October 18, 2019

At the end of summer, weather-tracking services in California began issuing reports that many in the state have come to dread: extreme winds and dry conditions had increased the risk of wildfires. The previous year had been one of California’s worst due to disasters like the Camp Fire, an enormous blaze that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the aftermath of this tragedy, many blamed the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for failing Continue reading

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September 27, 2019

Baking bread is a difficult enterprise under the best circumstances, but baking on an industrial scale is so complicated that only a few long-standing companies have truly mastered it. At the same time, the products made by brands like Wonder Bread are often packed with chemicals that many health-conscious consumers want to avoid. That’s where La Boulange comes in, a San Francisco bakery that runs 24 hours a day and operates like a factory. The video below shows how La Continue reading

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September 17, 2019

On Monday around 48,000 General Motors employees walked off their jobs and onto picket lines after the United Auto Workers failed to reach a new agreement with the company. Along with improved pay and health benefits, the striking workers also want to keep plants open to ensure job security. “Our members have been very clear about what they will and will not accept from this contract,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes. “We are standing up for fair wages, we Continue reading

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September 6, 2019

So far this year nearly 50,000 fires have been detected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, the most recorded in almost a decade. According to international experts, the majority of these fires are not simply natural occurrences. In fact, a 2016 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization found that cattle farmers were responsible for 80 percent of deforestation in Brazil. These enormous agricultural operations often burn rainforest in order to clear land for cattle grazing. Experts believe that Continue reading

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August 15, 2019

In 2017 Ricky Lopez opened a Top Round franchise in San Francisco’s Mission District. With all sorts of well-established competition in the area already, the chef and entrepreneur says that his roast beef business lost tens of thousands of dollars in its first eight months. Then last year a representative from Uber Eats informed Lopez that his area had a high demand for burgers and ice cream that was going unmet. To take advantage of this opportunity, the food delivery Continue reading

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August 8, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a video about the rise of rush shipping and its effect on the environment. Along with impacting the health of the planet, the recent push to deliver products as fast as possible has also altered the balance of power in the shipping industry. Over the past few years, Amazon has developed its own delivery network of trucks and planes in order to decrease its dependency on outside shipping firms. As a result, Continue reading

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July 26, 2019

For major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, few matters are more important than quickly shipping products out to customers. But while free two-day shipping has largely become the norm in e-commerce, all those packages moving across the country can have a major impact on the environment. This video looks at the ecological effects of rush shipping and how retailers could seek to limit its use in the future. 

Questions:

  1. In what ways does rush shipping harm the environment? Continue reading
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July 16, 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for nurses will grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. With nurses in such high demand, hospitals around the country are on a near constant search for qualified professionals. Sometimes, though, there simply aren’t enough candidates available to meet demand. This can lead to hospital staffing shortages, which require nurses to work longer hours and perform more tasks.

That’s where a robot named Moxi comes in. Developed by Continue reading

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June 27, 2019

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department intervened in a class-action lawsuit against some of the nation’s largest poultry producers. The plaintiffs in the case claim that companies like Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride conspired together to fix the price of chicken. Given that these allegations involve some of the top firms in a huge industry, the federal government decided to take over legal proceedings for the rest of the year. “The Justice Department wants to make sure they Continue reading

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June 25, 2019

For decades, the New Jersey-based party supply retailer Party City has relied on balloon sales to keep it afloat. Doing so requires a plentiful supply of helium, the second-most abundant element in the universe that is nevertheless increasingly difficult to find on Earth. Due to both supply chain and production problems, companies are currently using up helium at a quicker rate than it can be produced. As a result, the skyrocketing price of helium has begun to spoil the fun Continue reading

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