April 13, 2021

Spring is in full swing with seasonal showers leading to blooming flowers and growing lawns across the country. But with these idyllic scenes come unpleasant sounds as roaring leaf blowers and rumbling lawnmowers tear through American neighborhoods. Along with raising an almighty racket, these gas-powered machines also emit more pollutants than most cars and trucks. According to California’s Air Resource Board, a commercial leaf blower operating for one hour emits as many contaminants as a Toyota Camery driving for 1,100 Continue reading

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April 8, 2021

Movie theaters across the country closed for months last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then struggled to recover once other businesses began to reopen. After Tenet disappointed at the box office during the summer, other would-be blockbusters like Wonder Woman: 1984 and Raya and the Last Dragon were simultaneously released in theaters and on streaming services. This radical change in distribution made industry observers and uneasy theater owners wonder if moviegoers would continue to remain at home as Continue reading

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March 23, 2021

As the pandemic forced Americans to stay at home a year ago, many people turned to indoor activities like baking, watching TV, and playing video games to pass the time. Sales of products like baking accessories and new televisions increased as a result, but video games skyrocketed in popularity to a degree never seen before. In 2020 Americans spent a record $56.9 billion on gaming, a 27 percent increase from the year before. 

Sony reported a 62 percent jump Continue reading

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March 19, 2021

Last month, we looked at how NBA Top Shot sells digital basketball cards for thousands of dollars through its online marketplace. Since then, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like Top Shot cards have skyrocketed in value, with one viral gif selling for $600,000 while a NFT artwork was sold through Christie’s auction house for tens of millions. This video explains how NFTs operate along with their possible drawbacks. 

Questions:

  1. How did some NFTs come to be worth thousands or even millions Continue reading
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March 16, 2021

The pandemic took a major toll on entertainment and recreational facilities as everything from theaters to gyms were forced to shut down or drastically alter their operations. Although golf courses and tennis courts initially closed in March and April 2020, they soon reopened and welcomed all sorts of new players looking for socially distanced outdoor activities. From June to December 2020, rounds of golf in the U.S. grew by 75 million compared to the same period in 2019, representing a Continue reading

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March 9, 2021

As dining rooms closed across the country in 2020 because of the pandemic, restaurants started focusing their efforts on takeout and drive-thru orders. Many companies added new technology and logistical plans for their takeaway operations that will likely remain in place after the pandemic is over. For instance, Starbucks sent employees with hand-held devices through lines of cars to gather orders quickly and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. New Chipotle locations will feature “Chipotelanes” where customers Continue reading

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March 5, 2021

The wholesaler Costco is one of the most successful retailers in the country due in large part to its unique approach to doing business. This video looks at the strategies that Costco uses to keep prices low while still offering many items in bulk.

Questions:

  1. How does Costco’s membership plan drive its business? 
  2. Why are items at Costco kept on pallets rather than laid out neatly on shelves like in supermarkets?
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March 4, 2021

In recent years, tech giants like Google have faced increasing scrutiny from international legislators and privacy advocates for tracking users across the Internet. Companies take this information and use it to personalize advertising based on someone’s previous browser history. Faced with building opposition to these potentially invasive practices, Google announced this week that it would stop using and investing in tracking technologies. 

“If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how Continue reading

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February 23, 2021

In February 2020 during a regular season NBA game, Lebron James performed a two-handed windmill slam dunk that he afterwards said was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A clip of James’ dunk placed side-by-side with a nearly identical one of Bryant’s from 2001 quickly went viral and can be easily found from multiple sources on YouTube. Then again, you could also do what social media entrepreneur Jack Settleman did in January: pay $47,500 for a clip of the Continue reading

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February 16, 2021

After millions of Americans either lost work or saw their incomes drop during the pandemic, many started side businesses as a way to make up for lost revenue. In fact, last year new business applications increased by 24 percent compared to 2019, reaching their highest level on record. The retail sector comprised 54 percent of new businesses as many people used platforms like Shopify to sell products online. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides entrepreneurs with e-commerce tools that can handle Continue reading

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