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2 posts from April 2009

April 28, 2009

Training to End Strokes - A Worthy Cause

Wendi wagner training My good friend and colleague, attorney Wendi Wagner McCluskey, will be training to end strokes.  I asked her to write a piece to post here on my blog.  Please read and help her exceed her goals.  Although we're in tough times, I truly believe that hers is a worthy cause, and, for  that reason, I made a donation.

From the pen of Wendi Wagner McCluskey, Esq.

January, I watched my husband's grandmother will herself to die after having had a stroke. Christmas Eve, she had been a vibrant woman, smiling and bouncing her great-granddaughter on her lap; by New Year she could do nothing but lie in bed and murmur that she was in terrible pain and wanted an end.     

Never in my life did I imagine that I would be walking for a charity.  Let me rephrase - Never in my life did I imagine that I would be walking 13 miles, for any reason.  In honor of Lally, my husband's grandmother, I committed to walk the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon - 13.2 miles.

Last Saturday, I did 12 miles with my training group.  If you had told me 6 months ago that I could walk/run 12 miles, I would have told you that you had lost your last marble.  I am not an athlete, but I am actually doing it.  Okay, I am doing in great pain and I don’t look so pretty, and I am usually the last person to finish out of 20 or so people - but I am doing it.   My legs ache, but not in places they are supposed to.  I think I am not normal.  But, I am determined to do this.

I have committed to raise $1,600.  I am pushing to finish my fundraising efforts by May 1st.  Check out http://ttes-la.kintera.org/wendi to see how much money I have raised - or to make a donation of your own.

Did you know that someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and someone dies of one every 3.1 minutes? Or that 29 percent of people who have strokes are under age 65? Please join me in my efforts to end stroke.

You Can Follow me on Twitter(but not while you're driving!)

April 12, 2009

Twittering While Driving (TWD): Danger Abounds!

Twitterphone Twitter is the new rage but where it's used can be outrageously dangerous. But wait!  Before you think I'm anti-Twitter, please be sure that I am all for Twitter!  I have a Twitter account with the screenname steigerlaw which, as of today, boasts 1,225 followers, and growing.  And I'm following 1,800+ Twitterers as well (and growing).  It's productive, addictive and fun.  I keep my Twittering professional -- i.e., my Tweets (messages) are generally relevant to law related subjects save a few transgressions such as when I tout the Daily Puppy photo website because I'm a dog lover and think looking at puppy pictures  is  a great way to start the day.

For the uniniated, are you asking yourself "What the heck is Twitter?" Good question.  Twitter is a social networking phenomenon that is best understood by plunging in and just twittering.  It's free and easy.  To take the blind plunge, click here.  However, for a great explanation of Twitter, click here

You Can Follow me on Twitter(but not while you're driving)

Okay, let me get to the heart of this post: What I fear with Twitter is the addiction that seems to be inherent in all social media today.  We can't wait to respond to a Tweet (Twitter message).  And now we can do it from our cell phones while driving!  Naturally, I have no problem with someone sitting in front of their desktop or laptop 24 hours a day and tweeting themselves into oblivion.  What I do have a problem with is the danger that we expose ourselves and other to when Tweeting while Driving.  (See my prior posts on texting while driving)  A typical tweet is up to 140 characters (maybe about 20 words give or take) and can have links to other websites.  A person can get completely wrapped up in a tweet and wind up with a pedestrian as a hood ornament.  Although my presentation here is tongue -in-cheek, being a lawyer who zealously and passionately represents injured people, I see the handwriting on the wall and it's not pretty.  I'm not looking forward to a call from the daughter of an elderly pedestrian who was killed in a crosswalk because someone couldn't wait to get to their computer to respond to a Tweet.

According to a recent article entitled Fatal Distractions in the British publication Newspress, a study was conducted by the British insurance company Esure.  The article states that according to that study, "nearly one in ten (nine per cent) motorists questioned are using mobile internet services and social networks whilst driving – to tweet, text and update their Facebook profiles." 

The article reports the 10 top Tweets during the week prior to the article's publication:
  1. “Driving with my knees and peeling an orange…Probably not the safest thing to be doing.”
  2. “Driving school bus”
  3. “Irresponsible twitter driving woo!”
  4. “Driving up to Newcastle while we Tweet!”
  5. “Driving home in the rain…almost crashed!”
  6. “Trying my best to stay awake while driving”
  7. “Awake, hungover, and driving”
  8. “Is it wise to use Twitter while driving? Probably not”
  9. “Intoxicated driving. Let’s hope this works out”
  10. “Twittering and driving…”
OnStar_Twitter And now it is rumored that the General Motors On-Star feature will interface with Twitter.  According to the Technology Expert Blog

“While in your vehicle, you can use OnStar to submit and retrieve tweets (messages) via your Twitter account. Using OnStar’s Voice-Activated Hands-Free Calling system, and having your voice converted into text, you can provide updates which would appear in the 'What are you doing?' section of your Twitter homepage. It is also possible to listen to a tweet that was sent to you by someone else after it has been converted into voice. You can send and receive tweets without having to type or read anything.”

Finally, the Twittering While Driving phenomenon has gotten the attention of lawmakers.  Here is a video clip of Democratic Tennessee Sen. Douglas Henry voicing (not Twittering) his opinion:

Please Follow me on Twitter

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle or automobile (or similar) accident, please call me, Lowell Steiger, immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

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