Say you're in Midtown Manhattan at rush hour. You need to go a mile uptown, and you can't find a cab. A pedicab, a taxi-bicycle hybrid (like the one in the picture) may not be a bad option.
Riding through the middle of Manhattan on the back of a bike, dodging buses and cabs, feels like the Wild West of transportation options. The pricing feels that way too: Unlike buses or cabs, pedicabs don't charge a set fee. It's whatever the rider and the driver agree to. And, like in the Wild West, innocents often get fleeced.
The overwhelming and endless stream of electronic alerts and messages on our computers, phones and tablets is driving demand for a new kind of summer camp for adults. "Technology-free" camps that force their campers to surrender their gadgets, wallets and that nagging "fear of missing out" — FOMO — are booking up fast.
Former girlfriend Chrissie Shrimpton, who dated Jagger before he was a superstar, sold the hair. It went for about $6,000, which is more than four times what someone once paid for Rolling Stone bandmate Keith Richard's hair.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit agency and its two largest unions have reached an agreement — sort of. The unions are ending the five-day strike that halted commuter-rail service throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. BART and the unions agreed to extend their contracts for a month while negotiations continue.
For at least a millennium, the heart of Britain's commercial and financial industries has been the City of London.
The City is not the large metropolis we know as London. It's much older and smaller. Many call it the Square Mile, though it's not square and a bit bigger than a mile. It's the home to big banks, medieval alleyways and St. Paul's Cathedral. And, for all those centuries, the area has had the same local government with an unusual name: The City of London Corporation.
Why does anyone buy Bayer aspirin — or Tylenol, or Advil — when, almost always, there's a bottle of cheaper generic pills, with the same active ingredient, sitting right next to the brand-name pills?
Matthew Gentzkow, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth school, recently tried to answer this question. Along with a few colleagues, Gentzkow set out to test a hypothesis: Maybe people buy the brand-name pills because they just don't know that the generic version is basically the same thing.
And the Federal Communications Commission has apparently approved a deal giving the Japanese telecom giant SoftBank a controlling stake in SprintNextel, which is the third-largest wireless operator in the U.S. Experts say SoftBank's industry clout should help Sprint become a more robust competitor. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
Some people feel awkward about eating alone in restaurants but a new eatery in Amsterdam has only small tables with single chairs. It requires customers come solo. The restaurant is part culinary endeavor, part social experiment. As its creator says, she wanted to give people "food for thought."
And a remembrance, now. The, a computer visionary best known for inventing the mouse has died. As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, the mouse was just one small piece of what Douglas Engelbart contributed to the development of personal computers.
The Obama administration's decision late Tuesday to postpone the requirement for employers with 50 or more workers to offer health coverage or risk fines has satisfied some key members of the coalition that supported the law.
But the one-year reprieve also raises new questions about the administration's ability to get the huge health law up and running in an orderly fashion. The deadline for the new health exchanges to begin enrolling individuals is Oct. 1.
The next couple of days will bring fireworks, hot dogs — and a new unemployment report.
At least the first two will be fun.
As for Friday's job-market assessment, the Labor Department report likely will show little or no change in the 7.6 percent unemployment rate. "There is still a general weakness in the labor market," says Daniel North, economist with Euler Hermes, a credit insurance company.
In Chinatowns around the country — in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York — a peculiar financial scam is targeting elderly Chinese women.
This so-called "blessing scam" isn't much of a blessing. By asking lots of personal questions, the scammers convince their targets that they face terrible tragedy that they can only avoid if they place their valuables in a bag — and then pray over it. Usually, the victims place their jewelry and money in a bag that the thieves swap out for an identical one. And then the thieves tell the women not to open the bag for days.
In the world of global finance, emerging markets where a hot place for American investors to park their money. The hope was that fast growth in developing economies, like Brazil, Turkey and China, could yield higher returns. But there's been a big shift in recent weeks. Investors have been yanked their money out of the emerging markets in a big way. The unrest in Egypt and protests in Brazil and Turkey are only part of the story.
To find out more, we turned - as we often do - to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal.
MONTAGNE: Toyota, the world's best-selling automaker, is recalling approximately 185,000 vehicles. The worldwide recall is due to a problem with its electric, power steering. It affects Yaris models made between November 2010 to March 2012, and Verso-S models made between August 2010 and August 2011. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
David Green is a man on a mission to drive down the cost of medical devices and health services.
His tactic: Use market forces and slightly tweaked business strategies to make health care accessible to even the poorest people. And he's had some amazing success.
I caught up with Green (no relation to NPR's David Greene) at a company he is launching in Chicago that's taking on the high cost of hearing aids. He's demonstrating how to program his company's new hearing device on a cellphone.
Kyle Fronke inventories the wine in Kahn's Fine Wines and Spirits in Indianapolis last year. Only liquor stores in the state can sell cold beer, and on Sunday, practically all carry out alcohol sales are prohibited.
Credit Darron Cummings / AP
A sign on a window at an Elite Beverages liquor store in Indianapolis lists the store's hours.
When you think summer, you might think of cold beer at a barbecue, maybe a bottle of wine with a Sunday picnic. A lot of people take it for granted that they can just go to the store and pick up alcohol.
Not in Indiana.
While many states have laws restricting liquor sales, Indiana is the only one where you can't buy packaged beer, wine and liquor on Sundays, and it's the only state that regulates alcohol sales based on temperature. Only liquor stores can sell cold beer.
When Mozilla announced a plan to improve its system for blocking third-party cookies, it didn't seem like the kind of thing that would make waves. But it didn't take long for the Internet advertising industry to react — furiously.
A recent spike in mortgage rates has created a new predicament for potential homebuyers: Forge ahead and try to lock in now? Or hold off?
Dhruv Gupta was quoted a 3.5 percent rate in May while searching for a place to buy in the San Francisco area. Less than two months later, he's looking at 5.2 percent for the same loan. But this trend has not deterred Gupta.
"It's a fact of life," he says. "I mean I can't control them, so what do you do?"
Andrea Brearley's kids really want to see Pixar while on vacation. The problem is that the family is staying in San Francisco, and with rail workers on strike, they're having a hard time figuring out how to get to the cartoon-maker's headquarters across the bay in Emeryville, Calif.
Brearley, who lives in Windsor, Ontario, says it's been "scary" trying to figure out an alternative route. "Three different people told me three different buses," she says.
Seafood is generally considered a more healthful choice when dining out — but not if you're battering and deep-frying it and serving it up with hush puppies and onion rings.
And that is precisely why the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition and health policy watchdog group, have named Long John Silver's new "Big Catch" meal the worst restaurant meal in America.
Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Credit Ikea Foundation
Millions of refugees, such as these at the Zataari camp in Mafraq, Jordan, call the canvas tents provided by the UNHCR home. But the tents are hot during the day, cold at night, afford little privacy, and only last about six months. Ikea and the U.N. refugee agency are working together to come up with an alternative.
Credit Muhammad Hamed / Reuters/Landov
...into a temporary shelter that is designed to last up to three years and provide electricity via solar panels.
Europe is in an uproar over revelations that U.S. intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington. The new allegations come from the latest secret U.S. National Security Agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden.