January 20, 2023

This video dives deep into the story of M&S Schmalberg, the last artificial flower factory in the U.S. that crafts beautiful blossoms by hand. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this family-owned business serves everyone from top fashion designers and celebrities to individual clients with personal projects in mind. The video below delves into the history of M&S Schmalberg and its artisanal production methods while also examining the rise and fall of the American artificial flower industry over the span Continue reading

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January 13, 2023

Last week, we looked at how bad weather and an overloaded scheduling system led to disastrous consequences for Southwest Airlines as it canceled more than 13,000 flights over the holidays. But while this disaster could at least be partly blamed on a rough winter storm, airports had no such excuse on Wednesday when a computer outage led to another massive wave of cancellations and delays. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a damaged database file corrupted the agency’s system Continue reading

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January 4, 2023

The end of December is one of the busiest travel times of the year as people rush back and forth from home for the holidays. For travelers who booked trips on Southwest Airlines, though, the season was even more stressful as the carrier canceled more than 13,000 flights in less than a week. The trouble started when a major winter storm swept the country and prevented many pilots and flight attendants from working. Southwest staff usually solve this problem by Continue reading

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December 14, 2022

The members of the K-pop group BTS are more than just entertainers: they’re financial juggernauts who have contributed billions of dollars to the South Korean economy. The video below looks at how BTS leverages their massive global audience to develop lucrative brand partnerships with everyone from McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton. This bonanza of cash might not go on forever, though, with the group announcing they were taking a brief hiatus that could potentially blunt their branding power. 

Questions:

  1. What Continue reading
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December 7, 2022

When Amazon launched the Echo in 2014, both the e-commerce giant and media observers set the bar very high for the smart speaker. One publication likened the voice-assisted machine to something out of Star Trek while others called it the “computer of the future” that would soon be in every home. These predictions seemed reasonable enough as Amazon sold more than 5 million Echos in the device’s first two years on the market. By 2016, the Echo and its voice Continue reading

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December 2, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the knockout stages this weekend, a nerve-wracking time when teams can be eliminated with a single loss. While the tournament’s soccer stars will experience a dramatic increase of tension on the field, the host country Qatar has already faced plenty of global pressure since FIFA awarded them the event in 2010. The Middle East nation has long been accused of using corruption to land the World Cup, leading to a 2015 indictment from Continue reading

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November 11, 2022

The New York bakery Junior’s has been selling enormous cheesecakes to customers since 1950, but 2022 has probably been the toughest year for the company since its founding. Along with examining how a cream cheese shortage and skyrocketing ingredient prices have threatened Junior’s bottom line, this video also examines the company’s history and the intricate production processes for its many baked goods. 

Questions:

  1. How have rising ingredient costs affected Junior’s business? 
  2. What role does automation play at Junior’s Continue reading
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November 2, 2022

The Mississippi River serves as one of the nation’s most vital supply routes, with slow-moving barges carrying everything from agricultural products to oil and building materials. Due to a drastically dry spring and summer, however, the river is running too low at some points to allow vessels to pass through. This video looks at how plummeting water levels on the Mississippi are disrupting the plans of farmers and manufacturers who rely on the river to get their goods to market. Continue reading

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October 28, 2022

After years of unease, this year Americans are approaching holidays like Halloween with a level of enthusiasm not seen since pre-pandemic times. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an amount that is on par with the stats from 2019. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one,” said NRF Continue reading

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October 21, 2022

Earlier this week, we posted a video about a seemingly unremarkable highway corridor in Arizona that turned into a haven for enormous warehouses. Logistics hubs like these are becoming increasingly common around the U.S., from Southern California’s warehouse epicenter in the Inland Empire to multi-million square-foot facilities in Ohio and New York. Satellite images collected over the last 20 years show how warehouses have transformed acres of wide-open space into concentrated networks of huge buildings swarming with workers. In fact, Continue reading

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