The other day I saw that a driverless bus was undergoing a test run in Las Vegas when it collided with a delivery truck. Apparently, eight people were riding in the driverless bus when a delivery truck pulled out in front of it. The bus stopped in time, but the delivery truck kept going and caused a fender-bender. As a class-C license carrier, I’m sure the driver felt embarrassed about the incident. Who wants to be the poster child for the argument of why driverless vehicles are superior to humans? On top of that, I’m sure he got in trouble with his company, and the police ended up giving him a ticket.

Autonomous vehicles seem to be the way of the future, and I can’t wait until the days of being stuck in traffic are long gone. Instead of everyone cutting over, slamming on the brakes for no reason, and failing to speed up with the herd of motors, driverless cars offer a solution by providing a hive-mind system where every vehicle communicates with one another. The benefits are going to be huge for the economy. No more accidents, more efficient use of gas, and the community will hopefully be a lot healthier, happier, and productive because of it.

Think of how great it would be to have every vehicle communicating with each other. As one accelerates, the other engines will know exactly how much to increase their speed, and if one of them needs to brake, the message will be sent down the line of vehicles almost instantaneously. I see people getting frustrated all the time with other drivers when someone doesn’t see a car in their blind spot as it is coming over. It’s also a little nerve-racking. Everyone knows how annoying it is when a driver is blocking a lane and going slower than you want to go, but that shouldn’t be a problem once driverless cars take over the roadways. Reckless driving is dangerous for a lot of drivers, and hopefully, driverless vehicles will solve that problem for humanity.

Maybe I’m too trusting, but I want to be able to watch a movie, read a book, and play games while the car takes me to my destination. Anything would be better than the death grip and agonizing focus that is required to get through rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon. Instead, I’ll be able to relax, shift my attention elsewhere, and enjoy the ride. No matter what the conditions of the road are like, car rides are going to be so much better than what they are now when autonomous vehicles become the norm.

As great as it sounds, there are some foreseeable problems with driverless cars that need to be figured out before I commit to exclusively using one. One concern I have is how the vehicle will handle emergency situations, like an inevitable collision or passenger health issues. But then again, it will take many years before these cars replace human operators, and that means we have time to work out most of the kinks.

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Memorial Garden Underway

My aunt, Diane, passed away last year.  Diane was my dad’s favorite sibling, mother of five, grandmother of three.  She had been sick for a while, but it was still sad as she was only 52.  Three years prior, her daughter, Sydney, passed away after a violent car accident at the tender age of 21.  On the same day, my great aunt, Ethel, passed away of old lady naturally causes.  My dad’s side of the family has had one person die every year, for the past seven years.  

In the spring, my mom is planning a memorial garden to be constructed in our front yard and possibly the backyard as well.  

My parents, because of these individuals departing this world and my dad working so hard and me finally out of school, have come into some money.  They, well, more my mom, are hoping to plant a whole bunch pretty, deer resistant plants with a water feature.

The water feature should not be too elaborate because their land is only seven acres, but something still nice and honoring our dearly departed relatives, who always love Texas nature and wildlife.  

We’re picturing this being almost like a zone garden that has something along the lines of a pergola with vines weaving through it.  

The only thing we are really torn about is whether to place this memorial garden in the front yard or in the backyard.  

If it were in the backyard, we could have it near the pool, along with a sense of privacy.

However, if it were in the front yard, our neighbors would be able to see it from the road, and it would be the first thing we, and our guests, see when they pull into the driveway.  

We are not that imaginative of a family.  So, we will need a designer to come out to our house, help us assess what would go best where, draw up some design plans and go from there.  

We discuss money later.  There is not much of a price to help heal my dad’s hurt heart.  He spends time outside doing yard work, which is really just his excuse for being able to smoke, which we don’t let him do in the house with his stupid cancer sticks.  But, we do believe that this memorial garden will give him something pretty to look at and therefore a sense of inner peace because happiness comes from within.  

Also, we’re picturing a few hammocks for people to sleep in, during the summer months, in addition to pretentious looking garden gnomes.  I’m not entirely sure of the purpose of garden gnomes, if they are like the modern day scarecrow to scare away birds, but they sure are awesome, except for when you stub your toes on one while you’re walking up to get the morning paper or walking into the house, late at night, after work.  

Lastly, maybe the water feature could have a fish, salmon, or duck pond attached with a little troll looking bridge. Upon much consideration, we decided there was no one we’d trust more than these Chicago Landscapers to carry out this task.

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There is no doubt that fossil fuels are a finite resource. However, the date they fully diminish is often up to debate or experimental interpretation. Some scientists say that there are only 50 years of oil left, some people say that we will never run out of oil, and some people think we should go back to horse-drawn vehicles. Whatever anybody’s stance is, we are using oil now and will continue to do so for the next few years at least. Elon Musk of Tesla Motors, however, has other plans for this resources future.

As the industry leader in electronic luxury vehicles, Tesla has made a name for itself redefining how people take to the road in style. The company is not stopping at the higher end of the vehicle market, however. Recent news indicates that the company is looking to expand into the commercial vehicle market towards the end of this year. Still, in its prototype stage, Reuters reports that the vehicle will only be able to transport on the low end of the spectrum of what professional truckers refer to as “long-haul” trucking. This means that the electric truck can only travel for a maximum of 300 miles on a full battery charge. There is also no sleeper berth in the back of the cabin, so they are for day operation only. Beyond the technical capabilities of these vehicles, the main aspect of their hardware that is causing the most buzz-worthy news is the self-driving capabilities of the vehicle. While this may initially seem like an amazing idea, the implications of this come to a head in a legal nightmare. In the unfortunate case of a collision involving one of the trucks, there is the age-old case of who is at fault? Is Tesla held accountable for their programming? Is the trucking company owning the vehicle held accountable since it’s their property? Or is the person hit at fault since they are the only person technically involved? With a barrage of almost philosophical level questions, it can seem like there is a lot of mental work that needs to be done before these vehicles become commonplace.

While these trucks seem like a good idea, there is a lot of liability that comes with them. A computer can never fully replace a human behind the wheel. According to TBS Factoring Services, the demands for all kinds of truck loads from flat beds to reefers have been increasing by at least 70% each in the past year. This means that even with the news of electric trucks on the horizon, the economy’s faith in the trucking industry is holding strong. The market knows that fringe technology takes decades to develop fully and trucking can only grow.

There are always extensive trials and testing that need to be passed in order for new ideas to become commonplace. While electric cars are the inevitable next step in vehicles, self-driving cars are still science fiction.

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Learning to ride a bike is a quintessential part of childhood. It is often a happy memory of spending time with a parent or other trusted adult to learn a difficult but useful skill. The first time you can ride on your own is a triumphant moment, and you have mastered a skill you will have for the rest of your life. Even more importantly, it indicates the first moment of freedom because you now have your own form of transportation and can go wherever you choose. Riding a bike should be a joyous experience for all children, but that is not always the case when drivers do not take the proper precautions to avoid hitting bikers that are on the road. It is unfortunately common for bikers of all ages to be injured while riding on the road because drivers either do not see them in their path or are distracted while driving. However, it is particularly devastating when a young child is the victim of one of these horrifying accidents.

In April of 2017, a 14-year-old boy was riding his bike in Lower Makefield, Pennsylvania, when he was hit by a car that crossed in front of his path. Joshua Goldinger was attempting to cross the street at an intersection when a car, driven by an 18-year-old girl hit him and sent him off his bike. Although Joshua was rushed to St. Mary Medical Center, he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. This tragic event has greatly affected Joshua’s parents and the entire Charles Boehm Middle School, which he attended. Although no information has been released about the driver, the incident is under investigation by the local police department.

Although bicycle accidents are less common than car accidents, the results are typically far more severe, due to the lack of safety restraints and the smaller frame of a bicycle. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in 2015 there were nearly 1,300 bicycle accidents across the state and children age five to 14 account for 22% of them. These statistics are shocking and indicate a serious problem in biking safety. Despite campaigns that aim to increase driver’s awareness of bikers on the road, the number of injuries and deaths caused by biking accidents are still far too high. We must find a better solution to help protect all bikers on the road and prevent any more deaths such as Joshua Goldinger’s.

Nothing will be able to reverse the pain and frustration that Joshua’s family must be facing after this accident. However, they can take steps to help them bring justice for his death and receive compensation for the expenses this accident created. Lawyers across Pennsylvania, such as Munley Law, can help families and loved ones suffering from bike injuries or deaths file a lawsuit against the person who caused the accident. These lawsuits can help grieving families, like Joshua Goldinger’s, find some sense of comfort within their grief.

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total count of breast reconstruction procedures performed in the U.S. in 2014 was 286,254. Breast reconstruction, clinically called augmentation mammoplasty, which has been the number one cosmetic surgical procedure in the U.S. since 2005, is the surgical placement of implants in a woman’s breasts. It is intended to improve/restore symmetry or increase fullness of the breasts, enlarge naturally small breasts, or restore breast volume, which is greatly affected by pregnancy, weight reduction, breast cancer surgery or mastectomy. Besides these reconstructive or medical reasons, there are also personal ones which make some women decide to undergo the procedure, like the desire to look younger, boost their self-esteem, boost their sex life and, according to some, to make their clothes fit better.

The Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS) website affirms that breast reconstruction is still the most common kind of cosmetic surgery. In 2015, more than 280,000 women and teenagers underwent surgery to have their breasts enlarged with silicone or saline implants and about 106,000 breast cancer patients had reconstruction after mastectomy, often with implants. The popularity of breast augmentation has nearly tripled since 1997, when there were just over 101,000 of these procedures.

Breast implants, which last about 10 years, have an outer layer that is made of firm silicone, while its inside may be filled with silicone gel, saline solution or salt water, or a composite of alternative substances.

In its website, the Bergman and Folkers Cosmetic Surgery says that breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure. Though it can be performed for corrective purposes, it cannot correct pendulous or sagging breasts. To restore the youthful firmness and shape of breasts, breast mastopexy or a breast lift will first be required; only after this may breast reconstruction be performed.

Despite some of the risks associated with breast reconstruction procedures (well, any surgical procedure poses some kind of risk), this type of cosmetic surgery is safe, thus, the more than quarter of a million women undergoing it every year.

However, before finally deciding whether one should undergo breast reconstruction and which implant to choose, it is necessary to discuss things first with a trained and certified cosmetic surgeon, especially if one wants it simply because she wants to look better and she has seen how the procedure has really had great results in others.

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The Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is a phenomenon involving an individual’s failure to act due to the presence of other individuals. This psychological concept gained traction following the tragic death of Kitty Genovese

The heinous crime occurred outside Genovese’s New York City apartment in 1964. Her piercing screams alerted several individuals to the lurid event occurring around them. Still, they failed to intervene. It was not apathy or lack of concern that sparked their inaction. Though they may have had their best interest in mind, their inactivity did not stem from self-preservation. Instead, the presence of other individuals is to blame for their negligence. These individuals transferred responsibility to other people, rather than claiming it for themselves. They were under the notion that somebody would call the police or intervene in some way; therefore, the individual himself did not have to act. Since everybody shared that opinion, no action was taken. Moreover, social influences also affected their behaviors. It is human nature to imitate the behaviors of others. From an evolutionary perspective, such mirroring can be vital for survival. In this instance, however, it led to the death of an individual. Unfortunately, the bystander effect continues to occur every single day. Indeed, it extends to other emergencies.

In severe cases, an individual that is hurt in an accident is no longer capable of helping himself or herself. From a humanitarian perspective, it is the social responsibility of an individual to intervene in this emergency whether or not he or she witnessed the accident. Sadly, this is not always the case due to the bystander effect. Luckily, there are several ways to overcome this effect. The most important thing an individual can do is to claim rather than transfer responsibility. The individual can offer his or her assistance rather than assuming others will take action.

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Non revenue water (NRW) is clean, treated drinking water that is delivered to the distribution system but cannot billed to customers because this water never actually reaches them; this water is instead lost. Loss can either be apparent losses, which are due to metering inaccuracies or theft, or real losses or physical losses, which are due to leaks.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States losses about seven billion gallons of non-revenue water everyday. The American Water Works Association, however, estimates lost water to be closer to two trillion gallons daily. Only through leak detection can the water distribution system be made to comply with water conservation mandates.

In the U.S., where water supply systems are provided by municipalities to urban communities or cities, these municipalities become directly responsible for the safety, health and welfare of residents and may be held liable if residents suffer damages and losses due to acts of negligence.

Three very important municipal service are to ensure the continuous flow of clear drinking water, locate and repair leaks where these exist. Even what starts as a small puncture in a main pipe line can easily become a huge break that would spill thousands of gallons of water which could damage private commercial properties, furniture and other equipment in ground floors of buildings, sidewalks, and vehicles in parking lots and streets. Obviously, leaks that are never repaired immediately can result in very costly damages.

Due to the aging pipelines and water supplies in so many municipalities, it cannot be denied that leaks have become more costly and frequent. To help municipalities solve emergency leak problems, especially if water has gushed out continuously and has surfaced, are private firms which provide fast and effective municipal leak detection service through the use of state-of-the-art equipment capable of electronically locating leaks.

Besides helping solve emergency problems, these firms also help municipalities save cost on labor, time, materials and equipment.

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Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal fractures, and account for more than 40% of spinal injuries every year. Any sort of injury to the neck or spine can be highly debilitating and stressful, and according to William Kherkher, these injuries can cause extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability, and major lifestyle and family-life changes. Understanding the different types of these sorts of injuries is an important step to take if you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing symptoms in your neck or spine.

A spinal fracture is essentially what happens when vertebra in the spine cause bone fragments to pinch, damaging the spinal nerves or cord. The extent of the injury can vary from mild ligaments and strains to debilitating spinal cord damage. Some of the most common neck and spine injuries after a car incident are:

  • Whiplash: Hyperextension of the neck or rapid back and forth motion of the head cause muscles and ligaments in the neck to be pushed beyond their normal range of motion.
  • Spine instability: A result of excessive motion between vertebrae most often from torn ligaments or broken bone. More often than not requires surgery for realignment.
  • Herniated Disk: Occurs when the soft, jelly-like inside of a spinal disk pushes through the more non-permeable exterior it is encased in through a crack in that exterior, irritating nearby nerves. Pain often felt in an arm or leg; sometimes no pain is felt at all and x-rays must be taken.

Any sort of injury to the neck or spine can be highly debilitating and stressful, and according to William Kherkher, These injuries can cause extensive medical bills and other expenses, lost wages from work, long-term disability, and major lifestyle and family-life changes.

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Salmonella infection is considered one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the country. There are many types of salmonella bacteria, and salmonella contamination usually occurs more often during summer than in any other seasons. Although salmonella infection could be less serious for healthy individuals, those in vulnerable groups may develop complications that can be life-threatening.

Infants, children and older adults are more prone to develop severe symptoms. Pregnant women, those with weak immune system, and those who are under immunosuppressant medications may also develop serious complications. Due to its seriousness, it is important that people should be mindful if the food they are consuming is contaminated with potentially possibly deadly salmonella bacteria.

According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, salmonella infection could be a result of defectively manufactured food products released in the market. A food that has been mishandled during the processing, packaging, and delivery could pose threat of contamination.

Another possible cause of salmonella infection is unsanitary food handling. Lawyers from the Abel Firm say on their website that restaurant owners and staff who are negligent of the salmonella threat could pose risk of contamination to their customers.

Foods prepared at home are also not safe from salmonella contamination. So, to prevent salmonellosis (salmonella disease) in your own kitchen, always remember these safety tips:

  • Meat products should be washed thoroughly. Salmonella bacteria breeds in animal intestine and feces, and a meat that hasn’t been washed carefully might carry the pathogen.
  • Wash vegetables well, especially if they will be eaten raw.
  • Do not let salmonella bacteria hitchhike on your dirty utensils. To avoid cross-contamination, wash knives, chopping boards, and other utensils in between use while cooking.
  • Raw meats and undercooked eggs can be good salmonella carriers. Remember to cook them well before serving.
  • Finally, utensils used for raw food items should NEVER be used for cooked and ready-to-eat foods to avoid contamination.

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Tires are among the most important components of a vehicle. It comes in direct contact with the road, which means a simple tire defect could trigger life-changing car accidents. According to a Rhinelander personal injury lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, several cases of injurious car-related accidents have been attributed to defectively manufactured tires. But apart from negligent tire manufacturers, drivers who fail to properly maintain their tires could also be driving cars that make U.S. roads dangerous.

A Massachusetts car accident attorney will probably have seen how life-changing a car accident can be for all the parties involved. That’s why it is very important to always check your tires for safety before hitting the road. Before you exit your driveway, check for PAT:


Many tire-related car crashes have been associated with an overinflated or underinflated tire. When a tire is underinflated, the driver would find it difficult to control the steering wheel, making him and his occupants more vulnerable to road crash. On the other hand, too much pressure inside the tire because of over inflation could generate too much heat, making them more prone to blowouts. Check your car specs for proper tire pressure.


When a car is toed in or out, chances are it will wear of unevenly on either side. This could make your tires more prone to blowouts. Also, a tire that’s poorly aligned could also be more difficult to control, making it more prone to car-related accidents. Regularly check your alignment by visiting your auto mechanic.


The grooves on the surface of your tires act as an irrigation to expel water when driving in wet roads. Without these grooves, your tires may lose traction, causing it to hydroplane and go out of control. A tire with worn-out treads should be replaced immediately. Also, always put the best treaded set of tires at the rear axle for better control.

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