Credit Card Hackers & Malware

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Is it just me or are we starting to see credit card hacking becoming more common amongst big companies who we trust with our credit card and personal details?

Hilton Worldwide today urged their customers to check their credit card statements after confirming the theft of cardholder payment details. Over the past number of months I have now lost count how many times, I have been warned by big companies that their maybe a slight chance that my personal details may have been unauthorised targeted malware, and as a precaution should change my passwords.

Trying to safeguard my own personal details with companies, such as hotels, is  impossible to withhold your personal details, whilst making advanced bookings, or buying products from companies. However, I was rather horrified to realise that in my own case, there is probably hundreds of companies that have access to parts of my own private details.

Surely there has to be a more secure way to storing our personal details, perhaps it’s time we all had our own microchip inserted into us, like our  pet dogs. Bank software, passport officers, hotels, shops, can read your microchip like a bar code on an item of shopping.  I know I don’t trust my own banks, and certainly don’t trust most companies with my personal details, but often we don’t have a choice when we need to use or by their services.

I would like to know how others have got around this issue, of withholding your personal details from the big companies, who aren’t managing to keep our details secure?

Happy Thoughts

David

 

 

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Cambodia – Siem Reap

Siem Reap introduction

Just north of Tonle Sap Lake and just three miles from the major temples of Angkor is the town of Siem Reap. The town has grown rapidly in the last few years due to the draw of the temples of Angkor. The ‘lost city’ of Angkor captured the imagination of Europe’s archaeologists and explorers when in 1861, Henri Mouhot returned from his travels in Siam and wrote of a magnificent city engulfed in the jungles of northern Cambodia. The sheer scale and grandeur of the Angkor complex is rivalled by only a handful of sights elsewhere in the world. Angkor Wat itself is the most famous of all the temples and is the national symbol of Cambodia.

At leisure in Siem Reap

Aside from the main attraction – the Temples of Angkor – Siem Reap town has much to offer. The lively old market in the centre of town is a superb place to people-watch, hunt for antiques and shop for beautiful Cambodian silks. Close to the market are several excellent cafés and restaurants where you can watch the world go by with a coffee or a beer. The bustling town is situated on the banks of the Tonle Sap River, not far from the lake itself. Taking a stroll along the shaded banks of the river to the Royal Gardens is a lovely way to spend the afternoon, as is venturing out into the countryside.

Surrounded by rice paddies, Siem Reap makes an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and glimpse rural Cambodian life. You could perhaps rent a bicycle and explore the local Cambodian villages, where the local children will be delighted to see you. A trip out to the impressive Tonle Sap Lake is a must. Tonle Sap is the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and it is a fascinating place, home to hundreds of floating villages, mangroves and birdlife.

Continue reading “Cambodia – Siem Reap”

AED FACTS AND FIGURES

AED 2015.6

 

Four times more woman die as a result of a heart attack than they do from breast cancer.

For every minute that goes by, a victim’s chance of surviving a Sudden Cardiac Arrest drops 7-10%

70% of cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital environment.

About 95% of sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

Effective bystanders CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double a victim’s chance of survival.

Seven out of ten cardiac arrest occur outside of hospital, and currently in the UK, only 2-3% of these people survive.

Around 270,000 people suffer a heart attack in the UK each year, about a third of who die before reaching hospital due to cardiac arrest.

The Department of Health has a target of placing 3,000 new defibrillators in public places in England.

Explorer Sir Ralph Fiennes is alive today largely thanks to a defibrillator placed at Bristol airport.

Positive smoking increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease by up to 30%.

Early defibrillation can triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Cambodia -Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh introduction

With its wide, tree lined boulevards and scenic setting at the confluence of three rivers, Phnom Penh was once the loveliest of the former French cities in Indochina.

Many of its French colonial buildings remain, dotted around this rapidly growing capital in various state of ruin or renovation and beautiful frangipani trees still sprout from the pavements of the boulevards. It is a city which is finally emerging from the horrors of its recent past, rediscovering and reinventing itself as a tourist destination for tomorrow. Traffic in Phnom Penh has been growing at a remarkable pace in recent years but compared to its neighbours Bangkok and Saigon it is still very much a low rise and pedestrian-friendly city.

The focal point of Phnom Penh is the bustling riverside where you can enjoy a stroll along the banks of the Tonle Sap River or sit at a café and watch the world go by. Just back from the riverfront are the main attractions of the city – the National Museum, the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom, from where, fable has it, the city was born. This is also where most of the better hotels are situated.

We highly recommend spending some time browsing or people watching in the local markets. Central Market (aka Psar Thmei) is the most centrally based one and is housed in a prime example of Cambodian art deco architecture. The most interesting market is without a doubt the Russian Market (known locally as Tuol Tom Pong). A ramshackle warren of stalls housed under makeshift roofs and tarpaulins, it is home to an incredible array of wares, from clothing, car parts, food, fake antiques and gemstones to marble statues, wood carvings, shoes and pirate CDs and DVDs. It is also a great place to try some freshly cooked local food, orange juice squeezed in front of you or one of the fabulous Khmer coffees with sweet milk. If you prefer to take refreshment somewhere a little cooler then there are a few NGO-run cafés serving smoothies and cake around the perimeter of the market.

If you have an interest in visiting or supporting local charities there are numerous locally run NGOs and charities that serve the many disadvantaged people of Phnom Penh. You can help by eating at the excellent Friends restaurant, or buying products sold by concerns such as Tabitha and Rajana. If you are looking for a little more exposure then one of the best projects being run is that of PSE (Pour un Sourire d’un Enfant or For the Smile of a Child), which is about five kilometres from the city. They do a fantastic job of helping children out of poverty and away from an existence of living in and off the municipal dump. They also operate an excellent café where you can have lunch and know that all proceeds go towards the work of the charity. If you would like a rejuvenating massage try one of the  many Seeing Hands outlets, where blind masseurs earn a good living by providing excellent massages.

As noted in the introduction to Phnom Penh, there is an ever-growing range of excellent boutique shops, spas, cafés and restaurants in the city. One of the best streets to find great examples of all of these is Street 240. The best place for people watching in comfort is the famous Foreign Correspondent’s Club (the FCC) on the river front. From the first floor bar you can watch the sun set over the National Museum behind or the people on the river front below. There are a number of tailors and cobblers we can also recommend where you can get clothes and shoes made well and at incredibly good prices.

The art scene in Phnom Penh is also very active, and perhaps one of the best places to see the work of local and foreign artists is at the Java Café close to Independence Monument. Many of the streets around the waterfront, particularly Street 178, are home to numerous local galleries. Dance enthusiasts can see performances at the School of Fine Arts on Street 70 and can also watch students of Khmer Classical ballet training here. The Apsara Arts Association provides weekly (Saturday) performances at their school on Street 71. The Sovanna Phum Arts Association performs traditional shadow puppet shows every Friday night on Street 360. Check with your private guide for help in arranging any of the above.

The former capital of Oudong sits in the middle of the rice plains 41 kilometres from Phnom Penh. These days it is little more than a long bluff rising out of the rice paddies, divided in to two distinct ridges, on top of which sit a series of stupas and viharas and the battle-marked ruins of a mosque. Oudong is notable too for being one of the last resistance points of Lon Nol’s army against the invading Khmer Rouge. But it is for the superb views across the countryside and a sense of peace and quiet away from the capital that makes this a worthwhile half-day excursion.

Phnom Penh’s modern history tour

Our guide met us at your hotel this morning, and accompany usfirst to Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21, a former high school that the Khmer Rouge turned in to a centre for interrogation, torture and death. Today, it is a museum of torture, and serves to remind visitors of the terrible atrocities that came to pass in Cambodia. Over 17,000 people passed through the gates of this prison, and only seven lived to tell the tale.

The Khmer Rouge were meticulous in their record keeping, photographing all the prisoners and many of these haunting black and white images are on display in the cells. Tuol Sleng is a profoundly moving experience, and not everyone will want to visit. However, it is key to understanding the depths into which Cambodia descended, and how far it has come in the years since.

Driving out of the city, you arrive at the infamous Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

Prisoners from Tuol Sleng followed this same route to their fate. An old Chinese cemetery, Choeung Ek was turned in to an extermination camp for political prisoners. The remains of 8,985 people were exhumed from mass graves, and are kept in a memorial stupa here.

Staying at the  iRoha Garden, Phnom Penh

The iRoha Garden hotel and resort is located in Phnom Penhs quiet embassy district a stones throw away from some of the cities major sights. The hotel has 27 rooms all designed to reflect the nature present around Cambodia with themes such as Mekong, Island and Forest. The hotel itself is set within spacious grounds with a large pool, spa and restaurant serving Khmer and western cuisine.

Fun Facts About Dogs

a106It is a myth that dogs are colour blind. They can actually see in colour, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.

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The only sweat glands a dog has are between the paw pads.

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In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite.a114

David runs the best Pet and Canine Pet First Aid courses on this planet.

2014 010 (2)

David presented the information very clearly and made the course very interesting . It was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and had personal experience with regard to pet first aid.

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2015 for Pet First Aid course
What a terrific experience! David was very knowledgeable. He was friendly, kind and could effortlessly hold the attention of others. I can’t recommend him highly enough. Thank you David!
Reviewed on 18 Jul 2015 for Pet First Aid course
Very intuitive and happy to answer all your questions. Professional and willing to make sure you get the most out of the course and leave feeling ready to take care of any situation.

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2015 for Pet First Aid course.

Drink driving

Drink driving

The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales and is essential reading for everyone.
Rule 95

Do not drink and drive as it will seriously affect your judgement and abilities.

In England and Wales you MUST NOT drive with a breath alcohol level higher than 35 microgrammes/100 millilitres of breath or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 milligrammes/100 millilitres of blood.

In Scotland the legal limits are lower. You MUST NOT drive with a breath alcohol level higher than 22 microgrammes/100 millilitres of breath or a blood alcohol level of more than 50 milligrammes/100 millilitres of blood.

Alcohol will

  • give a false sense of confidence
  • reduce co-ordination and slow down reactions
  • affect judgement of speed, distance and risk
  • reduce your driving ability, even if you’re below the legal limit
  • take time to leave your body; you may be unfit to drive in the evening after drinking at lunchtime, or in the morning after drinking the previous evening.

The best solution is not to drink at all when planning to drive because any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. If you are going to drink, arrange another means of transport.