The Must-Read, Change-Your-Life Newsletter helping seriously injured people for over 30 years
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THE LURE OF THE OUTDOORS HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING OUTSIDE
At last, we feel a sweet reprieve from the summer heat. During my drive home around 5 or 6 p.m., I still have moments of discomfort as the temperature peaks around 80 degrees. But by the time the sun starts going down, all is lovely and well. The temperature hits
performed 20 percent better. There’s just something healing and rejuvenating about nature. It’s embedded in our DNA. Being in the great outdoors also takes me back to my roots. My dad grew up on a farm, and I have a long history of relatives who grew up the same way. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.
As a lawyer, I spend a lot of time in the office, but when I’ve done my best work, there’s no greater reward than spending time without a roof over my head. I loved exploring the outdoors as a kid. That fondness for nature is something that followed me into adulthood. Why the lure of the outdoors? When you’re outside under the sky, walking in the fields or under the cover of trees, there’s nothing more liberating. It’s the cheapest and most natural form of mental medicine. Research says that being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress, and those are just the emotional benefits. They also say it helps you physically by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension. Studies are even being undertaken to examine the link between time spent in nature and reduced mortality rates. I read an article recently about a University of Michigan study that explored spending time in nature versus spending time in cities. The study divided students into two groups and gave them a brief memory test. One group took a
Craig Hill, my law partner, grew up on a farm himself, and he continues to operate a cattle ranch outside of office hours. His kids will be the fifth generation raised on the ranch. I guess you could say it’s in his blood, as well. But ranching was never for me. My favorite outdoor activity by far is hunting. It isn’t uncommon for me to hunt for bobwhite quail, pheasants, and ruffed grouse during this season. I’ve even bagged a few wild turkeys and elk after Halloween. One of these years, I might go for a black bear tag. We’ll see. Closing the month with a holiday is a treat for both the kids and ourselves. There’s nothing like seeing the youngsters all decked out in their favorite costumes, as excited for their appearance as they are for the candy. Sitting on the porch in the cool October twilight dishing out sweets is more than enough enjoyment for me. Halloween is trivial in nature, but it has the good fortune of kicking off a more significant holiday season. In the coming months, we’ll have more reasons to celebrate and additional time with loved ones. I hope we don’t take it for granted. Personally, I can’t wait.
walk around an arboretum and the other took a walk around the city. When they returned and took the memory test
again, the students who walked among the trees and plants
–Cra ig Jon e s
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IS THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE HISTORY’S MOST BIZARRE TRAGEDY?
By the time the last flame of the Great Chicago
Firemen responded immediately, but a watchman sent them to the wrong place by mistake, giving the unusual Southwest winds time to send the fire roaring toward the heart of the city. Most of Chicago’s buildings were made of wood, and the newly developed tar on the rooftops was incredibly flammable. As the fire grew, the firefighters hoped the Chicago River would be a natural firebreak, but the city’s riverside had recently gained more lumber and coal yards, causing the fire to jump the river. As the air over the city overheated, it came into contact with cooler air, and a spinning fire tornado developed. After the fire jumped the river, a burning piece of timber lodged on the roof of the city’s waterworks building, destroying it and halting the city’s water supply. By the time the fire died over a day later, 73 miles of roads and $4 billion (in 2017 dollars) of property were destroyed. All this came about because of a cow, a drought, a bad watchman, some short-lived building materials, and a literal fire tornado. Modern safeguards wouldn’t allow this to happen today, which is very fortunate. If the disaster happened the same way today, it wouldn’t displace 1,000 people; it would displace 1 million.
Fire fizzled out on October 10, 1871, 300 people were dead, a third of Chicago’s population were homeless, and 4 square miles of city were destroyed. Reflecting on the disaster begs the question: Was it the
most bizarre tragedy ever?
By October, 1871, Chicago only had 1 inch of rain all year, which is far less than the
annual average of 35 inches. While the exact cause is unclear, historians commonly accept that a cow belonging to a Mrs. O’Leary started the fire in a barn on DeKoven Street by kicking over a lantern.
Banking for Bass? Check Out This Lake
It’s bass season in the Pelican State. Luckily, we know the best place to catch them.
The large lake has its share of fingers and creeks, which are shallow enough to support submerged vegetation. The bass love it. Offer them crankbait, spinnerbait, or topwater popper, and they’ll have a hard time saying no.
If you haven’t been out to Cross Lake to catch largemouth bass, you haven’t experienced the best fishing this season has to offer. Cross Lake sits just west of Shreveport.
Other options for the month are catfish, which can be found in abundance at Lake Maurepas, and, as always, billfish. There might even be a marlin or
This fair-sized lake has two distinctive shores, each offering their own benefits: the west shore is relatively wild and underdeveloped, while the east shore and southern banks are more developed. The wild side of the lake provides more seclusion, but as you probably know, bass like to cozy up to man-made structures. The south side is home to a sturdy pier that’s a popular spot for bank anglers to cast for cruising bass.
two to catch. The state’s record marlin was caught in October, 1977, and weighed 1,018 pounds! The lunar calendar dictates that Thursday the 5th, from midnight to 1:44 a.m., is perhaps the most ideal time of the month for bass fishing. To see other key times, you can check out Bassmaster’s calendar at bassmaster.com/best-times- fishing-calendars.
Car Accidents on the Clock Do They Qualify You for Workers’ Comp?
In the past, we’ve written about truck drivers getting injured on the job in Louisiana. But they aren’t the only people who suffer injuries. In fact, they aren’t even the majority. According to a recent study, nonprofessional drivers are injured or killed on the job more than professional drivers. In part, this is because work-related driving happens more than people realize. Maintenance workers, cable installers, and many others have jobs that require them to move from site to site while they’re on the clock. And anytime you’re on the clock, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Why do nonprofessional drivers have more accidents? The easy answer is that they don’t receive the level of training that truck drivers do, nor do they have the same amount of oversight. Traveling employees also tend to travel in pairs, which increases the number of injured in the event of an accident. Not only are driving injuries more common, but they’re typically worse, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Workplace injuries are common on the body’s extremities, like the arms and hands, and thus require less recovery time. But vehicular injuries
tend to target the neck and back, which could lead to lengthy recoveries and even surgeries.
As we said, if you’ve been injured in a car accident while on the job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. In rare cases, you can even claim workers’ comp if you were injured on your way to work. Contact us if you feel this may apply to you.
Keep in mind: Thousands of dollars of potential workers’ compensation go unclaimed every year.
It’s a great time of year to warm up with a cup of soup, and this comforting, guilt-free dish comes together in a flash. Sausage and Barley Soup
1 (14½-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped ¼ cup uncooked quick- cooking barley 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach
6 ounces turkey breakfast sausage 2½ cups frozen bell pepper stir-fry
2 cups water
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat. 2. While sausage cooks, place stir-fry and 2 cups water in a blender; process until smooth. 3. Add stir-fry puree, tomatoes, and barley to sausage in pan. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts.
Recipe courtesy of CookingLight.com
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HOW FARMERS GROW THOSE GIANT PUMPKINS
Forklifts and cranes may be used mainly for construction work, but every fall, thousands of backyard gardeners use them as gardening tools — or rather, harvesting tools — for their largest single crop. Massive pumpkins aren’t practical, but they can become a minor tourist attraction in your hometown, and even win a few thousand bucks if they’re really huge. However, with the time and effort it takes to get them that big, farmers aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it for the glory. Growing these monstrous fruits (yes, they are technically fruits) is kind of like breeding a racehorse. It takes practice, cultivation, and even good genes. Competitive growers will often purchase the seeds of the previous year’s champions for their plant. After preparing the soil to make it extra fertile, they’ll plant the pumpkin in late winter or early spring. Before the gourd starts growing, flowers on the plant need to be pollinated. Farmers will usually take it upon themselves to pollinate, using pollen from plants with proven genetic lines. Winning pumpkins usually claim their “father” plant and “mother” seed, like racehorses.
Growing a great pumpkin is practically a full- time job, with some farmers reporting spending 40 hours a week on it. Using
heated soil, installing fences to reduce wind, adding sand to the patch,
and other specific cultivation techniquesgive the pumpkin a fighting chance to grow into a monster.
The competitive growing industry is getting bigger (pun intended). In 1979, the largest pumpkin on record was 438 pounds. Since 2008, the world record has been broken every year. The reigning heavyweight champion, grown in Germany last year, weighed in at 2,623 pounds. That’s as much as a 2018 Toyota Yaris or 1,748 standard pumpkin pies.
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