A new year brings new opportunities, friendships, and milestones in our lives. No year is ever like the last, but sometimes our birthday parties seem to blur together. Besides cake, presents, and the occasional fun activity — how different and special can we make our birthday celebrations each year?
The answer is actually very special — depending on how willing we are to think outside the box. Whether you have a birthday coming up and want to plan a party for yourself or are planning to surprise your loved ones, check out this list for some party inspiration — no Pinterest account required!
# 1 Quiz Your Friends
This is an easy way to set your birthday party from the rest while not breaking the budget. Something fun to keep your guests entertained is to create play a few games that will test their knowledge of you and your personality — and will test your knowledge of your friendship with them, too!
The following idea works best if you are having your guests seated around a table. You could place a piece of paper with their names at the top with a bunch of questions about you underneath it. These would be fun questions designed to test how well they know you. They would circle their answers to the questions with a pen placed at their seat as well.
Ideas for questions could be “What is their middle name?” or “What is their celebrity crush?” Questions could also have your guests choose which you would prefer from two choices — such as “Dogs or Cats?” With their name on the top, this questionnaire could double as a place marker!
#2 Change Up The Setting
If you’re not feeling as in tune with your creative side, an easy way to take your birthday party to the next level is to host it at an unusual location.
One unique idea I found while searching the Internet was a yacht. Yes, you read that correctly. Several companies rent yachts to individuals looking to host events — ranging from birthday parties to wedding receptions and more. Many of these companies also have catering, entertainment, photography, and other birthday essentials available for booking through their company, Anita Dee Yacht Charter. This makes setting up your party easier — all while providing a luxurious, unexpected venue for your attendees.
#3 Mix it up!
For those of us who love some bubbly, drinks are an important part of any celebration — especially our birthdays. If you want to take your drink options to the next level, hire a professional mixologist — yes, that is a job — who can create custom drinks for you and your friends to sample all night.
These drinks could be inspired by your guests, or be based on your favorite drink ingredients. Your guests could leave with their very own drink named after them, and your party would be a hot topic of conversation for years to come.
Have you heard of the scandal around 3M hearing protection earplugs? Apparently, for over a decade the company “3M” manufactured earplugs to protect the hearing of service members from damage. Events like explosions, gunshots, or other background noise that comes being deployed in a risky situation can damage your hearing in the long AND short term.
Well, 3M promised to manufacture earplugs that fit directly into service members’ ears and provided adequate protection. Like I said, for over a decade these earplugs were manufactured and administered to those serving our country at home and abroad.
The scandal, of course, comes from the fact that the earplugs were never properly designed or correctly manufactured. I think that scams or frauds are not okay in any conditions. However, perpetuating fraud at the cost of the health and safety of military members has to be more despicable than anything I can imagine.
Some side effects from improper hearing safety protections include tinnitus, loss of general hearing, loss of hearing specific frequencies or ranges, a feeling of pressure in your ear canal(s), loss of balance, and so many more related to auditory and balance systems.
Because the flawed products were only recently discovered, it is likely that service members experienced these negative medical side effects without knowing their cause. Without that information, it is also possible that medical care to address these issues was harder to attain. Isn’t that ridiculous?
These people have given themselves and their safety over in the name of national security and public service. The idea that they had to use faulty protections infuriates me. Thankfully, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the 3M company responsible for manufacturing the earplugs.
I think the aim of any litigation in a situation like this ought to not only be to recoup victims’ losses (as best as you can, since hearing is difficult to regain even through the most expensive of medical procedures) but also to make sure the company faces justice to the point where they learn to not scam service members in the future. I know some law firms like ChasenBoscolo represent victims not only to receive compensation for their pain and suffering but also to hold the company accountable.
One of the things discovered about this particular scandal was that efficacy tests were altered and messed with in order to conceal that the earplugs did not function as promised. I hope that any litigation or investigation into this will also disincentivize obviously criminal behavior like that.
I have to imagine that though 3M is a big company, a lawsuit like this is fairly straight forward. Often, records for mishaps like concealing product defects are kept in company files that can then be handed over in the discovery process of a lawsuit. It is likely similarly easy to access the medical records for the damages done to service members using the faulty earplugs.
I’m not a legal expert nor a lawyer, but this issue seems to be pretty black and white. Hopefully, with the right legal counsel and the right strategy, all companies including 3M can be accountable for their dishonesty and negligence.
Accidents happen every day, and sometimes, they are no one’s fault. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of bad luck. People are left every day dealing with bad luck, and there’s not much that can be done other to shrug and move on with life as well as possible.
However, there’s another category of accident: the preventable kind. With these accidents, someone gets hurt and someone else is responsible. This isn’t really bad luck. It’s called negligence, and those who suffer from such accidents don’t just have to shrug and move on as best they can. They have the option to pursue a claim against those who were really at fault.
Knowing just what kind of accidents can lead to claims can open up the potential for compensation when you didn’t know it existed. If you slip in a store, for example, you may feel you were clumsy or foolish. In reality, you may be able to get compensation for any injuries if there was a spill no one marked.
To get a better sense of how large the world of personal injury law is, consider all the ways a prominent personal injury law firm like Glover Law Firm assists its clients. They cover all the following accidents and incidents:
- Bicycle accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Golf cart accidents
- Injuries to child
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Accidents that lead to wrongful death
Each of these categories includes a vast number of potential accidents. A pedestrian or car accident may involve a distracted driver, a drunk driver, a tired driver, or just a driver who was speeding or missed a stop sign. Meanwhile, a bicycle accident can involve everything from a pothole, a driver opening their door without looking, or someone’s dog attacking. That doesn’t even touch the vast number of ways a child can get injured due to someone’s negligence or the way a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital can act negligently. There are more types of accidents than this, but you get the idea of just how many kinds of accidents aren’t really your fault, and how many accidents can lead to claims.
It’s important to recognize just how many accidents are really personal injury cases because otherwise, you may be struggling with medical bills and financial distress when someone else made the mistake. These accidents can be serious. They can even be fatal. There’s no reason you should have to feel embarrassed when you slip on a spill no one cleaned up. There’s no reason you should blame yourself when someone was on their cell phone and not paying attention while driving. There’s no reason you should just consider it bad luck when the pharmacist provides you the wrong medication.
Instead, you should feel angry, and you should feel entitled to compensation. Knowing what counts as a personal injury is the first step towards claiming your rights and avoiding being taken advantage of. If an accident like this has happened to you, you should contact a personal injury lawyer right away for help.
You and your partner may file for divorce because of various reasons. The reason for the separation may be differing priorities, financial disagreements, or even downright domestic violence and spousal rape. Whatever the reason behind your divorce, it doesn’t change the fact that the legal process can be very complicated.
But there is a kind of divorce that is less difficult to handle, and it is called uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce wherein the spouses involved have no disputes, and it has significant advantages over contested divorce, also known as a divorce wherein there are disputes, particularly in terms of alimony, child custody and support, and property division.
Less prone to errors
Uncontested divorce typically means that the spouses have already come into agreement on possible dispute areas, such as supportive obligations and assets and liabilities distributions. Since everything is already agreed upon, the legal process will be less likely to have errors, and therefore faster compared to contested divorce.
Contested divorce may take much longer, because the spouses are likely to fight for their best interests, so they won’t give in and make the legal process time-consuming.
Less financial costs
According to the website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, divorce can also be a financially straining process. This is understandable, because after all, attorneys and family courts are not free. Because uncontested divorce is less prone to errors and more likely to be faster compared to contested divorce, it may translate into less legal expenses.
Your financial standing doesn’t matter. Whether you are high or low in the economic ladder, a less expensive divorce process is always more appealing. In fact, the website of this Lewisville divorce attorney even says that 90% of all divorces are uncontested.
Less emotional strain
It is not always about the legal aspect, because divorce can also be emotionally taxing. In contested divorce, there will be arguments, and this may result into more hard feelings between the spouses, more violent separation processes, and worse, more impactful parental separation for the children involved. Uncontested divorce involves less emotional strain because of its relatively passive approach.
We go the water to have some fun and escape from the real world, where there are responsibilities we should think about. Getting injured while on vacation is probably one of the worst things that could happen to you, as your time for recreation and unwinding becomes a time for medical bills.
In a sense, we still have responsibilities even when we are on vacation, and one of those responsibilities is making sure that we are doing safe practices in operating our personal watercraft, like jet skis.
Always wear the appropriate gear
Accidents may happen whether it is your fault or not, and your first line of defense when they do happen is your protective gear, such as your helmet and lifejacket. Your helmet can protect you against head injuries that you can get from crashing your head into hard surfaces and getting hit by flying debris. Your lifejacket can be the very thing that saves you from drowning.
Be aware of other people
Though it is true that the sea offers a wide space, it does not mean that you are safe from personal watercraft traffic. Be mindful of the other watercraft around you, such as boats and other jet skis, and other people that you may not notice, such as swimmers and divers. Not being aware of the position of others can potentially lead to collisions and injuries.
Don’t drink and ride
Alcohol, drugs, and other substances that may cause impairment are very dangerous even on watercraft operation. They limit your body coordination, comprehension skills, and sensory and motor functions. Losing at least one of these things can lead to accidents.
Look out for obstructions
Obstructions can be natural or artificial. Natural obstructions include rocks and corals, while artificial obstructions include buoys and watercraft. You can injure yourself because of the collision force and debris, eject yourself from your jet ski and drown, or both.
Check the weather conditions
Sometimes, safe jet ski riding is not about the manner you operate your jet ski, but about the weather and how it affects the water. You should give attention to winds and high waves, as they have the capability to eject you or roll you and your jet ski over.
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Roads and highways are not the only places where alcohol puts people in danger. Accidents occurring on waters, though with much lesser results of injuries and deaths, are also major concerns for authorities, specifically to the U.S. Coast Guard. Water accidents involve not only big ships and cruise liners which meet tragic accidents in international seas; many more occur near shores, in rivers or inside territorial waters and these involve yachts, motor boats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes, and other water vessels, including those used for sporting activities, like jet skis.
Alcohol, sad to say, is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Boating while impaired or boating under the influence (BUI), according to the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, is just as deadly as drunk-driving. Drinking, as a matter of fact, will impair a boat operator even faster than a car driver and that 1/3 of all recreational boating accidents are due to alcohol impairment. Because of the dangers brought about by BUI, those who violate US laws regarding this will suffer jail terms, huge fines and revocation of operator privileges.
The federal BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard applies to all types of boats, including the largest ships, rowboats and canoes; it also includes foreign vessels sailing through US territories and US ships on the high seas.
The threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:
- Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder;
- Impairment in physical control, resulting in failure to make timely reaction to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance;
- Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red; and,
- Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death.
Drinking alcohol or liquor, while on sea, can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than when alcohol is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where the boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common causes death of fatal accidents for boat passengers and operators alike.
According to the Clawson Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, boat operators are obliged to observe different laws on the water, including not operating their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Failure to observe these rules can result not only to fines and possible imprisonment, but to suspension of their privilege to operate their vessel as well.
Based on a study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, majority of US senior citizens aged 65 and above will require some type of long-term care services, while more than 40 percent of those aged at least 55 will require some period of care in a nursing home facility.
Moving an older family member into a nursing home facility becomes necessary when a person reaches a certain age or following hospitalization, since the family members are hindered by work or other concerns from giving their loved one all the care and attention that he or she needs. In a nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing home care facility, people who need full time care (especially medical care) and assistance will be provided with significant support in all daily activities (including eating, bathing, dressing and toileting) and round-the-clock nursing care. To provide these needs, besides trained staff, nursing homes also have nurses on 24-hour duty, a licensed physician and other medical professionals, like a physical therapist.
A nursing home is designed to provide older adults the highest level of custodial care outside of a hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February of 2015, about 1.4 million older adults received this type of care in 15,700 various nursing homes all across the US. The national median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home facility is about $222 per day, while the median rate for a private room is approximately $248 per day (geographic location is one of the factors that greatly affect nursing home cost).
If the length of care required by the adult is only on a short-term basis (100 days or less), then he or she may qualify for Medicare benefits, so long as he or she:
- Is at least 65 years old or has been diagnosed with renal failure
- Is currently receiving Medicare Part A benefits (Hospital insurance)
- Has been hospitalized for three or more consecutive days within the past 30 days
- Has been determined by a physician as needing skilled care and/or rehabilitation (in a Medicare-certified facility).
Qualified seniors can enjoy 100% coverage from Medicare for the first 20 days of stay; from the twenty-first day onwards, the patient will have to pay about $130 per day. Patient contribution may come from his or her own savings or from long-term care insurance, if the patient has one.
Car accidents are unfortunately a standard event across the USA. As found from the Census Bureau, about 10.8 million auto injuries were noted in the year 2009 alone. In most of the cases, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out, around three-fourths are due to traffic violations and driver’s mistakes. Another frequent factor adding to these amounts are hazardous road conditions due to highway problems and poorly-preserved streets.
Other dangerous highway conditions and highway defects can place drivers in plenty of risky scenarios which could lead to severe mishaps. In such accidents, the driver could also face the possibility of severe harm that will certainly cause disastrous effects on their individual lives. According to the website of the Sampson Law Firm, common freeway defects include potholes, uneven pavements, lack of important traffic signs, and deficiency of guardrails along the border of the road. Additional frequent highway hazards include shoulder drop-offs, water pooling.
Such freeway problems and hazards can simply be avoided with proper street maintenance. The local government is kept held accountable for such responsibilities and is accountable for making sure that the roads fulfill with safety methods. In instances of accidents caused by street conditions that are hazardous, the government is typically clear of any liability so long as they follow building strategies that are approved. Therefore, they could be exempt from paying victims their compensation that is earned.
Casualty victims have the legal choice to seek reparation for harms caused by injuries from freeway accidents out. As victims point out, serious effects can be really left by injuries from vehicle accidents on an individual’s life. If you are in an accident brought on by dangerous road conditions and also other highway hazards, you might be able to hold your local government responsible for the accident.
Morcellators are known in the medical field as a new, innovative surgical instrument used in laparoscopic procedures. A morcellator is a small, cylindrical tube that is inserted to the body, through a small incision, and using the attached sharp claw, latches on to noncancerous growths and takes it out through suction. It is small enough that it can reach and get out every last bit of the growth within the affected part of the body and the attached camera allows for the surgeon to get a closer look at the specimen.
People are more likely to be charmed by the prospect of a laparoscopic surgical procedure, morcellation devices included. After all, there is minimal scarring and discomfort that follows such a procedure and it allows for a faster recovery time, which means less time at the hospital. Overall, if it’s an option, it seems the most ideal. However, there are some risks associated with certain procedures and devices – morcellators are not exempt from this rule.
In 2014, for example, Johnson & Johnson issued the recall of their three morcellators (namely Gynecare X-Tract, Morcellex Sigma, and Gynecare Morcellex) after there was sufficient evidence coming from claims that use of these morcellation devices has caused for women to develop endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is a cancer that develops from the endometrium – otherwise known as the inner lining of the womb. Morcellators were popularly used on women and hysterectomy procedures, where a woman’s womb is removed from her body due to health complications.
There are cases being handled by morcellator attorneys everywhere, handling claims of women having their chances of this kind of aggressively malignant cancer as significantly higher due to the use of the aforementioned morcellation devices. Remember to always ask for the full risks of a procedure before consenting to allow it and if you or someone you know has been affected by a morcellator in this way, it is recommended that legal help and representation is sought immediately in order to get the best help and resources possible.