Drag Me to Health Care Reform

The more you ignore health care reform, the closer it gets to happening. This weekend, the big important bill passed by a very narrow margin in...

The more you ignore health care reform, the closer it gets to happening. This weekend, the big important bill passed by a very narrow margin in the House of Representatives. Now that big important bill has moved into the Senate, where it and two other bills of equal bigness and importance will have their details hammered out before merging into one super bill-if Joe Lieberman can't filibuster it to the end of time, that is.So far, there's been quite a bit of outcry over the socialist implications of the House-approved bill, but it's not just coming from the GOP. Slate-writer William Saletan's "Semi-Private Womb: Selling out abortion rights for health care reform" has the lowdown on why Naral Pro Choice America and Planned Parenthood are up arms about the choice Pelosi made to compromise on abortion.There's something poignant about the last-minute outrage of the pro-choice groups. The complaints they're leveling-that people had more choices in the private market, that the House bill radically upsets this market, and that it violates Obama's promise not to deprive anyone of their existing coverage-are hardly novel. Republicans have issued such warnings all year. But liberals didn't pay attention until the coverage in jeopardy was abortion. ...When you throw in your lot with other people and agree to play by the same rules, you surrender some of your freedom and risk losing some of your options. Sometimes it's coverage of an MRI or a hip replacement. Sometimes it's coverage of abortion. If that's the price of health care reform, are you willing to pay it?The question is fair, and well put. I just don't know how to answer it.Meanwhile, in what seems like a kind of awesome move, the White House has posted its talking points on the subject of health care reform here. "We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day," they explain on the site. The takeaway is that we're really close to monumental reform, and the President is urging the Senate to act swiftly to pass a health care bill.Unsurprisingly, that plea is falling the deaf ears of some senators, like South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, who says reform is totally DOA in the Senate. We, however, are neither senators nor Lindsey Graham, and remain optimistic that some type of reform will pass. What remains to be seen is what that bill will include (or exclude). For a summary of the different versions of the bill (from the House, the Senate Health Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the White House) and where they now stand, check out this infographic. Godspeed.

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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