October 13, 2017

This light and breezy video takes you to Mcity, a tiny town that serves as the test track for the University of Michigan’s autonomous vehicle research program. Engineers observe closely as self-driving cars learn how to avoid pedestrians and navigate through obstacles in a realistic setting.

Questions:

  1. What is the benefit of testing products like autonomous vehicles in controlled but realistic settings?
  2. Do you think self-driving cars will become a common sight on the road within a few years?
Continue reading...

October 10, 2017

aliman-senaiEach year some 12 million Americans take out a payday loan in order to get cash fast. But just because these borrowers can receive a quick injection of capital doesn’t mean they can pay it back with comparable speed. Many people who take out a payday loan end up drowning in a flood of loan fees and high interest rates. Last year alone the industry collected more than $7 billion in fees from customers. Borrowers can become so overwhelmed by Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 6, 2017

frankieleonTwo years ago General Mills made an admirable announcement when the company pledged to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its cereal brands. The Minnesota-based business noticed that sales of sugary, processed foods had been falling for some time as more consumers turned towards organic and natural options. General Mills figured it could win over these healthy eaters by switching to simpler ingredients. The plan seemed to work at first as the reformulated recipes increased cereal sales by 6 Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 5, 2017

the-doppelgangerThis past summer, more than 68,000 video game fans packed the Los Angeles Convention Center for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (known as E3). For years only industry insiders and media representatives were invited to preview the latest titles and technology at this annual occasion. But in 2017 E3’s organizers opened up the convention to the public in order to involve even more people in what many consider to be gaming’s top event.

That is unless you live in Brazil. Next Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 3, 2017

legosThe last decade has been a good one for the Danish company Lego. After surviving a brush with bankruptcy in 2004, the famous toymaker regrouped and pursued an aggressive sales strategy focused on creating popular product lines. The plan worked as brands like Lego Architecture and the Mindstorms series attracted thousands of fans both young and old. By 2010 profits had quadrupled from the same time two years before. The company has since released two hit movies while continuing to Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 29, 2017

Last week Apple released the iPhone 8, the latest version of its iconic smartphone. The company’s flagship product has brought in billions upon billions of dollars over the years, prompting some to wonder why Apple doesn’t move iPhone production to the U.S. After all, it could definitely afford the increased labor costs that comes with doing business domestically. But as this video shows, looking after the bottom line is far from the only reason why Apple keeps its manufacturing operations Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 26, 2017

drivingEvery day thousands of semi trucks crisscross the country transporting goods from one from place to another. But although big rigs are a key component of the distribution process, these gas-guzzling vehicles have never been particularly efficient. The average tractor trailer gets less than 7 miles per gallon of gasoline, making it one of the least green vehicles on the road. All told, the nation’s approximately 1.7 million semi trucks burn through more than 26 billion gallons of diesel fuel Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 22, 2017

adidasIn 2015 the future was looking bleak for Adidas. The Germany-based apparel company had experienced years of declining sales as they lost market share to Nike’s growing dominance. A new batch of competitors like Under Armour and Skechers took their toll as well, causing Adidas to lose its position as the world’s second most popular seller of sportswear and footwear.

But just as analysts began to write off Adidas as a dying brand, the company set off on a major Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 21, 2017

marketIn malls across the country, food courts act as hubs where shoppers can eat, drink, and take breaks from comparing price tags. Along with sharing a common purpose, these corrals of restaurants and drink stands often serve similar fare, too. After all, walk into any food court and you’re likely to find mainstay chains like Sbarro, Subway and Panda Express alongside a couple of local options.

This dependable if slightly boring structure served retail centers well for decades as shoppers Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 15, 2017

In the 17th century citizens of the Netherlands enjoyed an historic era of art and prosperity known as the Dutch Golden Age. Wealthy merchants spent lavishly on all sorts of luxuries, including a new flower imported from Turkey called the tulip. Demand for tulips reached incredible heights until the bottom suddenly fell out of the market. This short video looks at what many economists consider to be the first market bubble to burst.

Questions:

  1. How does the Dutch tulip craze Continue reading
Continue reading...