The Big Business Of Loneliness
Capitalism abhors a vacuum, and into this collective social void has stepped a fleet of companies and entrepreneurs selling an end to social isolation. Over the past decade, on-demand connection has become both a big business and a powerful marketing opportunity.
Scientists Create Enzyme That Breaks Down Plastic To Raw Materials
French scientists have discovered a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down plastic for recycling within hours. The plastic-eating enzyme could offer an innovative recycling solution for millions of tonnes of toxic plastic waste material.
How Much McDonald’s Franchise Owners Really Make Per Year
The food at McDonald’s has always sold like hotcakes but once the restaurant started franchising, the world began eating up the brand. But being a franchise owner isn’t as easy, or profitable, as you might think. Buying into a McDonald’s franchise is expensive, between $1 million and $2.2 million.
Couples Living Apart Together And Why It Works
Living apart together has its tangled roots in both the aristocracy and queer culture, and its contemporary branch comprises couples looking to prioritize individualism and moments of intentional solitude as features of longterm relationships, not roadblocks to togetherness.
How Our Home Delivery Habit Reshaped The World
The great trick of online retail has been to get us to do more shopping while thinking less about it – thinking less, in particular, about how our purchases reach our homes. This divorce of a product from its voyage to us is perhaps the thing that Amazon has sold us most successfully.
The History Of George Laurer And The Barcode
A 67 cent packet of gum has ballooned into an enormous industry, and five billion barcodes are scanned each and every day. But how did we get to this point, and who was responsible for the UPC barcode?
In The Race For Cheap Airfare, It’s You vs. The Machine
Travel providers now use artificial intelligence software to re-price their offerings, sometimes dozens of times a day, to maximize revenue. For business and leisure travelers, the result is a variation of the cat-and-mouse game, where travel companies are almost always the cat.
Why I Wanted To Finish My Father’s Life’s Work
My father was among the founders of ‘Decision Science’ in the 1960s and 70s…and spent the last 10 years of his life trying to write a popular book on decision-making for the masses, something that would cement his legacy. Karen Brown recalls the pain and joy of fulfilling a deathbed promise.
The Super-Rich Are Being Scammed On Their Private Jets
Five grand for mystery sushi. Seven for plastic cups. And more fuel than the plane could possibly hold. Such are the deceptions stinging the billionaires and mere millionaires of today’s private jet-set class. In an era of ultra-wealth, reports of shady billing related to private-jet travel are on the rise.
Are You Really The ‘Real’ You?
What rational cogs are turning for people when they change their minds about who they are? Are beliefs about ourselves even the kind of thing we can be rational about, when we’re the ones who make those beliefs true?
Four Japanese Rules To Live Past 100
Okinawa, long known as the island of the immortals, is home to the highest concentration of centenarians in Japan. The village of Kitanakagusuku ranks first in Japanese women’s longevity. What is it about this island that makes its inhabitants live a longer and happier life?
Welcome To Retirement: Lindsey Vonn Confronts Life After Skiing
Vonn is a three-time Olympic medalist with 82 World Cup golds, an internationally renowned comeback artist, and one of the most dominant American athletes of a generation. She is also no longer skiing. So what will she do next?
Buy A Jumper, Adopt A Sheep From This Carbon-Negative Clothing Company
When customers buy a jumper from Sheep Inc., not only do they receive a high-quality product made from the merino wool of sheep from rural New Zealand, but they are also sent regular updates about the very sheep from which their jumper was made.
The Strange Persistence Of First Languages
Czech was the only language I knew until the age of 2, when my family began a migration westward, from what was then Czechoslovakia through Austria, then Italy, settling eventually in Montreal, Canada. Along the way, a clutter of languages introduced themselves into my life.
Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus
In keeping with recent research, both focus and unfocus are vital. The brain operates optimally when it toggles between focus and unfocus, allowing you to develop resilience, enhance creativity, and make better decisions too.
The Pandemic Will Reduce Inequality—Or Make It Worse
A recession is no picnic. A financial crisis leaves wounds that last for decades. A pandemic, though, can sow a unique kind of chaos. The rich got even richer after the Great Recession, but the Great Depression changed the social order.
What Happened When Tulsa Paid People To Work Remotely
Traditionally, cities looking to spur their economies may offer incentives to attract businesses. Tulsa is testing out a new premise: Pay people instead. The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.
The ‘Hidden Mechanisms’ That Help Those Born Rich To Excel In Elite Jobs
Sociologists Daniel Laurison and Sam Friedman have uncovered a striking, consistent pattern in data about England’s workforce: Not only are people born into working-class families far less likely than those born wealthy to get an elite job—but they also, on average, earn 16 percent less in the same fields of work.
Why The Coming Foreclosure Crisis Will Look Nothing Like The Last One
A prominent housing analyst expects hundreds of thousands of defaults next year as mortgage forbearance periods end. At first glance, those projections look bad. On closer inspection, however, this round of foreclosures should be mild in comparison to the financial carnage of 2008 to 2010.
Rubber Tires — A Dirty Business
The booming global tire market is worth billions – but this comes at a high price, both to humans and the environment. Over 50 million car tires are sold each year in Germany alone. But where does the natural rubber for them come from?
How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond The Gym
Physical activity boosts short-term brain function and heightens awareness. And even on days they don’t train — which rules out fatigue as a factor — those who habitually push their bodies tend to confront daily stressors with a stoic demeanor.