Alex R. Hernandez Jr. - November 2019

The holidays are a time to get together with loved ones and celebrate — which sadly makes the roads a dangerous place this time of year. Drunk driving-related accidents skyrocket nationwide from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. This tragic fact leads to many people spending the holidays hospitalized, or worse. Thankfully, there are ways we can combat these preventable accidents. IT STARTS WITH YOU The best way to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers on the road is to avoid being one yourself. Very few people plan on being drunk behind the wheel, but it can easily happen during the holiday season — those eggnogs with loved ones can add up! So, it’s best to plan ahead to ensure you have a way home that doesn’t involve driving. You could take a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft, to and from the event; you could come with a designated driver who remains sober; or you could arrange to stay the night in a guest room. Anything is a better alternative than putting your life and future at risk by driving while intoxicated. HOLD OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE If you’re hosting the festivities this year, be sure to keep your guests safe. If you’re providing alcohol, ensure there are water and soft drinks available as well. Collecting keys at the front door is also a good idea; it can help you keep A Case of Shame Why Sue an 8 Year Old? The story of Jennifer Connell certainly made for sensational headlines. This 54-year-old New Yorker is the woman who drew national ire by suing her 8-year-old nephew for hugging her a little too hard. It sounds like a prime example of a “frivolous lawsuit” at first glance — who would sue their own family, let alone a child? But look a little closer, and Connell’s story becomes more understandable. THE SITUATION When arriving at her nephew’s birthday party, Connell was given an over enthusiastic greeting. The birthday boy threw himself into the air, forcing his aunt to catch him at an awkward angle, breaking her wrist. She grinned through the pain, reportedly to avoid upsetting her nephew on his big day. Then, she sought medical attention, and that should have been the end of the story. THE FALLOUT According to Connell, her health insurance only offered to cover $1 of her extensive medical bills. Healing from a broken wrist is no laughing matter, often requiring multiple doctor appointments, medication, and physical therapy. Her recovery for this injury she sustained, through no fault of her own, was going to be long and costly. When Connell’s insurance — the service that was supposed to be there for her in a situation like this — refused to help, she had no other options than civil court. The Dangers of the Holidays Drive SafeThis Season

From Blackbeard to Jack Sparrow, pop culture teems with pirates who frequented the ports of the Caribbean. And while these pirates are well-known for their (sometimes fictional) accomplishments, the most successful pirate in history terrorized the seas of China instead. Her name was Ching Shih. Ching Shih, who was born Shih Yang, was working in a Cantonese brothel when she met the pirate Zheng Yi. He came from a long family of notorious pirates and was impressed by Ching Shih’s cunning. They married in 1801 and built a pirate empire known as the Red Flag Fleet. When Zheng Yi passed away suddenly in 1807, Ching Shih strategically maneuvered her way into leadership, taking control of over 60,000 pirates. Historians describe Ching Shih as a brilliant military strategist, a skilled businesswoman, and a harsh disciplinarian. After taking control of the fleet, Ching Shih implemented a strict code of conduct. The code included rules for distributing booty, protecting female captives, and beheading anyone who disobeyed Ching Shih. Under her rule, the bloody crimes of piracy became a profitable business. The Red Flag Fleet would eventually clash with the British Empire, the Portuguese Empire, and the Qing dynasty of China, but no one could topple the pirate queen. After almost a decade of pillaging the high seas, Ching Shih decided piracy wasn’t the best retirement plan. In 1810, she walked into the office of a local governor-general, completely unarmed, and requested full pardons and government jobs for her entire crew — along with permission to keep all their stolen goods. In exchange, she promised to give up piracy for good. Thankful to be free of the Red Flag Fleet, the Chinese government agreed to her terms. Ching Shih’s second husband was even made an officer in the Chinese navy. Ching Shih returned to Canton with her vast wealth and spent the next 34 years living a life of comfort with her family and running a gambling den. In 1844, the legendary pirate queen passed away of old age at 69, a rare feat for pirates of her era. LEGEND OF THE PIRATE QUEEN Ching Shih: History’s Most Successful Pirate

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