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19 things I trust with women's health more than this room full of men.

Where are the ladies at?

The future of health care in the U.S. hangs in the balance, but there's no need to worry. After all, we have top men working on it right now — emphasis on "men."

As the House of Representatives works on crafting a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, the internet couldn't help but notice just how overwhelmingly male the bill's architects seem to be.

For example, take this photo of Vice President Pence meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus:

Women make up half the population and will almost certainly feel the effects of whatever bill gets passed "bigly," which makes it kind of weird that there aren't any women involved in this conversation.

A group of men deciding what's best for women makes about as much sense as leaving these types of choices in the hands of...

1. This ferocious beast


Photo via iStock.

2. A bundle of twigs

Photo via iStock.

3. A litter of puppies

Photo via iStock.

4. A single ripe banana

Photo via iStock.

5. A flock of seagulls

Photo via iStock.

6. A Flock of Seagulls (the band)

Photo via Everett Collection.

7. A pile of pencils

Photo via iStock.

8. The 1973 Miami Dolphins

Bob Griese of the Dolphins takes a snap during Super Bowl VII. Photo by Tony Tomsic, via AP.

9. These hardworking deer at the office

Photo via iStock.

10. A rock band of grandmas

Photo via iStock.

11. This business pug

Photo via iStock.

12. This elephant on a tightrope

Photo via iStock.

13. Robots

Photo via iStock.

14. A child riding a farm animal

Photo via iStock.

15. A small fish with big ambitions

Photo via iStock.

16. These rebellious children

Photo via iStock.

17. A bowl of mashed potatoes

Photo via iStock.

18. This family trying to make sense of a hospital bill

Photo via iStock.

19. Or a pool floaty.

Photo via iStock.

(If only there were some women in Congress who could have been consulted...?)

Nah. They'd probably be too emotional about it. 65 House Democratic women elected to the 114th Congress gather for a photo on Jan. 7, 2015. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Leaving women out of the negotiation process is especially egregious given that one of the main issues being discussed in that photo above was whether to gut things like maternity and prenatal care.

The Affordable Care Act considers these services "Essential Health Benefits" (EHBs), a term that includes things like maternity and prenatal care as well as preventive care like mammograms and Pap tests and, you know, just a bunch of things that pretty directly affect a whole lot of women.

Earlier this month, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois) lamented the fact that EHBs mean men have to purchase plans that cover prenatal care. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) sarcastically joked, "I sure don’t want my mammogram benefits taken away," when asked about the possibility of scrapping the EHB requirement. (He later apologized.)

Image from CNN/YouTube.

Essential Health Benefits are way important, people! If we're going to be redefining what "essential" means, that debate has to  be open to more than just a handful of guys.

Over the coming days, weeks, and maybe even months, our members of Congress are going to be considering things like this (and much, much more). And while there's nothing we can do to influence who's in "the room where it happens," we can all use our voices in other ways. For instance, you can call your representative to let them know they should leave EHBs alone, using a service like 5 Calls. Or you can fax your members of Congress using Resist Bot to let them know you're not on board with a plan that will bump as many as 24 million people off their insurance.

It's up to all of us to make our voices heard. After all, if you're not OK with the business pug making decisions about your health care, then what makes a room full of men any more qualified?

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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There's not a woman alive who hasn't suffered through an unwanted come-on from a creep. Some women are so afraid of these encounters they feel they can't be as nice to men as they'd like, for fear their friendliness will be mistaken for flirtation.

One woman's encounter with a creepy come-on has received over 110,000 likes on Twitter because of her flawless response.

Twitter user @LovableAndKind recently shared screenshots from a text exchange between her sister and a Jiffy Lube employee who found her phone number and sent her an unsolicited text.

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

If you ever cook with fresh garlic, you know what a challenge it can be to remove the cloves from the skin cleanly, especially if you're starting with a full head.

There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

But none of these methods come close to the satisfaction of watching someone perfectly peeling an entire head of garlic with a pair of tongs.

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Howie Hua shares helpful math tips and tricks on social media.

Math is weird.

On the one hand, it's consistent—the solutions to basic math problems are the same in every country in the world. On the other hand, there are multiple strategies to get to those solutions, and it seems like people are still coming up with new ones (much to the chagrin of parents whose kids need help with homework using methods they've never learned).

Math professor Howie Hua shares math strategies that make math easier on social media, and his videos are fascinating. Hua, who teaches math to future elementary school teachers at Fresno State, demonstrates all kinds of mental math tricks that feel like magic when you try them.

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Casette tapes, film cameras and landlines were a big part of the pre-2000 world.

There have been a few momentous changes since the dawn of the new millennium, creating an invisible line between those born before and after. The big events that forever changed culture are the creation of the smartphone, dawn of social media and terror attacks on 9/11.

People who were born in 1999 or later have, for the most part, lived in a world where they were either too young to know what life was like before these events or weren’t born yet.

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Photo by Lisa Therese on Unsplash

The word "jumbo" literally comes from an elephant.

The evolution of language is fascinating, and the etymology of specific words can be a fun little trip through human history as well as human creativity.

Many English words are derived from Greek and Latin, but other European languages make up a good chunk of our language as well. The roots of some words can surprise us, and so can the way certain words came to be. And in some cases, what we don't know can be just as surprising as what we do.

Enjoy diving into the history of 15 words we use every day.

1. Dog

Dog is often one of the first words babies learn to say, and it's one of the first kids learn to spell. But don't let its simplicity fool you. This word is truly a mystery.

The word "dog" comes from dogca, a very rarely used Old English word, but how we started using it as our everyday name for canines, no one knows. "Its origin remains one of the great mysteries of English etymology," according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Even more interestingly, no one knows the origins of the Spanish word for "dog" ("perro"), nor do they know the origins of the Polish ("pies") or Serbo-Croatian ("pas") words for our canine friends, either. Who knew dogs were so enigmatic?

2. Nightmare

It's obvious where "night" comes from in "nightmare," but what about "mare"? Surely, were not referring to a female horse here.

Horse, no. But female, yes. Female goblin, to be precise. In Old English, mare means "incubus, nightmare, monster; witch, sorcerer." And "nightmare" started being used around 1300 to refer to "an evil female spirit afflicting men (or horses) in their sleep with a feeling of suffocation." Yikes. Thankfully, now it's just any old bad dream.

3. Jumbo

We've all seen animals named for words with certain meanings, but here we have the opposite. The word "jumbo" came from a large elephant who lived at the London Zoo. Zookeeper Anoshan Anathjeysari named him "Jumbe," the Swahili word for "chief." But his status as one of the largest African bush elephants in Europe in the 19th century caused his nickname, Jumbo, to become synonymous with enormousness.

muscular man exercising

Run, little mouse, run.

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

4. Muscle

The Latin word musculus means "little mouse." As hilarious as it sounds, they thought the movement of muscles looked like little mice scurrying under the skin, hence the origin. Kinda ick to think about, but also logical, so here we are.

5. Quarantine

Ah, a word with which we are all familiar, thanks to COVID-19. But do we know what it really means?

If you understand roots, you may guess that "quar" might have something to do with the number four, and you'd be right. In Latin, quadraginta means a period of 40 days. Our usage of "quarantine" to mean isolation from others comes from the Venetian policy of ships coming into port from plague-stricken countries in the late 1300s to remain in port for 40 days before letting people off. The usage to mean any period of time in isolation began being used in the 1600s.

6. Mortgage

Most of us grow up not really understanding what a mortgage is until we buy our first house, but even then, most of us don't know what the word literally means. It comes from Old French, mort gaige, literally meaning "death pledge."

HAHAHAHAHA. Death pledge. Mortgage. That's funny.

However, it doesn't mean you're tied to the debt til you die, even if it feels like it. The death part means the deal dies either when you pay it off or when you become unable to pay. Doesn't really change the fact that it feels a bit like you're signing your life away when you buy a house, though.

ball of yarn

What does a ball of yarn have to do with "clue"?

Photo by Philip Estrada on Unsplash

7. Clue

Oddly enough, "clue" comes from a misspelling (or alternate spelling from before standardized spelling was a thing) of the word "clew," meaning a ball of yarn.

The word itself comes from German, but its usage points to the Greek myth in which Ariadne gives Theseus a ball (or clew) of yarn to help him escape the labyrinth. Now we use it to refer to anything that helps us solve a mystery.

8. Nice

The word "nice" is nice and simple, right? It's the most basic word we use for "pleasant," a definitively positive word. But this seemingly simple word has been through quite the trek in its etymology.

From the Latin nescius, meaning "ignorant, unaware," it was used to mean "timid" or"faint-hearted" before the year 1300. A couple hundred years later, it had morphed to "fussy, fastidious" or "dainty, delicate." In another 100 years, it changed to "precise, careful." Tack on another few hundred years and we're at "agreeable, delightful," and from there it was only short jaunt to "kind, thoughtful."

What a nice journey from insult to compliment.

9. Shampoo

I would have bet money that the word "shampoo" was French in origin, but nope. It's Hindi, coming from the term champo, and the original meaning was "to massage, rub and percuss the surface of (the body) to restore tone and vigor." It's only been used to refer specifically to lathering and washing out strands of hair or carpet since the mid 1800s.

10. Torpedo

Literally Latin for a stingray. As in the marine animal. That comes from the root word torpere, which means "be numb," since a ray's sting can numb you. It doesn't become the word for a propelled underwater explosive until the last couple hundred years.

11. Ambidextrous

We know that left-handedness was seen negatively throughout much of human history, but even the word that means "able to use both hands equally" has a right-handed bias baked into it. The medieval Latin ambidexter literally meansliterally means "right-handed on both sides."

Isn't English fun?