Excitement over the Toronto Raptors' NBA Finals run is great news for bars across the country, but experts say the moment is an invaluable marketing opportunity for Toronto that could provide a substantial long-term economic boost to the region.


The championship run has already proven to be a boon for watering holes as people gather to take in the games with other fans.


"It's interesting if I'm sitting at home watching it. It's exciting if I'm sitting in a bar with 200 of my best new friends watching a game," said Jeff Guthrie, chief marketing officer at payments firm Moneris.


The company found that spending at bars in the Greater Toronto Area was up 72 per cent for Game 2 last Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, compared with the same day last year. At its peak, spending was up 183 per cent at 10 p.m. Eastern time during the game.


Nationally, spending at bars jumped 28 per cent on the day of Game 2, and was up 89 per cent at the peak.

"It really shows that the Raptors are Canada's...

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(Caroline WinterBloomberg News)

(Illustration: Jinhwa Jang for Bloomberg Businessweek, BC-Upgrade-Your-Memory-With-a-Surgically-Implanted-Chip!)


In a grainy black-and-white video shot at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, a patient sits in a hospital bed, his head wrapped in a bandage. He’s trying to recall 12 words for a memory test but can only conjure three: whale, pit, zoo. After a pause, he gives up, sinking his head into his hands.


In a second video, he recites all 12 words without hesitation. “No kidding, you got all of them!” a researcher says. This time the patient had help, a prosthetic memory aid inserted into his brain.


Over the past five years, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has invested US$77 million to develop devices intended to restore the memory-generation capacity of people with traumatic brain injuries. Last year two groups conducting tests on humans published compelling results.


The Mayo Clinic device was created by...

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