Houston is going to be celebrating for a while now. The Astros have won their first World Series, and the city is getting a well-deserved bit of partying in after a very tough year. No one is going to begrudge the city for throwing the biggest end of the year party ever for a sports team. No one will judge us for drawing that party out for more than a week or two. At this point, we’ve got a free pass.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be on guard about our behavior. Partying is great, but when people party, and party, and party, there’s always a greater risk of someone getting hurt.
Particularly, we need to worry about drinking and driving, and the accidents that habit causes.
I say habit because it can become a habit, particularly when things get festive for longer than a weekend or so.
Texas already has a drunk driving problem. It ranks among the top states for the practice already. According to the CDC, whereas the national average is 1.9% for drivers who report having recently driven drunk, 2.1% of Texans report the same. Stunningly, with the rate of deaths by age for 100,000 people, at the age of 21-34, Texas scores 10 per 100,000, almost double the national average of 6.1 per 100,000. And that was before the Astros won the World Series.
Texas has an issue with driving and accidents. It’s a dangerous state to be on the road, without a doubt. And now, with excessive celebration heading into the most festive period of the year, that danger is all the greater.
Also, keep in mind, our infrastructure is not what it was before Harvey. Roads have been under great strain after all that flooding. Under equal strain are the police and fire departments, as well as the hospitals, which have all had to deal with a great deal this year already. Now, with resources depleted and workers exhausted, they will be forced to work all the harder to keep people as safe as possible.
So, congratulations Houston, you have earned a good time after the tough year. No one would take that away from you, but it may be worthwhile to try to act a little more responsibly than normal when indulging in the celebrations. The city has a right to party, but it also needs to be able to look after itself, and for all of us to look after one another.
If Harvey has done anything positive, it’s shown that nothing can beat Houston, especially when we all work together. We can all work together again to make sure everyone has a good time, celebrates, and still stays safe. Doing that will not just save lives, it’ll save resources, and keep the end of the year happy and free of sadness for all of us.
Read More »
It’s a well-known, perhaps well-worn, stereotype that Florida is full of crime. From the Florida-man memes to the highlighted stories on the local and national news, there’s a general assumption that people in Florida just can’t get along with each other, and they can’t help but commit (sometimes bizarre) crimes, but how true is that stereotype?
Well, there’s some truth to it, certainly. Florida does have some of the most dangerous cities, in fact, it has 11 out of the top 100 most dangerous cities. Although, it is worth pointing out, most states don’t even have 11 cities, so part of Florida’s high number on the list is simply because of its size (more on that in a moment). Also of note, in that list, the highest ranking of any Florida city is 20. That doesn’t mean Florida deserves a prize, but it does mean many places are more dangerous than any of those 11 cities.
In fact, Florida overall doesn’t rank that highly on the dangerous state meter. According to 247wallst.com, Florida is right in the middle of the pack in terms of danger at number 18. Consider its reputation, that really isn’t that bad.
That doesn’t mean Florida doesn’t have its problems, though. There is a lot of crime in many of the cities for several reasons. Clustering people together in hot, humid conditions that don’t abate for the entire year is a recipe for people to get fed up and act out. There is also always a rise in crime before and after natural disasters, which of course, Florida gets more than its share of from hurricanes.
There’s also a great mix of people in Florida, including a mix of races and socio-economic levels, which can lead to a lot of tension.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues, though, is that Florida is a tourist location, and it’s a location that doesn’t necessarily always bring the best tourists. That’s not to say all tourists are bad. Most are nice families going to Disney World or people looking to relax down in Miami, but there are some who come looking to cause trouble. The nature of having such a massive tourist economy built on a party image means some people come and party too hard.
In fact, law firms even advertise their ability to help out-of-staters who have gotten themselves into trouble, whether it’s drug law problems or a case of public intoxication.
So, there are problems down in Florida, but those problems are often exaggerated. Florida is the third most populous state in the country, and that means there will be stories there if you go looking for them. The same would be true in any other populous state (California, New York, Texas, any of those top few states, really). The thing is, no one goes looking for them there. Florida’s reputation is largely manufactured by the media because it sells well. People like the stories.
Which means, the reputation is unlikely to change anytime soon, even if the facts don’t match up to it.
Read More »
Owning a home can bring many joys but also many challenges, one of which is maintaining a tidy looking lawn. Many HOAs and suburbs have ordinances dictating how high your lawn can get, so buying a lawnmower or paying someone to cut back your grass is essential. Unfortunately, may lawn mowers are still gas-powered and are not particularly environmentally friendly. Luckily, mother nature has provided humans with natural lawn mowers: goats.
According to the entertainment news site dnainfo.com, the second busiest airport in the nation has employed dozens of goats over the last few years in order to keep the wild brush around the grounds at a reasonable height. Encompassing 11 miles, there is a lot of ground to be covered at O’Hare International Airport. While humans still use tractors and mowers on the flatter areas up against the runways, goats take care of the rest. This summer 100 goats have been employed for the purpose, more than double the amount used in years past. The overgrowth around the airport grows quickly, and the terrain is rocky, and the plants are thorny, making it difficult for mowers to get around. One of the shepherds associated with the company who contracted out the goats says that because goats evolved in rocky terrains, their digestive system is more able to handle a wide variety of plants, even those that might be toxic to other animals. In fact, goats may even prove to be more efficient than human-powered mowers since they will pull up grass and other plants by their roots. One of the biggest reasons for keeping the area around the airport clear is that small animals and birds have been known to run across the runway. Without viable habitat nearby, these incidents will decrease.
This is the fourth summer that the airport has used goats to maintain their grounds, and I think it is a fantastic idea that other airports should adopt. In addition to being more efficient, it helps the environment by not having gasoline powered mowers running. Besides airports, other businesses that cover a lot of lands could also use goats, such as amusement parks. Of course, using a goat for personal mowing in order to get out of the chore might be more trouble than it is worth. Of course, a good landscaping company such as Ware Landscaping in the Naperville area could help you choose slow growing, low maintenance grass and other plants so that you will not have to resort to renting a goat.
Although the second busiest airport in the nation likely has more resources available for projects like this than smaller airports, using goats to clear land is natural and environmentally friendly. Large businesses could even advertise this fact and pull in a larger crowd who will appreciate the green measure being taken. In a world where we rely on complicated and advanced machinery to make our lives easier, it is often easy to overlook a natural solution that may be even better.
Read More »
As the world becomes increasingly busy and interconnected it is dragging many members of the population into a spiral of constant multitasking in order to meet deadlines. This acceleration in the pace of society poses a threat to the safety of us all. When a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle they are unknowingly committing themselves to the conditions of the road and the conditions of drivers they may come across. Organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are responsible for conducting studies and gathering data to better explain the conditions we see on the road. When examining the plethora of data on driving accident statistics it is clear there is something majorly wrong with the road systems of the U.S.
Thanks to the progress made in the tech industry there are now plenty of handheld gadgets to pull our attention away from what is important. A staggering number of drivers on the road are constantly engaging in distracted driving, a form of negligence that endangers the driver’s life and the lives of passengers in passing cars. According to studies done by NHTSA during the day, there are nearly 660,000 drivers using a cell phone behind the wheel. Integration of communication apps, live streaming, and even camera function are some of the leading causes for phone use while driving. Contrary to popular belief it is nearly impossible for humans to properly multitask. A sharpened mind can be partially successful, but driving is an activity that requires full attention and situational awareness. When there is a presence of a cellular device in the car the likelihood of using that distracting device is greatly increased. Phones have become an odd extension to the human hand. Furthermore, smaller devices such as smartwatches and other wearable technology are proof of the growing dependence on devices around the clock. In a separate study, it was found that distracted driving took the lives of 3,477 lives in 2015. Life is too fragile to become distracted by the shiny and bright gadgets pushed down on consumers. As is with any technology, there is an appropriate time and place for usage of that device, but as studies have and will continue to show that time is never while operating a motor vehicle on an open road. In the tragic event that an accident occurs and the victim is left in a debilitated state or becomes dependant on constant assistance they could possibly challenge their case in hopes of receiving just compensation. Victims of serious auto accidents typically undergo traumatic stress during the accident and especially after during recovery. The financial implications alone can be soul crushing. This is why it is important to seek proper guidance in pursuing legal action.
In summary, roadways are cluttered with drivers who are simply not paying attention to their path and their surroundings. In serious cases where an extensive injury is experienced the victim would likely receive appropriate compensation for their care. Through efforts of raising public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, we can mold a safer future for the growing new generations.
Read More »
The most common question mineral rights owners have in mind is – should I sell or lease my mineral rights? It is understandable that they are having difficulties in determining whether to sell or lease. But it is important to note that either has advantages over the other, so it all depends on the owners’ perspective on which advantages they would want to utilize. Below are either’s practices and advantages.
Selling Mineral Rights
If you want to sell mineral rights, the most important thing to know is that selling them means that you are transferring full rights to the buyer. In other words, you won’t have any rights to the minerals in your properties any longer, in the same sense that when you sell a house, you no longer have any rights to that house.
The clear advantage of selling mineral rights over leasing them is the lump sum you will receive. It is a good way to get instant money, a big amount of money at that. Selling right now is also a great idea. The prices are at their peaks because these minerals, especially oil and gas, are still on high demand. But that won’t last forever, because they are finite resources and the rise of renewable resources may reduce their value.
Leasing Mineral Rights
If selling mineral rights is like selling a house, leasing mineral rights is like making a house available for rent. You are giving an entity the right to use your house, but the house doesn’t belong to the entity. The entity who you have given the right to extract your minerals will be required to pay a leasing fee and royalty percentage from the valued and extracted minerals – either is under an agreed upon leasing period.
Even though leasing doesn’t translate as fast big cash as much as selling, there is still a considerable amount of money involved, not to mention that the flow of money is consistent, which could be a better financial device compared to getting a single lump sum. In fact, the accumulated money going into your pockets may even be greater compared to the lump sum from selling your mineral rights.
Read More »