Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.
We saw a lot of interesting conversations spring up in the news today, and on topics beyond the main headlines of past days.
1. Randy Travis' arrest
2. Record heat
3. Long waits at the doctor
4. Factory jobs go unfulfilled
5. School sports vs. classes
Here's a look at the variety of topics covered.
Country music star Randy Travis was arrested late Tuesday after being found naked, smelling apparently of alcohol and lying on a remote stretch of roadway in northern Texas just before midnight, authorities said. His mug shot is circulating, and readers are talking about the lives of country singers.
Some talked about the ills of the bottle.
Penny Pinkerton Gearing: "My heart goes out to him as it seems he is having issues with alcohol. I hope that he receives the help that he needs soon before things get any worse and he injures someone (or himself worse than he already has)."
KENNNY: "Now I like Randy Travis' music but my problem is that they all say: 'I'm committed to being responsible and accountable, and apologize for my actions' and then they go out and do it again and again and again while John Doe, who is a 'Regular Citizen' gets the book thrown at him for the same offense. Sooner or later Mr. Travis is going to do what many drunk drivers do and that is he will be involved in an accident that will result in loss of life, either his life, someone else's life or both and it can be avoided. I hope he will get it together before it is too late."
For some, the situation sounded like the fodder for another sad country song.
Prefection: "Coincidentally, his new country single is titled 'Naked, Smelling Apparently of Alcohol and Lying on a Remote Stretch of Roadway in Northern Texas just before Midnight.' "
Snowcat764: "I get the part that he was driving while intoxicated but I think we're all wondering why he was naked."
The photo showing Travis' condition had many feeling a bit sad.
Speakreason: "We have always been fans of Randy's. Hope and pray he'll seek help, as he clearly needs it. Hate to see such a talented guy end up in a mug shot like that."
Bobby62: "Don't you wonder what the hell is wrong with these people? They have fame, money and hopefully a life. Why do this? Party all you want. Have all the fun you can handle. ... But why this? I just can't wrap my brain around it."
Some readers had a bleak outlook after reading this story about July's record-setting heat.
Charles: "In a century, the people on Mars will be sending a rover to see if there is life on Earth."
Some of the commenters discussing the highly contentious subjects of the environment and climate change (or lack thereof) seemed to find some kind of middle ground in their beliefs.
Samson1975: "How about we forget climate change for a moment and focus on cleaning up the Earth anyway? I mean what harm could come out of reducing the amount of pollution we pump into our atmosphere and water? Let me guess. The right-wing nut jobs don't believe in pollution either."
412ctruth: "No, this right-wing nut job wholeheartedly agrees. Knock off the ignorant global warming agenda with all of its trillions of dollar spending and instead just be environmentally responsible. Recycling, alternative energy, conservation, all just make sense. But so does encouraging reasonable sized houses and cars, getting rid of GMO crops and pursuing sustainable agriculture. When we make global warming the issue it makes other issues seem less important when they are not."
Nancy Farm Mannikko: "Agreed. I've never been able to figure out why anyone would be opposed to cleaning up the environment and using finite resources more responsibly."
IReadit3: "Agree. We should be good stewards of the planet. But the religion of global warming has become a cult and is being leveraged to control commerce."
One reader suggested planting a tree.
Danbun: "One aspect that gets missed a lot is that we are cutting down so many trees all over the world that we are losing one of the planet's better ways to absorb excess CO2. Thus, one solution is to plant more. Won't solve the problem by itself, of course, but it could certainly help. The trees I planted around my house 12 years ago now shade it rather well, thus lowering my need to run the a/c. That's a win-win scenario."
iReporter Kami Herriman sent in a photo of her boss' mailbox on Wednesday in Coweta, Oklahoma, which saw triple-digit temperatures in recent days.
"My thought was, well, it's a little too hot to go outside," she said. "It really gave my boss and me something to laugh about."
A few readers chimed in and said they had similar experiences.
Swizzle0211: "One of my neighbors has the same style mailbox and it is bent over so far the mailbox door is only a few inches from the ground."
There was also a bit of discussion about whether the heat had actually caused the box to drop, and a few jokes.
ginalocke: "It's not melting, it's actively rejecting the crazy high electric bill inside! Can't wait for this heat wave to end. Why can't our electric meters melt instead?"
A significant portion of the commenters responding to this opinion article by Dr. Anthony Youn were people who said they are associated with the medical field. There were different perspectives on running an office, both among themselves and with people who said they were writing as patients.
SherriAnn: "I've managed a family practice office for over 14 years. The 'Oh , by the way' is a kicker, for sure. Add in tardiness from patients and you have a deadly combination. My doc likes doing face-to-face medicine, so appointments are made to address the patients' issues. The staff always tries to schedule appropriately, and if an emergency arises, let those in the waiting room know, and offer them the chance to re-schedule. The worst are the patients who request to be the only one being seen. They want us to empty the office for them ... at 5 p.m. No can do, and that has made for some nasty conversations. We try to hold the wait to 10 minutes or less, and make that most of the time. It's a juggling act."
nondicta: "I managed doctors' offices for more than 20 years, including a surgery practice. Offices could schedule patients a lot better than they do, to include spaces for walk-in patients. They don't, because they remain tied to out-of-date scheduling practices, and try to schedule as many patients as possible in a given amount of time (it's called double-booking, just like airlines overbook.) Yes, some patients create their own problems, but if I had a scheduled appointment I would also be pretty upset having to wait on a drunk whose dog bit his lip; he's not going to die and could wait for a while. And yes, doctors do sometimes run late, but there are ways to plan for some problems. If doctors had to refund some of the cost of the visit for excessive wait times, they would have an incentive to do better."
Readers frequently tell us about their experiences with health-related issues. We got an interesting reaction to a recent opinion piece on the very personal struggles of living with Crohn's disease, and now people are telling us about their spider bites as the above-mentioned heat draws forth our arachnid friends.
Some companies say they are having a hard time filling positions because they can't find people with the qualifications needed. Many readers said they were irritated by this claim. Commenters describing themselves as business leaders said things aren't as simple as they appear. The reaction was similar to the divisions seen in the doctor-wait story above.
Anonymous963: "I got a job I was 'under qualified' for several years ago. I have worked my butt off to learn the ins and outs of my job, and now I am the 'come to' person when people have a question: I either know the answer or know who to ask or where to look for the information. I have been a loyal employee for 11+ years. My point is, give people (with a solid work history, but may not have the exact qualifications) a chance to get their foot in the door."
narutogrey: "Every time I hired a person with a solid background but does not meet the qualifications needed, it ends up being a disaster. After being burned a couple of times because I truly felt like the candidate could learn and adapt, I have gone back to hiring people who 100% meet the requirements, and those people are the ones who stay. People like you who can learn on the job are rare. While occasionally someone like you will turn up, it costs a company huge amounts when they hire the wrong person. It is usually much cheaper to keep the position unfilled and wait for the right fit than trying to fill it with just anyone."
The combination of the start of a school year and lingering discussion about science education - given the successful landing of the Mars rover Curiosity – contributed to the passion underlying the reaction to LZ Granderson's latest column. Granderson opined that schools and parents are giving higher priority to junior's athletics than junior's coursework, and argues that the summer start of school sports is symptomatic of this preference.
Noxxia: "We treat athletes like celebrities and scientists like outcasts. What field do we expect our children to put more effort into?"
Are school sports worthwhile?
tenman: "Been saying it for years: 'sports' has NOTHING to do with schools or education and is only a distraction. 'Sports' programs should be deleted at all schools - including colleges. That will be a big start to solving the problem."
magicbishop: "I agree tenman. If a parent wants sports for their kid, take them to the local recreation center, YMCA or private soccer/football league. The only athletic program high school and colleges need is gym class. It is not the school's responsibility to address child obesity. Child obesity is a parent problem. If parents wanted to address obesity a good start is to quit letting the TV raise your kids."
What about summer vacations? Are they now obsolete?
SummerBT: "Summer vacation needs to end. Other countries are killing us in education and they have year-round school. We're not an agrarian society anymore."
ec7967: "The 'agrarian society' line is a myth. The academic calendar we use today was never based on an agrarian model. In an agrarian society, you're busy during the spring and fall, and don't have much to do during the summer months. That's exactly the opposite of what our education calendar would support. And many places that out-perform us significantly do NOT have appreciably longer academic years. And if you still doubt me, ask yourself what the average attendance rate is in many of these failing districts."
That was a lot of debating. What do you think about the day's many news stories? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.