Another Health Care Money Saver: Empathy

While everyone's focused on preventative care and electronic records as ways of reducing health care costs, David Rakel, a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, found evidence that empathy has concrete benefits (surprise!). From the BPS Research Digest:David Rakel and colleagues have found that patients who rate their doctor as highly empathic recover more quickly from a cold. Their illness is shortened by about a day-the same effect shown by the most promising anti-viral drugs. But a doctor's empathy, unlike the anti-viral, doesn't trigger nausea and diarrhoea.I happen to think empathy is valuable in and of itself, but it's nice to to be able to show the Jack Donaghy types out there that it actually saves money too. The end of the article features this circumspect observation:"This finding is in need of replication," the researchers concluded. "Until then, including empathy in the clinical encounter has little potential for harm and has positive influences that extend beyond the medical consultation."You can't fault them for leaping to conclusions.

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

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For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

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via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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