Erskine Bowles (left) and Alan Simpson head the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Its unofficial motto may be that "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" will stop mail deliveries, but the digital age has been challenging for the Postal Service as people e-mail, text and fax to communicate. Kelly Etzel/AP/Cedar Rapids Gazette hide caption

itoggle caption Kelly Etzel/AP/Cedar Rapids Gazette

Whose child wouldn't like to help puppies learn to swim? The Barbie Puppy Swim School could be one of this year's top-selling toys. Oli Scarff/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The price paid to farmers for a bushel of corn averaged $4.78 in October, up from $3.61 in the same month last year. Danny Johnston/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Danny Johnston/AP

Truck supervisor Bernard Levey with his family in front of their home in the then-new Levittown, Pa., housing development in 1950. Bernard Hoffman/Time Life/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bernard Hoffman/Time Life/Getty Images

A stretch of I-95 near the Newark Airport in New Jersey. Timothy Bell For NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Timothy Bell For NPR

A shopper browses clothing at an Aeropostale store in Paramus, N.J. For retailers, the back-to-school shopping season is the second most important of the year, after Christmas. hide caption

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China has targeted the coastal city of Dalian as a high-tech innovation hub. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/Getty Images