April 13, 2018

Way back in 2014, we looked at how changing tastes had led to declining interest in the art and business of clowning. Unfortunately for these red-nosed entertainers, matters haven’t improved much in the following years. In fact, 2017 may have marked an all-time low for American clowns. Not only did the Ringling Bros. circus shut down after nearly a century and a half in operation, but also McDonald’s ended its regional Ronald McDonald program. Without the work that these Continue reading

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April 3, 2018

With their fuzzy frames and quizzical expressions, alpacas might be one of the world’s goofiest looking animals. Of course, these llama-like creatures have much more to offer than just their funny faces. Alpaca fleece ranks as one of the finest textile materials available, similar to sheep’s wool only warmer and without any prickliness. In the 1990s these key qualities fueled a boom in alpaca fleece production that also encouraged many Americans to purchase their own animals for breeding. Once called Continue reading

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March 29, 2018

The runaway success of Netflix has proved to many media companies that the future of entertainment lies with streaming content. After all, why pay around $75 a month for cable when you can instantly access thousands of titles on Netflix for a fraction of the cost? This thinking has led to the creation of dozens of streaming services, ranging from big players like Hulu and YouTube TV to more specialized operations like the apps for Food Network or the WWE. Continue reading

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March 16, 2018

As we saw yesterday with the sad state of Toys ‘R’ Us, the last few years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers. The rise of online commerce has encouraged an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping at home, leaving many companies worried that they could be the next to go under. But while this is a new feeling for some, others like independent bookstore owners have had to deal with such fears for a long time. Continue reading

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March 15, 2018

Last year, we looked at how Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy after struggling for more than a decade with increasing competition and crushing debt. And while its future didn’t seem particularly bright at the time, the retailer at least had a plan in place to stay afloat in the short term. Along with taking out a massive loan to buy stock for the Christmas season, the company also claimed it had no plans to close any stores.

This relatively Continue reading

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March 13, 2018

Last week McDonald’s scored a major marketing hit when the company flipped its famous Golden Arches into a “W” in honor of International Women’s Day. But the logo is far from the only thing the burger chain plans to turn upside down in 2018. In an effort to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, McDonald’s recently announced some big changes that will make it more sustainable. Along with getting rid of styrofoam cups, the chain is also switching to fresh beef Continue reading

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March 2, 2018

A good idea can come from anywhere. Whether the inspiration is drawn from years of research or a sudden flash of brilliance, the best organizations know how to spot new concepts and bring them to life no matter their source. That’s why in the 1990s the then-CEO of Frito-Lay sent a video message to his employees encouraging them to speak up if they had something to contribute. “We want every worker in this company to act like an owner,” said Continue reading

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March 1, 2018

Levi Strauss started selling blue jeans more than 100 years ago to miners and farmers who appreciated how long the pants could last under tough conditions. And while today’s consumers love the distressed look that denim achieves with a lot of wear, they don’t exactly want to toil in a mine in order to scuff up their jeans properly. Instead, over the years Levi’s has done all the fraying, fading and ripping themselves in a time-consuming process. Besides taking about Continue reading

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February 27, 2018

Last week, we took a look at the logistical nightmare that caused hundreds of British KFCs to close due to a lack of chicken. And while the company seems to have solved this issue for now, another strange supply chain problem is frustrating consumers halfway around the world. This time, however, the product in question is a bit more essential to daily life than fried chicken.

Over the weekend in Taiwan, panicked shoppers rushed to stores so they could purchase Continue reading

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February 23, 2018

If you’ve ever thought that you check your smartphone too much, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, the 2.5 billion people around the globe who currently own smartphones likely share the same problem as you. That’s because tech companies design their products to be as attention-grabbing as possible. Along with detailing the ways that smartphones and apps can monopolize your focus, this video also demonstrates a few techniques to limit your phone use.

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical for tech companies Continue reading
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