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Weekly News Roundup: Aug. 17-21

This week, Americans got crazier and crazier as they "debated" (i.e.
yelled angrily) health insurance reform at various town hall meetings
around the country. Meanwhile, across the ocean at the Track &
Field World Championships, Usain Bolt (who we're pretty sure has some
kind of robotic speed boost implant) broke one of his own world
records. Also this week: Mad Men, the best show on television, returned after a lengthy hiatus, James Cameron revealed the trailer to Avatar to try to wash the bad taste of Titanic out of our mouths and another denomination made the news over issues of sexuality.

Health Care Debate Gets Crazier Every Day

Regardless
of where you land in the whole health care conversation, you probably
agree that some of the "conversation" surrounding the issue has gotten
... well, insane. And that's putting it nicely. The amount of misinformation
surrounding the new health care proposal is astronomical—so far, we've
had things like "death panels," socialism, and "asking questions means
you hate healthy kids" added to the discussion. It's all very
"helpful," of course. Perhaps most shocking of all has been the video
of a woman yelling "Heil Hitler"
to a Jewish man at a town hall meeting. It's unfortunate that a discussion about an important topic is being daily
reduced to such drivel. Maybe Obama should just adopt a plan that
provides health care only to people who don't say insane stuff just to
get on the news.

Mad Men: Making Smoking Cool Again

We've missed the critically-beloved (but criminally-underwatched) show Mad Men
since it ended so many months ago. And now it's back! We won't spoil it
by telling you what happened, but suffice to say: Some time has gone
past, meaning some major characters have gone through some serious life
changes. Instead, here's a list of reasons to watch the show:

1) The most nuanced character in television, Don Draper

2) Everyone looks so cool

3) The commitment to keeping to a realistic timeline is incredible

4) The drama. Oh, the drama

5) It's so much better than Wipeout


Usain Bolt Might Be a Machine Sent From the Future to Protect John Connor

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This week in Germany at the International Track & Field World Championships, the Jamaican sprinter destroyed his previous world record time
in the 200 meter race by 0.11 seconds. The new record stands at 19.19.
This comes only four days after he broke his 100 meter world record
time by the same margin. When a runner makes obliterating his
competition look as easy as Bolt does, there might not be any shame in
everyone else just taking a breather. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church Votes on Ordination for People in Active Same-sex Relationships
Remember when the Episcopalians did this just a couple of weeks ago? Well, now the Lutherans are getting involved.
The Evangelical Luther Church in American (ELCA) is currently meeting
in Minneapolis and among the decisions they're expected to vote on is
the issue of ordaining people in active same-sex relationships. If the
resolution to permit the ordination happens, it would make the 4.7
million member denomination one of the largest yet to allow actively
gay ministers. Observers are unsure if a decision to allow gay clergy
would result in a church split.

James Cameron Might Make a Good Movie Again

Avatar, the new movie from the director of Terminator and Titanic
is supposed to be mind-blowingly awesome. Cameron created a new camera
type made up of two HD-cameras that are supposed to replicate human
depth perception.The film will be released into 3D IMAX. To give viewers a taste of what they might expect, 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Avatar,
gave away tickets to a special, 16-minute trailer of the film to be
shown on IMAX screens. The tickets sold out in less than two days and
the demand crashed the Avatar website. The official (2D) trailer premiered this week, and it looks pretty cool. That's probably because the number of times Kate Winslet says "Jack, I'm flying" is zero.

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