Giffords Long Road to Recovery

Gabrielle Giffords

There is hope that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords can retrieve back her life, but the road to recovery will be ‘the hardest thing she will ever do” according to doctors. After being shot in the head in Tucson Ms. Giffords miraculously survived, and has regained consciousness. Doctors say every day she is showing signs of being more and more alert.

Dr. Gerard Francisco, the chief medical officer of TIRR Memorial Hermann rehab hospital, where Giffords is being treated, said that she is progressing nicely with therapy. Therapy today is gaining in its ability to treat and even reverse the consequences of traumatic injuries as the science becomes more sophisticated and high tech. Therefore, although it will be hard work, there is every reason to be optimistic that Garbrielle Giffords will get at least some of her life back, and with some luck, a lot of hard work and maybe some more miracles she can get all of her life back again.

States Now Taking Up Health Care Debate

The new health care legislation recently passed by the Obama administration will require individual states to take on major responsibilities in the year 2014 when the coverage expansion becomes fully operational. Therefore states have begun suing the federal government to stop them from implementing core requirements of the overhaul of health care, until they feel ready to take them on.

Concomitant with the ongoing legal battles Republican state lawmakers and governors are trying to find ways to bring health care coverage to over 30 million Americans.

Representative Greg Wren, Republican from Alabama, says he does not want to give up his state’s authority to create laws to govern what happens in his state.

If states are not ready to run things by 2014 then the federal government will jump in take the reins right out of the state’s hands.

Former Republican governor or Utah and the health secretary under George W. Bush, Mike Leavitt said that “the center of gravity” will eventually be the individual states, where there is still some bipartisanship left.

Apple’s Jobs Taking Health Leave of Absence

Steve Jobs will be taking a leave of absence from his responsibilities as CEO of Apple, the computer giant, in order to focus more time on his health. Monday’s announcement comes as a surprise to many, but especially to investors in Apple, as Alexander Peterc, an equity analyst at Exane explained.

“It wasn’t expected. This will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock.”

It is almost exactly two years since Steve Jobs’ announcement that he was taking a 6 month break in order to have a liver transplant.

Daniel Ernst, analyst for Hudson Square Research speculated that “This time around you have to question his ability to bounce back.”

Jobs himself said in an email to Apple employees: “I have great confidence that Tim (Cook, COO of Apple) and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can,” Jobs wrote.

A Great New Twist on Traditional Chicken Soup

This is a versatile soup which can be made in several ways. For a traditional chicken soup experience, use rice. For something a bit more daring, try bulgur or quinoa. Want a stew-type soup, use all the shredded chicken suggested. For something soupier, add less. If you prepare the broth the day before you can skim the fat and make this already healthy dish even more so. The lemony flavor gives this offering a unique, lively taste. 

3 pounds chicken

cut up 2 medium carrots

sliced 1 medium onion

quartered 6 large garlic cloves

4 peeled and crushed

2 minced or sliced

A bouquet garni made with 1 bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of thyme and a couple of sprigs of parsley

2 1/2 quarts water

10 peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 pound leeks (3 medium or 2 large),white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced thin

2/3 cup bulgur

Juice of 2 large lemons

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives or cilantro

If you can prepare the broth the day before you want to serve the soup that will allow you to skim off the fat, and make this soup’s preparation faster the next day.

1. Add together chicken, carrots, onion, crushed garlic cloves, bouquet garni, water and peppercorns in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Let simmer. Take off foam that may form, add salt, cover and continue simmering for an additional ½ hour at a low heat. Remove the chicken wings and breasts carefully (don’t get scalded.) Let thighs and legs simmer 10 additional minutes then remove from soup. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat, throw away the skin, and return the bones to the pot. Continue simmering with the bones another 30 minutes. Shred the chicken and place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

2. Pour the finished broth through cheesecloth into a larger pot. Refrigerate overnight and the next day skim off the layer of fat which has formed on the surface of the liquid and throw away.

3. Return the broth to the soup pot. Add the remaining ingredients of garlic and leeks, bulgur and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the grains are tender and soft. Taste, adjust for salt. Right before serving time add as much of the chicken as you like, and any remaining chicken can be used in salads. Lastly, add the lemon juice, and herbs, stir well and serve. Yummy!

Chevy Volt Harbinger of More Plug-Ins to Come

Chief executive of General Motors, Daniel F. Akerson said on Tuesday that his company is planning to introduce two more plug-in hybrid cars whose design will be based on the Chevrolet Volt, their first offering of this new technology, which was introduced at the end of last year.

According to comments made by Mr. Akerson at an industry conference not far from the Detroit auto show, G.M. is ready to build a minimum of 25,000 Volts this coming year, which is more than twice the original goal.

Mr. Akerman expects that the Volt will become profitable within three years, as it moves into its second generation design which is being developed now. The Volt went to the market this past December and was designated as the North American Car of the Year at the Auto show’s media preview.

“The Volt is not the ultimate solution,” Mr. Akerson said at the Automotive News World Congress. “It’s a glimpse at what is possible.”

Over-Fishing Thing of the Past as Fishermen Prepare to Reap Good Times

According to top scientists there is no longer a threat of overfishing in the United States. Steve Murawski, who retired last year as the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that we have finally, after 100 years, reached fishing levels in which not one species will be removed from the sea in a way that is non-sustainable.

The news means more than just a happy benchmark, as Murawski explained. It is a sign that we can expect healthier stocks and much better days for fishermen who have suffered monetarily from the overfishing of the past.