Jones & Hill - February 2019

The Must-Read, Change-Your-Life Newsletter helping seriously injured people for over 30 years


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While February is the shortest month of the year, it’s packed with historical significance relating to American determination and perseverance. While many of us are celebrating Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, or Black History Month, there’s one February date of consequence that tends to be overlooked. Perhaps no other president is more idealized than Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12, 1809. After abolishing slavery, seeing the country through the deadliest war in U.S. history, and redefining political values, he has become an American hero and has his own monument in Washington. But in spite of his intelligence and leadership capabilities, it was perhaps his failures that set him on the path to greatness. In 1816, Lincoln’s family was forced to leave their home, and two years later, before his 10th birthday, his mother died. In 1828, his sister died while giving birth to her stillborn son. With no formal education, Lincoln struck out on his own at the age of 21 and started his own business. In 1831, that business failed and he sold his shares to move into politics. In 1832, he ran for the state legislature. Christian H. McIntire’s Library of Congress documentation of Lincoln’s failures states he “was badly swamped.” In 1833, he went bankrupt. In 1835, his fiancé tragically died. By 1836, life had dealt Lincoln a hard hand, and he had a nervous breakdown.

While practicing in Springfield, Lincoln watched his 4-year-old son die of tuberculosis in 1850. With more experience under his belt and a successful firm, he went back to his passion and began pursuing politics again. In 1854, he ran for the Senate and lost. In 1856, he sought a seat as the vice president and was defeated. After a long political career marred by failure, Lincoln won the presidential election in 1860. His persistence paid off, and his failures made him a better leader, but his struggles did not cease. Lincoln lost another son in 1862, and the effect on him was crippling. Bouncing back from yet another setback, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and won re-election in 1864. His assassination in 1865 was a tragic end to a life filled with adversity, but it did not change the status of Lincoln’s effect on the masses. Amid a world of defeat, an ordinary man became an icon through his willingness to persevere. Life will consistently deal us pain, but it’s how we overcome it that defines who we are. When you’ve had to scratch and claw to achieve success, you become resilient and empathetic, which makes your success even sweeter. If at any time you fail this month, channel Lincoln’s strength and know you will overcome.


After putting his life back together, Lincoln continued to pursue politics. He tried for two different positions in 1838 and 1840 but got neither. In 1843, he ran for Congress and lost. After he got in three years later, he ran for re-election and lost in 1848. Reeling from that defeat, Lincoln expected to be appointed Commissioner of the General Land Office, but that was given to his rival. After years of rejection, Lincoln stepped out of politics to focus on law.


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The 5-Second Rule Will Make You Sick


We live in the golden age of information. The answers to many of life’s questions are just an internet search away. Despite this readily available wisdom, we still have a bad habit of believing health-related myths. Here are three popular health “facts” that are total works of fiction. The 5-Second Rule Keeps Food Safe Obviously germs and bacteria don’t really wait five seconds to pounce, but snatching your chip off the floor fast keeps most of the germs away, right? Not according to a 2006 study published by Dr. Paul Dawson. He found conclusive evidence that when food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, bacteria are transferred immediately. Even one second spent on tile, wood, or carpet is enough to infest your food with salmonella or another serious contaminant. Bottled Water Is Safer Than Tap Water People seeking out safer water alternatives increases the sales of bottled “spring water” each year. However, bottled water is more expensive, bad for the environment, and, as Dr. Morton Tavel of the Indiana University School of Medicine pointed out, over 50 percent of bottled water is just filtered tap water. The same effect can be achieved with a home filtration system. Of course, if the tap water in your area has been contaminated, bottled water is a safer alternative. However, in most circumstances, bottled water is no healthier than tap water.

Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis The connection between knuckle-cracking and arthritis came from studies where participants self-reported their habits. Modern medical research has shown these results to be false. The official stance from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center states, “There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints.” Still, chronic knuckle-cracking can lead to reduced grip strength, so you might want to break the habit anyway. You’ve probably heard these myths for years, but just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean it is true. With information so easily available, always take the time to research the facts, especially when it comes to your health.



Log Cabin This classic structure is elegant, homey, and all-around awesome. A log cabin looks like it belongs in the woods. One of the best aspects of constructing a log cabin is that, depending on the location, you can source your wood directly from the property you’re building it on. Why invest in siding, drywall, and paint when you can use the natural beauty of a tree as a backdrop for years of memories? Shipping Container Yes, you read that correctly. Saving money on raw materials lets you focus more on interior amenities. Many people use a shipping container as the exterior of the home, then elaborate on the interior with modern refinements. While it may sound a bit odd, the results are stunning.

There’s nothing better than having a retreat in the woods to relax and unwind. There’s something about a cabin that just makes the stress melt away and fills your body with contentedness. A cabin could be the perfect destination for your Valentine’s Day. But why stop there? Every outdoor enthusiast should have a cabin, and here are three styles to choose from when constructing yours. A-Frame Because of its cost-effectiveness, the A-frame cabin is one of the most popular cabin styles. The structure is cheaper to assemble because the design requires fewer materials. On top of that, they are easy to construct, making it possible to do some of the labor on your own. Of course, what you gain in ease, you lose in square footage.

Whether it’s bringing back a buck or just looking for a spot to unwind, consider a trip to the woods this winter. It could be exactly what the doctor ordered. 2


What review site do you use? Google, Avvo, or possibly even Facebook? Well, if you ask small businesses across the country what their thoughts are, you’ll run into one common conclusion: stay away from Yelp. Many organizations across the country have accused Yelp of extortion. Firms just like ours thrive on reviews as a way for people to inform themselves about the trustworthiness of a local company, and many owners argued that Yelp was holding positive information hostage. Here’s how. What’s Really Going on Here? Most major online review sources filter comments by date, showcasing the most recent observations at the top. One could suggest it’s the fairest way to go about the process, but that’s not how Yelp operates. Arguments state they filter their reviews by an algorithm that assesses reliability. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, but in practice, many owners are crying foul play. I Scratch Your Back, You Scratch Mine? The allegations state Yelp showcases negative reviews at the top of the feed instead of positive ones, and to access the good feedback, Yelp requires payment for their advertising services. Once payment is confirmed, the reviews are supposedly reprioritized with praise at the top.

What Do The Courts Say? The accusations started in 2014 with the class action suit Levitt v. Yelp, which resulted in an investigation by the FTC. The FTC closed the investigation without taking action after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found no extortion or wrongdoing by Yelp and dismissed the case. The bad publicity seems to have stopped in recent years, and now more than ever, consumers are looking to Yelp for information about potential businesses. It appears that whatever complications caused by the initial suits have ceased, and the site remains a go-to option for those in need. We welcome reviews of all types because we crave feedback. If we’ve helped you reach a verdict or settlement, feel free to give us a review so others can see how we can get results for them.


Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards

Roll this classic sugar cookie recipe into thin sheets and cut into rectangles for delicious valentines.


• • • •

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

• • •

2 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly pieces. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until butter and flour clump. 3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, return mixer to low, and mix until dough congeals. 4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6-inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute.

Inspired by Bon Appétit

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Phone: (888) 481-1333 Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jones & Hill Injury Lawyers 131 Highway 165 South Oakdale, LA 71463


Every four years, February gains an extra day at the end of the month. But what does this contribute to the year as a whole? You might be surprised by what this one day does for us! The 365 days in each year represent the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun. However, the orbit actually takes nearly a quarter of a day longer than that. The additional 0.2421 of a day might not seem like it would make a significant impact, but after a few decades, it adds up. To ensure the calendar and seasons stay on the right timeline, the leap day was created. The Start of the Leap Year The Egyptians were the first to officially calculate how many days it takes to orbit the sun, revealing the need for a leap year. Europeans at the time used a calendar that followed a lunar model, which needed an entire month added to retain consistency. The leap year wasn’t introduced into Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar. With the help of astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which included 12 months and 365 days, with a single day added every fourth year.

However, the Julian Calendar wasn’t perfect, because 0.2421 of a day can’t be rounded to a multiple of five, so it caused the calendar to have an extra 11 minutes every four years. Pope Gregory XIII fixed the problem in 1582 by creating the Gregorian Calendar. Now, a leap year occurs every four years except for the years that are evenly divisible by 100 and not 400. For instance, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years because they were divisible by 100. A Leap Day Birthday The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,500, which leaves approximately 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world celebrating their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1. People born on a Leap Day are faced with dilemmas such as which date they should receive their driver’s license. Although it varies from state to state, most consider March 1 the appropriate day for leap- year 16-year-olds — who are celebrating their fourth “official” birthday — to receive their license.

With all the changes the calendar has undergone, it still isn’t quite perfect. Experts say that in about 10,000 years, it will need to be changed yet again.


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