Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Health Is Not The Absence Of Illness

Krista Tippett's On Being programs are usually pretty interesting, but this one was more compelling than usual...

Photo by Jeff Miller/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson was probably paraphrasing the organizing principle of the World Health Organization* as he was interviewed for this week's episode of On Being.  Dr. Davidson spoke about his work at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds attempting to apply current neuroscience and a variety of meditative practices to increase well-being instead of merely eliminating illness.  Is this an example of looking to the fruits of our efforts rather than the roots of our beliefs?  Perhaps.  Following, as it seems to, on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, it certainly makes intuitive sense that concentrating on healthy practices may be more beneficial than focusing only on understanding what is making us unhealthy.

I know not everyone appreciates Krista Tippett's approach to religion, metaphysics, or ethics, as expressed at On Being or its predecessor, Speaking of Faith, but how boring would it be if everyone did?  Yes, she accepts Templeton Foundation money, which angers angry atheists and skeptics swimming at the scientism end of the pool, but she has made no claim to be irreligious or an impartial journalist.  I find some episodes tangential, and a few needlessly credulous, but she has mapped a niche not addressed by reflexive extremes.  I originally regarded the name change of the show with some cynicism, but have come to appreciate that Being is what we do even while we Speak about what we Believe.

* "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization

Friday, June 24, 2011

What Industry Publications Do You Read?

Selected security-related reading links courtesy of the ASIS International group and others at LinkedIn...

Image from

Try one that doesn't immediately ring your chimes.  Sometimes a serendipitous encounter will lead you to fresh approaches and new perspectives on your craft.

A&S International -

Business Karate –

Campus Safety Magazine -

Church Security Consultant –

Circuit Magazine -

CSO Magazine -

EHS Today Magazine -

Emergency Management Magazine -

Fire Protection Engineering Magazine -

Government Security News Magazine -

Homeland Security Affairs -

Homeland Security Journal -

Homeland Security Today -

Homeland Security Watch –

Information Week

Info4Security -

Infosec Island-

Infosecurity Europe -

Infosecurity Magazine -

InfoSecurity USA -

IOMA Security Director's Report -

IPVS Magazine -

Journal of Physical Security -

Krebs on Security –

Locksmith Ledger Magazine -

Loss Prevention Magazine -

Police Magazine -

Risk Management Magazine –

SC Magazine -

Schneier on Security -

Security Dealer & Integrator -

Security Director News -

Security Distributing & Marketing Magazine -

Security Industry Association -

Security Journal -

Security Info Watch -

Security Magazine -

Security Management Magazine -

Security Products Magazine -

Security Sales & Integration Magazine -

Security Technology Executive -

Security Watch - -

STRATFOR Global Intelligence –

The Workplace Violence Prevention eReport -

Threat Level -

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Solstice!

Aah, Midsummer!  Brought to you courtesy of our planet's 23.44° axial tilt...

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

To those who observe the Summer Solstice, one of the two oldest holidays in the history of humankind, we note that 12:16 pm Tuesday 21 June 2011 (Central Time, UTC -5) marks the beginning of summer and the middle of the solar year. The "sol" "sistere" (Latin) is the day the "sun" appears "to stand still," as it reaches its northernmost extreme in the noon day sky. It is the longest day and shortest night of the year and was once a time of great pagan festivals in northern Europe. From here out it will be all downhill as the each day shortens by several seconds as we creep inexorably toward the Winter Solstice, which will occur, Harry Camping's revised prognostications nothwithstanding,  on December 22.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Are Your Leaders Everything They Could Be?

The RSA and the LSE deliver up wisdom on leadership at the corporate level...

image from

The London School of Economics and The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce turn out so much content choosing what to listen to is a little like trying to take only on sip from a garden hose.

This weekend I was pleased to choose two lectures   On Monday 9 May 2011 Tim Macartney spoke on Next-generation Leadership and Management as part of the LSE Sustainability in Practice lectures.

Not to be outdone, RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor's annual lecture to the Society was titled Enlightened Enterprise was presented on the 9th of June 2011.

There are those who say "these things come in threes."  I try not to be superstitious, but I am looking for a third talk along these lines from from Gresham College so that I can make it a triple play.

Or maybe I'll find it on TED...

...or at POP! Tech

You know, there are lot's of very smart people out there sharing their ideas, more than ever before.  All you have to do is point and click.

Dead, Undead

Deaths, real and imagined, in the news...

Avoid the roadblock or stop at the roadblock, but do not fight at the roadblock.

First, the good news.  Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the Al-Qaeda chief in east Africa and killer of hundreds in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was himself shot dead by Somali Transitional Federal Government soldiers when he and another man attempted to evade a roadblock in Mogadishu last week.  Seems his driver made a wrong turn while driving a car full of supplies to an Al Shabaab safe house.  A Somali-American friend of mine laments "Of course he has already been replaced."

Unscene of an uncrime uninvolving dozens of the undead being investigated by unneeded cops

Now, the other good news.  On the 7th of June, 2011, "25 to 30 dismembered bodies, including those of children," were not found buried on a rural homestead in Liberty County, Texas.  Crediting their investigation to a lead provided by an unnamed female psychic, someone at the sheriff's office tweeted significantly erroneous information which was picked up and flashed around the world by local news outlets.  Oops.  Turns out there were no bodies, just some blood from a weeks old suicide attempt, the odor of meat rotting in a broken freezer, and a mess of cops standing around looking for something to do.  Still, I'd rather the media (especially those who use unverified tweets as headlines) have egg on its face instead of the Texas Rangers having a mass grave on their hands.  Psychic...hoax...revenge...prank; is there a difference?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

368 Days of Eclectic Breakfast

I missed the one year anniversary of my little blog which occurred 5 June 2011...

photo from our friend Sam at

I've posted 281 times on topics as varied and eclectic as anthropology, astronomy, blogging, civics, compassion, critical thinking, education, ethics, firearms, friends, humor, hunting, law, leadership, medicine, memoir, movies, natural history, outdoors, politics, reading, religion, risk, science, security, service, skepticism, and woo.  This may be too many labels but it'll do until I refine the list.

I've enjoyed using, my favorite source of stock photos, to illustrate my posts.  Sam Magraby has a keen eye and is very generous with his work; all you have to do is give credit where credit is due.

I've gotten to know myself a little better, celebrated some family accomplishments, had some fun, made some new friends, and developed a small but very sophisticated readership.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cassie Graduates!

Our daughter Cassandra completed her BA in Elementary Education at Gustavus Adolphus four years no less.

Commencement for Cassie and her 585 classmates was held in St. Peter, Minnesota, on Sunday 29 May 2011, under threatening skies.  The rain held off and a fine time was had by all.

We are so very proud of her accomplishment!

Cassandra will now spend the summer looking for a teaching position.  If you know a principal who is looking for a freshly-minted grade school teacher chock full of dedication, compassion, and enthusiasm we can help.

Way to go Cassie!