The trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange have long been potent symbols of American capitalism. And they used to be as rough and tumble as the city itself, where burly men bought and sold commodities like hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans.
Trading volume has gone up considerably in recent years, but Chicago's trading pits are tamer places today — the result of a revolution futures trading has undergone over the past quarter century. Much of the trading has left the pits and gone electronic.
From breakfast to bedtime, college sophomore Julia-Scott Dawson and her mother, Robin Dawson, exchange a flurry of texts that include I love you's, inside jokes and casual chitchat.
"We talk every day," Dawson says.
"Every day," echoes her mother.
Julia-Scott Dawson is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina, which is just a 15-minute drive from where her parents live. Every week, she shares a Sunday meal with her family and grabs morning coffee with her parents when they can.
"I just love the time I spend with them," Dawson says.
China has welcomed U.S. business expertise for many years as its economy has advanced rapidly. Jim Rogers, a prominent U.S. investor, is shown here in China at the 2nd Hunan Finance Expo in 2011. However, the Chinese are becoming more confident in their own business skills and more critical of American practices in recent years, according to U.S. business executives working in China.
Sara Terry's first clue that something was wrong with her son, Christian, came just three weeks after he was born.
"We went to check on him, just like any parents go and check on their kids just to make sure they're breathing," says Terry, 34, of Spring, Texas. "And we found him in his crib, and he wasn't breathing. He was blue."
She and her husband were horrified. They rushed Christian to the hospital and learned he had several medical problems.
By now, everyone's heard of Kickstarter, the website that lets people with an idea or project ask other people to contribute toward realizing it. It's called crowd funding, and this summer's big success story was musician Amanda Palmer. She raised more than $1 million to produce her new album. But crowd funding doesn't work for every musician every time.