UNDERTAKING SMALL KINDNESSES
For No Other Reason Than to Do Good
see people so focused on the device in their hand — so absorbed in their own world — that they fail to see the people around them. I believe it’s important to talk about random acts of kindness, especially when everyone is so hyper focused inside their own little bubbles. If you dare to suggest doing something good for someone else, they respond, “Well, what’s in it for me?” I don’t think this is the goal we should aim for, nor is it the mindset we should have. Being selfless is doing a good deed for someone you don’t expect to benefit from. This month, do something nice, regardless of what you’re going to get in return. It doesn’t have to be something crazy, either. Some might donate large sums of money to good causes, and others might volunteer to help those in need. However, I think little acts of kindness are essential. Something small — such as holding the door open for a stranger, saying good morning to your fellow coworkers, taking your daughter into the backyard for a picnic, or helping to carry the groceries inside — might make someone’s day. You never really know how much you can impact someone by doing something you considered a simple and random kindness.
For my readers who are unaware, National Random Acts of Kindness Day is Feb. 17. I happened to come across the holiday by chance, but I liked the idea so much I wanted to write about it. After some research, I found out that groups and organizations throughout the country recognize and support the holiday, and individuals celebrate it by doing kind deeds for those around them. While I was thrilled to find such a great idea in action, it also left me thinking about how many people don’t do anything for others because they’re so caught up in their own lives. Recently, I watched a video by Gary Vaynerchuk, a businessman and public speaker. He talked about how we’re in a time now where our phones are basically replacing our TVs, and our TVs are becoming things of the past, much like the radio. I happened to see a meme not long afterward with a picture of two people talking under a speech bubble that said, “I have a bunch of people coming over to look at their phones, if you want to join us.” Both the video and the meme have me thinking about how our phones have become such a large part of our lives. Every day, people become more disconnected from one another; no one really interacts face-to-face anymore. It’s sad to me when I
Use National Random Acts of Kindness Day to go out and do something for someone else. Let Feb. 17 be your starting point in becoming more intentional about what you do, especially for others. As a nation, and around the globe, we should all focus on this — heck, it could even make the world a better place.
“Being selfless is doing a good deed for someone you don’t expect to benefit from.”
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GAMING WITH YOUR KIDS Why You Should Pick Up That Controller
and Scribblenauts Remix can act as a great sandbox for you and your child’s imaginations to run wild. Does your child love to solve puzzles? Snail Bob 2, Snipperclips, and Portal 2 will have you and your child thinking outside the box for hours. Want to engage in a little friendly competition? Mario Kart, FIFA, and Bam Fu are all excellent choices. GOING BEYOND SCREEN TIME Whether you pick up a controller yourself or just watch your children play games, the most supportive thing you can do as a parent is reinforce the skills they are learning. Understanding that the same creativity and determination that gets them to the end of a level can be applied in the real world is be a powerful thing for a child’s development.
decided that, to keep the split equitable, he and his wife should divide their assets in half — literally. Moeun and his relatives cut the home down the middle, dismantled his portion, and hauled it away. Vat’s half was left standing with one wall missing. ‘HERE, MY DEAR’ In the divorce agreement between the late Marvin Gaye and his ex, Anna Gordy, it was decided that Anna would be paid from the royalties of Gaye’s next album since he had gone broke from his lavish spending. At first, Gaye decided he’d phone in the production, but he quickly discovered an opportunity to make a unique artistic statement: “I’ll give her my next album, but it’ll be something she won’t want to play and it’ll be something she won’t want the world to hear because I’m gonna tell the world the truth.” In the end, the album was a commercial flop, though critics continue to praise its raw, emotional core. New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., writes, “Games make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family. Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them — even if they beat us.” FIND THE RIGHT GAME Finding the right game to play with your child can be a challenge. Regardless of what platform your child plays on, there’s a nearly inexhaustible list of games to choose from, and some are more child-friendly than others. At the very least, research the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating of a game to make sure its content is age-appropriate. When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s interests in mind. Do they enjoy creating things? Games like Minecraft, Super Mario Maker,
When you’re untying the knot, it’s important to be specific about the assets you hope to walk away with. These three over-the-top divorce settlements are good examples of what not to do when dissolving your marriage. YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDNEY ME Back in 2001, Dr. Richard Batista donated his kidney to his ailing wife, Dawnell, to save her life. Sweet, right? It was — until Dawnell filed for divorce in 2005 and Dr. Batista demanded she give back his kidney or compensate him for $1.5 million in damages. In the end, his request was thrown out in court because the kidney was a gift — and because removing it would be potentially fatal to his ex-spouse. A LIFE RENT IN TWO When Moeun Sarim and Vat Navy decided to divorce after 18 years of marriage, Moeun apparently Video games are present in an increasing number of American households. The Entertainment Software Association found that in 2018, 70 percent of parents reported that games were a positive activity in their children’s lives, and 67 percent even play alongside their child at least once a week. Some of you may already be regularly gaming with your kids, but for the rest of you, here are some things to keep in mind. WHY GAMING TOGETHER MATTERS Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and UC Berkeley have shown that video games can have many positive effects on a child, from encouraging critical thinking and social skills to imparting the value of perseverance. Beyond these life skills, video games can also be a way for you to better connect with your child. As game designer and
JUST FOR FUN: WILD DIVORCE SETTLEMENTS 3 TIMES THE DIVISION OF ASSETS GOT OUT OF CONTROL
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DO YOU KNOW THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM? Knowing Fact From Fiction
Many individuals who are faced with going to court may think they have an adequate grasp on the criminal justice system because they know someone who’s gone to court or they’ve watched crime and law TV shows. However, these sources of “information” are flawed. When someone has to face a charge made against them in court, the things they think they know won’t help them. The criminal justice system is far more complicated than most people realize, and this lack of understanding can create problems. What seems right or wrong to you may be completely inaccurate when you have to defend yourself in court. An individual who heads into court armed with minimum knowledge of how the system operates diminishes their ability to defend themselves and their rights. They lack the knowledge and experience required to put up a good defense to win their case.
The criminal shows you watch aren’t examples of what you will face. Most of the time, these portrayals of reality are actually myths about the system. The best chance you have to protect and defend yourself to get a satisfactory result is to have an attorney on your side. Lawyers spend years studying the intricacies of how the criminal court system works
and how best to approach and appeal a case. A good lawyer will put all their efforts and resources into providing you with what you need, and if they can’t, they’ll steer you toward someone who can. Having an attorney on your side will ensure your case is handled with the expertise you require and give you the best chance you have at winning your case.
Laugh Out Loud
Tiramisu This Italian favorite makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. It’s easy to whip up and will make the holiday feel extra special.
2 teaspoons dark rum
6 egg yolks
24 packaged ladyfingers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers.Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.
1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish.
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INSIDE this issue
National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Why Parents Should Play Video Games Attorneys Will Provide the Best Defense Tiramisu 3 Wild Divorce Settlements
3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist
3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT GROUNDHOG DAY?
started a Groundhog Day tradition with Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia and Balzac Billy in Alberta.
to protect themselves. However, that isn’t always enough of a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. In 2009, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten through his glove, and subsequent Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his groundhog in 2014.
Despite the fact that most, if not all, meteorologists place little value on a furry marmot’s ability to predict an early spring, the annual tradition of Groundhog Day is still one that millions of people love to celebrate. Because it is based more on folkloric legend than scientific evidence, Groundhog Day is associated with shams and spoofs of varying degrees. There are many myths regarding the tradition as well as the famous Punxsutawney Phil himself. MYTH 1: THE PREDICTIONS ARE ACCURATE. Many event-goers put a lot of faith in Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions. Unfortunately, he is more likely to be wrong than right. According to studies based on Phil’s predictions and the weather patterns that follow, it seems Phil’s predictions receive an accuracy rate of only 39 percent. MYTH 2: GROUNDHOG DAY IS HARMLESS. Much like humans, most groundhogs don’t like being suddenly jostled out of their sleep. Their frustration often leads to them biting their handlers. For this reason, the handlers usually wear heavy gloves
Even though Groundhog Day is a holiday based on many myths, it still provides a great time for event- goers all across the world. You might not be able to fully trust Phil’s predictions, but the superstition and mystique associated with this unique and festive day make it one you shouldn’t skip out on.
MYTH 3: PHIL IS THE ONLY FAMOUS RODENT. While Phil is probably the most well-known
ground-dwelling meteorologist, he is not the only groundhog with weather predicting abilities. For example, General Beauregard Lee is the weather predictor for the city of Lilburn, Georgia.
Staten Island Chuck takes care of the New York territory, and
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has three groundhogs of its own, which is probably
due to its rich Pennsylvania Dutch history. Canada has even
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