Hollywood Has Numbed Us to Explosions

Explosions always look so cool in the movies. The good guy runs in slow motion as cars fly everywhere, windows break, and huge fireballs chase just behind. These scenes are thrilling for many reasons (Hollywood is, after all, very good at what it does), but one thing that makes them fun is the knowledge, deep down, that the characters we care about are going to make it out okay.

The use of explosions in this manner certainly increases ticket sales as people like to watch such amazing effects on the big screen. However, they also hold a burden of responsibility because they minimize the terrifying nature of explosions in reality.

Just as shootouts in movies minimize the true danger and horror of a real shooting, so explosions teach us from an early age that they are cool and fun and no one important gets hurt.

This almost certainly leads to young boys and girls experimenting with fireworks instead of recognizing the danger they hold. At the same time, it allows us to minimize tragedies when they occur in real life, and to blow off any efforts at prevention.

We have become accustomed to demanding thrills at all times in our modern lives. We want to see videos of the horrors taking place in the world because Hollywood has taught us to find pleasure in this. Humans already struggle to empathize with those they don’t know. When Hollywood encourages this reaction, we end up becoming voyeurs of tragedy, frantically clicking around for better videos, more extensive recaps and roundups of what happened. We want all the gory details because, on some level, subconsciously, we think it’s all fun and games. None of these people are real.

This numbness comes with a price. We all become less safe. We all become at greater risk of injury or death through explosions, gunfire, and other forms of unnatural violence.

Just as Hollywood helped create this problem, so Hollywood can help out now. It is not so difficult to change the narrative behind explosions in a film. Indeed, in the aftermath of 9/11, movies did just that. There were far fewer examples of plane crashes and city-wide explosions in the years that followed, and when they did occur, they were done with an eye to the tragic side of such events. Filmmakers make particular efforts to show the trauma that explosions cause.

We saw close up the grieving and the horror, and while we remained entertained (it is too much to ask Hollywood to stop doing that), we were at least equally horrified.

In recent years, however, Hollywood has again forgotten this lesson. Unfortunately, it may take another epic tragedy for it to learn its lesson again. Until then, we all, as consumers, have a duty to avoid movies that earn their money off the glorification of violence.

More needs to be done to make our society aware of how violent it is. One way to do that is to turn off the movies and pay attention to the actual tragedies happening outside.

Marriage and Prenups

At a time when over 50% of marriages end in divorce, many people are turning to prenuptial agreements to make sure they will be protected if the marriage goes south. There is a lot of debate surrounding this practice, however, with some claiming that you would not need to draft a prenup if you truly loved and trusted your partner. Most of the time, prenups simply take care of how assets are divided, but could they also include more stringent rules that affect your life after divorce? The divorce between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes came with such a “lifestyle clause.”

According to a recent article on MarketWatch, there was allegedly a clause in the divorce settlement between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes that forbid her from dating another man for a certain period after the divorce. Some people speculate that this is why Katie and Jamie Foxx have only recently been spotted holding hands in public, even though many people have suspected the two to have been dating for about five years now. According to the American Bar Association Journal, the number of these “lifestyle clauses” are on the rise. According to a divorce lawyer in Atlanta, he has seen all kinds of things, such as “weight clauses” where a woman would not receive alimony if she gained a certain amount of weight after the wedding. In one case a wife limited the amount of football her husband could watch on Sunday, and in another, a husband limited the number of times his mother-in-law could visit. Some slightly more reasonable lifestyle clauses mandate that children be raised under a particular religion even if the couple gets divorced. Of course, all of these demands are nearly impossible to enforce, but in the event of a divorce, they could be used as leverage.

Instances like this make it easy to see why many people are not fond of the idea of a prenuptial agreement. Particularly when there are clauses that dictate how your partner should look, it comes off as incredibly shallow and demeaning to the other person. Of course, in the case of incredibly public figures like Tom Cruise, a lot of his net worth is based on his appearance, and he has to worry about all of the paparazzi running around that could potentially ruin his reputation with just one scathing article, whether it is true or not. Clauses about cheating in a relationship and how children should be raised are much more reasonable, especially if it is an issue for both parties.

Prenuptials can definitely be useful if you have a lot of assets you would like to protect, and many lawyers can help you draft one, like Kessler & Solomiany, LLC based in Atlanta. In many cases, prenups can save you thousands of dollars in attorney fees if your assets are divided up already. However, this does not mean that a prenup should be used to control every aspect of your partner’s life since these rules can rarely be enforced effectively.

Behind Your Back

Dishonesty from a broker has the capacity to greatly affect an investor’s portfolio in a negative manner. One method that is made out of pure dishonesty and has the potential to cost an investor large sums of money is unauthorized trading done by the broker. This act is essentially stealing money directly from the client’s account. These cases can be difficult to pinpoint as they are usually done stealthily and brokers typically attempt to cover up any evidence or deny the allegations. If the original investor is interested in solving this dilemma they can do so by taking immediate approach against the broker’s actions.

It is most important to realize that in unauthorized trading cases the investor will have the best chance of success if they can immediately protest the activity on their account. A fault in human nature, greed is one of the most powerful and one of the most destructive traits the human psyche is capable of acting on. Greed is capable of fully consuming people and taking their reasoning captive while they ruin many lives as well as their own. The love for money begins to outweigh their respect for others and their property. In unauthorized trading incidents, financial brokers make decisions on behalf of the client without their permission, which technically is considered stealing. The lack of confirmed approval sets them apart and makes the distinction as being official unauthorized trading. In the unfortunate event that an investor has been taken advantage of and actions involving their portfolio without their consent they can seek assistance from attorneys like those at Erez Law with a multitude of past experience.

Cases like these typically involve large sums of money and are committed by petty financial brokers. They act in secrecy and lies in order to protect their scheme that will pay for their next quarter’s bonus. These brokers are unethical betrayers of the law. Regulations and procedures attempt to keep instances like this to a minimum, but when they do occur the damages incurred are usually significant. Thankfully these incidents do not have to be the end of the road for investors who have experienced betrayal on behalf of the people they trusted their money with. Betrayal in any form is a hard event to process, but when large sums of money that most likely took decades to accrue are used in a manner that is not pleasing to you the betrayal hits even harder.

To conclude, financial brokerages can be dens of lions and snakes. Betrayal from brokers who made a commitment to protecting the financial interests of the client can be a tough pill to swallow. Thankfully there are skilled citizens who can intervene for the sake of the investor. One bad investment does not have to ruin someone’s life.

The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act

In recognition of the many benefits of trees, a bill, called the Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, was introduced in the U.S. Congress. This Act hopes to help lower energy usage and utility bills through the targeted planting of residential shade trees. It explicitly cites the benefits of proper tree siting, including stormwater management, reduced energy load demand, and carbon sequestration. It would establish a grant program to assist electricity providers in planting shade trees to insulate residential buildings and minimize home heating and cooling demands.

The U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says that trees do more than just create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe. Trees offer and provide all these benefits and more:

  • They act as natural air-conditioner, lowering the temperature, especially during summer, from 6 to 8 degrees as compared to neighborhoods without trees;
  • They reduce residential heating costs from 10-15 percent and residential air-conditioning costs from 20-50 percent;
  • They lower blood pressure, slow heartbeat, and relax brain wave patterns;
  • They provide inviting and cool areas for recreation and relaxation;
  • They capture carbon dioxide (CO2), helping reduce the overall concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere;
  • Homes landscaped with healthy trees sell more quickly and add as much as 20 percent to a property’s market value;
  • They provide homes for more than 80 species of wildlife, such as birds (woodpeckers, nuthatches, and eagles), and other animals, like salamanders and squirrels.
  • A community that is lined with trees increases the value of homes by 25 percent;
  • Trees attracting business – people linger and shop longer when trees are present;
  • Where a canopy of trees exists, apartments and office spaces rent more quickly; workers also become more productive and there is less absenteeism.
  • Trees reduce runoff and improve water quality by absorbing and filtering rainwater.

These are some of the reasons why, in landscape architecture designs, one element that is ever present is trees. According to the Hamlin Tree Care, trees are assets and, therefore, worth investing into whether in residential or business areas.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that begins in the mesothelium, the protective layer of bodily organs. Typically, mesothelioma develops in the protective layer of the lungs, but it is also known to develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity and in the membrane around the heart.
The most common cause of mesothelioma is asbestos, a mineral used in construction and insulation. Asbestos has been commonly used in various industries in the 19th and 20th century, and even though it is limitedly used today, there are still known cases of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development.

Who is at Risk?

Mesothelioma lawsuit attorneys even exist, because of how serious unwarranted cancer development is. These days, the people who are most vulnerable to asbestos exposure are those who work directly with asbestos, such as asbestos plant employees, those who contact products with asbestos, such as military ship employees, and those who are in high-risk industries, such as construction workers and auto mechanics.
But take note that they are not just the ones vulnerable. Their families may also be at risk, because once these workers go home with asbestos all over them, their loved ones are also exposed to the substance. Other people at risk include those who live in residential areas near asbestos plants and those who are having renovations in homes that have asbestos.

What are the Effects?

Asbestos has a fiber-like structure, so it is not surprising that it breaks down and gets inhaled by those around it, especially the workers. This is what triggers mesothelioma. What is worse is the fact that the symptoms don’t even show itself immediately. There are instances where it takes years before these symptoms to occur, and many times, the mesothelioma is already on bad stages.
Symptoms may vary depending on the affected area. As said earlier, the affected area can be the lungs, abdomen, or heart. If the lungs are affected, the patient may experience chronic coughs with blood. If the abdomen is affected, the patient may experience abdominal pain and bowel movement issues. If the heart is affected, the patient may experience chest pain and heart beat problems.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Property owners are legally obligated to make sure that their premises are safe. Failure to oblige to this responsibility may result into lawsuits, particularly when a person has sustained injury because of the owner’s negligence. This is called premises liability.

One of the most common premises liability claims are from slip and fall accidents, which can result into head injuries, back problems, fractures, sprains, and at worst, death. It is important to know the most common causes of slip and fall accidents so you can prevent them yourself.

Wet or slippery surfaces
Unattended liquids and other slippery materials on the floor may result into a slip and fall accident. In private properties, these materials include spilled drinks and pipe leaks. In public properties, these may include excessive or improper use of wax. In hazardous workplaces, these may include grease, oil, soap, and other industrial substances.

Defective equipment
Sometimes, slip and fall accidents occur not because of third-party materials such as slippery substances, but because of the equipment itself. The most common defective equipment includes floors, escalators, and elevators. For floors, uneven surfaces, potholes, and cracks can trip people. For escalators, the sudden jolt of defective parts can cause people to trip. For elevators, the tiny crevices can trap small body parts such as fingers or clothing such as the tips of dresses.

Weather conditions
The weather is a common contributing factor in slip and fall accidents in external premises. The rain, snow, and ice can make parking lots, sidewalks, and the like to become slippery. A pile of leaves can also be slippery to unsuspecting pedestrians.

Low visibility
There are also instances where there are no dangerous obstructions that may trip nor substances that may slip the victim. But what makes the premises still prone to slip and fall accidents is the inadequate lighting. Lack of visibility in the area can cause people to trip, slip, and fall because of easily avoidable factors.

Many accidents are a result of negligent behavior and a lack of care. The attorneys at Erez Law know the importance of abiding by the proper duty of care and are prepared to aid affected parties in taking legal action. Slip and fall accidents are taken seriously that there are even legal professionals who specialize on them. But you don’t want to entertain the hassles of medical bills, attorney fees, and wasted time in court. The best option is still to avoid slip and fall accidents yourself, and knowing their most common causes is your first step for their prevention.

Is Your Elderly Loved One Getting Proper Nutrition In Nursing Homes?

Proper nutrition is one of the major issues affecting the elderly in nursing homes. It is important for senior citizens to be properly nourished to avoid health issues. Experts on Chicago nursing home neglect will tell you that nursing home staff has the responsibility of ensuring that their residents are given their proper food. The family and relative of the elderly must be educated with the signs of malnutrition which could be the following:

Oral Symptoms

The neglected elderly might notice canker sores and excessive redness in the mouth of their loved one. Malnutrition can lead to yeast infection which is the result of white patches in the cheeks and tongue.

Muscle Problems

The lack of nutrients stocked in the muscles might lead to the muscles becoming visibly flaccid. Muscle problems due to poor nutrition of the elderly may cause prolonged fatigue.

Eye Symptoms

Malnutrition in the nursing home may cause redness in the eyes or swelling in the cornea of the patient. This will cause the vision of the patient to be impaired and deteriorated.

Malnutrition is one of the major problems affecting residents of nursing homes or care facilities. It affects around one-third of the residents. As the resident becomes older, problems such as chronic or acute diseases can increase, which can impact the balance between nutritional needs and intake. Now more than ever, it is extremely important for signs of malnutrition to be detected and treated.

Malnutrition in the nursing home can be a result of facilities lacking sufficient personnel to take care of the residents. Studies have revealed that every certified personnel must be handling 2-3 patients. The lack or proper nutrition may also be due to the high turnover rate of nursing home staff at 93% annually. The lack of training on the part of the caregiver may also have an impact on the care of the elderly patient.

Skin Cleansing and Detoxifying With Betonite Clay

The detoxifying qualities of bentonite clay are all thanks to negative ionic charge that attracts positively charged toxins in the body. Once it interacts with water, bentonite clay helps cleanse the body of like harmful bacteria, pathogens, and pesticides. It’s also great for external detoxifying and cleansing, flushing out heavy metals and other dangerous compounds that can be absorbed through the skin. On top of all these, bentonite clay is also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

There are two ways to take advantage of bentonite in order to get clearer and healthier skin. According to Earth’s Natural Clay, the first and most popular method is applying bentonite clay as a face mask. Less common but no less effective is using bentonite clay to prepare a bath for the entire body.

As a face mask, bentonite clay can help exfoliate the skin and clear from dirt and toxins. This can help prevent acne and blackheads, shrink pores, and leave the skin softer and smoother. As a natural exfoliater, bentonite clay can also reduce the appearance of acne scar and even out one’s skin tone. It only takes a small amount of bentonite clay powder in order to make a facial mask. Using 1 part clay to every 3 parts of water should be enough. Mix the solution together until it reaches a smooth consistency, much like that of sour cream. Apply solution to the face, leaving it to stand until it dries and thickens. Rinse with warm water, pat face dry, and apply moisturizer or facial cream.

A bentonite clay bath can also be equally beneficial. Thanks to the many natural minerals present in the clay, a bentonite bath can not only detoxify the skin but also help heal and regenerate damaged skin tissue. This is useful as a remedy for sunburn. Similarly, bentonite clay baths can also help relieve itching from rashes, insect bites, and even eczema. Simply add 1 cup of bentonite clay powder to a bath tub filled with warm water and soak for at least 20 minutes.

To Whom Should You Entrust Your Criminal Defense?

In 2012, about 12,765 murder cases were reported in the U.S. and, during the past years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has been making more than 30,000 arrests every year due to drug-related crimes.

Murder and drug-related crimes are very serious offenses. However, no one can ever guarantee that every suspect convicted is guilty of the crime he/she is accused of, especially if the defendant pleaded guilty and under a plea bargaining agreement.

Such is the case of 25-year old Rosa Sade Batts who was stopped by cops in an area that was well known for prostitution and drug trade. When asked if she carried a weapon or anything illegal, Batts said “no”; however, she said that she had baking flour (inside her purse) which she liked to eat.

Upon inspection of her bag, the cops found a black plastic bag which contained 6.95 grams of white powder and which had a long straw sticking up from it. The cops’ field-test kit identified the powder as cocaine and the cops themselves were convinced that it looked like cocaine.

Batts was arrested and charged with prostitution and possession of a controlled substance; she faced the possibility of 20 years in prison due to the amount of the alleged cocaine that she carried. The district attorney, however, offered her a deal: forgo a trial and plead guilty for minimum sentence. She accepted and began serving her sentence of two years in state prison.

Ten months after she started serving her sentence, a laboratory report revealed that the white powder found in Batts’ possession was not cocaine or any kind of controlled substance; she carried nothing illegal, but had to plead guilty just to save herself from spending what may be half her life in jail. Still a week later, Batts was released from prison and, after a few months, she was granted habeas corpus relief by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

It is a wonder how hundreds, even thousands, of individuals can commit crimes, especially sex crimes, rape and child pornography. Equally surprising is how come there are lawyers willing to defend them.

According to one criminal defense lawyer from the law firm Horst Law, not all individuals who are charged with crimes by the government are guilty. Rarely does the “system” intentionally arrest and charge an innocent person, but false allegations by vindictive spouses, business partners, angry family members, and others with a motive are sometimes made.

There may be thousands of criminal defense lawyers available in your state, but only a handful may really be convinced that you are innocent until proven guilty. You may also be able to trust all criminal defense lawyers but, again, there may only be a handful who you can really work with and to whom you can and should entrust your case. Make sure you choose a criminal defense lawyer you can confidently feel at ease with.

More than 29 Million Drivers and Car Owners Continue to Drive Without Insurance

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that from 1981 to 2007, fatal car crashes in the U.S. averaged to 44,000 annually; from 2008 to 2015 the average rate went down to 33,000, thanks to the modern safety devices vehicles have been equipped with as well as to the stricter implementation of road safety rules.

The NHTSA believes that vehicles are more crashworthy or safer than these have ever been. But though more crashworthy, fatalities still number to more than 30,000, while injuries, to at least two million. More disturbing than statistical data on fatalities and injuries, however, is the number of individuals and families left alone to suffer the painful economic and non-economic effects of motor vehicle accidents all because the drivers at fault in the accidents are uninsured.

Carrying auto liability insurance is mandatory in the United States. It was actually made compulsory in 1925 with Connecticut and Massachusetts being the first states to mandate it on all their drivers. Even way back then, automobiles already crashed and caused injuries and deaths; people, back then, also saw that cars will continue to crash, injuring people and damaging properties in the process. The problem, however, was not that vehicles crashed or collided with each other, but that injured innocent victims were left to suffer physically and financially because drivers at fault did not have the financial capability to pay them for their damages and losses.

Today, with more than 29 million drivers and car owners who continue to drive despite not having insurance, victims not being compensated is not a remote possibility. Due to this, according to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., besides the required coverage for bodily injury and property damage, there are a number of states which also require drivers to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to have protection in accidents wherein the at fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured, meaning drivers whose policy limit is not enough to pay the total amount of losses suffered by the victim.