Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - June 27

Healthcare, Medicaid

“We lose money on every Medicaid patient who walks through our door, whether it’s inpatient or outpatient. That’s the cost of health care. If they were truly interested in the question of why is our system so expensive, this would be a bill about how we move away from fee-for-service medicine, in which physicians and hospitals get paid for everything they do, and moving more toward value and risk, in which patients, providers are all aligned, such that everyone wants you t
o stay well and out of the hospital.

We would have more incentives for readmission penalties. We would have incentives for shorter stay. We would have more incentives to bring care to a less expensive place, like the ambulatory setting. But those issues aren’t being addressed in this bill.”

Education, Libraries
Chun’s district is at the forefront of a national movement to turn K–12 librarians into indispensable digital mavens who can help classroom teachers craft tech-savvy lesson plans, teach kids to think critically about online research, and remake libraries into lively, high-tech hubs of collaborative learning—while still helping kids get books.

The stereotypical library can seem like a vestige, making it an easy target when budgets are tight, according to Mark Ray, Vancouver’s director of innovation and library services, “but we want libraries to be the lynchpin of education transformation.” Ray heads up Future Ready Librarians, part of Future Ready Schools—a network for sharing education technology solutions, which is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.–based education advocacy group.

In many parts of the country, school librarians are endangered species, with their numbers dwindling near extinction in districts such as Philadelphia and Chicago. In fact, about a decade ago, Chun’s district was on the verge of letting a slew of librarian jobs stay vacant in the wake of staff retirements. A coalition of teachers, parents, and community members intervened to save the jobs, including Ray, a school librarian at the time, who convinced district leaders to repurpose librarians to make them more relevant. 

Energy, Technology

The notion of an artificial leaf makes so much sense. Leaves, of course, harness energy from the sun to turn carbon dioxide into the carbohydrates that power a plant’s cellular activities. For decades, scientists have been working to devise a process similar to photosynthesis to generate a fuel that could be stored for later. This could solve a major challenge of solar and wind power—providing a way to stow the energy when the sun is not shining and the air is still.

Many, many investigators have contributed over the years to the development of a form of artificial photosynthesis in which sunlight-activated catalysts split water molecules to yield oxygen and hydrogen—the latter being a valuable chemical for a wide range of sustainable technologies. A step closer to actual photosynthesis would be to employ this hydrogen in a reduction reaction that converts CO2 into hydrocarbons. Like a real leaf, this system would use only CO2, water and sunlight to produce fuels. The achievement could be revolutionary, enabling creation of a closed system in which carbon dioxide emitted by combustion was transformed back into fuel instead of adding to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

This is one of the top 10 emerging technologies in 2017 highlighted in Scientific American's special report. Read more HERE.


“Park walks and relaxation exercises were related to increased concentration in the afternoon and thus might have potential in maintaining productivity throughout the working day,” she argues.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that workers benefit when they take a restorative break mid-day. So, put on those walking shoes and head to a park or meditate at lunch—even if you only have 15 minutes.

Travel, Adventure

Check out the slides show for 15 epic experiences—from surfing an active Nicaraguan volcano to sleeping underwater in Dubai—will take you all over the world. Whether you travel in search of adventure or go looking for luxury wherever you roam, you’ll break away from the mundane with these real-life travel fantasies run by outstanding outfitters. 

I particularly like #8: Tango like a local in Buenos Aries

No comments: