May 22, 2018

Could A New Hobby Help You Get More Out Of Life?

Note: This post has been contributed.

The average person spends around 37 hours per week at work. For some of us, our day job fulfills all our needs, but many of us turn to hobbies to get more out of life. If you’re keen to work hard and play hard, taking up new activities and meeting new people can help you to achieve a better work-life balance, indulge your passions and broaden your horizons. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some fantastic hobbies to take up.

Adrenaline rush
If your day job is more mundane than action-packed, you may be craving a rush of adrenaline. If you love the feeling of testing or pushing yourself or you have a need for speed, why not indulge your inner adventurer and take up sports like canyoning, climbing, rally driving, abseiling or off-roading? You can find all the parts you’ll ever need for an off-road jaunt at www.offroadantics.com and you can locate local climbing, canyoning and abseiling clubs online. Even if you don’t have a huge amount of spare time available for hobbies, spending an hour or so at the weekends doing something that makes you feel alive could make all the difference to your happiness and mental wellbeing. You can also develop and hone your skills as you gain more experience, and you may also find that you form new friendships and explore new territories along the way.

De-stressing
Does your job stress you out or do you find it hard to switch off and relax? If so, why not try out an activity that is proven to reduce stress and help you feel calm? You could take up yoga or Pilates, embrace the art of meditation or hone your horticultural skills. Many people find walking relaxing and fishing is another popular option for those hoping to escape the noise and enjoy some peace and alone time. Stress is a very common issue in today’s society. Taking a little time out to do something that helps you retain composure and clear your mind could help you to combat stress and make you feel happier and more content.


Creativity
If you’re a creative person, but your job doesn’t give you an opportunity to showcase your talents or use your imagination, don’t let your creativity go to waste. Spend your spare time drawing, painting, writing, playing music or doing arts and crafts. Studies show that creative activities can be incredibly beneficial for tackling stress and they’re also really fun. For more information about the benefits of using your creativity, check out this interesting article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300347. You can be creative at home, or you could look into joining a local art class or using your talents to entertain others, for example, taking part in poetry readings or giving live music performances at bars or events.


Many of us enjoy work, but it doesn’t always give us everything we need. When you have spare time, it’s wise to make the most of it and indulge your interests and passions. If you’d love to spend more time celebrating your creativity, you live for an adrenaline rush, or you crave tranquility and calm, why not try these hobbies for size?

Look After Yourself Better From Day to Day With These Tips

Note: This post has been contributed.

Are you sure that you’re looking after yourself in the correct and proper way? If you’re not, you should definitely start to think about what you should be doing differently. Taking those first steps towards change in your approach to day to day life can be pretty difficult, especially if you’re not prepared for it and don’t really know where to start. You don’t want to be thrown in at the deep end, but at the same time, you don’t want to cling onto unhealthy habits for a second longer.

We’re going to help you understand what you should do to lead a more healthy and positive life from one day to the next. It’s all about achieving balance, working on your mental health and looking after your body in simple and sensible ways. There really isn’t anything particular complicated about any of this, so there is no need at all for you to feel either daunted or overwhelmed. Read on now to learn more about all this.

Start the Day With a Nutritious Breakfast

The way in which you start your day will have a big impact on how your day is experienced from then on out. If you don’t start it with some healthy and fulfilling food, your hunger will distract you and you’ll be burnt out before lunch. If you eat too much or choose unhealthy and sugary foods, you will get a short burst of energy before crashing back down to earth pretty hard. So try to get that breakfast balance right and start your day on the right note.

Note Things Down

You will find it much easier to keep your thoughts neat and organised if you get into the habit of noting things down. It’s not just a case of making notes so that you don’t forget things. For example, you might want to keep a journal so you can make sure that you articulate your thoughts properly each day. It’s a very useful and healthy form of expressions, so why not embrace it?

Challenge Your Mind

If your mind is never really challenged or put to the test, how will you keep learning new things and expanding your horizons? Challenging yourself is something you should try to do regularly because when your brain is put to the test regularly, it becomes healthier and more powerful. Train your mind so that you can do more and achieve more. But don’t just let it sit there and do nothing. 

Take the Healthy Route Rather Than the Easy One

Your health will steadily improve if you get into the habit of taking the healthy route rather than the easy one. We live in a culture of convenience, and that means we often have options that allow us to take the easy way out of things. Rather than walking to the shop and getting fresh air and exercise, we get in the car. Even things as simple as walking up some stairs can be avoided by getting the lift or the escalator. Try to reject convenience in your day to day life.

Stay in Touch With Friends and Get Back in Touch With Old Ones

The social aspect of your health is something that definitely should not be ignored or overlooked at all. It’s what allows you to stay healthy and balanced in life. Without a good social life, it’s very easy to experience more mental health problems. You can start to feel anxious and isolated, and that’s never a good thing. That’s why you should do more to stay in touch with them and also to get back in touch with old friends you’ll lost contact with.

Keeping Learning and Trying New Things

There are so many new opportunities and ideas out there for you to try out for yourself. It’s definitely something that you should be looking into if you're serious about wanting to look after yourself better. Your mental health improves when you feel free enough to try new things and go in new directions in life. You might always want to try new health and fitness methods to improve your physical condition. Things like Dr Wallach products could help you achieve the balance you want. Don’t be closed off to new things.

Take a Break From Tech

Sometimes, you just have to shut off the technology and allow your mind the chance to relax. The constant demand for our attention can be really exhausting. But by putting down the smartphone and not putting on the TV, you will have the chance to relax in a much more sociable and focused way. Try to take more of these breaks for social media and tech if you possibly can.

Make the Most of Your Time Off Work

Whenever you have time away from work, you should try your best to make the most of that time. It’s valuable and it allows you the chance to do the things that make you feel happy and contented. Don’t fritter away those free days doing nothing at all because great thing will be achieved when you focus on doing what you want to do.

Try to Get More Sleep

Finally, you should think about how your sleeping patterns could be affecting your emotions, efficiency and alertness during the day. If you're not getting enough sleep that your body needs, all of those things and many more will suffer. That’s what you should be trying your best to avoid because no one wants to be failing at work or running out of energy in the afternoon just because they’re not sleeping as much as they should. It’s something to work on at least.

Looking after yourself is not simply about spending hours in the gym and eating your greens. Both of those things can be helpful to some people, and that’s great. But there is so much else besides that has to go into making yourself healthy and happy. And it all comes down to what you do day to day,

May 18, 2018

What Are The Consequences Of Being Convicted Of A Felony?

Note: This post has been contributed.

As US law states, the more serious the crime, the more severe the punishment. However, while that tells you how the legal system is staggered in terms of how felons are expected to pay for crimes they commit, it does not tell you what the consequences of committing a felony means. Smaller crimes are called misdemeanors, and these are much less serious than felonies, and so have much less serious consequences; usually, they result in a fine and no further action. 

However, being convicted of a felony is much more serious and can result in many long-term issues in terms of your career and lifestyle, not to mention the fact a felony, depending on the grade, may result in jail time. Of course, it’s advised that to prevent these kinds of issues occurring; you should aim to avoid committing a felony. However, if you’ve already committed a felony, then you may be wondering what the consequences will be and just how serious the ramifications will be for you.

What are the possible punishments for a felony?

When it comes to dealing with felonies, it’s important to understand that the exact punishment will depend on the state that you live in. The fact is that every state has its own methods of managing felonies, and so the consequences change from state to state. However, usually, felony crimes are considered to be more serious and include things such as murder, rape, arson, assault, and theft. 

In most states, crimes lesser than these are punished with fines and community service rather than jail time. Of course, felonies are ranked from A to E with A being the most serious and E being the least serious. Class A felonies can earn you life without parole or any other long period of time. While a class B through to class D felony can carry a maximum penalty of six to 25 years in jail, and class E comes with a penalty of up to 3 years in jail. 

It’s important to understand that it isn’t rare for a felony to include both prison time and a fine. You may also be made to legally compensate the victim or the family of the victim as part of your punishment and rehabilitation. 

Can you appeal a felony conviction? 

If you are faced with a felony conviction that you believe is not a fair one, or there’s reason to believe that you are innocent, then you do have the opportunity to appeal to a higher court. However, that being said, appealing a criminal conviction is something that can be very difficult to do, and something that you will need a lot of hard evidence and a very good legal team for. That being said, it can be successfully done. 

It’s important to understand that if you choose to appeal your sentence, then your defense attorney will need to be able to show that a mistake has been made somewhere in terms of your case and the evidence that supports it. If you aren’t happy with the felony charge that you have received and believe it hasn’t been given fairly, then talking to an expert in criminal defense law is highly recommended.

Can your conviction be expunged? 

When you are convicted of a felony, regardless of what grade felony, it will remain on your record forever. This means that it can have long-term consequences, such as preventing you from working in certain sectors, such as working with children. It can also limit your employment opportunities as very few companies are keen to take on people who have felonies on their records. 

Of course, this does depend on the type of felony that you were convicted of - lesser crimes tend to offer more in terms of career opportunities because of their less severe nature. However, because a felony remains on your record forever, this is why some people seek to have it expunged so that it is removed completely. 

What is expungement? This is when your criminal record is destroyed completely, which makes it as if the crime never happened. However, when it comes to the process of expungement, it’s important to understand that there are some very strict rules in place regarding who can and cannot be expunged. These rules are set out by the state, and each state has rules that differ slightly, meaning that getting expunged changes from state to state. In some states no one with a felony on their record can be expunged, in other only non-violent felonies can be expunged. 

For anyone looking to get their records expunged, it’s important to consult with a specialist criminal lawyer who is familiar with the process that needs to be undertaken to get the wheels in motion. However, it’s important to understand that when it comes to expungement, there is never any guarantee of success. You can attempt to get expunged, and with a very good lawyer you may well succeed, but there’s never any guarantee of success. It very much depends on a wide range of variable, from the crime you committed and your attorney to the state you are in and the judge’s temperament. 

The truth is that being accused of committing a felony can be completely life-altering. Being convicted with a crime that comes with a felony is serious and can have life-long implications, making it much more difficult for you to lead a normal life. Career opportunities become vastly limited, and there’s also a risk that you won’t be able to work with children or even care for children, including your own children. You could also face jail time, which can be anything from a few months to life without parole.

Felonies are serious, and it’s important to understand that. While you may have the opportunity to apply for your conviction to be overturned or your record to be wiped clean, that doesn’t mean that these things will happen. Unless, of course, you have adequate evidence to prove that you are innocent or that some of the important evidence was not taken into account when you were tried for your crimes. 

May 14, 2018

3 Reasons You Should Claim Compensation After an Accident


Note: This post has been contributed.


Image Credit: Stock Snap

An accident is a costly, frustrating and often painful experience and yet many people would rather not claim the compensation they deserve. Often this is because they don’t want any more trouble or because they are simply too wrung out from the accident itself. Plus, it can be daunting to claim money from someone else, even if they are at fault. 

However, claiming compensation shouldn’t be too difficult that it puts you off. In fact, with the help of a lawyer, you shouldn't have to worry about any aspect of claiming compensation because you will be in safe hands. You can see this attorney for details but in the meantime, if you need more persuading, here are 3 reasons to think about.

You Will Need to Cover Medical Costs
Whether you are recovering from a serious accident or you have had a lucky escape, it is very unlikely that you won't have any medical bills to cover. For one thing, you will need to be checked over by the doctor to make sure that you don’t have any unseen issues. In some cases, medical bills can far exceed anything you could imagine and make life very difficult, even after your recovery. 

The purpose of compensation is often to cover the medical costs you have to ensure that you are not forced to use your hard earned savings or take out an unaffordable loan just for the sake of your health. It is incredibly unfair for you to have to pay for treatment for injuries sustained when the accident was not your fault, so you should certainly consider compensation if only for this purpose.

You Will Need to Cover Loss of Income
There aren’t many jobs that will give you fully paid sick leave for an extended period of time and if you are one of the many, you may struggle to pay for your basic needs if you can’t earn while you recover. Compensation should also be used to allow you the time you need away from work to get fully better after the accident.

Though you might assume that a lawyer will be too expensive, the best lawyers will normally take a small percentage of the winnings rather than charge you before going to court. This way, you won’t need to worry about paying for their services at exactly the time you need them most.

You May Be Able to Set an Example
Sometimes, seeking compensation isn’t just about getting the money you need to cover your costs, but about setting an example to others in the jurisdiction. Some accidents, such as drink driving accidents, can have catastrophic results and so claiming compensation - and winning it - can act as a deterrent for others. 

Claiming compensation might feel a bit scary but the alternative - not being able to pay for your recovery or even basic needs - is much scarier. With the help of a good lawyer, you should be able to secure the money you need to survive and continue with your life. 

May 12, 2018

Best Films of 2017

Finally ready to call my Best Films of 2017. No completely "wow" films for me yet again this year. Crossing my fingers for 2018.

TOP THREE
Three Billboards
The Shape of Water
Downsizing

WORTH RENTING/STREAMING
Wonder
Disaster Artist
Split
Dunkirk
Oklahoma City
Jigsaw
Brigsby Bear
Coco
Molly’s Game
I, Tonya
Last Flag Flying
Call Me By Your Name
The Killing of a Secret Deer
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Voyeur
Nerve
Father Figures
The Polka King
Phantom Thread
Band-Aid
The Greatest Showman
Wizard of Lies
Jim & Andy
Baby Driver
Ingrid Goes West

DO NOT RECOMMEND
Logan Lucky
Nobody Speak
The Big Sick
Get Out
mother!
Wonder Wheel
The Florida Project
Ladybird
IT
11/8/16
Brad’s Status
Battle of the Sexes
An Inconvenient Sequel
The Lego Batman Movie
Blair Witch
I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore
A Ghost Story
Personal Shopper
Dark Night
The Shack

DID NOT FINISH
Meyerowitz Stories
The Post
Wonder Woman
Logan
The Little Hours
Case for Christ

Drunk Driving: Myths & Realities


Note: This post has been contributed.



Alcohol has an important role to play in culture. There’s no harm in the occasional glass of your preferred tipple, and few people would seek to demonize the enjoyment of alcohol in moderation. 

However, there is a scenario in which alcohol goes from being that friendly, sociable beverage to a genuine threat to life. When people who have been drinking sit behind the wheel of a vehicle, disaster looms large in the distance. Below, we’ll delve into the facts behind drunk driving and answer some of the most common questions people have regarding the subject… 

How big of an issue is drunk driving?

Drunk driving is a real problem throughout the world, but the statistics close to home are particularly concerning. Here’s a glimpse at the facts that indicate the sheer scale of the problem…
  • In 2016 (the most recent year for numbers from the CDC), nearly 10,000 people died as a result of an accident where alcohol was a significant factor.
  • This accounts for 28% of all traffic-related deaths.
  • The figures above are the cases where people were proven to be drunk driving, and for this decision to have horrific and fatal consequences. However, self-reported drunk driving incidents are far, far higher than the total number involved in collisions. Over 100 million people have self-reported driving while under the influence and it going undetected.
  • Nearly a third of all drivers who are convicted for drunk driving are repeat offenders. 
Why do drunk drivers always survive a crash but kill other people? 

This is a common theory. We have all heard stories about how a drunk driver has killed someone, and has lived to tell the tale— or, to be more precise, lived to face a wrongful death lawsuit conducted by the likes of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. It seems particularly unfair that the drunk drivers always seem to survive, but the innocent (sober) people involved in the alcohol-influenced collision lose their lives. 

There is some truth to the idea that being drunk makes a person more likely to survive bodily trauma, but this has not been definitively proven for drunk drivers specifically. The statistics are combined with all forms of trauma sustained while drunk, rather than just car accidents, so there’s no clear data proof of this commonly-held belief. However, what we do know is that drunk drivers can, and do, die as a result of the crashes they are involved in. One of the reasons we probably believe that drunk drivers are less likely to die is because it seems unfair when they survive and innocents are killed, and that injustice sticks in our minds. 

Why do people drive drunk? 

There’s no way of tracing this for the entire population, but common “reasons” include: 

  • Lack of choice; i.e. being out socializing and needing to get home, not wanting to leave their vehicle unattended overnight.
  • Not feeling like they are sufficiently compromised.
  • And, in some very bizarre cases, some people genuinely do believe they drive better when they’re drunk. This is, of course, false, but the idea persists.

What constitutes “drunk driving”? 

The absolute limit varies between states, but a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.8% is the most common state limit. This is comparable with other countries such as the UK, but is actually 0.3% more than France, and a huge 0.6% higher than is allowed in Sweden. 

In conclusion

Hopefully the above has answered a few questions about drunk driving and, once again, affirmed your dedication to only driving a vehicle when you are stone cold sober.

May 10, 2018

How To Become A 'Good Deed' Person


Note: This post has been contributed.



It’s very easy for us to become stuck in our ways. Usually, it takes something major to shock us out of our apathy, because often this hidden sense of personal familiarity can prevent us from even noticing we’re stuck in our comfort zones. As the world around us moves, we can often stay relaxed and calm in our humble position, simply heading to work, forming ideas that our most comfortable and convenient for us, and generally stay this way for years.

However, for some people this idea is quite terrifying. For those that enjoy nurturing their adventuring spirit, there is always something amazing on the horizon. Even more impressive than this is the willingness to push forward and help people less privileged than yourself. Transitioning to a ‘good deed’ form of personal responsibility shouldn’t have to take the death of a relative or an unfortunate personal circumstance to seem appealing. You might find some permanent personal value when dedicating yourself to the following tasks:

Schedule Events

Of course, no charitable deed of any import is a disorganized mess. The very need for good work requires a form of administration to carry that task out. Without an organized approach, it’s easy for even the best intentions to fall to chaos, or to be so weak that they threaten to make things worse. This means sometimes, the ability to schedule events and rally people together about a common cause can help you truly achieve something wonderful. When you unify people with a collective vision, you can really keep the manpower to push for a positive change. This is a wonderful thing to experience, and can truly lend you some excellent insight of the power of positive thinking and action. This might mean organizing a recruiting drive, starting a change.org petition, or generally protesting issues that are near and dear to your heart.

Work With Companies

There are a wide array of companies out there that can offer some truly wonderful remedies to the issues experienced today. Liaising with these companies as a company yourself, or merely as an individual can help you begin enacting change with an organization qualified and capable to make a positive difference. Often this is superior to grassroots change, because the money, quality and skillset involved is generally of a higher caliber.

 For example, using Harvey flood remodeling construction companies in Texas, equipped to handle the voluminous amount of water and commit the best work will always be better and more cost-effective than those simply helping by themselves, enacting solutions that could help in the short term, but aren’t built to last.

Spread Awareness

Lastly, spreading awareness about issues can be a helpful cause for change in itself. This might mean doing charity work such as running a race for a cause, utilizing social media to your advantage or even proudly wearing the emblem of a charity as part of your small business. If you are passionate enough about an issue that means something, you can be guaranteed that someone will listen.

With these tips, you are sure to become a good deed person, worthy of all they put their mind to.

Could A New Hobby Help You Get More Out Of Life?

Note: This post has been contributed. The average person spends around 37 hours per week at work. For some of us, our day job fulfills ...