October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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October 16, 2018

The Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has steadily grown into an international brand known for its inexpensive but stylish designs. As you might expect, maintaining this image requires the company to strike a delicate balance between creating interesting products and keeping costs low. That’s why Uniqlo recently announced that robots have replaced 90 percent of the staff at one of its warehouses.

Along with drastically cutting costs, the company’s newly automated warehouse will also be able to operate 24 hours a Continue reading

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October 2, 2018

Over the next few weeks, a new crop of TV shows will premiere across the major networks. But not all of these shows will stay on the air for a full season. That’s because broadcasters have long used the fall as a testing ground for new programming. If a show premieres to high ratings and audience acclaim, network executives will likely order more episodes of it. If few people decide to tune in, however, a new show might last one Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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September 7, 2018

Last night, the NFL kicked off its new season with a battle of the birds as the Atlanta Falcons fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. But while Atlanta couldn’t earn a victory on the field, the franchise is certainly a winner in the eyes of many budget-minded fans. That’s because in 2017 the Falcons announced it would make some big changes to concession prices after the grand opening of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Rather than follow the industry’s lead and overcharge customers Continue reading

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September 6, 2018

About a century ago, American manufacturers started stacking their goods on wooden pallets that could then be carried off by forklifts. Taking advantage of these two recent inventions allowed factories to transport products in bulk without making a lot of trips. Not much has changed since then: today more than 2 billion pallets circulate around the U.S. carrying everything from car parts to candy.

Despite its staying power, though, the classic wooden pallet certainly comes with its share of disadvantages. Continue reading

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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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August 23, 2018

For more than a century, Coca-Cola’s immense branding power has centered on its signature soft drink. But with many of today’s consumers switching from sugary sodas to healthier options, the company can no longer rely on its namesake beverage like it once did. So in order to keep up with changing tastes, last year Coca-Cola launched more than 500 new drink brands across the globe. “There are products out there in the world that perhaps we wouldn’t have tried a Continue reading

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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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August 17, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat eggs that have gone past their “sell-by date,” you are certainly not alone. This video looks at the confusing dates that companies place on food packaging and how they encourage consumers to throw out items that are still edible.

Questions:

  1. Why do companies place sell-by dates on food packaging?
  2. What can companies do to make food date labels more straightforward for consumers?
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