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Trust pays off

Economist Luigi Zingales explores how cultural stereotypes influence which countries do business together.
Luigi Zingales, the Robert C. McCormack professor of entrepreneurship and finance, often arrives en retard. His tardiness needn’t come as a surprise—it’s in his nature. “Italians are always late,” he says, looking the part of a European scholar with his 5 o’clock shadow and camel-colored coat. Such information is “useful to know,” he suggests, and may even influence whether different nationalities will work together.
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The scent of a woman
Seated at a table in her Institute for Mind and Biology office, red marker in hand, Martha McClintock graphs a line that rises like a swelling wave. The line, she says, is the monthly ebb and flow of an average woman’s sexual desire. The surge peaks days before a woman ovulates, only to dive after her eggs are released. It’s this dip that McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw distinguished service professor in psychology, and her colleagues want to understand in hopes of combatting low libidos.
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Feel the film music
The average moviegoer might not see the connection between a Hollywood blockbuster and the traditions of Wagnerian opera. But for musicologist Berthold Hoeckner, the similarity lies in the emphasis on spectacle and the concealment of the music. Just as Wagner hid his musicians in an orchestra pit, the better to stir the audience’s emotions directly through the music, Hollywood films rely on sound tracks—“unheard melodies,” as one critic described them. Because “film is more viewed than listened to,” says Hoeckner, an associate professor of music and the humanities, “the music is taken in without much reflection, with very little resistance.”
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