February 2, 2017

FaceMePLSFor many cyclists, the worst thing about owning a bike is getting it repaired. In the best case scenario, a person must buy a bulky, expensive rack for their car, load the bike, and then drive it to a local shop. If you don’t own a car, though, that means you’ll either need to grab a ride with a bike rack-owning friend or walk your wheels to the nearest repairman.

Or if you’re lucky enough to live near a Velofix Continue reading

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January 31, 2017

WilliamMurphyFor years American Apparel seemed poised to become the next big fashion brand. Their simple but bold cotton clothing and suggestive advertisements catapulted the company to a $1 billion valuation in 2007. A decade later, however, American Apparel filed for bankruptcy and sold its assets to a Canadian firm for just $88 million. Along with shuttering its 110 stores, the company also lost its famed garment factory in Los Angeles.

This production facility was one of American Apparel’s best assets Continue reading

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November 10, 2016

When a group of Australian special effects artists were having trouble finding work, they decided to pool their resources together and create their own animatronics company. Most had planned to return to working on movies and television once they’d made a splash with their enormous, lifelike representations of dinosaurs and monsters. But Creature Technology wowed the world with their creations, leading to the bustling and almost magical workshop shown in the video below.

Questions:

 

  1. Why must Creature Technology keep Continue reading
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November 4, 2016

MartinThomasFrom short essays to lengthy term papers, college students are no strangers to writing. Matters don’t change much once they graduate to the business world: internal memos, progress reports, and a seemingly endless amount of emails constitute the daily tasks of many office employees. According to a recent study of businesspeople who write at work, an average of 22 percent of their time is spent reading. Unfortunately, the quality of the work that passes their desks is often clumsy or Continue reading

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November 3, 2016

DanPhifferSince its founding in 1973, the outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has strived to make quality goods in an ethical manner. This combination of strong values and superior products has allowed the company to grow into an $800 million brand. But over the years Patagonia has run into a number of roadblocks in their quest to “build the best product” and “cause no unnecessary harm.” For example, in 2010 an animal rights group revealed that the company had been buying goose Continue reading

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November 1, 2016

MarkOhIn April 2013, more than one thousand Bangladeshi garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history, the tragic event led to worldwide condemnation of many Western clothing companies. After all, brands like H&M, Walmart and Zara had long pushed producers in Bangladesh’s growing garment industry to make clothes faster and cheaper. While this allowed retailers to set low prices at their stores, the focus on efficiency forced Bangladesh’s factories Continue reading

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October 27, 2016

Although the world’s population is always increasing, the physical size of the globe stubbornly remains the same. As a result, humans might soon face a shortage of some key resources, including food with high protein content. But here’s where the humble cricket hops in: while many Americans may consider them pests, crickets can be a nutritious and environmentally sustainable food source. This video takes a look at the ways one cricket farm operates and how its owners hope to market Continue reading

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October 25, 2016

MicheleM.FIsraeli entrepreneur Yekutiel Sherman had a great idea for a product: a selfie stick that folded seamlessly into the back of a smartphone’s case. He spent a year carefully designing his idea, producing prototypes and securing small investments from family and friends. By December 2015 Sherman launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to finish funding the item, now called Stikbox. But while the project immediately attracted investors, his popular crowdfunding campaign also caught the attention of Chinese bootleg manufacturers. Within Continue reading

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October 18, 2016

LindsayHolmwoodThe grisly nature of the meat industry practically ensures that the business will never be pretty. Still, conditions in a slaughterhouse can always get worse if management marginalizes their workforce. According to the global development agency Oxfam America, that’s precisely what’s happening at a number of U.S. poultry plants. In facilities owned by big names like Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrim’s Pride, workers complained that superiors regularly denied them bathroom breaks. Some even reported wearing diapers while working on the line. Continue reading

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September 23, 2016

Although drone deliveries are still a few years away from becoming a reality, automated machines are already having a big impact in other parts of the supply chain. This short but visually rich video takes a look at the robots made by a company called Symbiotic and the ways that they have streamlined operations at a grocery warehouse.

Questions:

  1. What makes Symbiotic’s robots more efficient than human workers?
  2. Will worker robots from companies like Symbiotic eventually replace human labor?
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