June 23, 2017

When the economy was on the verge of collapse due to the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero in an effort to get money moving around again. The economy is not in such dire straits now, of course, so the Fed has once again returned to raising rates gradually. This video quickly reviews how the Fed works and demonstrates the ways that the central bank affects the nation’s money supply.  

Questions:

  1. What are the Continue reading
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June 16, 2017

In Japan you can buy almost anything from a vending machine: hot tea, sushi, umbrellas, even bread in a can. This video takes a look at the economic and cultural factors that have contributed to Japan’s vending obsession, such as an excess of coinage and a shortage of unskilled labor.

Questions:

  1. How does Japan’s low birth rate contribute to its vending machine culture?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of relying so heavily on vending machines?
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For most non-rural people, the classic image of a dairy farm likely involves a solitary, bucket-toting farmer trudging out to the barn to milk the cows before dawn. As this video shows, though, modern American dairy farms are far more advanced than most city slickers would imagine. From automated milking machines to robot feeders, these high-tech tools help dairy farmers cut costs while also improving efficiency.

Questions:

 

  1. What are the advantages of automation on dairy farms?
  2. How have labor Continue reading
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April 28, 2017

Today’s globalized supply chains depend on enormous shipping boats to ferry cargo from one end of the world to the other. It wasn’t always this way, though. This video takes a look at how standardized containers aboard gigantic vessels have transformed logistics since the 1970s.


Questions:

 

  1. How did containerization make shipping more efficient?
  2. Why are supply chains and logistics so important to modern companies?

 

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April 14, 2017

This week United Airlines angered millions when a video surfaced of a man being brutally dragged off of an overbooked flight. People not only felt horrified at the violence of the incident, but they also questioned why the company needed to overbook flights in the first place. As this video shows, though, the answer is not so easy.

Questions:

 

  1. Should airlines be allowed to overbook flights?
  2. What risks do airlines face if they do not overbook a flight?
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April 3, 2017

The looping animated icons known as GIFs have provided websites with a unique visual element since the dawn of the Internet. Of course, today’s GIFs do far more than just attract eyes to otherwise dull sites. People use them constantly in social media and text message conversations to express emotions that are difficult to convey with words. And as this video shows, companies like Giphy think that these moving images will soon turn into major money makers for content creators Continue reading

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March 14, 2017

While identifying colors might seem like a simple preschool task to some, it’s a serious job at the Pantone color factory. This company creates color guides that act sort of like dictionaries for artists and designers. In order to create consistent colors every time, Pantone depends on eagle-eyed employees to check for flaws. Along with these dedicated staffers, this video also shows some of the machines used by Pantone to create such vivid hues.

Questions:

 

  1. Why does Pantone require Continue reading
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March 2, 2017

Supply chain management is an incredibly complex process involving dozens of companies stretched across thousands of miles. This video takes a look at the shipping firm Flexport and how they simplify “freight forwarding” for businesses transporting goods from China to the U.S.

Questions:

 

  1. How does Flexport improve the process of freight forwarding?
  2. Why is international supply chain management so complicated?

 

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January 20, 2017

Ensuring clean water for everyone on the planet is one of the major environmental challenges facing future generations. In this video, a Chilean engineer demonstrates his invention that draws vapor from the air and turns it into drinkable water. If he succeeds in making the machine smaller and cheaper, it could provide an immense benefit to communities that lack access to clean water.

Questions:

  1. Why does Hector Pino need to continue refining his product?
  2. Once fully developed, should Pino form Continue reading
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December 29, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, many people across the country have likely spent the last few weeks immersed in Christmas music and movies. This brief video takes a look at how much money some of these old entertainment properties earn during the festive season, from Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life to Mariah Carey’s perennial hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Questions:

  1. How did the public domain copyright of It’s a Wonderful Life transform the film Continue reading
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