December 8, 2017

Over the last few months, we’ve posted a couple of stories about Bitcoin’s enormous gains in 2017. First we marveled at how the cryptocurrency’s value had risen to $4,000 in August after starting the year at just $985. By November, a single Bitcoin became worth more than $7,200. Since then the cryptocurrency has climbed even higher while also experiencing some major fluctuations. Last night, for instance, Bitcoin’s value reached a record high of $17,153 before eventually falling to around Continue reading

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November 22, 2017

With airports and roads both packed with people, traveling during Thanksgiving week can be an unpleasant experience to say the least. And unfortunately 2017 won’t be any easier on weary holiday travelers: AAA estimates that nearly 51 million Americans will journey more than 50 miles over the course of the four-day weekend. That’s 1.6 million more people on the road than in 2016, a 3.3 percent increase that will make this year’s Turkey Day traffic the busiest since 2005.

This Continue reading

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November 3, 2017

When we took a look at Bitcoin in August, the cryptocurrency had just reached a record value of more than $4,000. Since then it has only continued to grow in worth, topping out $7,200 this week. Many experts now say that Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies could be the future of money, even though most consumers have no clue how they work. This longform video tries to remedy that problem by comparing Bitcoin with the stone ring currency system used Continue reading

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October 3, 2017

legosThe last decade has been a good one for the Danish company Lego. After surviving a brush with bankruptcy in 2004, the famous toymaker regrouped and pursued an aggressive sales strategy focused on creating popular product lines. The plan worked as brands like Lego Architecture and the Mindstorms series attracted thousands of fans both young and old. By 2010 profits had quadrupled from the same time two years before. The company has since released two hit movies while continuing to Continue reading

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September 28, 2017

hurricane-mariaOver the last month hurricanes have torn through America’s southern coast, inflicting massive amounts of damage to Texas, Florida, and other states in the region. Of course, the U.S. mainland is far from the only place that’s been harmed by these major weather emergencies. Along with devastating Caribbean islands like Barbados and Barbuda, recent tropical storms have also hammered the American territory of Puerto Rico. First it had to endure Hurricane Irma, which only clipped the island’s northern portion Continue reading

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September 19, 2017

tiia-montoThe decline of brick and mortar retail has been one of the biggest business stories of the year, with formerly successful chains like HH Gregg, Payless and others filing for bankruptcy. And this week Toys ‘R’ Us became the latest company to join this unfortunate group. Like so many other traditional retailers, Toys ‘R’ Us couldn’t keep up with the growing dominance of Amazon. The company’s CEO said it would need to slash prices in order to stay afloat, Continue reading

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September 15, 2017

In the 17th century citizens of the Netherlands enjoyed an historic era of art and prosperity known as the Dutch Golden Age. Wealthy merchants spent lavishly on all sorts of luxuries, including a new flower imported from Turkey called the tulip. Demand for tulips reached incredible heights until the bottom suddenly fell out of the market. This short video looks at what many economists consider to be the first market bubble to burst.

Questions:

  1. How does the Dutch tulip craze Continue reading
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September 12, 2017

avocadosOne hundred years ago hardly any Americans outside of California had ever seen an avocado, let alone ate one. Then during the 1920s a Los Angeles postal worker named Rudolph Hass planted an avocado seed in his backyard that eventually grew into a highly productive tree. His children raved about how their father’s flavorful fruit beat out any competitors at the local market, eventually convincing him to patent the Hass Avocado in 1935. Soon growers across the region began to Continue reading

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September 5, 2017

marshall-astorSince Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas a couple of weeks ago, the region has been hit with devastating floods that have upended the lives of millions. And although the waters are finally starting to recede in cities like Houston, that just means the serious cleanup work is about to begin. The financial forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics now estimates that Harvey inflicted as much as $108 billion in damage to the region. Thankfully, dedicated volunteers have been working around the Continue reading

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August 22, 2017

max-pixelWhen Bitcoin launched in 2008, a single unit of the mysterious cryptocurrency was worth just a little more than half a cent. Bitcoin’s value remained under a dollar for years afterward, leading many to wonder why anyone would invest in a strange new currency that couldn’t be controlled by any government or company. Besides being seemingly worthless, Bitcoin also operated through a decentralized network of computers whose owner was impossible to verify. This anonymity extended to Bitcoin’s users as well, Continue reading

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