Brooks & Crowley - May 2021

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Review Brooks & Crowley

May 2021


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

*Services Throughout Massachusetts


May the Fourth be with you! When "Star Wars" comes up in a conversation, my friends like to give me a hard time because I’m a big fan. So is the rest of my family. We love the movies, we’ve been to Disney parks and done all the "Star Wars"-themed rides. But, after doing a little more research on "Star Wars," I learned that there’s an important part to its origin story I didn’t know. To be precise, George Lucas’ story. Not many people realize how rich George Lucas is, so let’s put it into perspective. In his career, Steven Spielberg has directed over 30 movies. George Lucas has directed six. Yet, Spielberg’s net worth is $3.2 billion while Lucas’ net worth is over $7.3 billion. Neither is a small amount of money, but you have to wonder how Lucas, to put it bluntly, got so loaded.

It all started with a small, risky contract, and a person who believed in himself.

George Lucas’ Oscar-winning debut movie, “American Graffiti,” earned him a salary of $150,000, but made millions for the studio. For his next movie, his director's salary was slated to be $500,000. He had been working on a project that resembled a western, except in space, that he wanted to appeal to a teenage audience. He was having trouble finding a studio willing to take on the project. 20th Century Fox agreed to meet with Lucas. Lucas proposed that instead of accepting the $500,000 director's salary, he would take a $150,000 salary in exchange for rights to all the merchandising and the rights to any movie sequels. The studio's management team was agreeable to giving those things away, because they believed they were getting the better deal. In the 1970s, movie merchandising was hardly the massive revenue stream it is today. And the thought of sequels seemed pretty far- fetched. After all, how big could a “western in space” really get? As it turned out, pretty big. The merchandise and licensing revenue have earned Lucas and his companies over $27 billion to date. Just the "Star Wars" toys, like figurines and LEGOs, earn about $3 billion a year. The DVDs and VHS tapes generate $4 billion. Lucas looked toward the future from the start. His innovative visual effects technology, such as the rail system cameras that helped him direct the smooth, realistic space scenes of “Star Wars,” also brought in revenue, because he invented and patented it all under his own company, Industrial Light & Magic. He believed other studios would want to use his advanced technology, and he was right. The company has gone on to produce special effects for nearly three hundred

The “Make Way for Ducklings” statues on the Public Garden in Boston

films, from “Star Wars,” the “Indiana Jones,” “Harry Potter,” and “Jurassic Park” films, to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Terminator,” and Marvel Cinematic Universe. Learning that Lucas’ faith in his own ingenuity made him the richest guy in Hollywood reinforced my love for “Star Wars.” As a kid in 1977, I remember just how different the movie seemed. For example, instead of a space sci-fi story being in the future, “Star Wars” is set in a galaxy a long, long time ago. I agree with its critics that the dialogue is pretty campy, and the plot is just okay, but from the time you read the opening crawl and backstory text to seeing Darth Vader for the first time, you’ve been transported somewhere else. The rest is an adventure you’re willing to ride with, like a good (even if cheesy) western.

Until next time,

–Steve Brooks


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Straighten the Slouch

Slumping our shoulders is a form of poor posture that often results in neck, shoulder, and back pain. It can be a hard habit to break, so sometimes people need a little more than self-correction to improve their posture. Enter posture correctors: tools specifically designed to help correct a person’s posture. Though they should not be used regularly, they can help remind your body of what a correct posture is and how to maintain it without support. Here are three correctors that can help you.

includes eight functional panels to help you stay comfortable, especially during physical activity. You can find this and other health-conscious clothing items at



If you need lower-back support, this posture corrector is a great choice. Easily fitted under or over clothes, this device can ease back pain caused by fatigued muscles, spasms, or flare-ups in addition to offering lumbar support. The

This supporter is for anyone who is on a small budget and looking to improve their posture. The Truweo posture corrector is used by wrapping around the shoulders — both over and under clothing — and can be adjusted for optimum comfort. It is lightweight, breathable, washable, and can be worn for all activities. Whether you are sitting at a desk, working out, or walking, Truweo will be there to offer you the extra support you need. Find it now on Amazon!

Aspen Lumbar Support is completely adjustable, so you are in control of the amount of pressure applied. To learn more about this item, visit the Aspen website at Before deciding which corrector you should use, talk to your doctor. They can help you choose the best option for this journey of posture correction and overall health improvement.


Wearing both a corrector and a bra can be uncomfortable, which is why Forme is perfect for anyone hoping to avoid that discomfort. The Forme sports bra offers an under-bust band for posture improvement and also

6 Mistakes to Avoid After Your Mortgage Preapproval

Making Large Purchases — Buying expensive furniture or appliances with credit could change your debt-to-income ratio, which could result in a delayed closing or denial of your loan if your ratios were tight to begin with. Even if you use your own cash to make big purchases, you'll end up having less cash on hand for reserve requirements, which could also negatively impact your loan. Paying Off and Closing Credit Cards — Credit scores are impacted by a variety of things. One of them is paying off and closing credit cards. Although it seems counterintuitive, paying off and closing credit cards often negatively affects credit scores. Also, depleting funds in your bank account to pay off credit cards means lower cash reserves. Cosigning Loans for Others — Especially when it’s a new loan, cosigning a loan for another means that the loan is a debt for the borrower and for the cosigner. It will go into

After receiving preapproval from your mortgage lender, you have to keep your finances in the best shape possible. Because your mortgage preapproval has no value — and won’t bind the bank — you can still make huge mistakes that will prolong closing your next home. Here are six mistakes to avoid. Making Late Payments — Be sure you remain current on any monthly bills. If you have bills automatically paid out of your checking account or by credit card, by all means, continue to do so. Applying for New Lines of Credit —This includes stores that offer zero payment down on financing your new home’s furniture set; don’t do it just yet. Mortgage lenders are required to do a later credit check before the loan closes. Remember: Any new credit account could negatively impact your credit score. This could lead to a higher interest rate or even result in delaying your closing.

the debt-to-income ratio mix. So, think twice before helping your child or sibling buy a car, at least until after your purchase closes. Changing Jobs — Even if it’s a higher- paying job, changing jobs after receiving a preapproval could cause a delay in closing due to verification requirements. Your new salary must be proven, so two pay stubs will be requested and the new job verified before the loan will be cleared to close. Stay in touch with your loan officer before undertaking any significant financial moves. And if you need legal experts on your side, just give our office a call and our team can definitely help you out.


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BBC Good Food With over 10,000 recipes accessible from BBC’s cooking history, this app brings together both user-submitted recipes and tested recipes from the BBC Good Food team and celebrity chefs — for free. Create an account and save all your favorites! Paprika You might already have your favorite go-to recipe blogs and websites, such as BudgetBytes and Bon Appetit. How do you manage your cluttered bookmark folders of recipes? Easy! Get a recipe manager app like Paprika! It’s only $5, and you can input all your recipe URLs and easily organize your favorite recipes from the internet. BigOven Only have a few ingredients but need to cook a meal? Just type in three ingredients, and BigOven will search its 350,000-recipe bank to find the perfect options for free. BigOven also makes it easy to follow your favorite food bloggers while staying on top of your food supply! We hope these apps will help you cook and eat simpler, healthier, and faster than ever!

If you're always in a rush, it's quite possible that food delivery apps have been your best friend during the pandemic. But they may also make it difficult to stay healthy! Save yourself both time and money by replacing your food delivery apps with these top-rated healthy recipe and recipe management apps, instead. Tasty You’ve likely seen a Tasty food recipe video on Facebook or social media somewhere. Their beautifully simplistic editing style makes it easy to understand and follow recipes, and you can access their whole library for free with their app! It even includes a grocery list function when you want to take on multiple recipes. Forks Over Knives In recent years, nutritionists and doctors alike have started recommending a plant-based diet for its health benefits. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or a plant-based omnivore, you’ll love Forks Over Knives’ creative and simple dishes that blend perfectly with your needs. For only $5, you can easily find something to suit your tastes and health needs in the over 400 high-quality recipes from 50 celebrated chefs. You may even stave off heart disease and Type 2 diabetes while you’re at it.


Thai Minced Pork Salad


5 tbsp uncooked Thai sticky rice 1 lb ground pork 1/2 tbsp chili flakes

• • • • •

Juice of 1–2 limes, to taste 4 small shallots, thinly sliced 4 green onions, thinly sliced

• • • •

Cilantro leaves, to taste Mint leaves, to taste

1/8 tsp sugar

1/2 tbsp fish sauce


1. First, make toasted rice powder: In a frying pan

3. In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, fry pork, breaking it into small pieces as you go, until fully cooked. 4. Remove from heat and add 1 heaping tbsp of toasted rice powder along with all other ingredients. Stir to combine. 5. Taste and adjust, adding more lime juice and herbs to suit your palate. Serve with rice.

over low heat, dry-roast the rice, stirring continuously until it turns golden brown and smells fragrant, about 15 minutes.

2. Let toasted rice cool, then grind into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor. Set aside.

Inspired by


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439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026 Inside This Issue

1 Believe in Yourself — It Might Get You $7 Billion 2 The Support Your Posture Needs 6 Mistakes to Avoid After Your Mortgage Preapproval 3 5 Best Recipe Apps for a Healthier Mind and Body Thai Minced Pork Salad 4 Good News In Boston: Leaders in Science & Music Doing Good

Good News in Boston

MIT Research Breakthrough and Yo-Yo Ma Performing at Vaccination Center

Masters at their craft rarely rest, and that’s certainly the case in this month’s Good News! From the world’s leading scientific researchers at MIT to the highly acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, here’s what they’ve been up to and why it’s putting a smile on our faces. Clothing That Could Help Save the Ocean The fashion and textile industry is one of the highest polluting industries in the world. It permeates landfills with waste, annually generates over 5%–10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and uses manufactured threads (made of nylon or polyester) that consume massive amounts of water. In addition to this, none of the fabrics are recyclable. That’s why easily produced, recyclable clothing may be able to make such a remarkable difference in the industry. Svetlana Boriskina, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, writes, “Once someone throws a plastic bag in the ocean,

that’s a problem. But those bags could easily be recycled, and if you can make [that] polyethylene into a sneaker or a hoodie, it would make economic sense to pick up these bags and recycle them.” So, Boriskina helped create a way to make it happen, and the multinational team at MIT has invented a method of threading polyethylene into an “efficient water wicking and fast-drying” material with “excellent stain resistance.” Additionally, polyethylene clothing would consume less energy than polyester, and even natural cotton. We can’t wait to see what people do with these findings! Yo-Yo Ma Fills a Vaccination Center With Music After you take your vaccine, there’s a 15-minute observation period to see how your body will respond, just in case you have an adverse

reaction. The famous 65-year-old cellist Yo- Yo Ma took his second vaccine at Berkshire Community College — and performed during the 15-minute observation period to share a few classical pieces with fellow patients. He wanted to “give something back,” and it’s not his first time surprising people with music. In September, he joined Emanuel Ax for a series of concerts for essential workers, the Eagle reported. We hope you enjoyed this batch of good news! Have a wonderful, hope-filled month.


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