Editor's note: From nicknames to ways to stay safe in war zones, CNN's Anderson Cooper answers your iReporter questions.
(CNN) - Military mom Emily O'Donnell has a solution for the government to avoid a shutdown: "Go to your room and do not come out until your job is done."
The 27-year-old mother of four is "furious" that parts of the federal government could shut down tomorrow if Congress cannot agree on a budget. If that happens, paychecks for military workers could be delayed indefinitely. Troops are guaranteed back-pay, but not knowing when they'll receive a check could put some military families in financial crisis.
2011 marks 30 years since the AIDS epidemic began, and is an important time of remembrance for those whose lives have been affected by the disease.
Has AIDS and HIV touched your life or that of someone you know? Have you been inspired to take action in some way? We're putting together a story for CNN.com, and we want to include your voice.
Click here to go to CNN's iReport.com to share your story
Editor's note: Tune in to "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS," an AC360° beginning 9pm ET Friday.
Greater Than AIDS – a new national movement to respond to AIDS in America– is asking Americans to share their “Deciding Moments," personal experiences that changed how they think about the disease and inspired them to get involved. For many it is someone close to them who was infected. For some it was their own diagnosis. For others it was a realization that we all have a role to play. Tell us about your “Deciding Moment” by visiting: www.greaterthan.org/moment.
Related: Visit Greater Than AIDS for answers to frequently asked questions about HIV/AIDS, as well as information about local testing centers.
The spectacular northern lights in Norway. Otto Lennart Motzke, 42, of Oslo, Norway took this photo Wednesday night at about 2am at Ingerstrand Bad, a public bath in Oslo.
Here are more photos of the northern lights submitted to iReport.
Taken by Wictor Madsen in Grimstad, Norway.
Photos of oil coming ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi taken by CNN iReporter mrshmills. At the brink of finally recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, residents are distraught as little was done to prevent oil from floating onto their shores, even with 70 days of knowing it would be headed their way.
With her unemployment benefits coming to a halt, Miriam Cintron is forced to make a difficult choice between health insurance and daily expenses.
Signing into her unemployment benefits account last week, the New Yorker was horrified to see she hadn't received any money for three weeks, she says.
What would the four-year cancer survivor do if she couldn't afford to pay her $650 monthly COBRA payment? Her health insurance helped pay for life-saving treatment before, so giving it up is not an option, she says.
When Cintron was laid off from her job as a case worker at a homeless shelter in late 2008, she never imagined she'd go on unemployment. But even with 17 years experience, she's been unable to land a new job.
As BP tries various methods to stop the oil disaster scientists, students and imaginative amateurs have suggested ways to stop or clean up the Gulf oil disaster in the days and weeks after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and started the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
Erica Mohamed, 31, is glad that the new bill would help her son to get insurance coverage even if she loses her job.
Elizabeth Landau and Madison Park
About 32 million Americans who don't have health insurance will get access to coverage when the $940 billion health care plan takes effect.
What does that mean for Americans who don't have insurance, or who are in danger of losing it? A few shared their thoughts with CNN about health care reform and how it affects them. Then we sought expert opinions on how reform might really work in their lives.
1. Child with pre-existing condition
The situation: Erica Mohamed, 31, of Houston, Texas, is separated, and has a 6-year-old son, Jeremiah, with a rare congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. He has had three open-heart surgeries already, and will need to have another procedure to remove a stent in early adolescence. Mohamed's job, through which she gets insurance, is not secure. Mohamed's mother, Vera Richardson, wrote to CNN's iReport about the situation.
Mohamed says: She is glad that she will be able to keep her insurance for her son even if she loses her job. "Did I get everything that I thought that I wanted in this bill? No, not at all because I still think we need at least a public option. But at least it's something, at least it's moving forward, and it's going to get more coverage to more people," she said.
Expert says: Effective this year, in six months, children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health care, said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, an independent organization that researches health policy issues. By 2014, children will be covered up to 133 percent of the the federal poverty level. For a family of two, the poverty level is $14,570 in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.
On Friday Anderson was filling in for Regis on "Live with Regis and Kelly" when Guy Fiere from the Food Network stopped by to challenge Anderson and Kelly with something called "Face the Cookie" – 60 seconds to move as many cookies from your forehead to mouth without using your hands... just facial muscles.
It was our Shot tonight, and on Monday we'll be seeing how our 360° crew stacks up.
We also want to how you do! Send pictures, results, videos! You can upload videos and pictures at iReport.com. We'll share some of the best on Monday's show.