Critically ill patients who survive a stay in an intensive-care unit, where they are often heavily sedated and ventilated, can find themselves mentally impaired long after release. A new study says the problem is far more common and lasting than previously believed

Updated October 2, 2013, 5:40 p.m. ET

Intensive-Care Units Pose Long-Term Brain Risk, Study Finds

LAURA LANDRO

Critically ill patients who survive a stay in an intensive-care unit, where they are often heavily sedated and ventilated, can find themselves mentally impaired long after release. A new study says the problem is far more common and lasting than previously believed. Nearly 80% of patients with prolonged ICU stays showed cognitive problems a year or more later, and more than half exhibited effects similar to Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury, according to a report Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Read more of this post

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day And How To Prevent Them

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day And How To Prevent Them

BELLE BETH COOPERBUFFER 34 MINUTES AGO 0

Get ready to have your mind blown.

I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us to make more rational, sensible decisions. Being aware of the mistakes we naturally have in our thinking can make a big difference in avoiding them. Unfortunately, most of these occur subconsciously, so it will also take time and effort to avoid them—if you even want to. Regardless, I think it’s fascinating to learn more about how we think and make decisions every day, so let’s take a look at some of these thinking habits we didn’t know we had.

1. We surround ourselves with information that matches our beliefs

We tend to like people who think like us. If we agree with someone’s beliefs, we’re more likely to be friends with them. While this makes sense, it means that we subconsciously begin to ignore or dismiss anything that threatens our world views, since we surround ourselves with people and information that confirm what we already think. This is called confirmation bias. If you’ve ever heard of the frequency illusion, this is very similar. The frequency illusion occurs when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see the same car everywhere. Or when a pregnant woman suddenly notices other pregnant women all over the place. It’s a passive experience, where our brains seek out information that’s related to us, but we believe there’s been an actual increase in the frequency of those occurrences. Confirmation bias is a more active form of the same experience. It happens when we proactively seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs. Not only do we do this with the information we take in, but we approach our memories this way, as well. In an experiment in 1979 at the University of Minnesota, participants read a story about a women called Jane who acted extroverted in some situations and introverted in others. When the participants returned a few days later, they were divided into two groups. One group was asked if Jane would be suited to a job as a librarian, the other group were asked about her having a job as a real-estate agent. The librarian group remembered Jane as being introverted and later said that she would not be suited to a real-estate job. The real-estate group did the exact opposite: they remembered Jane as extroverted, said she would be suited to a real-estate job and when they were later asked if she would make a good librarian, they said no. In 2009, a study at Ohio State showed that we will spend 36 percent more time reading an essay if it aligns with our opinions. Whenever your opinions or beliefs are so intertwined with your self-image you couldn’t pull them away without damaging your core concepts of self, you avoid situations which may cause harm to those beliefs. – David McRaney This trailer for David McRaney’s book, You are Now Less Dumb, explains this concept really well with a story about how people used to think geese grew on trees (seriously), and how challenging our beliefs on a regular basis is the only way to avoid getting caught up in the confirmation bias: Read more of this post

How Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo aims to be No.1 in the world

How Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo aims to be No.1 in the world

PUBLISHED: 02 OCT 2013 19:49:00 | UPDATED: 03 OCT 2013 08:33:39

The Australian Financial Review

BY SUE MITCHELL

Uniqlo local chief Shoichi Miyasak says: “Our objective is to become the world number one by year 2020 – in order for us to meet that level, becoming the number one in Australia is a thing we have to do.” Photo: Nic Walker

Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo brand is so ubiquitous in Japan that one in four Japanese are estimated to own its trademark down jackets and wearing the brand even has its own word – unibare. Uniqlo may never become a household name in Australia, but its local chief, Shoichi Miyasaka, wants the brand to become the market leader in casual wear – overtaking long-established brands such as Just Jeans and General Pants as well as newcomers such as Top Shop – as part of Fast Retailing’s goal to become the world’s leading clothing company. Read more of this post

All entrepreneurs are united by the fear of failure; For every business that makes it, four crumble away to nothing, says entrepreneur Michael Hayman. Too often, failure is swept under the carpet

All entrepreneurs are united by the fear of failure

For every business that makes it, four crumble away to nothing, says entrepreneur Michael Hayman. Too often, failure is swept under the carpet.

When talking about the success of retailer Carphone Warehouse, founder Charles Dunstone joked, “I got away with it”. Photo: Rex Features

By Michael Hayman

4:57PM BST 30 Sep 2013

“I got away with it.” The words Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone hopes will be etched as an epitaph on his gravestone. Words that have stuck in my mind since I heard him say them. In one short sentence he captured the least told chapter in the life story of many of our greatest entrepreneurs. That there rarely is a grand plan in place and that failure, and the fear of, it is every bit the co-pilot of success. Read more of this post

Talk of Inheritance Tax Sparks Debate in China

October 3, 2013, 8:30 AM

Talk of Inheritance Tax Sparks Debate in China

Whether or not to tax the dead has become a big question in China.

The country doesn’t currently have an inheritance tax—also commonly known as the death or estate tax—a levy paid by people who inherit money or property, or a tax on someone’s estate after they die. But a recent media report has sparked discussion about whether China should start levying such a tax, and if so, how heavy rates should be. The private 21st Century Business Herald reported (in Chinese) on Sept. 27 that the Communist Party’s top decision makers will consider the inheritance tax at the Third Plenum, a key meeting of senior leaders expected in November, citing Liu Heng, an academic adviser to the nation’s State Council, or cabinet. Read more of this post

Maoist Self-Criticism Comes to a TV Near You

Maoist Self-Criticism Comes to a TV Near You

On the evening of Sept. 25, Xi Jinping debuted in his role as China’s father-confessor across state-owned television stations. The occasion was the conclusion of three days of self-criticism sessions that the Chinese president oversaw in Hebei province. Wearing his signature black jacket and open-collared white shirt, Xi sat listening to nervous high-ranking local officials. They had reason to be worried: According to Xinhua News Agency, the state newswire, Xi had stern expectations for what would be accomplished (according to official press accounts, he attended four half-day sessions): “I don’t want to hear fancy words from you when I take part in your sessions. I want real criticisms and self-criticisms.” Read more of this post

China’s Poisoned Air Prompts Woman to Devise Green Tax

China’s Poisoned Air Prompts Woman to Devise Green Tax

Reading in her hotel room in 1996, geology student Cao Jing noticed something alarming: the pages of her book were being coated with brown coal dust. Her realization — in Qinhuangdao, a tourist city where China’s Great Wall meets the sea — marks the moment when the young undergraduate at Beijing’s Tsinghua University became interested in studying the effects of China’s runaway industrial pollution. It was the first step in a 17-year journey that has taken Cao, 36, into the field of economics to tackle emissions in the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases. Read more of this post

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