Amazing Innovations for 2010

1. Bionic legs were developed this year which can help paraplegics to stand up and walk. This device, called E-legs, is designed to help those who have been told that they will never walk again, to walk. Using sensors to interpret from the person to the electronic legs where the person wants to go, these legs can take him there.
2. Electric cars are beginning to make headway into the car marketplace, especially the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt. There are still limitations like the price and the speed, but you can still just plug-in and go. Due to greater demand every car manufacturer has designed at least one model of these gas-saving wonders.
3. Apple’s iPad is one of the most popular new innovations of the past year. Steve Jobs called the iPad a truly magical and revolutionary product. This amazing device bridges the gap between laptops and smartphones, and in just the first month Apple sold over 1 million of these babies.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Pumpkin-soupNothing is more tasty and cozy than a bowl of fresh, steaming soup on a cold winter evening. Instead of making plain old vegetable or chicken soup, why not try something completely different? Here is a great recipe for a healthy, delicious pumpkin soup, perfect for the season:
¾ cup of water
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (eight ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup unsalted vegetable broth
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 green onion, chopped
In a large pan, heat ¼ cup of water over medium heat, and add onion. Cook until tender. Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for five minutes, and then stir in milk. Do not boil again. Ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with pepper and green onion. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Three Fifteen-Minute-of-Famers for 2010

According to Andy Warhol, everyone at some point in their lives will experience ’15 minutes of fame.’ As we approach the end of the year Nifty Threads asks “Who were those lucky personalities in 2010 that received their 15 minutes of fame?”

1. Ever heard of Steven Slater? He experienced his 15 minutes when, as a JetBlue flight attendant, he lost his temper and deplaned only after first grabbing a beer and then deploying the emergency slide, his preferred way to exit the scene. After becoming an instant star as a ‘working class hero’ he was fired from his job and was summoned to court to explain his bizarre behavior. Now he has dreams of becoming a rap star.

2. Anna Chapman, ‘sex-symbol-for a day’ was accused back in June of working for the Russian’s as a spy while she dated New York’s pre-powerful crowd and held parties as a “foreign hostess with the mostest.” The media lavished some cute nicknames on her, including, “femme fatale,” “the modern day Bond girl” and “the stunning SoHo spy.”

3. My personal favorite momentarily famous person is not a person at all, but an octopus. Paul the Octopus, that is. This magical German mollusk was able to predict the winners of eight of the World Cup matches. How so? The competitors of each match offered the eight legged oracle a tidbit of food, and whichever snack he ate first was his pick to win. Quite amazing, but if you think you can get him to predict the upcoming winners in your own favorite competitive sport, or the stock market, you are out of luck. Poor Paul died this past October, of natural causes. He nevertheless has his place in history through T-shirts and a fun iPhone app.

Indian Satellite Explodes Soon After Take-Off

Indian-SateliteIn what was India’s second satellite launch failure this year, a rocket carrying an Indian communication satellite exploded soon after to take-off on Saturday. Just moments after the launch of the satellite television images show an exploding rocket in fire and smoke high above Sriharikota space center in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The failed rocket was carrying a GSAT-5P communication satellite into Earth’s orbit.

According to the chairman of the Indian Space Research organization K. Radhakrishnan the rocket developed a problem exactly 47 seconds after lift-off, when it also lost command. Due to the resulting higher angle there was higher stress on the vehicle, causing it to explode.

Back in April of this year a similar failure occurred when a rocket on a developmental flight crashed into the Bay of Bengal. Excessive pressure and thermal problems most likely caused the rotor to seize and the turbine casing to break apart, leading to the crash.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Anemia is a relatively common condition, one which causes weakness and fatigue due to lack of iron in the blood. There are other, less common types of anemia as well, such as pernicious anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency.
vitamin-B12This deficiency can be caused by lack of the vitamin in the diet, or the inability of the body to absorb it once it is consumed. Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to lack this vitamin, as it is found primarily in animal products such as meat and eggs. The vitamin is water soluble, and must be ingested daily in order to avoid deficiency. When the body is unable to absorb the vitamin, it is often a result of a condition in the small intestine, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or surgery. Intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach, is necessary for the absorption of the vitamin. A lack of this protein may be a result of a surgical procedure, an autoimmune response or a hereditary inability to produce it.

Vitamin B12 is involved in many processes in the body, mainly the production of red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells as a result of B12 deficiency can lead to a serious complication called pernicious anemia. The most common symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency include very pale skin, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, a sore or tingly tongue, cold extremities and heart palpitations. The deficiency can also affect the gastrointestinal tract and result in an enlarged liver, nausea, heartburn, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite and weight loss. If the condition is left untreated, it can result in nerve damage as well, which can be identified by numbness and tingling in the extremities, unsteadiness, confusion, depression, memory loss and dementia.