Colin Kaepernick Becomes First NFL Player to Display His Real-Life Tattoos in Madden NFL
Sep30

Colin Kaepernick Becomes First NFL Player to Display His Real-Life Tattoos in Madden NFL

Tattoos are an obviously prevalent part of a football player’s image. For example, Ethan Westbrooks, the rookie defensive end for the St. Louis Rams, recently told ESPN that he decided to get his distinctive facial tattoo to help motivate him to make it in the NFL instead of pursuing a more normal career path. Whether due to his tattoo, which reads “laugh now, cry later,” or simply his talent, Westbrooks was ultimately successful; his first season with the Rams began Sunday, September 7 in their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. However, Westbrooks is far from the only player with visible ink in the NFL. In fact, the growing popularity and visibility of these tattoos is raising intriguing questions about branding, intellectual property and the reproduction of these images. When the most recent installation of the Madden NFL video game was released on Tuesday, August 26, many gamers likely noticed an exciting difference: Colin Kaepernick, the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is realistically depicted with his famous tattoos, which he has previously displayed in a GQ photo spread and which have been the subject of a number of his previous interviews. However, Kaepernick was the only player who pursued the release of his tattoos from his artists, making him the only character depicted in the game with his real-life ink. Cases like Kaepernick’s are becoming increasingly common: tattoo artists who work with athletes and other public figures are paying more attention to their rights, as their work becomes as famous as the person it belongs to. As intellectual property experts have explained, copyright law is typically very friendly to artists: while they cannot claim ownership of the body the ink is found on, any display of originality or creativity can stand as grounds for a copyright claim. As a result, tattoo artists have been able to successfully sue video game designers who attempted to use real tattoo designs in their games. In 2013, for example, artist Stephen Allen sued runningback Ricky Williams and Electric Arts for replicating his work in the video game NFL Street. Unlike some players, however, Kaepernick has been vocal about the work of his tattoo artist, Nes Andrion, who created several of his more noteworthy pieces, resulting in a significant amount of business being directed to Andrion’s business, Endless Ink. While Andrion has stated that he has mixed feelings about waiving his rights to Kaepernick’s tattoos, he admits that working with the quarterback has been beneficial for his career as a whole. It is uncertain whether other artists will feel the same: in light of Kaepernick’s tattooed appearance in Madden NFL, which has...

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Protecting Children While Driving: What You Should Be Doing
Sep26

Protecting Children While Driving: What You Should Be Doing

A new report found that one in five parents of young children willingly admits to not adhering to safety rules when it comes to car pooling, such as allowing children to ride without a car seat, booster seat, or even a seat belt. An alarming number of parents, one in four, admits to failing to secure their children’s seat belts for ever ride. Even more alarming is the fact that three times as many parents, a staggering 61%, claim they have witnessed other carpooling parents doing the same, according to recent report released by Safe Kids Worldwide. Funded by the General Motors Foundation, the report was based on an online survey of 1,000 parents of children between the ages of four and 10. The actual number of carpooling parents who neglect or fail to use restraints properly is unknown. Kim Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids WorldWide, estimates that between 20 – 60% percent of parents bend the safety rules in regards to carpooling and driving with children. However, Carr encourages parents to be uncompromising in regards to safety the safety of their children, and others’. The reason for this negligence? According to the study, a lot of parents say it’s due to the short duration of the ride, or if the child is alone with them in the vehicle. However, Carr urges parents to remember that accidents happen when they’re least expected, and stresses the importance of making safety a priority. Carr goes on to suggest that carpooling parents should develop a plan together in advance to ensure that every child has a seat belt, and if necessary, a car or booster seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping every child in a booster seats until he or she is big enough to be properly secured by the seat belt. In order for a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt should lie snugly across the upper thighs of the child, not the stomach. Also, the shoulder belt must like snugly across the shoulder and chest area, and must not cross the neck or face. It is safer for children to ride in the back seat, adds the NHTSA. In addition to ensuring that both child and adult passengers are safely and properly secured, it is also imperative to practice routine vehicle maintenance and repairs. It’s been estimated that close to 77% of vehicles on the road are in need of some form of repair or scheduled maintenance. Regardless of driving skills, drivers and passengers are not safe unless a vehicle is in good condition. It’s important to have your vehicle’s tires and brakes routinely checked to...

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Fire at Boston Suburb Car Dealership Causes Half a Million Dollars in Damages
Sep24

Fire at Boston Suburb Car Dealership Causes Half a Million Dollars in Damages

A fire at a Sudbury luxury car dealership early Monday morning damaged 19 cars, eight of which were completely destroyed. The Sudbury Fire Department responded at 1:07 a.m. to the Herb Chambers Land Rover dealership after a passerby reported the blaze. The Marlborough Fire Department also arrived on the scene. No people were injured, but many of the cars were burnt beyond recognition, according to Sudbury Fire Department spokesperson John M. Guilfoil, making it difficult to determine even their model. The flames apparently began in a Jaguar and spread to Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Jeeps and Jaguars. Five of the cars suffered only minor effects. Damage is estimated at over $500,000. Some of the cars were worth over $70,000 each. It is unclear who owns all the cars. The Jaguar in which the fire began apparently belonged to a customer and was in for service. The fire started in the back of the lot, where cars are parked after being brought in for repairs. Sudbury Fire Chief Bill Miles said it seems that some of the damaged cars were new, and others were not. The U.S. auto repair industry generates approximately $58 billion in yearly revenue. Luxury cars, in addition to their high purchase prices, are often serviced at specialty dealerships and cost more to repair. Herb Chambers, who owns the dealership, learned about the fire on the morning news. He expressed a hope that most of the damaged cars belong to the dealership, since its insurance would then cover damages. He told a local TV station that his greatest concern is his customers, and that he’s grateful no one was hurt. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and local fire and police will work with the state fire marshal to determine if it the blaze was an accident or intentionally set. Authorities are hoping to gather information from a neighboring dealership’s security cameras. State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan declined to provide even a preliminary cause, saying he expects the investigation will continue for some time. Sudbury is a wealthy suburb located in Boston’s MetroWest, part of Middlesex...

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Toxic Mold Infestation Drives Kourtney Kardashian Out of Her New Mansion
Sep23

Toxic Mold Infestation Drives Kourtney Kardashian Out of Her New Mansion

Reality star and fashion icon Kourtney Kardashian has apparently fled her posh mansion in the heart of The Oaks, a prestigious gated community in Calabasas, California. Kardashian bought the home from former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson in January, expecting a slice of paradise for the cool $8.95 million she paid for it. As Kardashian was having the home redecorated to prepare for the baby she and beau Scott Disick are expecting in a couple of months, however, her designer scraped away a layer of paint to reveal toxic black mold — lots of it. Following the revelation, Kardashian fled her home and rented a hotel room, where she has lived since. Black Mold Causes Significant Health Problems, Could Be a Pregnancy Risk Although she’s well known as a bit of a drama queen, Kourtney Kardashian’s reaction to finding mold in her home is completely sensible. Black mold has been linked to a slew of health problems, ranging from the mild to the severe. Homes infested with toxic mold commonly cause itchy eyes, chest congestion, and coughing. In extreme cases, it can cause homeowners to suddenly develop asthma, leaving them with lasting damage to their lungs. In Kardashian’s case, it’s not just her health that she has to be concerned about, but that of her unborn child as well. As you might imagine, scientists have never done any clinical trials on pregnant women to see whether or not black mold causes birth defects and other issues. That said, studies on animals have shown that regular exposure to black mold spores may have a link to birth defects, stillbirths, and other serious pregnancy-related issues. Have you ever suffered any health issues because of a toxic mold infestation? Share your story in the comments...

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Flight to Beijing Disrupted by Child Custody Dispute
Sep21

Flight to Beijing Disrupted by Child Custody Dispute

On Thursday, September 4, a United Airlines flight bound for Beijing returned to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. While most returned flights are caused by mechanical problems or even unruly passengers, this detour was caused by an international incident in the making: a mother was believed to be taking her child out of the country without the knowledge of his father, who shares joint custody. United Airlines Flight 897 took off at 12:20 p.m, but received a request from the FBI to return to Dulles when they reached Canadian airspace. The 180 passengers aboard the flight were reportedly told that the plane was experiencing a mechanical problem. It wasn’t until the Boeing 777 landed in Washington five hours after its initial departure that the pilot announced the true reason for their delayed trip. Three individuals were then removed from the plane: Wenjing Liu, also known as Linda Liu, her four year old son, and her mother. The FBI arrested Liu, her son was returned to his father, and her mother was not detained. Liu and her former spouse, William J. Ruifrok III, were awarded joint custody of their son after divorcing in 2013. The child was born in China and is a dual U.S.-Chinese citizen. However, Liu and Ruifrok’s 2014 custody does not allow either parent to travel outside the U.S. without written and notarized consent of the other party before the trip. In a country where an estimated 46,523 divorces are filed each week, this condition is fairly common. Accordingly, taking or attempting to take a child out of the country to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights is considered a federal offense in the U.S. After being removed from the flight, Liu admitted to law enforcement officials that she had violated the custody order by failing to get Ruifrok’s consent. She appeared in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday, September 5 and again on Monday, September 8 for a bond hearing. Meanwhile, Flight 897 was allowed to depart for Beijing again at 7:47 pm. Similar international parental custody disagreements have gathered worldwide attention and caused significant difficulty: for example, David Goldman had to negotiate for five years to have his son, Sean, returned to his custody the United States after his then-wife took him to Brazil in 2009 and refused to return. These custody disputes, which are legally considered kidnappings, can be made even more complicated if one or both countries involved are not signatories of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction. Seventy countries, including the United States, have signed the Hague Convention, but the regulation only...

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