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.