The Weekender: McDonald’s kiosks, sneaky greens + Nashville’s growing pains

Spotlighting what you might have missed on BirdDog and why a few headlines from elsewhere matter for Tennessee.

There’s more happening than in just the U.S. The Hubble space telescope captured “an underlying population of infant stars embedded in the nebula NGC 346 [that] are still forming from gravitationally collapsing gas clouds.” Photo/NASA



New: ACA health insurance market poised for election year revamp

The structure of insurance policies doesn’t make for tantalizing campaign rhetoric so the upcoming shifts in policy on short-term and association plans may not cut deep into voters’ psyche.

But, the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent decision to not defend the ACA’s shielding of pre-existing conditions is likely to strike a chord.

HHS Start-Up Day: Have bespoke, short pitches — and always have an ask




1. McDonald’s to add self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores each quarter

Sarah Whitten, CNBC

McDonald’s is modernizing its ordering options by adding self-order kiosks and rolling out curbside delivery and a mobile app.

The fast food giant is planning to upgrade 1,000 stores each quarter over the course of more than two years. Many of its international locations are already equipped with similar tech platforms.

For many patrons, the mobile app or kiosks at places including Panera and Starbucks has cut down on the face-to-face interaction with employees behind the counter.


2. Remote Rural Hospital Puts Its Fate In Hands of Denver Entrepreneur

Barbara Feder Ostrov, California Healthline

A Denver businessman is taking over a small-town 26-bed hospital in California through its bankruptcy process with the promise of turning it into a “wellness center” with “vitamin infusions, genetic testing, personalized medicine” while keeping its nursing home and emergency room open.

Excerpt: “Some Surprise Valley voters felt they had little choice but to approve the sale: Had they rejected it, the hospital almost certainly would have closed immediately, since no other “white knight” has come forward with a plan to rescue it.”


3. Broccoli coffee: scientists create new way to eat more greens

Australian Associated Press, The Guardian

“Ugly” bunches of broccoli that wouldn’t get stocked were ground into a powder — and a cafe in Melbourne, Australia, is putting it into some coffees. There’s a serving of broccoli in every two tablespoons of the powdered broccoli.

CSIRO, Australia’s science agency, found that 80 percent of adults weren’t getting the recommended vegetables and fruit.

Tennessee eaters, too, aren’t that healthy. Roughly 25 percent of Tennesseans eat less than one vegetable a day, per the Sycamore Institute.

Broccoli and coffee are two of my favorite things to eat — but I’d like them to remain separate.


4. Downtown Nashville Is Supposed to Be the Model of the Walkable 21st-Century City. I’m Not So Sure.

Justin Davidson, New York Magazine

It’s a deft articulation of Nashville’s growing pains.

Excerpt: “The hope that American cities would gradually morph into miniature Manhattans or heartland Copenhagens evaporates as soon as you try walking around Nashville or Phoenix or Louisville. In most of those places, it’s not clear what the word ‘city’ even means.”

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