January 24, 2020

Last year, the Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge completed a marathon in under two hours, a feat that was once thought to be impossible. But along with his considerable athletic skills, Kipchoge also had help from a revolutionary new product: Nike’s Vaporfly running shoes. This video takes a look at the sudden dominance of the Vaporfly and how regulators could possibly ban the shoe if it proves to give runners too much of an advantage.

Questions:

  1. Do you think Nike Continue reading
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January 23, 2020

In 1933 Nathan Glickberg opened a fruit and vegetable stand in Manhattan before eventually moving into a nearby storefront. His grandson Howie expanded the store in the 1970s, adding more groceries and specialty items as well as a new name: Fairway. In the years since, the store became a staple for many New Yorkers drawn by Fairway’s low prices and wide selection of quality products. Then in the early 2000s a private equity firm bought a controlling stake in the Continue reading

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January 17, 2020

2019 was the year that the so-called “streaming wars” got serious. Disney+ and Apple TV+ launched in an effort to compete against Netflix while established broadcasters like NBC and HBO announced that their streaming services would go live in mid-2020. As the streaming marketplace grew increasingly crowded, industry insiders worried that media companies were offering too much content to consumers. According to research by the cable network FX, these fears could prove to be true: last year a total of Continue reading

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January 16, 2020

Earlier this week, we took a look at how the nation’s two largest milk processors filed for bankruptcy due to declining demand and volatile pricing. But fluid milk isn’t the only sector of the dairy market that’s currently struggling. In 2019 U.S. yogurt sales dropped by more than three percent, continuing a downward slide that’s been happening since 2014. The introduction of Greek yogurt gave many hope that this protein-packed snack would save the industry. Unfortunately, though, Greek yogurt’s popularity Continue reading

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January 14, 2020

Although milk was a staple of the American diet throughout the 20th century, today’s consumers don’t drink nearly as much of it as they did in the past. In 2018 Americans each drank an average of 146 pounds of fluid milk, a category that includes everything from skim milk to heavy cream. While that’s still quite a lot of dairy, it also represents a 26 percent decrease in consumption since 2000. Along with this declining demand, milk companies have also Continue reading

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January 9, 2020

In recent years, many Silicon Valley tech firms have pledged to make sustainability a top priority. But as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft develop environmentally friendly operations, oil companies are also using their technology to extract more petrochemicals from the earth. The video below takes an in-depth look at the history of oil extraction and how modern tech companies are risking their reputations by getting involved with the fossil fuel industry. 

Questions:

  1. How does machine learning help tech companies become Continue reading
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January 7, 2020

The holiday season is the most important time of the year by far for the nation’s retailers, with many earning as much as 40 percent of their annual sales during that period. Fortunately for them, 2019’s holiday sales increased by 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Retailers are especially relieved since Thanksgiving arrived six days later than it did in 2018, which took away crucial time that companies could have used to drive sales. 

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December 17, 2019

During December, the Hallmark Channel’s schedule is chock full of Christmas movies to keep the holiday spirit strong throughout the month. But last week the usually jolly TV network behaved more like Ebenezer Scrooge in the eyes of many fans and users on social media. The controversy began when Hallmark received a complaint from an advocacy group whose stated mission is to “fight against indecency.” The organization complained about four ads that featured same-sex couples from a wedding planning company Continue reading

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December 12, 2019

Although only 6 percent of the U.S. identifies as vegan, animal-free foods like meatless burgers and veggie-based snacks have exploded in popularity recently. This video looks at why the animal alternative market could grow into a $140 billion industry as consumers include more vegan foods in their diets. 

Questions:

  1. Why are more American consumers starting to supplement their regular diets with vegan foods?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic meat like the Impossible Burger?
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December 10, 2019

According to the Census of Agriculture, from 2002 to 2017 Christmas tree production fell by 30 percent as artificial trees grew in popularity. American growers now harvest fewer than 15 million trees annually, down from 21 million in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, sales of artificial trees have steadily risen thanks to their affordability and convenience. Not only are plastic Christmas trees clean and reusable, but they’re also considerably safer than real trees that can quickly catch fire with a single Continue reading

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