What Ever Happened To Waterbeds?
After a heyday in the late 1980s in which nearly one out of every four mattresses sold was a waterbed mattress, the industry dried up in the 1990s, leaving behind a sense of unfilled promise and thousands upon thousands of unsold vinyl shells.
How Slack Ruined Work
Slack is a particularly “scary offender” in stopping people getting their work done because it encourages them to be constantly distracted. It’s scary because messenger-based systems directly tap into how humans seek to reward themselves, and the long term result is unhealthy.
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 Primal Pleasure And Brutal History Of Sugar
In the Western imagination, sugar is pleasure, temptation, and vice — and in modern history, it is original sin. How a taste for sweetness, developed for survival, became a stand-in for everything good — and evil — about our culture.
A ‘Thrilling’ Mission To Get The Swedish To Change Overnight
“Thrilling” is the word repeatedly used by Jan Ramqvist to describe how he felt about participating in a nationwide mission to get all Swedish motorists and cyclists to change the habits of a lifetime and begin driving on the right-hand side of the road for the first time.
The Secret Behind Coca-Cola’s Marketing Strategy
Coca-Cola is the biggest non-technology company in the world. Originally only selling 7 servings a day, the company has grown slightly, at an estimated rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. What’s the secret behind their success?
Spanish Flu: A Warning From History
Celebrations marking the end of the First World War were cut short by the onslaught of a devastating disease – the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. The University of Cambridge has made a new film exploring what we have learnt about Spanish Flu, the urgent threat posed by influenza today, and how scientists are preparing for future pandemics.
The Man Who Walked Backward
When the Great Depression put Plennie Wingo’s bustling Abilene, Texas, cafe out of business, he tried to find fame, fortune, and a sense of meaning the only way he knew how: by embarking on an audacious trip around the world on foot. In reverse.
The World’s Oldest Winery in Armenia
The Areni-1 complex, uncovered in 2007, contains a 6,100-year-old winery replete with fermenting vats, a grape press, and subterranean clay storage vessels. Altogether, it’s the best-preserved archeological site in the ongoing search for winemaking’s birthplace.
The Ticking Time Bomb In America’s Downtowns
The sad state of office buildings could cause something called the “doom loop.” $1.5 trillion in commercial real estate debt, is owed to banks, pension funds, and insurance companies before the end of 2025, and secured by properties that may not be worth what they were five or 10 years ago when those loans got made.
I Stumbled Across A Huge Airbnb Scam That’s Taking Over London
As the short-term rental goldrush gathers pace, Airbnb empires are being rapidly scaled and monetized. This is the curious tale of a man called Christian, the Catholic church, David Schwimmer’s wife, a secret hotel and an Airbnb scam running riot on the streets of London.
Why 40% Of Vietnamese People Have The Same Last Name
The 14 most popular last names in Vietnam account for well over 90 percent of the population. The 14 most popular last names in the US? Fewer than 6 percent. In Vietnam, the most popular last name is Nguyen.
Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn
A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.
How The 0.001% Invest
Global finance is being transformed as billionaires get richer and cut out the middlemen by creating their own “family offices”, personal investment firms that roam global markets looking for opportunities.
My Summer Internship At Google Turned Me Off Silicon Valley Forever
Silicon Valley has much to offer the world. Life-altering technological innovations have been emerging from this region for years. But it’s not the place for me, a young queer Black woman who wants to do much more than work on ad software.
How Campbell’s Soup Changed Tomatoes’ DNA For The Worse
The perfect tomato to eat is red, plump, juicy, and bursting with flavor. When mass-produced, tomatoes also have to be easy to remove from the vine. That is why the Campbell Soup Company cultivated a variety with a genetic mutation more than a half-century ago.
The Most Common Type Of Incompetent Leader
Research shows that absentee leadership is the most common form of incompetent leadership. Absentee leaders were promoted into management, and enjoy the privileges and rewards of a leadership role, but avoid meaningful involvement with their teams.
The Last Ditch Attempt To Save The USSR, August Coup Of 1991
One of the most important events in the decline and fall of the USSR was the August Coup of 1991 which saw its Vice President attempt to overthrow its president, Mikhail Gorbachev. It didn’t go too well and was hastily planned but the fact that it ended peacefully is frankly nothing short of miraculous.
Goldman Sachs, Patagonia, And The Mysteries Of “Business Casual”
The importance of the Patagonia vest is that it is both an evolution of the business-casual costume and a reversion to the waistcoat of the ancient three-piece suit. “Business casual” is less a style of dress than an enigmatic language of power.
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?
“Balloonfest”, The Spectacle That Became A Tragedy
In September 1986, the city of Cleveland attempted to set a special record: the simultaneous launch of 1.5 million balloons. But fate intervened, and the result was both crazier and more tragic than anyone could have imagined.