How Volkswagen’s cheat device works

German automaker giant Volkswagen is recently under fierce criticisms following the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) revelation of a cheat device installed in some of its newer diesel units. According to EPA, the software was sophisticatedly designed to defraud standard emission tests in the U.S. This fiasco, which was dubbed to be the most disastrous that Volkswagen has ever been into yet, ignited the ire not just of authorities around the world, but also of consumers who have to suffer from a decreased resale value.

More and more people are planning to file for a Volkswagen emissions lawsuit after learning that the company deliberately tricked them to believe that what they are buying is a combination of power and fuel efficiency. But how does Volkswagen’s knotty software really work? Below is a brief rundown of how it functions:

Software analyzes testing conditions

The software was intricately programmed to identify whether the car is under a standard emission test. Its analysis depends mainly on four different but interdependent factors: the speed of the car, the movement of the steering wheel, the atmospheric pressure, and how long the engine is operated. A speed that is beyond 65 mph but with a fixed steering wheel and an engine operated in a relatively shorter period of time could mean that the vehicle is under an emission test.

Software switches to safe mode

Once the engine detected that it is running under testing conditions, it will automatically switch to a safe mode to emit less amount of oxides. Vehicles with this cheat device are installed with a nitrogen oxide trap (NOx trap), which filters dangerous nitrogen oxides and reduce toxic emissions. However, because NOx trap only works better when there are more oxides trapped in the filter, it would require the engine to combust more fuel, making it fuel-costly.

Software switches back to normal mode

Because operating in safe mode could cost more fuel, the software switches back to normal mode when in road conditions. But because the trap doesn’t anymore filter enough oxides to allow it to work more efficiently, the car emits oxides up to 40 times more than what the law allows.

How much sound can a gun silencer “silence?”

First, it is important to know that silencers are somehow a misnomer. Silencers threaded at the tip of the barrel don’t actually silence a gun, as opposed to what most action films try to depict. These accessories only suppress the sound of the gunshot. In the real world, there is no possible way to actually silence a gun completely.

However, silencers can significantly decrease gunshot noise by an average of 30 decibels. So, if a gunshot’s dB level is 140, a reduction to 1,100 dB means 8 times less noise or 1,000 times less intensity, which is a great deal since dB is measured in logarithmic scale. Some may even go higher than that. According to , rifles equipped with a barrel integrated with a suppressor fire quieter. They are also stronger and better in reducing recoil and baffle strikes.

But what does a 30 dB reduction really mean? A 30dB reduction is comparable to wearing an ear protection when firing a gun. In such cases, equipping your barrel with a quality-manufactured suppressor could mean not needing to wear an ear muff anymore. However, to keep injuries at bay, it is better to veer on the side of caution and wear hearing protection when shooting with suppressors.

There are a variety of reasons why a gun can never be totally noise-free. The sound of the hammer hitting the primer, for instance, can create a metallic “clang” noise that can never be filtered out by suppressors. A bullet piercing through the air can also create a mini-sonic boom called a bullet crack. So, ideally, a person shooting a gun would hear a metallic “clang” sound coming from the hammer hitting the primer, and a suppressed “bang” sound created by the hot gasses that go out of the muzzle. Meanwhile, a person being targeted could hear a “crack” sound, produced by the shock wave coming from the speeding bullets.

What you need to know about pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood vessel in the lungs has been blocked by an embolus, or clot, which usually travels from the body’s deep veins. Although there are many possible causes of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is considered the most common. DVT occurs when a blood clot is formed in one of your leg’s deep veins. When a portion of the blood clot dislodges, it may travel to the lungs and block the pulmonary artery, causing pulmonary embolism.

Your risk of developing pulmonary embolism lies on your vulnerability in developing blood clots. Individuals with medical history of blood clots, for instance, are more prone to this condition. Prolonged bed rest, long travels, and immobility may also increase your risk of DVT, which in turn may elevate your chance of developing pulmonary embolism. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, birth control pills Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella have been associated with cases of serious blood clots that can ultimately lead to pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening. And so, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent its fatal health complications. More invasive procedures, such as vein filter use and clot removal, are recommended for severe and life-threatening cases. Bard G2 IVC filters, for instance, can be used to prevent pulmonary embolism by filtering out blot clots that enter the inferior vena cava. However, Bard G2 IVC Filter lawsuit attorneys warned about the device’s risk of fatal injuries, such as blood vessel perforation and organ damage. For mild cases, medications such as anticoagulants and thrombolytics might be used to dissolve blood clot and prevent new clots from forming.

Persons with pulmonary embolism may experience chest pain similar to a heart attack, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you are at increased risk of the disease and are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately for a prompt and accurate pulmonary embolism diagnosis and treatment.

Cephalohematoma: Its symptoms, risks, and complications

Birth injuries account for a majority of infant deaths in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that six out of 1,000 babies born die during their first twelve months, and birth defects have been among the major culprit (every 4 ½ minutes, a baby dies due to a birth defect). The website of attorneys Hach & Rose, LLP says that although birth defects can be a result of myriad different factors, most cases have been associated with medical negligence.

One of the most common birth defects recorded in the U.S. is cephalohematoma, or hematoma above the baby’s skull. It occurs when blood underneath the skin of the baby pools due to damaged blood vessels, creating a bulge that usually heals even without treatment.

But although most cases of cephalohematoma are self-limiting, its complications can become deadly. For instance, major pooling of blood underneath the skin of the baby’s head may cause a dramatic increase in the baby’s bilirubin level. Bilirubin is used to breakdown old red blood cells. As the blood underneath the skin of the baby’s head breaks down, bilirubin level is increased, which might put a strain on your baby’s liver. As such, parents and doctors should watch out for symptoms of liver failure, such as jaundice.

There are many potential causes of cephalohematoma. Babies with larger head, for instance, are more prone to cephalohematoma especially if it is larger than the mother’s pelvic area. Prolonged and difficult labor may also increase the risk of this minor birth injury. Medical negligence may also cause this condition. Wrong use of forceps and other instruments during assisted vaginal delivery, for instance, has been associated with cephalohematoma.

Danville personal injury attorneys would probably say that it is difficult for parents whose child was born with cephalohematoma deal with this situation, especially in severe cases where complications are more likely. And so, parents should watchfully look for signs of cephalohematoma complications, and promptly seek medical help when needed.

Am I Qualified for SSDI?

Having a disability can be life-changing. It may ultimately affect your capacity to earn a living. For some, a disability could be so disheartening that it completely changed how they look at themselves. Getting social security benefits may not be enough for persons with disabilities to repair what was physically and emotionally taken from them, but it can definitely support them and their families as they try to manage their financial situation.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the monthly benefits given to those determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be qualified for the federal program. If you have a disability and are planning to file for SSDI, SSA would consider a variety of things to decide whether you are qualified or not:

Are you disabled?

Your capacity to work is central to SSA’s definition of disability. For instance, having a disability could mean not being able to accomplish the things that you can do before. A condition can also be defined as a disability if it takes away your capability to adjust to other work conditions. Depending on the agency’s assessment, a person with a condition that meets disability qualifications set by the SSA could be eligible for SSDI.

How long have you worked?

Before being qualified for disability benefits, you must have worked in occupations that are covered by Social Security. Not only that, SSA requires that you must have been employed long enough under Social Security to receive SSDI benefits. According to SSA, a person would typically need 40 work credits to qualify for the program. The equivalence of work credit varies from year to year. For instance, in 2015, one work credit equals $1,220 of wages.

What is your other situation?

Apart from the qualifications mentioned above, the may SSA also look for other qualifications to decide on your eligibility for SSDI. For instance, SSDI applicants who are blind or have low vision may qualify for disability benefits under special ruling.

Understanding Different Child Custody Types

Divorce could be an emotionally charged experience for both spouses. According to the website of the attorneys at BB Law Group PLLC, the idea of living separate lives, both physically and legally, can be tremendously overwhelming for all parties involved. But apart from the couple, children could also take their fair share of emotions. This holds true especially for those who have to move between two parents.

The website of the lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC says that divorcing couples should study carefully what works best for their kids. After all, the kids are the most important factor in such cases. In the U.S., there are many different child custody types:

Physical custody

Physical custody refers to the right of a parent to have his/her child live with him/her. Physical custody can either be sole or joint. In sole physical custody, either parent is allowed to live with the child. Joint physical custody, on the other hand, means the child will spend significant period of time with one parent. Because the child needs to be shuttled from one parent to another, it is best if both parents live relatively near each other so as not to disrupt the child’s routine.

Legal custody

Legal custody refers to the right of one or both parent to decide on matters concerning their child’s upbringing. It could be a decision about where the child will go schooling, or what his religion should be. Legal custody can either be sole or shared. In the U.S., most courts grant parents joint legal custody for the child.

In a child custody arrangement where both parents are divorced and are living separately, courts usually grant them a joint physical and legal custody. The child may have to spend his/her entire weekends with one parent, while spending his/her weekends with the other. Whatever the arrangement would be, both parents should know that animosity and failure to cooperate could negatively affect the child, and may even lead to distressing legal battles.

Osteoarthritis: What it is and What are the Risks

In a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), osteoarthritis (OA) affected approximately 21 million adults in the U.S. in 2005. This musculoskeletal condition, which commonly affects the hands, knees, or hips, occurs when the cartilages that coat the bone endings wear down. Because of a worn-out cartilage, bones tend to “rub” each other, causing pain and friction.

Although anyone can experience osteoarthritis, older individuals and women are more prone to this musculoskeletal condition that their counterparts. Also, individuals who are overweight, have had joint injury before, and are exposed to forceful and repetitive motions at work are also more prone to this condition. Similarly, individuals whose parents or siblings have osteoarthritis are more likely to develop the condition as compared with those who have no family history of the disease.

Symptoms of OA range from mild to severe. Some of its symptoms include stiffness and tenderness in the affected area, and pain especially during movement or when pressure is applied. A person with osteoarthritis may also suffer from limited mobility because of pain and a grating sensation because of bone-to-bone contact.

For advanced OA cases, a person’s day-to-day function could be profoundly compromised. Some who have OA of the hip may even require hip replacement surgery to help them regain their independence. However, according to, some hip prostheses, such as Stryker hip implants, have been associated with different lawsuits with claims that it may cause complications, such as nerve damage and metallosis.

Scientists are yet to find out treatments that can cure OA. For now, treatments and therapies are available to alleviate its symptoms. Medications, such as painkillers and steroids, can be used to relieve inflammation and pain. Physical and occupational therapies, on the other hand, can help people with OA strengthen their muscles and do their everyday tasks with much ease despite their condition.

Credit Card and Divorce: Who Pays?

Some married couples see that the only healthy way out in an unhealthy relationship is a divorce. However, some couples are hesitant in filing those legal papers due to one thing – credit card debt. Many couples fear that filing for a divorce would make them solely responsible for their joint credit cards, while some are anxious about getting the larger slice of the pie.

The website of Arenson Law Group, PC says that filing for a divorce when in debt can be too disquieting, especially if one couple has been financially dependent to the other during the entire marriage. But with the help of the right people, you would learn that filing for a divorce even when in credit card debt is still possible.

Common law property system

To have a glimpse of how credit card debt is divided between divorcing couples, we will differentiate between common law property system and community property system. If you are in a state where common law is applied, it means that all the properties you acquired or bought under your name belong solely to you, unless you indicate your spouse as a co-owner. This same principle applies to debt: all debts under your name would be your exclusive responsibility, including credit cards. However, if you have joint credit cards that you co-signed with your spouse, then debt collectors have the right to go after you.

Community property system

In contrast with the above, states that follow community property system have a different way in dividing marital assets and liabilities. In a community property system, assets acquired by both spouse during a marriage is considered a community, or marital, property. The same goes with debt: if credit card debts are acquired during marriage, both couples are more likely to take responsibility, whether the card is under only one spouse’s name, or both cosigned it. However, according to the website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield, if you can prove that a credit card purchase never benefited the marriage, the court may deem you not responsible with the debt.

What you Love Might Not be what your Dog Wants

Humans love to humanize almost everything: we see the sky cries when raining, we see it smile when the sun shines. And this fondness to humanize transcends even to our pets. We feel that the chewed up couch, that soiled blanket, or the scratches on your newly-bought carpet were his revenge for not walking him this morning. We even assume that canines love what most of us love. Even so, there are some things that some people can’t live without, but canines truly don’t need. Here are some of them:


Try giving your best buddy chocolates for his first successful potty outside and that could be his last. Chocolates contain theobromine, an alkaloid which stimulates the heart and the central nervous system. Because dogs cannot metabolize theobromines as quickly as humans can, increased heart and nerve activities could result in side-effects, such as vomiting, muscle twitching and difficulty in breathing. In some instances, a very rapid heart rate could lead to your buddy’s sudden and tragic death. So, never give dogs chocolate!


Do you wonder why some dog trainers and pet sitters do not immediately hug dogs when they are petting them? They will first try to observe if the critter is house-trained enough to be used to human hugs. According to the website of the Austin dog walkers at Walk! ATX, this is because in the canine world, hugs never mean love and compassion. In fact, it’s the opposite. It means dominance, power, control. When a dog is trying to lay his paws on some dog’s back, he could instinctively be trying to compete over some scarce resources. So before hugging a dog, first make sure that he is used to it.


Your pet is your best friend, but it doesn’t mean that it could be a friend to everyone else. Owners sometimes make the mistake of forcing their pet to interact with other animals and humans. This could be very undesirable to your pets, and may even turn them into wild beasts. Unfortunately, some cases of injurious dog attacks happened because owners want their pets to interact with others whom they don’t want to associate with.

Feeling Workaholic? Signs that you Need to Take a Break

Are you one of those who always stay up late for work? If you find happiness working beyond 10 pm, then you are one of the only who can still find joy out of long haul. However, for many of us, staying up late for work every single day (Saturdays and Sundays included), can be utterly heartbreaking. You might be feeling extremely fine working longer than your officemates, but in the long run, you may wake up one day drained, beat-up, burned out. Before you blow a fuse, here are the things that would probably tell you to stop, breathe, and loosen up:

You want to take a peek of your email every single time

An overworked person finds it difficult to achieve work-life balance, and that could mean checking your email while on a family dinner or a movie marathon with the kids. Being attached to your work day and night could compromise the precious time you have with your loved ones. And so, if you feel that you are missing out on most of these precious moments with your family and friends, you may consider loosening up a bit.

You work overtime almost all of the time

Working for longer period of time could be detrimental to one’s physical health. Sleeplessness and fatigue, for instance, are among those that can wreak havoc to your health in the long run. Unfortunately, New York unpaid overtime lawyers know how some employers try to shortchange their workaholic employees by not paying their overtime pays at all, or not paying them enough. So, if you are compelled to spend some more hours after your shift, at least make sure that your employer pays what he owes you. According to the Department of Labor,

Your thoughts are always about your work

One tell-tale sign that you are alcoholic is when you think about coming back to office to do some stuff when you are out in a vacation with your long-time friends. When you think about your office all the time, even during your rest and recreation, you are prohibiting your body to recover from all the work stress, making you feel tired and restless even after a vacation.

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