September 21, 2018

Depending on which way you look at it, the rise of automated labor in the workplace can serve as either a source of optimism or anxiety. On the pro side of the argument, robotic workers will be highly efficient and more willing to perform monotonous tasks than their human counterparts. Of course, matters of “efficiency” don’t mean much to people who could lose their jobs because of automation. And according to a new study published by the World Economic Forum, Continue reading

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September 20, 2018

Last week, Hurricane Florence made landfall on the coast of the Carolinas as a Category 1 storm. So far its effects have been devastating, claiming the lives of 32 people as millions more deal with widespread flooding and loss of power. The storm has also caused a huge amount of damage to buildings and roadways along the coast. According to one estimate by Moody’s Analytics, the total cost to repair all this destruction could climb as high as $20 billion. Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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August 31, 2018

Although many American advertisements suggest that Florida remains the orange juice capital of the world, the video below shows how that’s not quite the case. Due to the state’s extreme weather and a number of other factors, the South American nation of Brazil has long stood as the globe’s top producer of OJ.

Questions:

  1. Why has the size of Florida’s orange crop fallen so much in recent years?
  2. What are the benefits and drawbacks of Brazil’s dominance of the orange industry?
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August 30, 2018

With the summer winding down, people across the country are returning from vacation and settling back into their normal routines. And while many Americans would certainly rather be back on the beach than at work or school, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations seem happy to see their visitors go. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international trips increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. Although this amount of growth would usually be Continue reading

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August 24, 2018

By now it’s no secret that big tech companies routinely collect tons of data about their users’ online habits. And as Facebook’s recent scandal with Cambridge Analytica showed, sometimes they sell that information to outside parties without first telling users about it. As a result, people must always be careful about sharing too much information online. According to a new study conducted by a Vanderbilt University professor, however, even the most cautious users probably can’t escape the all-seeing power of Continue reading

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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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August 17, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat eggs that have gone past their “sell-by date,” you are certainly not alone. This video looks at the confusing dates that companies place on food packaging and how they encourage consumers to throw out items that are still edible.

Questions:

  1. Why do companies place sell-by dates on food packaging?
  2. What can companies do to make food date labels more straightforward for consumers?
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August 16, 2018

If you live in a large or mid-sized city, you’ve probably noticed a lot of brightly colored bicycles popping up on sidewalks throughout town. Whether they’re green bikes from Lime or Ofo’s yellow models, these two-wheeled vehicles are available to rent for as little as $1 per ride. Bike-share companies claim that this business model provides cities with a wealth of transportation options that both tourists and locals alike can easily access. For communities that have been absolutely flooded with Continue reading

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