Schuelke Law - April 2024

Check out our April newsletter! (512) 476-4944

April 2024

Understand the Healing Powers of Water DIVE INTO WELLNESS

water fires up the same parts of the brain associated with being calm and decreases activity in the parts of the brain associated with stress. Similarly, the technology allows scientists to understand neuroplasticity — the idea that our experiences can rewire the brain. Sitting in a loud, urban environment can wire our brains toward stress. Being around water can rewire the brain away from that stress. Dr. Nichols’ work and this science have all kinds of applications. Not only can being around water help reduce stress and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, but the research also demonstrates that seeking out water can be beneficial for those with PTSD, substance addiction issues, anxiety disorders, and even autism. Whether it’s kayaking under a waterfall or taking a hot shower, the science is clear: Water does wonders for our health. But what if you can’t get near a body of water? While the effects are strongest when we are near or in bodies of water, University of California, Davis research suggests even

April is a great time in Austin and Central Texas. Spring is coming on strong, and it’s the start of the season when we can get outdoors more and enjoy the lakes, greenbelts, and other bodies of water in the area. What you may not know is that being around water can improve your health as well. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about research by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols — bestselling author of “Blue Mind” and research associate at the California Academy of Sciences. While everyone has been lectured on the importance of drinking enough water each day, research shows that proximity to oceans, rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water can yield positive results for our health. For a long time, many people have known that hanging out at the beach or on the lake can help us relax. But now, science is showing us how. In the last decade or so, scientists have mapped the parts of the brain related to different emotions. That same technology is being used to show that being around

looking at pictures of water can result in temporarily lowered heart rate and blood pressure. Participants in the UC Davis study demonstrated better health results when viewing bodies of water than other terrain, and the larger the body of water participants in the study viewed, the more pronounced the benefits. Similarly, other studies show that being around aquariums, both home aquariums and large commercial aquariums, or being around small water fountains, can help reduce stress and anxiety. Why does water help us? Two prevailing theories aim to explain the positive effects of water. The first suggests our time in the womb might be the culprit: After all, we come from a liquid-filled womb, so it only makes sense that water has a calming effect on us. The other is that humanity evolved to thrive in the presence of water. This is evidenced by the vast majority of human civilization living near rivers, lakes, and ocean coasts over time. Regardless of which theory is true, seeking out water can help aid therapy in a variety of cases. As we roll into April and the summer, I encourage you to try this out for yourselves: Get out on the lake, take a walk along a river or stream, or head down to the coast. If you can manage that, your mood and health may improve markedly compared to those who don’t. - Brooks Schuelke

If this interests you, we want to draw your attention to our social media channels! We are currently running a series called Blue Mind Monday, where every Monday, we’ll be posting about how being in or around water helps folks. At a minimum, you’ll get a video of an ocean or creek or something to help start the week off right. If you’re interested, our handles are:

• Instagram: SchuelkeLaw • Facebook: Schuelke Law • TikTok: @civtrial

And continuing in April, as a thank-you to our current and new followers, we are going to have prize drawings. Lucky winners will receive Stanley-brand cups to enjoy a cold drink of water — or any beverage of your choice. So follow along our channels for your chance to win. | 1

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Virginia, Washington, D.C., or on a military base, it’s entirely legal!

There are some outlandish laws in the U.S., but you can also get away with plenty of surprising things. Let’s dive into some of the crazy laws from around the country. Surprisingly Legal Flame On Owning a flamethrower is surprisingly legal and easy in 48 states. The only state where you can’t own one is Maryland. And if you want a flamethrower in California, you must get a license. The rest of the states say, fire away! Car Radar Another surprising law concerns radar detectors: In most states, utilizing a radar detector in your personal vehicle is completely legal. Do you want to check someone’s speed or look out for police officers? Unless you live in Mississippi,

Sleepy Surgery There are absolutely no laws that state surgeons must get a good night’s sleep before surgery. As dangerous as this sounds, at least surgeons usually do have a limit on how long they can work at once, curtailing the worst outcomes of an exhausted doctor.

Blindingly Obvious Driving blindfolded has never been a good idea, but that clearly didn’t stop adventurous residents in Alabama from testing their blind driving skills. Maybe that’s why the state passed a law making blindfolded driving illegal. Keep an open ear and be mindful of what is legal and what is not. Nobody wants weird laws creating dumb criminals!

Shockingly Illegal Car Cursing

While in Maryland, you should be mindful of keeping your swear words to yourself (or whisper them softly) while driving through the small city of Rockville. It is considered a misdemeanor to swear from a vehicle within earshot of other people. Your curse words could cost you up to $100 in fines or 90 days in jail.

Joke’s on You!


These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish or a gullible person. Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris, and Seth. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather. Regardless of its origin, April Fools’ Day has become a worldwide tradition with links from the past. Today, April Fools’ Day means playing pranks and tricks on friends and family. People have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims to fool their audiences.

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate April Fools’ Day every April 1 with silly pranks and whimsical tricks? April Fools’ originated in France during the 16th century when the country switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The change moved the new year from the end of March to Jan. 1. The shocking part is that not everyone was aware of the change. Those who continued celebrating New Year’s Day on April 1 were mocked, labeled as “April Fools,” and subjected to pranks.

So, when someone pulls a nasty prank on you on April Fools’ Day, remember why and where it came from!

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To be proactive in life is to be successful! As a parent, planning ahead must become second nature if we want our children and families to stay strong in the face of adversity. While many good parenting tips are out there, the smartest is creating an emergency kit to help out in any scenario. An emergency kit will have everything you and your family may need during an emergency, such as having to stay inside for longer than usual or the electricity goes out. Each family’s kit will vary depending on their kids’ individual needs. It’s vital to have all these things collected before the trouble begins, stored in a container, and kept in a safe and easily accessible location in case of an emergency. Making a family emergency kit can also be fun for the family to do together.

These are the necessary steps to create a toolkit:

1. You will need a large plastic bin or box to put things into.

2. Go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for a list of key items to include in a kit: kids-and-families.html. 3. Go shopping for the appropriate items you need, then check them off the list as you put them into your emergency kit. 4. Place an updated copy of your checklist inside your large plastic bin or box once you put your kit together to know what is inside the kit and to find your checklist easily. Keeping your family safe should be a top priority at all times. It is so important to teach preparation skills to our children at a young age so they can be ready and thrive through life’s most turbulent moments.

Grilled Steak With Chimichurri Sauce

Savor the flavor with our mouthwatering grilled steak, paired perfectly with vibrant chimichurri sauce. Ingredients

For the chimichurri sauce: • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 lbs steak

(flank, sirloin, or skirt steak)

• 2 tbsp olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste

• Juice of 1 lemon • 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tsp red pepper flakes • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions 1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 2. Rub the steak with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. 3. Grill the steak for 4–5 minutes per side or until it reaches desired doneness. 4. Meanwhile, make the chimichurri sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. 5. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 6. Serve the steak with the chimichurri sauce and enjoy! | 3

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3011 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 200 Austin, TX 78705


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How Water Soothes the Mind

Surprisingly Legal and Shockingly Illegal

The Origin of the Silliest Day of the Year

Grilled Steak With Chimichurri Sauce


Equip Your Family With an Emergency Kit

The Lawsuit That Touched Hearts



containing funds from recent sales, was locked due to the lawsuit, leaving her in a dire financial situation. What sets this story apart is not the initial legal dispute; it’s the remarkable response from Combs himself. Upon learning of Harness’s situation, he recorded a heartfelt TikTok video where he apologized directly to Harness and extended his hand to help her during this challenging time. He gave her $11,000, twice the amount that had become inaccessible in her Amazon account due to the lawsuit. He emphasized that no fan should ever go through such an ordeal and expressed his sincere regret for the situation. Combs didn’t stop there; he decided to positively impact Harness’s life by selling similar tumblers on his own website. All proceeds from these sales were directed

Imagine waking up one December morning to the bizarre news that one of your favorite celebrities is suing you for a whopping $250,000. That’s what happened to Florida resident Nicol Harness, a devoted fan of country music sensation Luke Combs. The story began when Harness found herself in hot water for selling unofficial merchandise adorned with lyrics from Luke Combs’ songs. She had sold 18 tumblers at $20 each and had no clue this would lead to a legal battle that would wreak havoc on her life. Harness, who had been dealing with congestive heart failure, received an email from Combs’ legal team during her hospital stay. Unfortunately, due to her medical condition, she missed the 21-day response window, which resulted in further complications. Her Amazon account,

Photo by David Bergman

toward Harness’s family to support her medical care, further showcasing Combs’ commitment to making amends and righting the situation. This incredible turn of events reminds us that even in the face of legal battles and adversity, acts of kindness and empathy can prevail. Combs, a country music superstar, proved in words and actions that he values his fans, turning a potential lawsuit into a story of compassion and unity in the country music community.

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