Jeffrey Bronfman, UDV church national vice president; Solar Law, UDV church national president; and Tai Bixby, head pastor of the Santa Fe congregation. Churchgoers participate in a ceremony where hallucinogenic <em>huasca</em> tea is consumed, and some neighbors are trying to block the construction of a UDV temple.
A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian huasca tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.
The Supreme Court confirmed the UDV church's right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. It did, however, agree for the first time to open up to a journalist.
Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.
But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."
Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
This housing model, showcased at the Museum of the City of New York, depicts possible space-saving methods in the city. Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
Credit Jim Zarroli / NPR
Another space-saving housing model showcased at Making Room, the art exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.
New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.
David Beck and Paul Cauthen were both playing music around San Marcos, Texas, when they recognized that it might be a good move to combine their talents and became Sons of Fathers. Actually, they originally went by the name Beck and Cauthen until another, more famous Beck took notice.