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East Asian Pop Culture Softens and Reaches a Larger Market

Descendants of the Sun, a South Korean TV drama featuring a romance between a soldier and a surgeon in a fictional war-torn nation, is reigniting K-drama fever across Asia. In China alone, where the program is simultaneously broadcast online, it has drawn more than 2.4 billion views on video-streaming website iQIYI since it began airing in late February.

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September Oil is Losing a Technical Battle

Today's 2.5% fall in the September light sweet crude oil futures contract extends the decline that began on June 9.  It is the third consecutive loss and the fifth loss in the past six sessions.  There are two important points to make that this Great Graphic from Bloomberg helps illustrates.

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Could there have been Oil and Dinosaurs?

What killed the dinosaurs? It's a question as old as – well the dinosaurs themselves, and one that everyone from schoolchildren to scientists have been asking for decades. Movies like Jurassic Park and the Land Before Time only heighten that sense of wonder and raise the stakes behind that question. Now according to a new scientific study, it seems that black gold may have been the source of the dinos' demise.

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That's the (Entrepreneurial) Spirit

When confronted by life, we are each bound within the scope and the limits of the perspectives we have adopted and nurtured over our lives. In times of uncertainty – and Britain’s current political and constitutional environment is a useful example – we might be tempted to play it safe, pull up the drawbridge and look enviously out as others grab the opportunities we have missed.

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Lithium's Run is Likely not Over

So far, lithium has been the hottest metal of 2016, beating out gold, with exponential demand expected over the coming years. Although the price trajectory of the metal has been subdued in recent months, the fundamentals behind the long-term trajectory suggest strong potential for long-term growth. Price doubling from 2014/2015 was first seen in China and is now being felt worldwide, with lithium hydroxide prices from $16-20 and carbonate prices from $12-14 thousand USD per ton.

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How Secure is Your Blockchain?

Ethereum, a network designed to extend blockchain technology to uses beyond crypto-currencies, has been gaining traction around the world.  Billed as “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts…without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference,” Ethereum has been enthusiastically embraced by organisations like Microsoft, IBM and Azure. 

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'Power to the People' through Online Petitions

If you have recently signed an online petition - and then observed a result from it - you are far from alone. Once niche, websites such as Change.org, ipetitions.com and Avaaz.org have moved into the mainstream, shifting influence from organisations into the hands of individuals and fundamentally changing the way business and government respond to “people power”.

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Just in Case You were Wondering about Blockchain

Most people agree we do not need to know how a television works to enjoy using one. This is true of many existing and emerging technologies. Most of us happily drive cars, use mobile phones and send emails without knowing how they work. With this in mind, here is a tech-free user guide to the blockchain - the technology infrastructure behind bitcoin, and many other emerging platforms.

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Mining Companies and Communities Can Get Along

Mining in South Africa is beset with controversy. The 2012 Marikana massacre was an extreme expression of this – but dangerous conflicts can arise even before a mine is commissioned. Mining proposals are often opposed by neighbouring communities and can be hugely divisive.

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(Re) Calling All Oil Workers

The rig count has rebounded from the lows seen in late May; a small indication that oil companies in the U.S. could begin drilling anew. Shale drilling is a short-cycle prospect, requiring only a few weeks to drill and bring a well online. Because of this, the collective U.S. shale industry has been likened to the new "swing producer": low oil prices force quick cutbacks but higher prices trigger new supplies. In essence, shale could balance the market in the way OPEC used to.

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More Rigs could be the Oil Rally's Greatest Foe

In an industry where anything could happen, surprises—often unwelcomed—are hard to come by. Oil is exactly such an industry at the moment. No one is sure where oil is heading, near-term forecasts range from $20 to $80 per barrel by the end of the year, and there are just too many wild cards on the scene.

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