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Visiting Georgia State Parks - Cloudland Canyon State Park - Sightseeing, Hiking, and Camping in a Class B RV

Visiting Georgia State Parks - Cloudland Canyon State Park - Sightseeing, Hiking, and Camping in a Class B RV | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
In this series of standalone articles frequent traveler and Class B RV camping enthusiast Dave Sumner samples Georgia State Parks and provides advice to help the reader plan a visit or camping trip
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:
In this first of the series on sampling Georgia's State Parks, Dave Sumner provides advice on how to snag an amazing campsite by going camping in winter, hiking with your pets, and traveling in a small Class B RV. Sumner describes the amazing vistas that abound at this unique Eastern canyon, a perfect, but unexpected, version of its Western counterparts.
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Constructing Cyberterrorism as a Security Threat: a Study of International News Media Coverage in "Perspectives on Terrorism" Reaction by Security Analyst Dave Sumner

Constructing Cyberterrorism as a Security Threat: a Study of International News Media Coverage in "Perspectives on Terrorism" Reaction by Security Analyst Dave Sumner | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner, CPP, observations on "Constructing Cyberterrorism as a Security Threat: a Study of International News Media Coverage"

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

Today I read about the issuance of the largest academic study of its type so far regarding media and cyberterrorism. I will let you read about the methodology for yourself in the attached study, if you wish. Otherwise, let's just say that this academic analysis had two key findings, being that it found 1) the media is really hyping a threat of cyberterrorism, and 2) the media is over blowing the true threat of cyberterrorism (my words, not the esteemed academics).

 

It shouldn't be a surprise that the media, which makes its living these days off of bad news, is over blowing the threat of any type of terrorism - and especially cyberterrorism.

 

I have long been a student of human perception. My concern is that by behaving this way, the media contributes to a false perception with the public. Such a false perception could lead to confusion regarding the real levels of risk.

 

The constant reporting on a pending apocalypse from cyberterrorists, in my view, is confused with reporting on data breaches and the loss of personal information to cyberhacking identity thieves - who are plain old criminals with keyboards. Listening strictly to the media, it is easy to understand how the average news consumer could jumble up the risks and come to believe that their credit card number from the local home goods store is being stolen by international terrorists. 

 

The types of attacks these researchers were looking at were much more complex than stealing your banking info or your diagnosis from the local health clinic. In reality, there is a big difference between that type of crime and crippling national electric grids, shutting down military and emergency communications systems, switching off safety systems on nuclear reactors, etc.

 

The study looked at a wide variety of media from various countries. It is a pretty interesting read, and one I recommend. Cheers, Dave

 

Dave Sumner, MS, CPP, is a professional risk manager who practices in the U.S. and was educated at the graduate level in security & risk management in Great Britain. He holds a number of national and international Fellowships and professional certifications in security management. He brings this unique global perspective to his writing about various issues that connect us in our common world. His blog, Dave Sumner Writes!, may be found at http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

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Dave Sumner recalls the "Doomsday Years" after scientists say the world is closer to 'doomsday'

Dave Sumner recalls the "Doomsday Years" after scientists say the world is closer to 'doomsday' | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner (www.DaveSumner.com) recalls the "Doomsday Clock" and thanks heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Reports say "Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday"

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

"The blind men shout 'Let the creatures out!' We'll show the unbelievers . . . .2 minutes to midnight / The hands that threaten doom / 2 minutes to midnight / To kill the unborn in the womb . . . ."

From the song "2 Minutes to Midnight" by Iron Maiden (written by Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith, Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group)

 

I grew up with the "Doomsday Clock" and with the above song from the 1980s by Iron Maiden. As a "boomer" born in the 60's I just assumed doomsday would come any day, likely in the form of a mushroom cloud courtesy of the Soviet Union. I had seen Russians on TV and thought they looked strangely like the rest of us, so I couldn't imagine why they would want to melt my town. Nevertheless, I doodled mushroom clouds on my school notebooks and in my rebellious years (did they ever stop?) I screamed heavy metal lyrics and thought that "2 Minutes to Midnight" was especially apropos.

 

Despite a push in recent years to see my idols - resulting in two Maiden shows in two years - I had forgotten about the Doomsday Clock. The attached article explains that the clock was recently moved to 3 minutes to midnight, not quite as catchy as the song, but no less frightening. This is the first time the clock has been at 3 minutes since the height of the Cold War in 1983. Back then I doodled war scenes and wrote heavy metal lyrics, many of them about war and battle (I can see now how our societal mythology was coming out in our music), on my freshman accounting class notebook - instead of paying attention to my professor.

 

It is sad that something I had completely forgotten about is now back in the news in such a chilling way. If I think hard I can recall how the clock was pushed wildly forward to 17 minutes till midnight after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Alas, human kind has made up for lost time and put us right back where we were during my teen years. I was always impressed by Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, known as the "thinking man's rocker" to many. I just wish that he wasn't so right in this one case. I guess I will have to grab my black T-shirt and a notebook and start my post-apocalyptic doodling again.

 

When history repeats itself like this I always get that weird feeling of "deja vu." It is sad to think that the more times change the more they appear to stay the same. I know that many good things have happened in the world since the 80s, and that I am just in a pessimistic mood made worse by the attached article. But hey, I am allowed that on a day when the Doomsday Clock moves forward.

 

Best, Dave 

 

Dave Sumner writes about an eclectic collection of topics like this one. All of his pieces address issues that connect people everywhere, like the environment, health issues, psychology, politics and more, at http://www.davesumner.com/

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Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! on NPR Study of Reducing Stress

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! on NPR Study of Reducing Stress | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! comments on the recent findings in an NPR poll on stress and stress reduction. He uses his background as an analyst to draw some conclusions about stress reduction.   

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

National Public Radio is currently doing a series on stress which I have found very interesting. Unfortunately, stress is one of the things that connects us all. As the NPR reporter found in the story "Everyone had some sort of answer for us. Everyone — regardless of age or origin — had a strategy for getting rid of stress." I find it amusing that the "everyone" they talked to were on the Washington, DC, National Mall in mid-summer, usually one of the most hellishly hot/humid places to be. I find Washington very stressful. The scenery is beautiful, but the bureaucrats and the weather extremes cause me much stress. Maybe the bureaucrats expelling hot air causes global warming? Nevertheless, because of the stresses to be found there I have spent a lifetime trying to avoid having to work in Washington. I have very often failed though, and the resulting times when I have found myself "inside the beltway" have been the cause for many of my life's major stresses!

 

I hope that you will find a few minutes to listen to the embedded video, which itself is a bit of a stress reducer. I suppose that comes from hearing others say they are feeling what you/I feel - kind of like the old "misery loves company" adage. From the embedded video and the attached article there are a couple of "intelligence nuggets," as my friends in security analysis like to call them. One nugget is that time spent outdoors topped the list of effective stress reduction strategies. If you put that finding with some of the other effective strategies, like exercise and time with pets, it becomes noticeable that those things often also involve the outdoors. Meditation or prayer came in pretty high on the list too. As someone with a regular meditation practice, I would bet you that at least some of those who meditate occasionally like to pull up a cushion or yoga mat and assume the lotus position for meditation outdoors - beside a lake, at an ocean beach, in a park, on a mountaintop, etc.

 

These findings point to the increasing importance of the outdoors for our mental health. This increasingly important role for outdoor space comes at a time when construction is rebounding and we are beginning to see the bulldozers come out of the storage places where they rested during the recession. So, if you are one of the people who likes your outdoor space then it has never been more important to be aware of the ways that you can help to preserve it, keep it clean, reserve more space for parks and public lands, etc. Because your local or national situation may be different than mine I will leave how you do this up to you - just be aware of these valuable "nuggets" of information and do something, anything, for nature. Otherwise, we  all risk being stuck inside, chained to a desk or machine, along with the many people who responded that time off work IS NOT a strategy for reducing stress (only 25% believe that time off work is a stress reduction strategy, but over two thirds of those found it to be effective! hmmm, what does that tell you?!).

 

I don't know about you, but I believe the 75% who don't think that time off work reduces stress really, really need a day off. That is, as long as they use it to get outside and take a walk/hike, play with a pet, sit meditatively by the shore, or do anything in the great outdoors.

 

Best wishes, Dave

_______________________________________________________

Dave Sumner is, among other things, a writer/blogger who can be found at Dave Sumner Writes! http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

 

Dave writes about the networks that we all have in common, be they environmental, social, psychological, and sometimes technological. This usually involves writing about governments and global affairs, national and homeland security issues, privacy, world travel and food, and the psychology of human behavior.

 

#environment #stress #health #outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

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Plant-Based Protein Series – A Pro Dancer & The Amazing Avocado – Conclusion of a the Plant Protein Series Brought To You By The Happy Vegetarians

Plant-Based Protein Series – A Pro Dancer & The Amazing Avocado – Conclusion of a the Plant Protein Series Brought To You By The Happy Vegetarians | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

This article is the fifth and final in a series at The Happy Blog by The Happy Vegetarians (http://thehappyvegetarians.com/blog.html).

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This was a very interesting and informative series that I enjoyed very much. This article is the final installment of five, with the other four being at the blog site http://thehappyvegetarians.com/blog.html. This article provides great info on one of my favorite foods, the avocado (I didn't know about its protein!), and the other four on the site cover a wide range of healthy fuel sources used by a variety of professional competitors. 

 

Enjoy,

Dave

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50 Classy People From The Past Who Remind Us What "Cool" Really Means! (Commentary by Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes!)

50 Classy People From The Past Who Remind Us What "Cool" Really Means! (Commentary by Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes!) | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Go ahead, look at & share these cool men and women. You know they are hot, and it is a bonus that they are "classy cool" as well! Dave Sumner

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

One thing that connects just about everyone is at least some degree of mating drive. To feed that drive our brain steers our eyes toward what are, at that time, "cool" people (it may not tell is in that exact term, but it points our eyes at certain types of folks). These days this type person would more likely be called "hot" than cool, as the two terms seem to have diverged in our celebrity culture. Often our brain points our eyes at some famous person because they represent the beauty standard of our day. Although we may never have an opportunity to approach the most famous cool/hot people, at other times our brain "hits on" the man or woman we pass in the shopping mall or at the other end of the bar. These folks are not a photograph or film cell, but real live  approachable, potential mates. Deep down we register some undefinable cool factor, so we look.

 

As human biology drives this complicated dance all around us it is still fun to look at those special cool/hot people that we may never get a chance to meet. For some reason, it is always pleasing to look back at them - at old photos from their youth. Perhaps it is because that time was before our lives, or theirs, became so complicated. That is why I was so taken with this photo spread. It is beautiful photos of cool people from back in the day before things got so complicated. My wife and I often talk about how beautiful people were in the 50s, and also the 20s-40s (thanks Downton Abbey!). But for us, the 50s hold a special place in beauty and cool, and this spread is heavily loaded toward the 50s. Cool guys and stunningly beautiful women from the 1950s. The only oversight that I would correct is to add our favorite girl (my wife and mine), the always beautiful and always fashionable, the iconic Mary Tyler Moore. What do you think? (a hint to comment on who you would add : )

 

So, go ahead and have some guilty pleasure. It's OK to look, I promise. And remember, you are not alone, we all are connected by the drive to sneak a peak at the cool people. After all, it's biological man!

 

Cheers!

Dave

Writing About Our World at Dave Sumner Writes!

http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

http://www.facebook.com/davesumnerwrites

 

 

#Cool #Beauty #1950s #1960s #1970s #Stars #Celebrities #Sexy

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Plunging Into the Deep With Two Authors: Deep Thoughts About Our World - A Review & Commentary by Dave Sumner

Plunging Into the Deep With Two Authors: Deep Thoughts About Our World - A Review & Commentary by Dave Sumner | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
There are only so many hours in a day, most of which are not set aside for my online activities, so I try to not go down too many “rabbit holes” with what I read. I reserve that precious time for...
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

In this latest piece at Dave Sumner Writes! (www.davesumnerwrites.com) Dave follows two intelligent authors into the pool of deep thoughts when he reviews a post by National Public Radio (NPR). See if Dave gets in over his head, and share any deep thoughts that you might have about our world!

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A No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment Shows Blogger Dave Sumner That He Should Listen to His Wife!

A No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment Shows Blogger Dave Sumner That He Should Listen to His Wife! | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! finds out "What happens when you leave cleanliness up to your microbiome?"

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This article about a most fascinating study on the human body and its natural bacterial protection just goes to show my wife that she is always right. I admit it, I should always listen to her. For years now she has wanted us to stop buying antibacterial soaps. It is hard to argue with this very unique study (although I still want my shampoo!). This article has everything you ever wanted to know about what goes on during the day in the unseen world that is on your skin. In fact, it is probably more than you ever wanted to know!

 

Cheers, Dave

http://www.davesumner.com/

 

#health #science #body #interesting #blogger

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Key West, Florida: Pilgrimage to Paradise - An Annual Tradition for Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes!

Key West, Florida: Pilgrimage to Paradise - An Annual Tradition for Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! reports in his latest travel essay that "The Florida Keys and Key West provide America with its own unique island paradise. The drive south from Key Largo to Key West should be on every life bucket list."

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

Through www.davesumnerwrites.com I explore a variety of topics to include travel, food, politics, psychology, and others. They all have in common that they connect us - as world citizens alive at this time - in history. In Key West, Florida, at the Southern tip of the USA, they have a saying for this concept. They say we are all part of the "One Human Family."

 

In this article there is a little of everything about Key West. In an overall travel article about visiting this paradise, I had the happy duty of writing about one of my favorite bars/pubs - in one of my favorite towns - way down in the "Conch Republic." There is a long story behind that name (fascinating if you have time to Google or Wiki it), but for here let's just say that it pretty well sums up the very tolerant but stubbornly independent mindset of Key West culture. 

 

I also tried to paint a mental image for the reader of the best bar stool in town and describe why that is the case. It was also a pleasure for you foodies, and especially for my vegetarian friends and fellow World travelers, to describe in delectable detail the very best mushroom pizza in the Florida Keys.

 

Happy travels,

Cheers! Dave

Read more about World travel, Key West and Florida, World Affairs, the Environment, and much more on my blog at:

http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

 

#vacation #pubs #laidback #WillieTs #Vegetarianfood

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Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! reacts to new report finding Psilocybin Inhibits the Processing of Negative Emotions in the Brain

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! reacts to new report finding Psilocybin Inhibits the Processing of Negative Emotions in the Brain | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner's commentary on a promising new study that reports psilocybin influences the amygdala, perhaps weakening the processing of negative stimuli. This could be good news for the treatment of depressive disorders.

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

The controversial "Magic Mushroom" has long been known to influence the brain and its emotions. The attached article reports on a study that found even small amounts of psilocybin, the chemical in these mushrooms, can inhibit the processing of negative emotions in the amygdala. Where this study is so encouraging is that psilocybin may hold promise for the long term treatment of depression. So, rather than just getting some folks sporadically high, the little mushroom might hold the key to a chronic problem. Another part of the mushroom's promise is that psilocybin is a natural, rather than man-made, substance. At least according to the report, coming from natural sources means there may be less chance for the often very negative effects of modern pharmacological treatments.

 

I recently studied how research on many similar substances was stopped because of the knee-jerk reaction to the 60s drug culture. Although this is only one study, it is interesting to begin seeing the publication of this type of research. I am all for the controlled scientific research into anything that could provide a natural treatment for any mental disorder.

 

Dave

 

Dave Sumner (http://www.davesumner.com/) writes about the various networks that weave humanity together - be they political, psychological, electronic, or social. Among many other fields that he finds important in Dave's World, he has long been interested in psychology. 

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Dave Sumner's Commentary on an itinerary of Italy's Beautiful Amalfi Coast

Dave Sumner's Commentary on an itinerary of Italy's Beautiful Amalfi Coast | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner Writes! Dave loves the Amalfi Coast of Italy, and agrees that perhaps one of Italy’s most memorable coastlines is often one of the least well explored - the Amalfi coast.


Via Mariano Pallottini
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This article discusses the Amalfi Coast from the perspective of someone who rents a car. I have been to the Amalfi Coast several times and can highly recommend it as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. However, driving there is not for the faint of heart. If you are not familiar with Italian driving, road signs, or the language there are inherent challenges. Add to that the narrow, winding, and steep roads and the challenges go off the scale in my opinion.

 

Nevertheless, you should put places like Positano on your life list. My wife and I traveled the Amalfi Coast recently with a company named "Share-A-Shore Excursions" and had a wonderful experience (you can find them on the web). The vans were small (cozy), as were the groups, and someone else (who knew the roads and area) did the driving. Since then we have looked into returning and have found that it would be quite easy to fly into Naples and then take a combination of trains and buses, or hired drivers, back to Positano.

 

The views from high above Positano are breathtaking. The history of the area is unrivaled. The roads are excruciatingly terrifying for the non-native driver. Don't let that stop you. Book a small van or take the train as far as you can and then switch to a bus or taxi. After lingering in Positano I would highly recommend that you allow a day or so to linger on the beach and stroll the shops. The hills that you must walk are challenging so it will take you a day or two to stroll them without exerting yourself too much. And, this is not the place to rush - take your time and enjoy the once in a lifetime view. Cheers, Dave

 

Dave Sumner writes about the various networks that connect us, be they political, cyber, social, or transportation networks. He often writes about global events and world travel at his blog. You can read more at:

http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

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Dave Sumner's commentary on the development of the first "spitefulness scale" by psychological researchers

Dave Sumner's commentary on the development of the first "spitefulness scale" by psychological researchers | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner, MSc, author and lifelong student of psychology, weighs in on the dark topic of spite. This article discusses a new "spite scale" and the findings that "Some of the world's nastiest behavior grows out of spite, the dark art of hurting an opponent even when it comes at a price to yourself."

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This fascinating article discusses new and exciting research into the rarely mentioned but vastly important trait of spitefulness. I am always impressed when someone identifies a topic that is right in front of us, but that gets little research attention. Those types of topics are the ones that make great doctoral dissertations and masters theses. This article is right on target with a problem that, if we are honest, many of our families have wrestled with throughout human history.

 

Some of my ancestors were not too far removed from the stereotypical feuding hillbillies, so I can say without reservation that spitefulness is a psychological issue that at least one branch of my family has to work hard to deal with (for those of you who may not know, the feuding hillbilly stereotype refers to poor, usually mountain-dwelling, early American families that would take self defeating "pot shots" at their neighbors over perceived slights - even though their neighbors were some of the only people around to rely on in a time of crises). This is not true for every family, but, if you too take a hard and honest look at your ancestors, you may find this issue hanging on a remote branch of the family tree. Personally, I use mindfulness meditation as a tool to battle spite. Nevertheless, spite is something that I need to be constantly aware of in daily life.

 

It was not surprising to read that spite aligns with other negative behaviors, such as a willingness to be manipulative. As a guy, it was also not surprising to read that spitefulness is more of a male problem. Thinking back to my youth, every time there was a fight in a school hallway the aggressor - always male - knew that he would suffer but he threw the first punch anyway. This is spite, e.g., "I will get even with you even if I get thrown out of school." Alas, teenage males often are perfect examples of the trait of spite.

 

Based on the research, it appears that as we grow up we grow out of at least some of our propensity for spitefulness. This, of course, varies from person to person (as anyone who has been through a bad divorce will attest). I believe that this is an area just brimming with research possibilities. In a world where the most violence-prone countries are led by males - who squabble like little boys in the school yard, only armed with rockets and fighter jets - and even chemical and nuclear weapons - I can only hope there will be more research on spite. And it better be sooner rather than later!

 

Cheers, Dave

 

You can read more of my writing on the networks that connect us, be they social, ecological, technological, or psychological, on my blog on:

http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

 

Dave Sumner is a writer and professional security risk manager. He often writes on the global security situation and other world events. He is pursuing a second masters degree in a sub-field of psychology, and he can often be found using his various skill sets to try and figure out how humans got into this mess.

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Dave Sumner commentary on brain wave connection to memories

Dave Sumner commentary on brain wave connection to memories | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Commentary by Dave Sumner, MS, on study that finds our olfactory network connects to our memories through brain waves - a complex organic network

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

A scientific study has found that our sense of smell connects our mind with our memories. In other words, if a fond memory is connected with a pleasant smell then, in the future, encountering that smell can trigger that same memory. This appears to happen through a network that is exists in the mind between the nose and the brain. This network consists of specific brain waves.

 

This is one of those studies that, when I learn of it, causes me to say "duh, we already knew that! Why did we have to have scientists study that of all things?!" To which my darling wife always replies "now dear, you know that just because something seems obvious to us doesn't mean that we can accept it at face value. We still need the scientific method to prove it."

 

In this case my wife is right (don't tell her I said that!). And, it's good that she is right because the study has confirmed yet another organic network that connects humans everywhere. This scientific confirmation supports my writing (which can be found at my website) on the various networks that connect us all - including the networks within our minds.

 

To put the findings of this study in perspective think about sharing a delicious meal with a friend. Later, you are in different places but both happen to catch a whiff of something you ate during that meal. You may both then be simultaneously reminded of the meal that you experienced together. If you both concentrate on the meal you may experience very similar memories of not only smells, but also sounds and tastes. Metaphorically, brain waves are allowing you to experience a type of time travel and even teleportation. How cool is that?!

 

When you shared that meal with your friend your olfactory senses carried the smells via brain waves to your respective minds. This is incredible because this connection forms the foundation for so many important things in our daily lives. For example, commonality of memories is one of the things that allows friendships to form and grow deeper. 

 

But, you didn't need a scientific study to tell you about this did you? You don't need anyone to tell you a whiff of chocolate chip cookies can bring back a memory from childhood. Or, that the smell of a particular perfume or cologne can suddenly bring back a flash image of an old love interest. So, the next time that a smell "takes you back" to a past experience thank your brain waves, and think about thanking a scientist for taking the time to study them.

 

Dave

Writing about our world at http://www.davesumner.com/

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Visiting Georgia State Parks - James Sloppy Floyd State Park - Sightseeing, Hiking and Camping in a Class B RV

Visiting Georgia State Parks - James Sloppy Floyd State Park - Sightseeing, Hiking and Camping in a Class B RV | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
Dave Sumner is a blogger and avid world traveler. He has written a series of articles on sightseeing, hiking and camping in various Georgia State Parks during winter in his 22 foot, Class B RV.
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:
This second in a series of standalone articles on sampling Georgia's State Parks addresses interesting topics like camping, hiking, hiking with your pets, winter camping in a motorhome, small RV travel, and vanlife. Dave Sumner explains to the reader how easy it is to get "primo" lakefront campsites during the off season.
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Cybersecurity: The insider threat - Commentary on the BBC Article by Dave Sumner, CPP

Cybersecurity: The insider threat - Commentary on the BBC Article by Dave Sumner, CPP | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner, CPP, takes a look at this BBC piece on solutions to the increase in cyberfraud. He ponders whether it is time to get back to the basics and focus on the foundational concepts of fraud prevention, simple checks and balances, rather than throwing more money and people at the problem.

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

What if the bad guys are inside? That is the focus of this informative BBC article on cybercrime. In this instance the bad guys are cyber offenders. I will call them “offenders” rather than hackers or thieves because it is simply more accurate. After all, if the bad guy is on the inside of a company or agency they aren’t hacking into a system in the traditional sense. And, they can sure do a lot more than only thievery. Along with stealing money, sensitive personal data, or other confidential information (i.e., trade secrets) a hostile insider is in the optimal position for cyber sabotage. Insider sabotage, cyber or otherwise, can be crippling and bring irreparable harm to the reputation, or “goodwill,” of an organization.

 

The BBC’s article cites statistics that “More than half of all people seeking to defraud a company are inside.” It also discusses that insider cyber fraud is hard to stop because of the insider knowledge of computer systems and the complexity of networks. The approach to fighting insider cyber fraud has been, according to the article, a huge build-up in the number of human “watchers” who stand lookout for questionable cyber behaviors. Reportedly, this build-up in human overseers has reached a point where the cost of employing additional humans is not worth the return received from their protective activities. This alone is an interesting assertion given that it is a stark disagreement with the constant advertisements I receive from educational institutions. Colleges and trade schools regularly bombard me with claims practically guaranteeing an endless supply of cybersecurity jobs. This may have once been the case, but this article indicates a slight downward trend in the need to turn out human cyber “watchdogs.” If you are informed on the subject I would be interested in what you think.

 

Prevention of the type of activities discussed in this BBC piece requires getting back to the foundational principles of fraud prevention. This would include ensuring adequate separation of duties. Separation has always been at the core of fraud prevention, and it works well whether the tools of the fraudster are old fashioned paper or high-tech interconnected networks. However, ensuring separation means more than simply establishing separate positions on an organizational chart. To “ensure” means enforcing separation of duties – something that easily falls through the cracks. An enforced separation of duties serves as a strong deterrent because fraudsters know that other people are likely to see - or catch - their improper activities. Ensuring that two or more people in an organization must be involved to complete any significant transfers of funds, reprogramming of computer systems, final disposition of equipment or monetary assets, etc., adds an additional layer of defense. This layer can work especially well, and help other layers work more effectively, when everyone in an organization is trained to be alert for offenders and their offenses – whether the offenders are within or outside of the organization.

 

Are duties separated where you work? Do you think that, given the rate of security breaches these days, we need more humans in cybersecurity or better implementation and enforcement of internal controls? Do fines for breaches help or are they too little too late? I would enjoy hearing your opinions. Cheers, Dave

 

Dave Sumner is a professional security risk manager and is Board Certified in Security Management as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) by ASIS International. He is a Fellow of both The Security Institute of Great Britain (FSyI) and the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security (FABCHS). He blogs about the many forms of human, technological, and environmental networks that connect our world at www.DaveSumner.com.

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U.S. court upholds FDA animal feed policy despite health concern | NewsDaily

U.S. court upholds FDA animal feed policy despite health concern | NewsDaily | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! has been following the issue of antibiotics in the food supply for some time. Here he discusses a Reuters news report of a court ruling that leaves it up to drug companies to keep antibiotics out of food animals.

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

Those who know me also know that I am very suspicious of "Big Pharma." That is, I don't have a lot of confidence in the global drug industry. Frankly, I think they deserve suspicion. Around the world drug companies have been caught red handed giving cash bribes to doctors to prescribe pills, and rewarding the medical community for pumping us full of designer drugs with perks like cruises and vacations.

 

Recently, a U.S court ruling (discussed in the attached article) made it possible for the Federal Government to allow drug companies to continue to indiscriminately use antibiotics in the food animal industry despite concerns that they will create a "Super Bug" simply to earn more profits. This leaves it up to Big Pharma to voluntarily cut back on being drug pushers for cows, chickens, and pigs. Pardon me if I am dubious.

 

I admit a personal bias on this issue. Almost two decades ago I began the process of eliminating meat and animal milk products from my diet to see if it helped with my chronic sinus infections. I had become concerned that constantly irrigating my body with antibiotics from food was fueling certain "bad" bacteria in my body while killing off my the "good bugs."  I was very pleasantly surprised when I went from over a dozen persistent infections a year to NONE!  Needless to say, I quickly became a vegetarian. Now I rarely ever become sick. And, I am extremely grateful that taking the artificial growth hormones out of my body (from cows I suspect) eliminated what were rapidly developing jiggly parts that most Western men have these days. They just melted away. It's not something that people want to think or talk about, but ignoring it is clearly not doing any good.

 

Factory farms are bad enough for so many reasons, but allowing a few big drug and meat producing companies to risk creating a super bacteria that could wipe out humanity - in the name of more riches - in patently insane. But, you have to speak up about it or nothing will change. Also, guys, I have a piece of advice for you (and for everyone, but I am specifically speaking to men since that is what I know first-hand). If you want to help address the problem of soft, jiggly waistlines and ever increasing "man boobs" (there, I said it, sticking your heads in the sand is slowly killing you) then you might think about cutting out all the unnatural growth hormones that you drink and eat. After all, they are slipped into your food by corporate farmers and drug companies to make fellow mammals (cows mostly) grow big and fat, so what do you think they might be doing to YOUR body? Why would it be any different? Just sayin.

 

How about let's stop dying from heart attacks, strokes, and infections so that pharmaceutical executives, corporate factory farmers, lobbyists, and doctors and veterinarians with twitchy prescription fingers, can all have more amazing vacations at our expense-

 

Be healthy,

 

Dave

 

____________________________________________________________

 

Dave Sumner writes about issues that connect people everywhere, like the environment, health issues, psychology, politics and more, at http://www.davesumner.com/

 

Dave Sumner is also a regular contributor to The Happy Vegetarians blog at http://www.thehappyvegetarians.com/

 

 

 

#health #foodsafety #government #drugcompanies #bigpharma

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Chinese Spies Hack US Security Clearances- Security Analyst & Privacy Commentator Dave Sumner On Homeland Security News Wire Report

Chinese Spies Hack US Security Clearances- Security Analyst & Privacy Commentator Dave Sumner On Homeland Security News Wire Report | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Homeland Security News Wire Reports That China Hack Targets US National Security Clearances - Commentary by former Fed and blogger Dave Sumner, CPP, who has written extensively about US Govt privacy breaches, says "This is one of my worst fears" come true

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

I have written often on my blog (http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html) about what seems like a dangerous uptick in security breaches on US Government cyber networks. However, despite my being resigned to thefts of personal information from these systems, what I read in the attached article is one thing I hoped to never see because this is one of my worst fears come true. This time the story isn't about protecting bank account information or even classified documents. This time hackers targeted the people who think up and WRITE THE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS!

 

Earlier this year I wrote about the cyber security breach at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and how the impact of that lapse had grown, and grown, and grown as more time went by. I certainly hope that isn't the case in this situation. At present, officials are saying the subject attack on USOPM networks succeeded - but that no personally identifiable information was lost. I don't really see how those two things go together, a "successful" attack with nothing lost. What usually happens in these cases is that there are complaints by the impacted employees, then there are investigations into what happened, then dribbles of information come out and some of that shows up on the back pages of the DC papers. As such, it could be months before we learn more. 

 

Having worked for both agencies I can explain how this network of acronyms work together and why they are so critical. Security clearance investigations for DOE and other Federal agencies are processed by the Federal Investigative Services Division at OPM. At OPM the US Government maintains a computerized index of clearance applicants and investigation results, as well as the network housing computerized versions of application forms. These forms contain the most intimate secrets of the people who work not only for the Feds but their contractors as well. This is the type of information that nobody wants to have become public, and especially to an adversary. For perspective, instead of grabbing secrets and then running, had an adversary been in possession of this type data about Edward Snowden, then he possibly could have been coerced to spy from inside Federal agencies for years - or even a lifetime.

 

In this case, the people targeted by Chinese State sponsored thieves were REQUIRED to provide highly personal information OPM in order to obtain a job or security clearance (or keep it) and therefore they had NO choice but to trust OPM and the agencies it works with. Since I have worked for both OPM and DOE it could turn out, if OPM did lose information, that my own Government has lost my private data twice in one year!

 

I know that the Federal Government must make inquiries into clearance applicants. I also know that cyber criminals and spies will try to get that information and as much other data as they can possible obtain. That is how the world works. However, I also believe there is a very high burden on the Federal Government as a whole to lock this data down so that it is not accessible outside the Government. These chronic compromises of the personal data of Federal employees, contractors, and former workers (and the family members of each who are also listed on these applications) are simply not acceptable - especially when these are the people who do the most sensitive work for our Nation. It's not like we don't know that this information is an attractive target because, after all, the bad guys sure know it.

_______________________________________________________

 

Dave Sumner is a security risk management professional and former long-time Federal manager who now writes and blogs about a variety of global issues at http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html. Along with numerous other professional security certifications and degrees, he is a Board Certified Protection Professional (CPP).

 

 

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Dave Sumner's Commentary on Report of Controversial Scientist Deliberately Creating a Deadly New Flu Strain

Dave Sumner's Commentary on Report of Controversial Scientist Deliberately Creating a Deadly New Flu Strain | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner writes and blogs about a variety of global issues that connect people all around our world. In this piece he puts on his risk manager hat to opine about a controversial scientist who has deliberately created a pandemic flu strain that can evade the human immune system.

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This exclusive report by the Independent came out a few days ago. It troubled me so much that it took me a few days to process coherent thoughts that I could discuss with you. Sadly, I was not surprised to hear that one of our fellow humans has contrived an incurable virus for which most of humanity would have no defenses.

 

During my time in Government I was for a time responsible for managing oversight reviews of some Government chemical and biological laboratories. I vividly recall once sitting across from a researcher who was much like Dr.Kawaoka of this article. I was sitting there because I was looking into a complaint that his biological research was moving too quickly to comply with all of the safety protocols that were required. I can still feel the cold chill that went up my spine as this researcher told me how excited he got by working with "bugs" (slang for viruses and bacteria) and how he just couldn't wait to get his hands on them (to begin his bacteriological research). It was looking into his eyes that I first realized that a certain type of personality is driven to be obsessed with Pandora's box.

 

There are certain taboos that, once broken, are difficult if not impossible to reverse. Engineering viruses that cannot be cured, or that can carry even more deadly agents as they infect the population, is one such taboo. If we ever get used to hearing about this - begin to take it for granted - there are some people who will simply not stop until there is a tragedy. What can be cloaked in health research can also be war research, or, simply, one man's obsession with "bugs." Regardless, humanity cannot afford to wait until this "bug man," or others like him, cause such a tragedy. We may not get a second chance!

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Despite high rates of U.S. personal information theft the Congress "fiddles while Rome burns" according to Dave Sumner, CPP, in commentary on US News

Despite high rates of U.S. personal information theft the Congress "fiddles while Rome burns" according to Dave Sumner, CPP, in commentary on US News | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
Summer recess and the election season leave little time to address privacy concerns in Senate bill.
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

On http://www.davesumner.com/ I have written quite a bit over the last year about the shoddy protection of personal information that citizens share with governments (I covered the US and UK, and wrote about US Veterans Administration cybersecurity problems long before the recent scandal broke). So, I was a little concerned to read in this US News article that "The bill ignores the privacy risks of sharing cybersecurity information with the government, which have become more pronounced after the revelations about surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency."

 

Since almost half of the adults in the US had some type of personal information stolen in the last year, the failure of the Congress to pass a cybersecurity bill takes on the appearance that they "fiddle while Rome burns" to quote the old saying. I haven't had an opportunity to read the current version of this bill but, if it is true that it does not address sharing with the Federal Government, I would be distressed but not surprised (my identity was stolen off of a U.S. Government server in the last year, despite the fact I had not worked for that agency in 7 years).

 

Keep a close eye on your privacy, good luck!

 

Dave

 

Visit me at http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

http://www.facebook.com/davesumnerwrites

 

#cybersecurity #privacy #identitytheft #government #NSA

 

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WHY I LOVE MEN

WHY I LOVE MEN | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

The author of this blog, a fascinating online destination followed by Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes!, starts out with the catchy headline "Okay, let me be clear: not the mean, war-mongering kind. Not the idiots with shit for brains, and a deeply imbedded mommy complex. No. Not that kind. Just every other kind. Men! Men! Men! I've always loved men. "

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

I almost fell out of my chair when I read this very accurate and comical description of men. I have had many a female friend tell me that we were simpler to work with, and this post finally helped me see what they were talking about. I felt like I was outside looking into someone's private space.

 

I have always been a guy, I was born that way. But most of the time we are going around messing things up in the world so I am not always proud of us. Because we sometimes deserve bashing, it was nice to read someone who was cutting us some slack. I think you will enjoy this blog post too (and guys too, if you can take a little ribbing and truth about yourself).

 

Best, Dave

 

You can read many more interesting posts on my blog at:

http://www.davesumner.com/blog.html

 

#blogpost #men #funny

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Brain function 'boosted for days after reading a novel'

Brain function 'boosted for days after reading a novel' | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.
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Cafe de Olla: Mexican Spiced Coffee

Cafe de Olla: Mexican Spiced Coffee | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave of Dave Sumner Writes! recently had the privilege of assisting with a fabulous pot of Mexican Spiced Coffee. The Happy Vegetarians made a pot for Cinco de Mayo. It was inspired by the the PBS show Pati's Mexican Kitchen. A few days ago, Pati had a segment about cafe de olla,  or "coffee from the pot."

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

I know, I know, I can't stop talking about the cafe de olla already. Those around me have been forced to listen to my story of how we made it, how good it smelled, and the unforgettable sound of how it poured into the cup.

 

I write about the variety of things that tie us all together, and cooking food is definitely one of those things. So, I highly recommend you read the entire blog post if you like cooking, coffee, or enjoying dishes with a little extra cha cha (ha, whatever that is!).

 

Cheers, Dave

 

For more great recipes and healthy living tips visit:

http://thehappyvegetarians.com/

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Dave Sumner's commentary on "9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Mental Illness" from PsychCentral's World of Psychology Blog

Dave Sumner's commentary on "9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Mental Illness" from PsychCentral's World of Psychology Blog | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner, MS, of Dave Sumner Writes! talks about articles that tell us what we should, and should not, do or say and takes on why others sometimes say hurtful things to us - "Follow the Golden Rule that if you can't say something nice (or good/helpful) then simply don't say anything at all!"

Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

This article got me stirred up. In fact, it stirred me up too much to fit it all in here. So, I took the commentary onto my blog at Dave Sumner Writes! 

 

You can read the article at the link above and my entire commentary on the article "9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Mental Illness" at:

http://po.st/BePolite

 

Thanks for reading!  Cheers, Dave

 

PS: Don't forget to sign up for my "priority list" on the blog so you don't miss anything!

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Dave Sumner's Italy Travel Tips for the article "Picture-perfect Cinque Terre quick to charm"

Dave Sumner's Italy Travel Tips for the article "Picture-perfect Cinque Terre quick to charm" | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it

Dave Sumner of Dave Sumner Writes! is reminded of his love for Cinque Terre after reading this nice little travel article about three-week Italian tour by sisters who are crossing off their "bucket list."


Via Mariano Pallottini
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

 

Cinque Terre was on my bucket list too and I highly recommend that you put it on your's if you haven't already. If you are a lover of the sea and seaside villages and coastlines then it is one of the most idyllic places that you can visit.

 

The villages of Cinque Terre are linked by train (at the time of your visit check to ensure that the landslide damage to the tracks has been repaired before counting on the train). However, because of the landscape the train route often runs through tunnels. For a much more enjoyable, and picturesque, visit take the ferry from village-to-village rather than the train.

 

I have a couple of tips to keep in mind when traveling by ferry between the villages of Cinque Terre. First, during periods of high tourist traffic the ferry boarding line can get long. Go to the boarding area early to ensure that you get on (and get a good seat) without the stress of getting caught at the back of a long line.

 

As the ferry hops from village-to-village, tourists swarm into the small village downtown areas from the ferry boats. To better deal with this small "crush" try to build some extra time into your trip. Rather than attempting to take the next ferry try and linger in the villages and let the other tourists ride away on the waves. You will be glad that you had times in between the swarms to enjoy the beautiful villages and views. This is Italy after all, so a "rule" that worked well for me was to study the ferry schedule and allow enough time to see the village - and to have a glass of wine in each - before going to the next. That gave me extra time away from hordes of tourists and also allowed for plenty of sampling of Italy's finest vino. If you don't want one of the glasses when you reach a village then following this plan will give you built-in extra time to stroll the streets.

 

The ferry rides from village-to-village are relatively short. However, if you are at the back of the boarding line then you are likely to find yourself sitting on the top (outside) deck (or perched on the front deck with no real seat, like I did a time or two!). This may be great for you, as you will be cruising in the sea breeze with the best view. However, if you are sensitive to the sun remember that you can get "baked" sitting out on the deck with no shade. If this is your situation, then it is best to arrive early for the boat to get our pick of the best seats.

 

If there is any way that you can ever make it to this one-of-a-kind coast then I recommend you do it. Just remember, allowing plenty of time will help you avoid the frustration of rushing around the steep village streets. And, if you do happen to find yourself getting frustrated then simply stop, sit down at a cafe, and order a glass or white or red - this is Italy after all!

 

Cheers, Dave Sumner

 

Dave writes about our world and the networks that connect us to include travel, politics, social and cyber networks, and psychological issues.  Read more at:

 

http://www.davesumner.com/

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Nutrition Series (Part 3): Plant-based Proteins - Champion Bodybuilder Believes Plant-based Diet Is The Best - A Series at The Happy Vegetarians

Nutrition Series (Part 3): Plant-based Proteins - Champion Bodybuilder Believes Plant-based Diet Is The Best - A Series at The Happy Vegetarians | Dave Sumner's World | Scoop.it
We know that you might have questions when deciding whether or not to become, or to stay, vegetarian. Naturally, some of these questions might be about protein. For example, “how do vegetarians get...
Dave Sumner at Dave Sumner.com's insight:

This is the latest in a series I have been putting together on getting protein from plants. This is part 3 and I have learned so many important things. I can't wait to get through the remaining parts of the series. In this part a champion vegan bodybuilder tells us about why he uses yellow pea protein over soy protein. Read what he has to say at our blog:

http://po.st/happyvegprotein

 

Cheers, Dave Sumner

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