Companies can now test complex service and product prototypes by employing stagecraft, an approach that uses the "tricks of theater and film" to give the illusion of the real thing, according to the Harvard Business Review.

How it works: When the Department of Homeland Security used stagecraft to test equipment for first responders, it used projections, dummies and mockups, and had real EMTs simulate situations in which they would use the equipment.

Why it matters: Stagecraft can help test prototypes that otherwise wouldn't be safe to test. In the case of EMT equipment, "real-life testing was impossible; a poor prototype could endanger human lives."

Cheaper and faster: The HBR reported this approach costs "thousands" compared to the "millions" needed for traditional tests. Additionally, allowing customers to test the "real thing" keeps companies "from going too far down a wrong path" in development.

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Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.