One of the surprise movie hits this past weekend was almost entirely in Spanish. Instructions Not Included made an enormous amount of money per screen, more than $22,000, playing in fewer than 350 theaters. The boys in One Direction had the number one film, but they pulled in less than $6000 per screen. That's a huge victory for star Eugenio Derbez, a household name in Mexico, and for Pantelion films, which has been trying to find a Spanish-language hit in the U.S. film market for a few years now.
MONTAGNE: British Airways has announced a new non-stop service five days a week between London and Austin, Texas. The move comes as something of a surprise, considering the airline already serves Dallas and Houston.
The Downtown Container Park will set up budding entrepreneurs in repurposed shipping containers. The park will have 35 containers and a bunch of modular cubes like you'd normally see at a construction site — all to house local businesses.
Let's take a journey in the other direction - across the Pacific to Hawaii, where 15 percent of the energy comes from renewable sources. That's an impressive number. But the rest comes mostly from pricey oil imports. Several energy alternatives are being explored. A top contender is natural gas. But some worry that effort could derail the state's green energy momentum.
The next bed could cost you a lot if the hospital says you're there on observation.
Credit Courtesy Donna Maxcy
Rosalie Winkworth spent four days in the hospital after a fall. After discharge, she went to a nursing home, but because the hospital considered her on observation status, her family had to pick up the bill.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:25 am
If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.
This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.
Sergio Garcia speaks at The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) news conference on Aug. 27. Garcia, 36, is a law school graduate who passed California's bar examination, but he's living in the United States illegally. California State Bar officials have not issued him a lawyer's license because of his immigration status.
South Florida-based Spirit Airlines is known for being cheap. It boasts "ultralow" base fares and then charges for items such as carry-on luggage or printing out your boarding pass at the airport.
That thrift carries over to Spirit's advertising. Even compared with other low-cost airlines, Spirit spends almost nothing on ads. And yet the company makes a surprising splash with its campaigns. A visit to Spirit headquarters reveals the secrets of its marketing.
Only days after Steve Ballmer said he's retiring, Microsoft moved swiftly to acquire Nokia's mobile phone business. The deal signals that Microsoft is committed to a future that relies on mobile devices at least as much as software. Whether that bet succeeds will depend largely on Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, who is returning to Microsoft and is being discussed as Ballmer's potential successor.
A civet cat eats red coffee cherries at a farm in Bondowoso, Indonesia. Civets are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses than to cats.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
A coffee "bean" is actually the seed of a cherry-sized fruit that grows on the coffee plant. Civets eat the whole fruit. The seed is separated from the pulp in the digestive process.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Capitalizing on the fact that civet coffee can fetch a pretty penny, small producers have started farming it. That is, keeping civets in captivity and feeding them coffee fruits once a day.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Civet feces are collected and cleaned for the beans, which are naturally fermented during digestion.
Credit Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images
At a coffee shop in Indonesia, one cup of Kopi Luwak can go for around $9 U.S.
Credit Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP/Getty Images
In captivity, civets don't choose what they eat. "It's unripe and it's robusto," says coffee connoisseur Oliver Strand, dismissing it: "That's of zero interest." Robusto coffee, he explains, is indigenous to Africa, and not what the animal would eat in the wild.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
In the wild, the civet "cat" is naturally drawn to the best, ripe fruits on the coffee plant; that's why, effectively, they would produce the best beans, in small batches.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Much ado about nothing? Left: civet poop coffee beans. Right: a cup of java brewed from the stuff.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:25 am
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.
Update, Sept. 4: We added the audio for David Kestenbaum's radio obituary of Ronald Coase.
If you created the world as a simple economic thought experiment, companies wouldn't exist. Instead, everybody would work for themselves, and they'd be constantly selling their labor (or the fruits of their labor, or use of their tools, or whatever) to the highest bidder. Wages would rise and fall every day (every hour! every second!) depending on supply and demand. That's how the market works, after all.
An endless number of personal finance apps help consumers keep track of their money. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lisa Gerstner of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, about the different options for tracking savings and spending on mobile devices.
Continuing our conversation about personal finance, we just talked about apps like Mint and how people are using them to keep tabs on their personal finances, but Omar Green and his new software company want to take it even further to help you make good decisions about your money. And let's just say you might not need to call mom quite so often. We'll let him explain. Omar Green is the CEO and cofounder of wallet.AI and he's with us now to tell us more. Welcome, thanks so much for joining us.
The uncertain future of American military action in Syria is causing ripple effects in the world market. Host Michel Martin speaks with economic reporter Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal, about the relationship between the Syrian conflict and oil.
Nokia was once the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, the most valuable company in Europe and an icon in its home base of Finland. But the rise of Apple and Android smartphones knocked the company on its heels.
NPR News business news starts with Verizon in total control.
At least for the wireless network. Yesterday, we told you Verizon was on the way to approving one of the biggest deals in the history of the telecommunications business. And now we can tell you the deal is sealed. The company will pay $130 billion in cash and stock to the British company Vodafone to acquire Vodafone's share of their joint wireless venture.
Upstate New York has lugged around the Rust Belt identity for decades now. But today, the region is trying on a new reputation as the king of yogurt — especially the high-protein Greek yogurt that consumers crave.
Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:32 am
Verizon and Vodafone are joint owners of the nation's No. 1 wireless provider Verizon Wireless. Over the weekend, the two companies were in talks to finalize the terms of a $130 billion deal. That's how much Vodafone is asking for its 45 percent stake in the company.
And today's last word in business is: boy band. Because what's better than one teenage heartthrob? Five of them. In 3-D.
The Irish-English pop group One Direction helped Hollywood break a Labor Day weekend record. Their 3-D concert film "One Direction: This is Us" grossed $17 million in its first three days to top the weekend box office. That's a nice take for the Morgan Spurlock music documentary, which cost a modest $10 million to make.
In the grand days of railroad travel, passengers arrived in monumental terminals. There was grandeur, style and comfort — qualities that today's equivalent for long-distance travel, the airport, mostly lack. Especially in the United States.
In a survey of international travelers by the British firm Skytrax, not a single U.S. airport ranked anywhere near the top of the list. Singapore got top honors, while the best the United States could do was Cincinnati's airport — which came in at No. 30.
The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.
When goods arrive in Houston, they may come in containers stacked high on huge ships or strung out on long lines of rail cars. But to get to the customer, those goods need to be put on trucks and driven to their final destinations.
And now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for truckers is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries by trucks shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012.
As Labor Day honors American workers, stress weighs on many. A changing world — and therefore a changing workplace — has many employees on the job and staring at screens for hours upon hours. Some have reached a breaking point.
John Challenger, CEO of workplace consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, diagnoses burnout. He tells NPR's Jacki Lyden stress can manifest emotionally, mentally or physically. "It can be combined with doubts about your confidence or the value of the work you do," he says.