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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 It’s a high price to pay for a fuel that is soon to be out of date.

It is true, it is not out of date yet.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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