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Health Care, Food Waste, Vision in Space, and Samurai Exhibit: Houston Matters for Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

A recent interim report from the state Senate Committee on Health and Human Services outlined a number of legislative recommendations to address some of the state’s health care challenges. On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn about the findings in the report and look ahead to what lawmakers might consider during the upcoming 84th […]

A recent interim report from the state Senate Committee on Health and Human Services outlined a number of legislative recommendations to address some of the state’s health care challenges. On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn about the findings in the report and look ahead to what lawmakers might consider during the upcoming 84th legislative session. We welcome your questions for Elena Marks, President and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, and nonresident fellow in health policy at the Baker Institute at Rice University.

Also this hour: According to the EPA, Americans generated 36 million tons of food waste in 2011. Local and statewide efforts to reduce wasted food include trayless dining at Rice University and Keep Austin Fed, a nonprofit that gathers surplus food from commercial kitchens and distributes it to area charities. We look at ways in which schools and the community at large are trying to reduce food waste in the Greater Houston region. We also examine how marketing has encouraged food waste and how Houston consumers can reduce the amount of waste at home.

Then: Research has been conducted in recent years into how space flight can impact astronauts’ eyesight. It’s the focus of a new initiative launched by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. The “Vision for Mars Challenge” is meant to help identify and advance medical technologies for ocular health in space. We discuss the initiative and how this research could also potentially help the vision-impaired here on Earth.

And: The Middle Ages had knights; the Japanese had Samurai. A new exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science features full suits of armor and a collection of katanas — Japanese swords closely associated with the Samurai warrior class. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin talks with Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, Curator of Anthropology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science about the exhibit “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.”

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