensibilities of his new a website design search engine, Crayon.   Read More