Posts by Noah

How to Deter Burglars and Avoid Robberies

Posted by on Jul 5, 2018 in Home Improvement, Safety

According to the FBI, the rate of burglaries fell by over 30 percent between 2007 and 2016. Whether or not this drop in crime has anything to do with law enforcement or stiffer penalties is uncertain, but there are ways you can reduce the chances of being burglarized. Here are some of the strategies security experts recommend to homeowners to deter burglars and robbers:

Install Security Devices

If you own a home, one of the best things you can do to prevent burglaries from happening is to install a home security system. Over the years, technology has allowed remote sensors to become virtually unidentifiable to the naked eye. If you do install a security system, it is best that you advertise the fact somewhere in front of your house to alert potential criminals to stay away. Should they decide to try and enter your home, the police will automatically be contacted as loud alarms warn the neighborhood. At this point, the burglars are trying desperately to get as far away from your home as possible and they certainly won’t be back to try their luck again.

Keep Travel Plans Offline

Social media is great for sharing pictures and stories, but you should not share your travel itinerary online. Criminals are more likely to strike when they know you aren’t home, and posting your vacation days on Facebook is similar to taking out an ad in the newspaper. Discussing travel plans with a friend in a public place is also a bad idea. If a criminal overhears your conversation, they could easily follow you back home and come back when you’re gone.

Reinforce Your Locks

Deadbolts and security chains can help reinforce your door in its most vulnerable spots. Handles with locks that prevent the knob from turning do not stop forced entries very well. However, a door that has a deadbolt can withstand a significant amount of force without breaking. Grade one or grade two locks should be used for doors that can be accessed outside your house as these are more difficult to lock-pick.

Dogs

Dogs are great deterrents because criminals don’t know if your dog is nice or mean, and they’ve been effective at deterring criminals for over 100 years. If a burglar is going to pick a random house, they are significantly less likely to pick a house with a dog. That’s because dogs are unpredictable, and they’re also smart. They may seem friendly to every stranger you pass on a walk, but they can sense when something isn’t right, and they feed off of their owner’s energy.

Consider Using a Safe

If the above deterrents don’t stop a burglar from gaining access to your house, a safe is a great way to make sure the criminals can’t easily steal your most valuable possessions. Safes are heavy and it’s unlikely that a burglar will take the time to carry the safe to a distant location. Instead, they will probably just grab what they can and get out before they get noticed.

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Natural Ways to Make Your Teeth Whiter

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Health

It can be argued that white teeth are way more attractive compared to yellow teeth, and that is why we have this social stigma that white teeth are better. So, a lot of people do their best to make their teeth whiter.

But why do teeth become discolored anyway? Changes in the color of teeth may be caused by different factors, such as coffee, tea, soda, tobacco, improper oral hygiene, and even childhood medications and illnesses. It is important to know these causes because this is the first step into healthier and whiter teeth.

Proper Dental Care

To achieve whiter teeth, the most basic thing you can do is to have proper oral hygiene. Whiter teeth are generally considered healthier teeth, but not always. When they are, they are often the result of good dental care.

Brush your teeth two times a good, floss, and even use mouthwash if you want. Make sure that you are brushing properly, to achieve the ultimate goal of dental maintenance – cleaning your teeth and preventing the buildup of bacteria and debris such as food.

Homemade Solutions

You can also make solutions with natural ingredients that are good for oral health. The good part is that these solutions can be made at home, so they are not inaccessible. There are various solutions out there, including those that include baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar, and even coconut oil.

These solutions have properties that not just clean your teeth of debris like food particles. They can also serve as natural antibiotics that will kill bacteria, prevent bacteria buildup, promote gum health, and remove teeth stains.

Healthy Diet

Some products are just harmful for your teeth and may cause discoloration, such as those mentioned earlier – tobacco, coffee, and sodas. Products with high acid content should also be avoided, because acid is a factor that can really discolor your teeth. Aside from carbonated drinks like sodas, products with high acid content include processed food, candies, and even certain fruits, particularly citrus ones.

The secret to whiter teeth is very simple – you just have to have good oral hygiene and avoid products that may cause discoloration.

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Division of Property and Debt in Divorce

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Family Life

Divorce can be a legal nightmare, especially if these are contentions in the agreements between the couple involved. One of the most common issues involve division of property and debt, which is understandable, because each person will fight for his or her best interest in mind.

It is a good thing that there is a legal way to divide assets and liabilities, preventing unfair distribution. There are two legal concepts that can be utilized – community property and equitable distribution.

Community Property

According to the website of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, there are two separate categorizations of property in divorce – namely community property and property of a single spouse.

Community properties are properties owned by both the husband and wife. These include the earnings and everything that has been acquired with those earnings in the span of the marriage. Debts that have accumulated during the marriage are also considered community properties, unless the debts are specified to be for one spouse only. Generally, community properties are equally divided upon divorce.

Properties of a single spouse are properties owned by only the husband or wife. These include acquired assets prior to marriage, such as pension proceeds and even entire businesses. Assets that have been meant for one spouse only, like gifts and inheritances, are also included. These properties are kept by its rightful owner upon divorce.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is another way to divide property. It ensures that the division of marital assets is fair for either spouse. But this does not necessarily mean that the division is on a fifty-fifty basis. There are a lot of factors to consider, but they have the same core idea – looking at the future financial situation of either spouse to create a fair and just division of properties. The factors may include each spouse’s earning capability, level of contribution to acquired marital properties, and future financial needs.

Depending on what state you are in, division of property and debt may be done either through community property or equitable distribution.

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The Potential Beauty in Scars

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Personal Injury

Scars tend to be seen in an almost uniformly negative light. They are associated with blemishes and disfigurement, and are consequently treated as something to be hidden, corrected, or removed. For someone with major scarring from a traumatic accident or another case of more serious scarring, scars may be a source of lasting pain stemming from their connection to the trauma or the severity of the physical scarring, and plastic surgery or other procedures may be required to correct scarring in such cases to prevent more emotional and psychological damage for the patient. Such cases are extreme, however, and as Tucson personal injury lawyers may tell you, such surgeries can be financially traumatic as well.

On the other hand, there are less extreme degrees of scarring that come along with daily living and which usually do not require a doctor’s assessment. These scars are physically harmless besides the initial discomfort of the injury, but still hold the potential of inflicting emotional damage on the person who bears them, mainly owing to the predominantly negative connotation attached to scars. These scars, however, those that are not attached to trauma and have no medical need to be corrected, should and need not cause shame or embarrassment, though they so often do. There is a recent movement to reclaim our imperfections as indications that we’ve lived. As New Yorker writer David Owen notes, our bodies become “historical document[s]” where our “moments are memorialized in scar tissue.” Scars are unique to our experiences, unique to each individual. We change with each of these experiences and so do our bodies, signaling something potentially emotional or deep from the very surface of our skin. Dealing with scars is not always a matter of their physical correction, but a correction in our thinking that has conditioned us to hate any malformations in our body, anything outside of an unblemished ideal. Life is messy, though, and our bodies reflect this beautiful sort of chaos, providing us with lasting reminders of our lives and how we lived them.

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There will always be Unscrupulous People Who will Take Advantage and Try to Profit from the Misfortunes of Disaster Victims

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Fraud

Hurricane Sandy, the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season and the second-costliest hurricane in the history of the United States, caused major damages to hundreds of houses in Atlantic City, N.J. One of those damaged, or was underwater, was Darrell’s mom’s house. To fix everything, his estimates amounted to more than a hundred grand, though, the amount that he received from FEMA amounted only to $14,000. This was despite the damage from the floors to the furnace (including water heater and boiler) that was documented by a FEMA adjuster. However, a report that came out two weeks later indicated that there was no damage to the boiler.

In October of 2015, three years after Hurricane Sandy, FEMA offered to review around 144,000 insurance claims filed with the National Flood Insurance Program due to alleged fraud and abuse by government contractors. After six months into the review, new allegations of fraud surfaced, this time, however, fingers pointed to FEMA, whose review process are alleged to be rife with abuse.

FEMA, acronym for the the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a major agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Its mission is to “support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.” (https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/videos/80684) To accomplish this mission, FEMA provides disaster recovery assistance (or grants) to every person and household, regardless of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.

Disaster assistance may include grants that will help pay for emergency home repairs (which include foundation, floors, walls, ceilings, roof, windows, furnace, air conditioning system, and septic or sewage systems), temporary housing, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by a disaster, along with other serious disaster-related expenses (in short, losses that are not covered by homeowners’ insurance.

With natural disasters and the federal government’s efforts in helping victims recover and rebuild, however, are unscrupulous people taking advantage of victim assistance, stealing from the government the funds that ought to go to disaster victims. The continuous committance of fraudulent acts has led the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice to create a Fraud Task Force charged with deterring, detecting, and prosecuting individuals who try to take advantage of victim assistance programs during disasters. This “Task Force tracks referrals of potential cases and complaints, coordinates with law enforcement agencies to initiate investigations, and works with the appropriate U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to ensure timely and effective prosecution of disaster-related fraud cases.” Furthermore, this Task Force acts quickly and aggressively to bring to justice whoever would try to profit from the misfortunes of disaster victims.

Since the creation of this Task Force, more than 900 individuals have already been charged with disaster-related fraud (in relation to Hurricane Katrina alone). While there are still many pending cases, some other cases have already been dismissed after having proved the authenticity of the claims of those charged.

According to a Wisconsin criminal lawyer, due to the aggressiveness of authorities in bringing to justice fraudsters, federal charges are brought against anyone suspected of having stolen from the government. For those wrongly accused, however, so much is at stake. Clearly, having a highly-skilled criminal defense lawyer who can plan a defense that anticipates the tactics prosecutors are likely to use against him/her could really be necessary.

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