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Steady decline of oil tells a deeper trend line

As we put the final touches on the fall 2014 edition of the Trends Journal, the markets were beginning to show significant declines and erratic performance. As we reported this summer, the decline in oil prices was a significant sign of economic weakening in some sectors. In fact, Brent crude was trading at the lowest...


Rally for peace at the oldest intersection in America

We are living in the new age of endless war, endless suffering and endless spending in the service of destruction. This new age has seen the US urgently wage war in other countries to rebuild those nations while America’s infrastructure rots and its citizenry grows more cynical, unhealthy and divided. The notion of rebuilding America...


2014 holiday shopping season 
a study in contrasts

In case you haven’t noticed, the 2014 holiday shopping season has begun. The chains began decorating stores in September, even before back-to-school season concluded, while digital, clothing and toy product lines were methodically rolled out. Any reading of retail industries’ projections suggest lessons learned from missteps in recent years and some familiar trend lines holding...


Slaughter in the newsroom

With very few exceptions, major newspaper companies, especially in the US, have not made investments in their newsrooms for years. The notion of developing new content and expanding real reporting to improve financial performance is out the window. And you should care, because while biased coverage may appear to be the biggest problem, it can...


Aging Boomers need more 
healthy-living advice, products

As we have tracked for several years now, the fact that aging boomers are seeing modern medical science tagging more years on their lives has both positive and negative undercurrents. With more time and greater economic need to make their lives useful, productive and creative deep into the golden years, the Boomer Renaissance is now...


Traditional batteries 
are getting a 
powerful makeover

Batteries run a world of devices, from wristwatches to electric cars. But they store relatively little energy, often are made with rare or toxic metals, and most can’t be recharged more than a few times. Alcoa and battery maker Phinergy have developed a feather-light battery that uses aluminum and air as the electrical poles with...


For this couple, a trend arrives ahead of its time

With an ease and certainty not easily challenged, 94-year-old June Blum remarks, “aging has come of age. I am skipping old age, but I’m certainly not skipping life.” She would know. To spend any time with June and Stanley, her painter/poet husband of 73 years, is a deep journey into how dramatically different the concept...


Can postal banking deliver?

In 1911, following yet another financial panic, United States banks had a dodgy reputation. So, the trusty U.S. Postal Service began offering savings accounts and other financial services, backed by the government’s full faith and credit. Deposits reached $1.2 billion during the Great Depression. But the teller windows closed in 1966 when banks were offering...

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