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Learning to Fly

The End of Oil

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017

Oil has been a great boon to the world in many ways. It has not only made men rich, it has made whole nations rich. It has fueled the rise of the modern world in many ways. Without oil, we would not have had the ability to travel so quickly across vast distances for so long. Without oil, we would not have been able to trade with nations across the world and interconnect our planet so intensely.

All that is true, and yet, it is also true that oil’s time has finally come to an end. After more than a century fueling humanity’s progress, it’s time for humanity to say thank you and move on.

This is true for a number of reasons. First of all, oil is dirty. It pollutes our air by making smoggy cities. It is also a major contributor to global warming. With the oceans warming, weather patterns becoming erratic, sea life dying, and dangerous storms becoming more prevalent, a future for oil is simply inconceivable.

A second important point is that oil is dangerous. Whether oil is being drilled in oil fields or out in the ocean on oil rigs, there are serious dangers to the people working there and to the environment around. Oil spills, as everyone knows by now, can destroy whole ecosystems. Many oil workers are injured every year. It’s a high price to pay for a fuel that is soon to be out of date.

It is true, it is not out of date yet. The vast vast majority of cars still run on oil. Planes still require it. Most boats and ships still require it. The day is still somewhat in the future when all of those combustible engines can be replaced by something less dangerous and cleaner.

The day is far off, but it is still visible. By now, we can see the direction technology is taking us. Already, electric cars are making headway on the road. Tesla is working hard on lowering the price to make electric cars affordable for the average family. As electric fueling stations become more common beyond the coasts, and as the batteries improve storage, the electric car will become increasingly competitive across the entire car market.

With other fuel cell technology developing as well, and more alternative fuels being worked on every day, the writing is on the wall for oil.

We are now experiencing the dawn of a new era. Just as horse riders at the end of the 19th century were skeptical that the car could really replace the mode of transportation they were always accustomed to, now today many will shake their heads at this new technological wave.

But just like those horse riders, whether people believe it or not, in twenty years, they too will be enjoying the new technology that will change the lives of all humanity again. Just wait a see.

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Divorce Rates in North Carolina

Posted by on Aug 12, 2017

No one goes into a marriage expecting to get divorced, but it is a well-known fact that approximately half of all marriages eventually end in divorce. Each divorce is unique in its own devastating way, and the emotional toll can cause stress for years. There are finances to worry about, children, cars, pets, and a whole host of other issues. What is worse is that today divorce is much more common than it used to be. However, it is a small comfort to know that the increase in the divorce rate is indicative of growing societal acceptance of it, and because of that, it is much easier to get a divorce in cases where you fear for your safety, as in a domestic violence case.

According to this article on the North Carolina Fox News website, the number of divorces has increased drastically in the United States from 1970 up to 2010. In this list of the 25 cities where the number of divorces has increased the most, North Carolina has 3 entries, all of which are pretty high up on the list. Raleigh clocks in at number 10, with over a 200% increase in the rate of divorces from 1970 to 2010. Up next is Charlotte Carolina at number 9, followed by Greensboro at number 4, with a 260% increase in the rate of divorce since 1970. These figures are staggering. Why is there an increase in divorce rates? Why is it hitting North Carolina particularly hard? It is hard to say with absolute certainty why divorces are on the rise, but a decrease in the popularity of religions that advocate partnering for life, as well as an increase in the availability of birth control and treatments for common sexually transmitted diseases, are making it easier for members of both sexes to move from one partner to the next.

With an increase in the rate of divorces, particularly in North Carolina where three of its cities rank among the top 25, divorce lawyers are higher in demand. Marshall & Taylor PLLC, a Raleigh divorce firm, is just one of these firms that can also cover domestic abuse cases, an unfortunate result of people having more partners.

Many young people today are choosing not to marry. Some cite the economic benefits of remaining single, others claim that they do not feel that they need to drop potentially thousands of dollars on a wedding it is the social norm, while others simply do not wish to be tied down with the same person for the rest of their lives. It is also more socially acceptable now for women to have careers, and many are choosing to delay marriage until they have a strong foothold in their career and can support themselves independently. More people are also choosing to go to college instead of getting married directly out of high school. Maybe this means that the divorce rate will actually decrease in the next few decades? Or will the marriage rate just go down?  

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Though You can Control Your Own Driving Behavior, There is not much You can do to Control How Others Behave on the Road

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017

A story posted in the November 24, 1967 issue of the Life Magazine and in a website called AF&G All Fun and Games says that in 1895 there were only two cars registered in the state of Ohio; these two cars collided into each other.

This story may sound ridiculous, but so do the following:

  • The first traffic fatality occurred in 1899. It involved a man in NYC who was killed by a car;
  • In 1902, the Baker Torpedo, the first electric car that enclosed both the driver and the platform in its aerodynamic body as taken for a speed test. It went as fast as 80 mph before crashing and killing two spectators;
  • In Sweden, a legislation that ordered a switch to right-hand traffic was passed in 1960. This legislation took effect on September 3, 1967. Contrary to what so many said that the switch is murderous, highway fatalities, surprisingly dropped over 50%. This was because everyone drove carefully – both hands on the wheel and eyes focused on the road;
  • An analysis of fatal car crashes in the U.S. shows almost consistently that the more cars there are on the road, the more accidents and fatalities there are too; and,
  • A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on car crashes show that more than 90% of the millions of accidents occurring every year are due to driver error or driver fault which include drunk-driving (which is the leading cause of car accidents), reckless driving, overspeeding and distracted driving.

The Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD say, “Car accident fatalities are on the decline nationwide, but they remain a cause of physical, emotional, and financial suffering for tens of thousands of victims. In 2013, 32,719 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, and 2.3 million were injured; so many of these injuries were catastrophic and life-changing.

Unfortunately, you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.”

Law firms that handle personal injury or car accident cases know for a fact that, to a victim, a car accident means not only trauma, painful injuries and damaged property, but costly medical treatment and, probably, lost wages too.

The unexpected financial concerns due to the injury and the need to make the liable driver realize the importance of observing road safety rules make it necessary for a car accident victim to pursue a legal action to be able to claim compensation and to remind the at fault driver of his/her legal duty on the road.

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Motorcycle Accidents: Common Causes and Legal Options After the Fact

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016

Because motorcycles are notably far less secure than cars and other passenger vehicles, it’s not surprise that motorcycle accidents happen quite frequently in the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS, motorcycle accidents accounted for 4,295 deaths in the year 2014. The agency’s findings also helped them estimate that motorcycle accidents lead to 27 times more deaths per mile than accidents involving larger vehicles.

Most motorcycle accidents aren’t typically caused by the motorcyclists themselves. Even the most careful cyclist can end up in an accident if drivers operating cars and other larger vehicles refuse to be as careful on the road. While a fender bender might not seem like a big deal if it’s between two cars, minor collisions can be a serious issue for motorcycles. If drivers aren’t careful about making turns and watching their blind spots, they could easily cause motorcyclists to fall of their vehicles and become seriously injured. Of course, not all motorcycle accidents are caused by distracted or reckless drivers. Motorcyclists can also find themselves in danger due to hazardous road conditions and mechanical defects in their vehicles. It’s also common for motorcyclists to collide with open car doors in busy streets.

In all these scenarios, motorcyclists have the option to pursue legal action against those responsible for the accident and the injuries it had caused. Most motorcycle accidents can result in serious medical conditions like spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, and internal organ damage. These injuries involve long recovery times that can result in expensive hospital bills and loss of income. As such, it’s important that victims are aware of their rights to receive just compensation for the pain and suffering caused by such injuries.

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Defective Drugs And The Right To Consent

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016

Prescription or over the counter drugs are designed to make patients well. When taken the right way, these substances can have individuals up and about in no time. These drugs are consistently tested for any potential side effects before they are sold in the market. If there is any potential harm, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to inform the public of such. Unfortunately, this is not happening and customers find themselves at the receiving end of the side effects.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, many pharmaceutical companies will not pull out their drugs from the market due to the impact to their sales even if there is evidence that is a defective drug. It is the customers or patients who are the losers in this case as they will end up experiencing pain and suffering, injuries, and even death. Here lies the concept of informed consent on the part of the patient.

Informed consent is the legal right of a patient to be informed about the side effects of a treatment or in this case a drug. A breach of this right makes the manufacturer liable for product liability claims. Doctors and drug manufacturers are ethically bound to inform patients of the side effects of the drugs they are offering. Manufacturers have the responsibility to provide all the information needed by patients to help them make an informed decision about the drug.

Sometimes, manufacturers are used to off label prescription meaning they use the drug for unapproved use without regard if it will harm the patient. What the manufacturer is after is profit more than the welfare of the patient. If something does happen to the customer, they have some basis for filing cases because they were misinformed.

In the case of defective drugs, claims filed by patients would be judged based on the presence of the Four D’s. The first one is duty. In this case, they should have informed the patient about the side effect of the drug. The second D is derelict. The patient must be able to prove that there was sub-standard care in not informing them of the side effects.

The third D is direct. There should be a direct connection between the action of the manufacturer and the effect of their negligence. Lastly, there should have been damages which resulted to compensable harm to the patient. If all these elements are present and the plaintiff is able to prove it in court, then they have a case against the drug manufacturer.

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Truck Accidents due to Employer Negligence or Liability

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that fatal accidents involving trucks numbered to 3,964, while those that caused injuries were 95,000. These accidents and injuries were caused by 73,000 of the 2 million semi-trucks that operated on US roads and highways.

Despite the high number of fatalities and injuries that these huge vehicles cause, as well as their being threats on the road, the government is cautious on putting too many restrictions on truck operators mainly due to the major role that trucks play in the US economy. In short, restrict truck operations with so many laws (besides laws on safety) and the country’s ability to do business can be crippled.

While the government cannot burden operators with higher taxes or higher pay for drivers, it does not shy away from creating and strictly enforcing laws that should ensure: qualification of drivers in operating a truck; use of truck parts, like brakes and tires that comply with DOT standards; keeping drivers form operating a truck while sleepy or fatigued; and, maintaining a record of regular truck inspection and maintenance.

One of the greatest challenges faced by operators and drivers since 2010 is how to accomplish all job orders and make timely deliveries considering the increasing lack of qualified drivers which, according to the American Trucking Associations, is now at 48,000.

Many truck drivers have considered moving to another field of work even with barely a year in the job due to the job’s small pay, required time (sometimes for weeks) away from family, the demands of the job and many other factors. Besides, what one can earn as a driver, he or she can also earn, with very little stress, in a local job.

Due to this shortage of drivers, a number of operators or employers have resorted to illegal means just to get as many job orders as they can and have these orders finished on time. Some of these illegalities include hiring unqualified drivers and failing to train them further; requiring their drivers to drive longer than the allowed number of service and then asking them to alter the number of hours they have rendered in log book; and, failing to properly screen applicants for past records or driving violations.

Driver error puts everyone on the road in danger, and so does trucking company negligence. Trucking companies have the legal responsibility of ensuring that safety standards in regards to employees and vehicles are strictly upheld, as this will greatly affect the well-being of everyone, including other motorists and everyone else on the road. If and when trucking companies fail to uphold these standards, then they can be held financially responsible for their negligence.

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Cerebral Palsy and Incidents of Medical Negligence

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015

Cerebral palsy is a serious medical condition that has profound effects on a person’s mobility, impairing their ability to maintain balance and posture. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC put it, the condition is considered as one of the most causes of motor disability in children. Those diagnosed with cerebral palsy experience a number of different symptoms specific to each type of the condition. Overall, patients with cerebral palsy have muscle stiffness and difficulty controlling movement in the legs and arms, as well as facial muscles.

There are a variety of answers to what causes cerebral palsy. ‘CP’ occurs due to abnormalities in brain development. In certain cases, these abnormalities are caused by damage to certain areas of the brain which controls movement. On top of that, there are also different scenarios as to how this condition is caused by brain damage or injury. These scenarios can be both medical and non-medical in nature. The following are some of the few scenarios that can complicate pregnancy or childbirth, and then cause developmental issues with the infant’s brain:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat infections during a mother’s pregnancy
  • Failure to monitor fetal stats during mother’s labor and delivery
  • Failure to perform a Caesarean section procedure when the circumstances necessitates it
  • Committing errors with surgical procedures and the administration of anesthesia
  • Failure to properly address complications during childbirth

The birth of a child is indeed a most profound moment for expectant parents. It is unfortunate that such a long-awaited and meaningful occasion can quickly become a critical situation due to negligent errors committed by members of the medical staff. Errors made during labor and delivery can have significant and long-term consequences for the infant, causing serious medical conditions such as cerebral palsy.

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Common Concerns for Truckers: Getting Started in the Industry

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015

As is commonly known, the trucking industry is a crucial part of a healthy and functional economy. The U.S. market would be at a standstill without trucks hauling goods and products from one point of the country to another. Definitely, having efficient goods transportation system is a vital part to how a community operates. Because of this, coming into the trucking industry might be a very lucrative business decision. As the American Trucking Associations notes, the trucking industry in the U.S. has generated roughly $600 billion in total freight revenues during 2011.

If you are thinking of getting into the trucking industry, expect to face a few hurdles before reaping substantial awards. There are plenty of things you’ll need to research and consider before going in completely. Learning more about particular details regarding trucking operations, and deciding the best type of operation that suits your planned set-up is a great way to ensure that your venture will be a success.

Before anything else, the first decision you will need to make when becoming part of the trucking industry is your mode of operations. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, trucking businesses typically operate in two different ways. One sees the trucking company hiring its own fleet of vehicles and set of drivers. Through this mode of operation, you’ll have control over the entire spectrum of your business. Of course, this will also require a bigger budget. The next option is to sub-contract drivers from a different company. While you’ll have little control over schedules, and contracts, you will have to spend less on workforce and vehicles. Here, the only thing you’ll be in-charged of is the actual operation of your business.

According to the website of TBS Factoring Service, another consideration you’ll have to make when starting a trucking business is preparing for common challenges faced by those already in the industry. One typical problem faced by truckers involves the finance and accounting side of the business. As it happens, plenty of truckers have issues with tracking invoice payments and other similar details. No one goes into business to not get paid, so being sure to do everything you can to haul in the dollars is a good plan.

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Know Your Trends: The Difference Between Ombre and Balayage

Posted by on Aug 22, 2015

Hair is often considered a person’s crowning glory. It’s why there’s often so much attention focused on how our hair looks, and why so many trends come to suggest how we should opt to style our locks. Two distinct trends have to do with hair color. While plenty of fads have come and gone in the world of hairstyling, it seems ombre and balayage are two of the most popular choices for most people. Both hair coloring trends have been featured in red carpets, worn proudly by big Hollywood names. To the untrained eye, ombre and balayage seem to yield similar results—highlights that give one’s hair extra body and dimension. But what is the difference between the two coloring techniques? How would you know which one is the better choice for your hair type?

Ombre derives from the French word for shade or shadow. Just like in painting, it used to refer to the gradual change between different colors that bleed into one another, moving from darker to lighter hues. With hair, an ombre means having dark hair from the roots that gradually changes to a lighter color up until the ends. On the other hand, balayage aims to achieve the same gradation in the highlights of the hair but with a more subtle effect. Balayage is another French word, this time for sweeping or painting. The gentle sweeping strokes used to apply the highlight color on the hair results in a more natural and sun-kissed style.

Another difference between ombre and balayage is in the products used for the two techniques. For ombre, stylists typically make use of bleach in order to achieve the lighter shade at the tips of the hair. On the other hand, to achieve the more natural-looking objective of balayage, stylists make use of color that is only about two or three shades lighter than the natural shade.

If you are deciding between these two hair coloring trend, there are several factors you will need to consider. According to the website of Therapy Hair Studio, those who prefer bolder highlight colors will prefer the ombre style. However, take note that the use of bleach can severely damage hair. For people worried about this, it might be better to opt for balayage instead.

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Road and Highway Defects: Dangerous Hazards Causing Car Accidents

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015

It is not be a stretch to say that car accidents happen all too frequently in America. As noted by the United States Bureau in their 2012 report, the year 2009 alone saw 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents. In a separate account, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that about 3/4 of accidents that occur in the United States happen due to traffic violations and errors committed by drivers. While it may happen less frequently, the other cause of car accidents in America are dangerous conditions on roads and highways.

While it may not be the top cause of accidents in America, road and highway defects remain a great threat to the safety of commuters. Hazards caused by poor maintenance of thoroughfares can do a lot to endanger drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. An Iowa car accident lawyer would probably list defects such as potholes, uneven pavements, shoulder drop-off, damaged or even complete lack of guardrails, lack of or obstructed traffic signs, and unsecured road construction sites as hazards that can lead to devastating accidents and cause serious injuries. The website of the Lake Geneva car accident lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® also points out the following as additional factors contributing to dangerous road conditions: water pooling, objects on the roadway, and municipal negligence.

With proper maintenance and upkeep, these hazards can be addressed and traffic conditions can remain safe for commuters. For this to happen, local government units are expected to keep on top of necessary repairs and construction work. Safety is ensured when protocols are appropriately practiced and followed.

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