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This Is Your Brain on Writing: For the first time, researchers have used fMRI scanners to track the brain activity of writers as they created fiction. The results have drawn strong reactions from other scientists

This Is Your Brain on Writing

JUNE 20, 2014

Carl Zimmer

A novelist scrawling away in a notebook in seclusion may not seem to have much in common with an NBA player doing a reverse layup on a basketball court before a screaming crowd. But if you could peer inside their heads, you might see some striking similarities in how their brains were churning.

That’s one of the implications of new research on the neuroscience of creative writing. For the first time, neuroscientists have used fMRI scanners to track the brain activity of both experienced and novice writers as they sat down — or, in this case, lay down — to turn out a piece of fiction. Read more of this post

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Our Moral Tongue: Moral Judgments Depend on What Language We’re Speaking

Our Moral Tongue: Moral Judgments Depend on What Language We’re Speaking

JUNE 20, 2014

By BOAZ KEYSAR and ALBERT COSTA

ON June 20, 2003, employees of the Union Pacific Railroad faced a difficult decision as a runaway train headed toward downtown Los Angeles: Should they divert the train to a side track, knowing it would derail and hit homes in the less populated city of Commerce, Calif.? Did the moral imperative to minimize overall harm outweigh the moral imperative not to intentionally harm an innocent suburb? Read more of this post

Mahathir Thwarts Sultan’s Power Grab

Mahathir Thwarts Sultan’s Power Grab

Written by Our Correspondent

SAT,14 JUNE 2014

Intervention saves PM Najib’s political standing

Malaysia’s aging former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had to act earlier this week to save Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak from embarrassing legislation that would have given the Sultan of Johor executive powers to run the housing authority of the country’s second biggest state. Read more of this post

Content remains a giant mystery, but that hasn’t slowed the flood of VC cash

Content remains a giant mystery, but that hasn’t slowed the flood of VC cash

BY JAMES ROBINSON 
ON JUNE 20, 2014

Content marketers might actually have no idea which metrics translate into actual business results, but content marketing companies are seeing a huge uptick in venture financing, anyway.

Out this week from CB Insights is a report that content marketing startups raised $292 million dollars across 44 deals in the 12 months spanning the Q2 2013 to Q1 2014. This was a 47 percent bump in deal activity over the year prior, but a 125 percent spike in dollars, as latter-stage companies like Percolate, NewsCred and Contently rolled out big funding rounds. Read more of this post

With Efforts to Buy Shire, AbbVie Tries to Join Rush to Go Abroad

With Efforts to Buy Shire, AbbVie Tries to Join Rush to Go Abroad

By DAVID GELLES and CHAD BRAY

JUNE 20, 2014 5:43 AM Comment

Updated, 7:08 p.m. | At first it was a trickle. A few relatively unknown pharmaceutical companies acquired international competitors, and moved their headquarters abroad.

Then the pace picked up. Bigger health care companies, including Pfizer andMedtronic, also sought to relocate overseas, claiming that doing so would lower their tax rate and allow them to access trapped cash. Competitors felt pressure to match those financial advantages and began looking for deals of their own. Read more of this post

How big can BlackRock get? With more than US$4.4-trillion in assets under management, BlackRock is the largest money manager in the world by a wide margin

How big can BlackRock get?

Jonathan Ratner | June 19, 2014 7:50 AM ET
With more than US$4.4-trillion in assets under management, BlackRock Inc. is the largest money manager in the world by a wide margin, but that has some investors worried that its growth will inevitably slow down.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Eric Berg, however, is confident BlackRock is being very disciplined in launching new products that can help increase AUM over time and is targeting market leadership in key markets to help boost overall growth. Read more of this post

China’s Real-Estate Wrongs

YAO YANG

Yao Yang is Dean of the National School of Development and Director of the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University.

JUN 20, 2014

China’s Real-Estate Wrongs

BEIJING – China’s real-estate sector has been a source of serious concern for several years, with soaring property prices raising fears of overheating in the housing market. But, with price growth easing, it seems that the government’s campaign to rein in property risk is finally taking hold. The danger now is that the housing market will collapse – bringing China’s economic prospects down with it. Read more of this post

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