Spector Law Group - April 2021



April 2021

Medical Malpractice | Nursing Home Negligence | Auto Accidents

An Inside Look at the Spector’s Family Garden

With Alex Spector

Also, while gardening can be very simple, it’s also very challenging. It takes consistent care and attention to the plants. We have always battled sharing our garden with the local wildlife, but this year, one of our biggest challenges was a bug infestation in our eggplants and cucumbers. Whether we had gardening victories or losses, though, I learned surprising lessons. It taught me to be patient and let nature take its course. How do you overcome challenges while being forced to wait? Gardening teaches how to deal with that and, ironically, gives a sense of control that the pandemic can’t offer. When COVID-19 shut everything down, it was difficult to be passive because I felt like I was just sitting around and not able to do anything. One of my proudest accomplishments with gardening was transforming our garden to be more cost-efficient. I challenged myself to grow most of our garden by starting with seeds. Once the plants started to produce, like basil and bell peppers, I was able to use those seeds to plant new starter plants inside. Now, with our steady stream of crops, we’ll never have to buy new basil or bell pepper seeds. I want to continue learning how to save as many seeds as possible, so we’ll never run out of crops and may even help more people start their gardens. Of course, what fun would any hobby be without big dreams? I have a ton of aspirations for our garden! This year, while I will continue to grow more lettuce and kale, I will also try growing onions and different types of fruit. Traditionally, our garden hasn’t done well with fruit, but this spring, I’m hoping to plant more grapevines, a lemon tree, and maybe some raspberry and strawberry bushes. With fruit, typically you’re playing the long game of a few years or more. But is it worth it? Absolutely. There’s nothing more rewarding than eating food that you have grown yourself. Even if you’re not a big gardener, keeping an indoor potted herb garden is easy and can give a huge flavor boost to any dish. A brand-new planting season is a great opportunity to give it a try. If you have any questions, don’t be shy and ask my dad. If he’s stumped, he might ask his local expert: me!

If you have read previous newsletters, my dad has written before about how cooking has become a central part of our family life and how we have started a little farm-to-table system at our home. Now that it’s planting season, my dad wanted me to share my role as the main gardener of the family. We’ve had a garden in our backyard for the past five or six years that has slowly expanded. My dad was the main gardener, and for the most part, I played a pretty minor role in helping him out. I remember the summer before COVID-19, we’d gotten absolutely nothing from our garden. Having volunteered for quite some time at the farm at my school, I decided that I wanted to step up and put what I had learned to work. I’ll be honest: It was fun spending all my extra time in the garden through the pandemic. I never felt lazy when I spent time planting.

–Alex Spector

Some of the herbs in Alex’s garden

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For the First Time, a Vegan Restaurant Gets a Michelin Star

It’s difficult to take animal products out of French cuisine and replace them with lemongrass, seaweed, and fir (yes, the tree). French meals are generally meat-centric, featuring vegetables solely as a side dish. And, even with no meat, how do you cut out cheese and cream? Claire Vallee, owner of the vegan restaurant ONA, found a way. The name is an acronym, standing for “origine non-animale.” And her restaurant, located near Bordeaux, France, was among the 54 restaurants to earn their first Michelin star in 2021. Although a few restaurants in the U.S. and Germany featuring vegan dishes have earned Michelin stars in the past, no restaurant that was 100% vegan has been honored with a star. ONA had a bumpy start despite this amazing honor. After crowdfunding and securing a loan from La Nef, which specializes in loans for ethical and eco-friendly businesses, Vallee still ran out of money to complete construction. Undaunted, she used social media to rally 80 volunteers to help finish the job over the course of two months. She finally opened ONA in 2016. “This is a good thing for the vegan community, as this star is evidence that French gastronomy is becoming more inclusive, that plant-based dishes belong there, too,” Vallee told CNN.

During the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, ONA went to takeout only. With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, demand for vegan restaurants has been growing, but ONA still struggled. Last fall, its seven-course menu featured dishes with intriguing combinations of fir, boletus and sake shiitake mushrooms, dulse seaweed, lemongrass, and galangal (also known as Thai ginger). Today, the restaurant is currently closed because of the pandemic, but the victory is huge for French cuisine. Gwendal Poullenec, the international head of the Michelin Guides, told The New York Times, “The general public might not associate pure veganism with a gastronomical experience.” But a Michelin star could liberate chefs who are still reluctant to explore plant-based cooking. For most of us, international travel won’t be on the menu anytime soon — but we hope ONA opens its doors again soon. The world deserves to enjoy ONA’s award-winning menu!

Up in Flames The Fyre Festival’s Legal Fallout for Influencers

transfers” between the founders and many of the event’s promoters, and he began to sue the celebrities and influencers that drove the hype behind the festival. For example, McFarland and Ja Rule reportedly paid Kendall Jenner over $275,000 to publish an Instagram post promoting the festival. Although Jenner denied liability, she did not disclose on the post that it was paid and sponsored. Messer’s attorney further argued that Jenner had not told her Instagram followers that she’d pulled out of the festival after learning of its disastrous problems. Although more legal parameters will likely spring up in the future to further define the limits of influencer marketing, this will certainly make any celebrity think twice about accepting money to promote events and brands. And that’s definitely for the best!

“[The organizers] had six to eight weeks to pull off something that should have taken close to a year,” says Chris Smith, who directed a Netflix documentary on the festival. “But what was most surprising to me was going to the Bahamas and seeing the aftermath of what was left behind and the effect on the people there.” The local economy was devastated. “They had engaged with so much of the local community to try and pull this off. There were hundreds of day laborers working,” says Smith. “Fyre had such a high profile that I don’t think anyone could have assumed that it wouldn’t work out.” As the Fyre Festival fell apart, Gregory Messer — the trustee in charge of overseeing the bankruptcy for Fyre Media — looked into the finances. He began to suspect that there had been “fraudulent

Influencer marketing has long been a legal gray area, but recently settled celebrity lawsuits related to the Fyre Festival — a failed luxury musical festival — have definitely added some color to the debate. The idea for the Fyre Festival came from rapper Ja Rule and his business partner Billy McFarland, a 25-year-old CEO of a luxury concierge service. The duo created the event together and touted it as the world’s most expensive music festival. They’d also launched an attractive marketing campaign which included celebrity promotions by Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and other influencers. All the while, the organizers knew the Fyre Festival was doomed from the start. In lieu of a multiday, luxury experience, thousands of people were scammed and left stranded in the Bahamas instead.

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As April showers arrive, how do you stay dry when dashing from place to place? Luckily, wearing a raincoat doesn’t mean looking like Paddington Bear anymore. Here are several raincoat styles you’ll love so much you’ll be praying for rain. No. 1: The Everyday, Lightweight Hoodie Raincoat There’s something satisfying about wearing a black hoodie and not having to make other decisions about an outfit that day. The same applies to your everyday, lightweight black hoodie raincoat. Beautifully simple, you can wear it over anything you own — but until the rain comes, you can leave it rolled in your bag or pocket. Yes, it’s that compact! Check out Rain’s Ultralight Jacket on US.Rains.com , which fits the bill perfectly. No. 2: The Confident, Classic Trench Raincoat Just because you have a trenchcoat doesn’t mean it’s rainproof anymore — so why not buy a fashionable, elegant trenchcoat you can wear rain or shine? A high-quality trenchcoat is super practical, and it’ll also give you a classic, on-trend look for years to come. Find yours on Zappos.com , which has beautiful coats that’ll last a lifetime at a decent price. No. 3: The Practical, Stylish Poncho Ponchos are a rainy day favorite because they’re affordable, easy to put on no matter how bulky your clothes are, and generally easy to store once you’re done wearing them. If you live somewhere that doesn’t rain often or you just prefer the feeling of a loose wrap, then a light poncho might be your best option. Some even include pockets, making your life a little easier wherever you’re headed! Try Amazon.com to find diverse styles at various price points. Of course, we cannot ignore the popularity of Sherlock Holmes. Will his raincoat, the Inverness cape, be the next sensation? Combining elements from a poncho and trenchcoat, the Inverness cape is a unique style that’s fashionable and practical! No matter which style you prefer, these coats prove that looking good while staying dry is possible. TRENDING RAINCOAT STYLES FOR 2021


Inspired by TheSeasonedMom.com


• 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped and divided • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided • 2 tsp minced garlic • 1/4 tsp salt • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

• 1 cup cooked chicken, diced • 1 14-oz can artichokes, drained and quartered • 1 cup fresh asparagus pieces • 1/2 cup carrots, grated • 1 1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth


1. Preheat oven to 425 F and grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. 2. In the prepared dish, stir together cooked chicken, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, half the chives, half the parsley, garlic, salt, and 2 tbsp Parmesan. 3. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. 4. Uncover and stir. At this point, check the pasta to make sure it is al dente. If it’s undercooked, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is tender. 5. Remove from oven and garnish with remaining Parmesan, chives, and parsley.

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410-321-6200 www.SpectorLawGroup.com PO Box 1101 Cockeyville, MD 21030 THIS ISSUE INSIDE

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An Inside Look at the Spector’s Family Garden


For the First Time, a Vegan Restaurant Gets a Michelin Star The Fyre Festival’s Legal Fallout for Influencers


Spring Vegetable and Chicken Pasta Bake This Spring’s Trending Raincoat Styles


AI Is Helping Us Explore Space!


Genius Technology

3 Ways AI Is Changing Our Lives for the Better

Detecting Disease Our health has never been more in focus than it is today, and innovators know that. Some AI devices now can detect illness just by smelling someone’s breath. The bots are designed to pick up on certain odor cues that the body gives off while fighting diseases, like cancer or diabetes. While these machines are still in the implementation and development phases, they have the potential to improve diagnostic testing and find diseases in the near future. Creating Better Engineering Platforms Engineers have thankless, albeit powerful, jobs. While they’re often responsible for some of our biggest achievements, much of their job is spent tinkering with existing models to improve small components for greater success. Thanks to AI, Stanford University professor Chris Re surmises that engineers may be able to spend more time playing with greater ideas instead. Machine-learning technology is capable of understanding where the pitfalls in a device lie and how it would need to be improved. This can cut down on time spent doing mundane work, and instead, engineers can move innovation along faster than ever.

Artificial intelligence (AI) became a household feature when Apple introduced us to Siri, and it expanded with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. However, AI can do so much more than tell us the weather or answer our customer service questions. Today, AI is more advanced than ever, and as engineers continue to tweak its capabilities, it continues to shape the way we think about the future. Here are three ways AI is expanding beyond computer programs. Exploring Mars Putting humans on Mars is NASA’s ultimate goal, so it’s probing for safe landing sites on the big red planet with the help of AI. For the past 15 years, scientists have relied on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to send photos and other valuable data to NASA. One of the crucial aspects of the planet that NASA needs to study is the craters, both old and new. But expecting the orbiter to find these with precision hasn’t always been easy. In 2020, NASA scientists developed an AI software that could detect fresh craters on Mars’ surface in the photos that the orbiter sends back. This has already led to the discovery of dozens of once- hidden craters in the orbiter’s photos.

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