Even as Americans shelter-in-place, coffee consumption is up in the first four months of 2020. Why is coffee a drink that is so popular across the globe? The drink was first consumed by Sufi monks in the fifteenth century as part of a religious ceremony, but quickly gained popularity across the Middle East where it then eventually spread to Europe. Viewpoints discusses the complicated history of coffee production and American’s reliance on this caffeine-packed drink.
The Panama Canal was one of the most treacherous builds in modern history. In the late 1800's, the French took on the project and failed. Then, the U.S. took over its construction with a new plan in 1904. The man-made waterway spanning 51 miles took more than a decade to complete and resulted in the deaths of thousands of workers. Why did so many thousands die? What challenges did engineers and laborers face? We answer these questions and more.
The retail giant, Forever 21 was once a prominent leader in the trendy style category for teens and young adults, boasting the latest fashions at bare bone prices. But earlier this month, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy citing decreased sales and increased online competition. For many industry analysts and experts, the recent news has also signaled a shift in consumer shopping habits and the potential decline of fast fashion. We speak with journalist and author Dana Thomas about the fast fashion industry, its negative effects and if consumers are really starting to change the way they shop.
Most of us point to McDonald’s as the founding of fast food as we know it. But the American staple actually began nearly a hundred years ago with two chains, White Castle and A&W. We speak with Adam Chandler, journalist and author of Drive-Thru Dreams: A Journey Through the Heart of America’s Fast-Food Kingdom about the events that fed into the rapid rise of the fast-food industry and how different chains are fighting to stay present and on-trend in today’s competitive restaurant landscape.