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 18, 2023

For years, many major companies have depended on noncompete clauses to hang on to their most talented employees. These binding agreements prohibit individuals from taking jobs at similar firms or from striking out on their own for a specified period of time. Companies claim that they insert noncompete clauses into employee contracts in order to ensure the safety of trade secrets and other confidential data like consumer lists or contact information. According to a recent proposal from the Federal Trade Continue reading

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January 11, 2023

As the post-pandemic economic recovery slows down, many companies are looking to trim their bottom lines through restructuring and layoffs. Unlike in previous downturns, however, professional employees have largely been on the receiving end of these job cuts. The video below examines why white collar workers are more likely to receive a pink slip than their blue collar brethren.

Questions:

  1. Why are white collar workers facing a disproportionate amount of layoffs as the economy slows down?
  2. How can the strong 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 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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November 9, 2022

Tesla owner Elon Musk has never been shy about seeking the spotlight, and for years he could always find an easy audience by talking to his Twitter following of more than 100 million people. Even that level of attention wasn’t enough for the world’s richest man, however, who purchased the social network outright at the end of October for a whopping $44 billion. That gargantuan price tag now ranks as history’s largest leveraged buyout of a tech firm, although it 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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October 7, 2022

This fascinating video takes a close look at the painstaking process for making oboes, a woodwind that stands out as one of the most expensive instruments in any orchestra. The artisans depicted below must contend with costly and dwindling supplies as well as limited demand from a small and selective market, factors that make this specialty business even more complicated.

Questions:

  1. Why are the material costs for oboes so high compared to other instruments like flutes and clarinets?
  2. How does Continue reading
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September 7, 2022

Last week, California’s legislature passed a bill that will bring sweeping changes to fast food chains operating in the state. After being signed into law by the governor on Monday, the new legislation effectively sets a minimum wage for the industry while also establishing new safety and anti-discrimination requirements. California will create a 10-person council composed of restaurant workers and employer representatives along with two state officials, who will all review pay and safety standards across the state’s restaurant industry. Continue reading

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September 2, 2022

Last year, the Danish building-block company Lego earned more than 7 billion euros in sales, making it far and away the top toymaker in the world. Once on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 2000s, Lego turned things around when it focused exclusively on construction bricks along with licensed sets based on popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter. Now the company’s dominance extends even into the offices of the world’s biggest corporations as part of team-building exercises Continue reading

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