The aftermath of the train derailment is still being felt in East Palestine. The life of the entire community has been disrupted, and the image of the railroad industry has been tarnished. Yet, there has not been real pressure from Washington to prevent further catastrophes. To its credit, the major railroad companies, especially Norfolk Southern responsible for the accident, have taken some measures to improve safety, but accidents have continued to increase along with business volume. What else can be done? Video Spotlight: Ohio Residents Still Suffer Health Issues a Year After Toxic Train Derailment (February 5, 2024, CBS Evening News) This post is based on The New York Times article, [...]
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The use of robots in restaurants continues to expand. For example, Flippy the robot has been around since 2018, flipping burgers. It even worked at Dodger Stadium. Since Flippy’s introduction, improvements to Flippy have been made. Flippy 2.0 has expanded from making burgers to operating fry stations. White Castle plans to install over 100 robot cooks in its kitchens. Flippy is also used by Wing Stop for the last step in the wing making process. Chippy, an iteration of Flippy, makes chips at Chipotle. Another robot, Sippy, fills drinks at Jack In The Box restaurants. Meso, the maker of Flippy, has partnered with other tech companies to create CaliExpress, the [...]
Tesla is opening a 251,000-square-foot warehouse dedicated to regional parts distribution in South Carolina. Tesla cited skilled labor availability, a business-friendly environment, high quality of life, and proximity to 90 million people as the reasons why South Carolina’s Greenville County was chosen as its distribution site. Video Spotlight: Tesla Distribution Center Coming to Upstate (Jan 18, 2024, FOX Carolina News) This post is based on the Teslarati article, Tesla opening new distribution center in South Carolina, by Zachary Visconti, January 20, 2024, and the YouTube video in the spotlight. Image source: metamorworks/Shutterstock Discussion Questions: 1. What is a demand chain and its role in supply chains? Guidance: There are two [...]
After an impressive run, the craft beer industry is shifting gears. Before the pandemic, the industry grew at a fast pace. To keep up with a market thirsty for new tastes and flavors, breweries continuously innovated and released a dizzying selection of beers. When the pandemic hit, tap rooms had to close down. After the pandemic, demand had changed, and breweries had to rethink their strategy. A renewed focus on simplicity rather than variety now seems to be a wiser and more profitable approach to doing business. Video Spotlight: Craft Breweries on the Decline (July 14, 2023, 11Alive) This post is based on The New York Times article, After a [...]
From designer bags to your cup of coffee, counterfeit goods are everywhere. Just like Champagne, you may not call it Kona unless the beans are grown and processed in the Kona District of the Big Island of Hawaii. Unfortunately, labels are deceptive. A Kona blend sold by well-known retailers may contain very little Kona coffee, if at all. Fortunately, better testing methods (see another post for similar improvements) that identify relative mineral concentrations in the samples help distinguish beans grown on Kona soil from those grown elsewhere. Beware of the cheaper blends. As far as Kona beans are concerned, you get what you pay for. Video Spotlights: Big Island Coffee [...]
Judging from the long lines, customers think McDonald’s new brain child, “CosMc’s,” is out of this world! Using a retro character from the ’80’s as the new store mascot, McDonald’s launched the first CosMc’s location in Chicago in December 2023. Customers have been flocking to the new beverage and small snack format store ever since. Ten more locations are slated to open in Texas this year. Video Spotlight: What McDonald's is serving up at its new CosMc's chain (Dec 8, 2023, CBS News) This post is based on the Fox Business article, Customers are flocking to McDonald’s New Chain CosMc’s, But We Were Not Impressed, by Chris Pandolfo, January 25, [...]