I’M SORRY, BUT SKY DIVING MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
January 19, 2019 Volume 11 Number 22

Supported by Readers Like You.  To Contribute, Please Go Here.  Thank You.

Inside: I’m Sorry, But Sky Diving Makes Absolutely No Sense To Me; World Headlines At A Glance; Good-bye, Holidays ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our World, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

I’M SORRY, BUT SKY DIVING MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME

(To Donald Trump, Whom I Wished Shared My Sentiments In These Regard)

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Because of a fascination with flight, I recently got an invitation to go sky diving. I’ve always been a hands-on journalist so there was no presumption involved. I found a legitimate reason for taking a rain check but I have been wishing maybe I’d just explained to my friends why it was I said no.

I put sky diving right up there with bungee jumping, mountain climbing, SCUBA diving, downhill skiing and any body contact sport, bar none

Why in the world would I – without wings – want to go real high up in the air, hurl myself from a perfectly good airplane, and trust the rest of my life to a couple of big nylon tablecloths? Why would I want to subject my system to that kind of stress? My body doesn’t know we’re going to parachute safely to Mother Earth. It thinks its demise is imminent. I’m sorry, but sky diving makes absolutely no sense to me.

Neither does bungee jumping, for pretty much the same reasons as sky diving, only in reverse. It’s like I really want to leap into this deep, steep, rock-walled chasm and at almost the last minute, have my life saved by this elastic rope that’s been mass produced by machines. And rigged by people I don’t know and whose motives for providing such an experience are at least as suspect as those of their clientele. I’m sorry, but bungee jumping makes absolutely no sense to me.

Mountain climbing? You mean for a hobby? Hey, my ancestors pushed Conestoga wagons over the Cascades. But not for exercise. You want exercise? Take the stairs and walk to anything within a half mile radius of your home and workplace. Only one good reason I can think to climb a mountain and it’s not to get to the top. It’s to get to the other side. I’m sorry, but mountain climbing makes absolutely no sense to me.

SCUBA diving? As in going into this huge world that looks like mine but water instead of air? Where I can’t breathe naturally, but instead have to take my oxygen, et al, out of a couple of pressurized steel canisters with some pipes, valves, fittings and hoses attached? And in a world populated with creatures so alien to my daily existence they might as well be extraterrestrial? And where some of them are far more lethal than even the cobra, the tiger or the hawk? Where I might get lashed by a sting ray, brush up against a Portuguese man of war, or have a limb removed by a shark? And we’re talking about doing this for a hobby?

Downhill skiing? As a voluntary activity instead of just because you need to get to the bottom fast?

Contact sports. As in recreationally going out with pads and mouthpieces and other forms of body armor to slam myself into another human being and/or be slammed? As in getting happiness out of getting bruised and banged up? That sounds a little weird to me. I mean, what kind of people enjoy either being in pain or inflicting it?

That’s what I wish I’d told these folks. Except they were also talking about shooting a few hoops.  And I don’t even own a gun.

© 2007 Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE 

GOOD-BYE HOLIDAYS

By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

The holiday season is over so it’s time to face it, sober up and move on.  It is always a bit  sad when all the festivities of New Year celebrations are gone and people are returning to their routine of work places.

All the decorations are waiting to be removed from the streets. On the picture, there is a lovely Teddy Bear I spotted in Podil, one of the oldest and most beautiful districts of Kyiv. He’s almost reflecting that mood in patient anticipation to be taken away soo until  next time.

I was early morning in Kyiv so met dawn there. When I saw this bear cub I couldn’t stop singing the song Sunrise by beautiful Norah Jones

“Sunrise, sunrise

Looks like mornin’ in your eyes.”

To say good bye to the holidays before merging into the reality of the world, I would like to share my little story “Chocolate http://openkniga.com/pages/1863/“.

Chocolate: a Christmas story

It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar no different from thousands that were born everyday in the mechanized stainless steel world. After birth it was efficiently dressed in a colourful package and sent with her sisters to a warehouse in a big box. Embracing each other in the darkness, feeling secure.

Suddenly bright light entered the box and everyone was lifted out and carefully placed on the top shelve of a supermarket. Christmas music played in the background and the chocolate bars chatting excitedly.

A few moments later a group of them were grabbed and dropped with a shopping basket before entering a plastic bag. A bump ride and coming to rest in a cool dark environment.

Our chocolate did not know exactly what she was waiting for, but knew something exciting could happen.

At last a clatter of heels and joyful voices. Lifted back into the warmth and light by a small woman’s hand, the chocolate noticed the glisten of a shiny bracelet.

“A gift from me”.

“Thank you. It looks delicious”, said a kind voice.

Laughter.

This time the chocolate bar was bathed in orange light from another plastic bag.

In the background music and conversation started getting louder.

Outside of a restaurant an old man wearing shabby cloth was asking passers by for help. People hurried passed taking no notice of his plight, but he did not take offense. It was awkward for him to beg but circumstances were such he had no choice. Surviving day by day, hoping for better times ahead.

The small woman hand entered into orange bag again this time carefully taking chocolate bar and handed it to the old man who was say grateful. She also gave him packaged restaurant food.

They, the chocolate and old man, were on the “move again” this time a long slow going by feet. Lots to see though in the dim lantern light. Snow started falling in big flakes coating the world in white.

Chocolate felt happy watching all the people and beauty around.  She felt her mission in life was approaching.  The old man turned into courtyard. It became very dark only the stars above were brighter.

“Grandpa”, – cried an excited little girl’s voice.

The apartment was cold and damp but despite the obvious poverty there was love. On a table sat a few pine tree branches wrapped in shiny ribbons. The only indication that it is Christmas.

The old man hugged his granddaughter. He then handed her the chocolate bar which caused a cry of surprise and laughter. The wrapping was immediately removed, foil gleamed in the lamp light.

It was a rather an ordinary milk chocolate bar, which became a great joy to a little girl.

Stay warm, Mishka. Olya

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, be careful what you advertise. Someone might just want to buy it.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

The Widow Who Asked Eight French Presidents For The Truth

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

Here is a “wow!” moment.  Chinese Lander’s Cotton Seeds Spring To Life On Far Side Of The Moon

Fascinating.  Did Life Arrive On Land Earlier Than Thought?

May we never lose people like this.  Citizen Scientists Discover Rare Exoplanet

EARTH

Is The Ground Nostalgic For Snow?

Oceans Warming Even Faster Than Thought

The Shrinking Aral Sea

Finding Magnetic South

Antarctica Is Losing Ice 6x Faster Than In The 80s

SPACE

China’s First Lunar Leaf Dies After Scientists Are Forced To Cut Power

How Many Supermoons In 2019?

Coming Up … Total Lunar Eclipse Of January 20-21

Rotating Black Holes As Portals For Hyperspace Travel?

Onwards To Mars For China After Moon Mission Success

Giant Streaks Discovered In Venus’ Atmosphere 

TECHNOLOGY

How To Reduce Emissions And Congestion While Preparing For A Just Transition To Self-Driving Cars

Timeline: What’s Going On With Huawei?

Twitter Warns That Private Tweets Were Public For Years

How To Have A Daily Tech Detox

CES 2019: Virtual Reality Shoes Are Exhausting To Use

CES 2019: The Sat Nav Of The Future Has Arrived

PRAISE

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Plans To Head To Snowy New Hampshire To Test Possible Presidential Run

These Pacific Northwest Spots Are Offering Freebies, Discounts To Government Employees…

City Of Auburn Offering Assistance To Federal Employees Impacted By Shutdown

Microsoft Pledges $500 Million To Tackle Housing Crisis

CENSURE

New Drilling To Unleash 1,000 Coal Plants’ Worth Of Pollution

Washington AG Says Navy Dumped Hazardous Substances Into Puget Sound

Burkina Faso: Prime Minister And Cabinet Resign From Office

TRAVEL

The World’s Secret Club Of Explorers

In Search Of My Grandmother In Mexico

The Genius Cheese Dish Invented By Slaves

THE GREEN BEAT  

King County, Washington (Seattle, etc.) Poised To Lock Out Fossil Fuels In 2019

You Decide: How Clean Is Clean Enough?

HEALTH

Here’s Another Reason To Avoid Taking Unnecessary Antibiotics

You’re Not Imagining It: Food Recalls Are Getting More Common.

Is Black Pepper Healthy? Here’s What The Science Says

Which Exercise Burns The Most Calories? Here’s What Science Says

Here’s The Best Way To Boost Your Immune System

Want To Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes A Day, Do Anything Else But Sit

The World’s First Fusion Food

The ‘Perfect 10’ Gymnastics Routine

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

The Hidden Victims Of The Yemen War — Video

Where Is A Car-Free Commute Easy?

The Myth Of ‘We Don’t Build Houses Like We Used To’

‘I’ve Talked With Teenage Boys About Sexual Assault For 20 Years. This Is What They Still Don’t Know’

The First Celebrity Photographer

Malala Yousafzai: What Does A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Do For Fun? — Video

Transit Systems Must Address Safety Concerns

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

Malala: ‘Mum Tells Me Off For Being Untidy’

Each State Hilariously Depicted By One Stereotypical Photo

Video: 15 Years Of Mars Images 

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

Breaching humpback whale in the waters of Gabon in Western Equatorial Africa. Image via ©Tim Collins/Wildlife Conservation Society.

This is absolutely beautiful.  Whales Share Songs From Other Oceans

Our prayers are with all concerned.  God be with youA Desperate Measure To Save The Caribou

With all due respect, this is how we do it in the Pacific Northwest.  Views: United To Save Salmon And Orcas

SHORTS

The Panda Who Didn’t Know She Had Twins

Britain’s Busiest Autumn Animals

After Huge Investments, Salmon In Washington Are Still Declining

Discovering The Secrets Of Manatee Chat

FOLKS WE FOLLOW

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s January 2019 newsletter is now online.

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Indonesian Woman Mauled To Death By Giant Pet Crocodile

The Library Of Forbidden Books

Massive Spinning Ice Disk Forms In US River

 

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

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BERTRAND BUCKTOOTH: A BEAVER’S TALE OF DIVERSITY

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
January 13, 2019 Volume 11 Number 21

Supported by Readers Like You.  To Contribute, Please Go Here.  Thank You.

INSIDE: Bertrand Bucktooth: A Beaver’s Tale Of Diversity; World Headlines At A Glance; Good News For Environmentalists On Gregorian New Years Eve; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our World, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

BERTRAND BUCKTOOTH: A BEAVER’S TALE OF DIVERSITY

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Bertrand Bucktooth was not your ordinary mountain beaver.  First of all, his namesake industriousness was not something he took particularly personally.  He preferred, instead, to reflect at some length before initiating anything more provocative than a small yawn.

Second, being just a tad claustrophobic, he was not fond of lodges as a habitat.  He incorporated, instead, an old miner’s cabin on Beavers Creek, at the high end of the canyon by the same name.

And finally, while the other beavers lived on a diet of mostly fish and small rodents, Bertrand was inclined toward roots, berries and woodland herbs.  He also wrote poetry, but that’s a story for another time.

Well, beavers being the tight community they are, you can imagine how Bertrand’s lifestyle went over.  Yuppers.  He was thought to be everything from bewildered to a Bolshevik and by the time he reached adulthood, he was pretty much on his own.

At first, Bertrand liked it that way.  It was hard to feel like an outsider with no one around to remind him.  But as the seasons passed, like autumn leaves in the lowers, he began to miss his own kind, for you see, beavers are no more meant to be hermits than most human beings.

So, his heart grew heavier and his pride leaned out some.  Finally, he found he could no longer bear to be alone and started out one winter morning along the banks of gurgling Beaver Creek, down to his former home.

That afternoon, a blizzard struck Beaver Canyon and sheeted everything so thick it sealed the top of the bucktooth lodges, froze the pond to a depth of ten feet out of fifteen, and plugged up the creek at both ends.  Bertrand’s family and neighbors were trapped with a dwindling supply of air.

Bertrand, who’d found an abandoned wolverine’s den to hole up in for the night, awoke at first light and through the ear-shattering stillness, ‘heard’ the cries of his family and community.  Launching himself like a one-person bobsled down the icy, twisting frozen channel Beaver Creek had become, he slid, ricocheted, crashed and careened clear to the bottom, where, of course, he landed in a heap.

It took him a bit, but he finally got the frozen white stuff dusted out of his eyes, and then he surveyed the pond with a seeming lazy gaze.  His dark shiny orbs came to rest on a very old evergreen, an ice cloak of its own, already bending over the pond near the lodges.

Gathering himself up behind a slightly provocative yawn, Bertrand slid down the bank, landed in a heap (of course), took a bit getting his webbed and clawed footing, then ambled on across the frozen pond, fell back on his tail a couple of times trying to climb out, then made his way to that big old leaning evergreen and sat down to rest from his travels.

Off and on for most of the rest of the day, that glacial stillness was interrupted by bursts of a bucktooth chainsaw.  And the crackling of slivers of ice.  There was no rhythm to it.  Nothing you could set your watch by.  It just kept happening.  Sporadically.  But consistently.  Throughout an endless primordial winter day.

And as the blue chill of night begin creeping into the frozen mountains and all life began to twinkle and fade, that venerable evergreen finally toppled.  It shattered the ice in the pond on the first bounce and the noise it made broke the dome of the lodges on the second.  On the third, it got the creeks running again.

After they gathered on the far bank, the other beavers went looking for Bertrand and found him snoring softly against the up-mountain side of what remained of that ancient evergreen.  That evening, his family joined him, kept him warm and fed him fish and small rodents in his sleep.

The next morning, the sun was shining.  And Bertrand Bucktooth wasn’t lonely any more.

Except when he recited poetry which, of course and as you know, is a story for another time, then, eh?

End

© 2005, Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

 Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE 

Recycling bins outside a cafe in Lviv, Ukraine. Photo by Olya Bereza

GOOD NEWS FOR ENVIRONMENTALISTS ON GREGORIAN NEW YEARS EVE

By Olya Bereza, Associate Editor

Hi Rusty

We are in the middle a Christmas and New Year season that in Ukraine, includes two Christmases (December 25 and January 7) and two New Years (January 1 and January 14).  Why?  Because we have both the Gregorian calendar of more modern times and our traditional/historical Julian calendar.  So, from finishing leftovers from one festive salad to starting to make a new one, yep, it’s a long season.

So, at the start of BOTH New Years, here are some good news headlines for environmentalists:

From January 1, 2019, Moldova banned the use and sale of disposable plastic bags 50 or more microns thick

Turkey To Ban Free Plastic Bags From Start Of 2019

South Korea bans single-use plastic bags in supermarkets

Jamaica to ditch single use bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam in 2019

Remembering my trip to Moldova just about two years ago, it is not the richest country in the world, so their efforts on saving the environment should, even more, be appreciated. If Moldova was able to implement it, I’m sure Ukraine will be able to follow in the near future. While individuals’ efforts are important, when the big moves are introduced at the governmental agency level, obviously it will be much more effective.

Also, it would be good if corporations began reducing the packaging of plastic everywhere. What happened to old good times when there were only drinks in glass bottles and we as kids got our pocket money for putting them to recycling collectors?  In those days all the fizzy drinks would be available at cafes only in taps and arriving there in big metal barrels. Now, hundreds of thousands small individual plastic bottles roll out every day.

How can we — as individuals — recycle this oversupply without some systematic decisions being made?  We, the ordinary people, are not producing plastic, so really while all these advertisements that now urge us to start recycling are good; the producers of this inappropriate packaging must participate as well.

That is a nice classic song by The Sparks from 1974 covered by Martin Gore

Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth

Stay warm, Mishka.  And dry.  Olya

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here. 

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus if that world leader was any more toxic, he’d be wearing a Hazmat sign.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Why The World Is Getting Better

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

This needs to change.  Soon.  How America Is Losing Its Innovation Edge

I thought this was pretty cool.  The Man Who Built His Own Castle

These could solve a lot.  The Rise Of The Urban Cable Car

EARTH

Climate Change: Will Insect-Eating Dogs Help?

More East Antarctica Glaciers Are Waking Up

Japan’s Grand Plans To Mine Ocean Vents

SPACE

Russia’s Only Space Telescope Breaks Down

New Canadian Telescope Detecting More Brief, Powerful Radio Blasts From Far Beyond Our Galaxy

New Juno Images Of Io’s Fiery Volcanoes

A Star Is Born … And Then Planets

TECHNOLOGY

The 13-Year-Old Drone Photographer

The Cyberattack That Sent An Alaskan Community Back In Time

Europe Is Testing Self-Driving Mars Rovers

CES 2019

The Expanding Door That Fights Parcel Thieves

 The Lightsaber You Can Strike With Force

Samsung’s New Shape-Shifting TVs Revealed

‘Indestructible Notepad’ Works Underwater — Video

PRAISE

Supreme Court Turns Away Exxon’s Appeal In Climate Change Lawsuit

How Vancouver Is Saving Addicts’ Lives — Video

The ‘Superwoman’ Midwife Of The Mountains

Golden Globes 2019: Bohemian Rhapsody And Rami Malek Are Surprise Winners

The African Comic Book Kugali Hoping To Take On Disney

CENSURE

After Natural Disasters, Workers Rebuild — And Face Exploitation

Why People Are Calling Out Bryan Singer After Bohemian Rhapsody’s Golden Globes Win

The Greatest Threat To Civilization

Thieves Targeting Wheelchair Ramps At Seattle Elementary Schools

TRAVEL

Europe’s Most Competitive Country?

The Town At The ‘Centre Of The World’

The Town That Changed The Way We Eat

THE GREEN BEAT  

What Happens If We Can’t Clean Up Mistakes Of Our Nuclear Past?

Baseball Great Dusty Baker Wants To Harness Solar Power

EPA Allows Protections For Youth Farmworkers After All

600+ Enviro Groups: This Is What A Green New Deal Looks Like

Here’s The Green New Deal Debate You Haven’t Heard Yet

9 Things To Know About The Pipeline Blockade

U.S. Carbon Pollution Surged In 2018

Supreme Court Turns Away Exxon’s Appeal In Climate Change Lawsuit

HEALTH

Flu Season Is Picking Up. Here’s How Many People Have Gotten Sick

CDC Calls The Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Officially Over

Cancer Deaths Have Fallen Drastically Over The Last 25 Years. But These Types Are On The Rise

Body Fat May Affect Your Brain Volume, Study Says

Flu Season Got Off To A Slow Start. But Now It’s Widespread In Almost Half The Country

The Future Of Sustainable Protein

These Are The Best Ways To Improve Your Memory

Why Millions Of People Wrongly Believe They Have Food Allergies

Fund Battling AIDS, TB And Malaria Seeks $14 Billion To Invigorate Fight

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

The Music That Changed America

Uber And Lyft Don’t Reduce Cars On The Road

These Are The Biggest Threats To World Stability In 2019

Are Americans Really Ditching Their Cars?

World Bank Warns Of ‘Darkening Skies’ For Global Economy

Golden Globes: Highlights From The Ceremony

How Soon Will Climate Change Force You To Move?

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

TIME Magazine’s 2018 Best Photojournalism

The BBC’S Most Striking Images Of 2018

Newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Sleepy Son Invades Stage During Speech

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

As a sailor, a student of marine engineering and design, and a profound lover of these creatures, I know this is true.  Quieter Ships Could Help Canada’s Endangered Orcas Recover

We need to understand the relationship between these two much better.  Future Of Declining Southern Resident Orcas At Risk   Uncovering The Secret Lives Of Salmon

I see a movie in this.  The Couple Raising 34 Orphaned Chimpanzees

SHORTS

Watch Hummingbirds Feed – And Fight – In Slo-Mo

The Man Protecting Burundi’s Crocodiles By Keeping Them In His Garden

Does A Refuge Protect Too Much Wildlife Or Not Enough?

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

The True Origin Of Salem’s Hysteria?

What’s Your Secret Nationality?

India Scientists Dismiss Einstein Theories

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FIRST THE PREDICTIONS, NOW THE PRAYERS

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
January 6, 2019 Volume 11 Number 20

This is our 603rd consecutive edition.  If you would like to contribute to the 604th, please go here

INSIDE: First the Predictions, Now the Prayers; World Headlines At A Glance; Let Presidents and Tsars Alike Rule Only In the Kingdom Of the Past – ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

FIRST THE PREDICTIONS, NOW THE PRAYERS

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Last week, we shared with you three predictions for the new year.  This week, we’d like to share three prayers

We pray that the American Congress remembers that no eagle flies with only one wing.  This sandbox mentality of throwing dirt at one another is an embarrassment to most Americans and brings into question – particularly among newly emerging democracies – the viability of democracy in a land which often acts as though it invented it.

We pray that Donald Trump resigns before his big mouth gets this nation into a war in which missiles are the epithets hurled.  It is clearly time to recognize that the world stage belongs as much to Asia as it does to everyone else who lives on this relatively tiny bluegreen marble.

We pray that Americans themselves quit emulating the behavior of those they decry.  There was no hypocrisy at Concord or Lexington, Bull Run or Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, the Argonne, Normandy or Iwo Jima, or anywhere else Americans have died for their way of life.  There are only white crosses.

And the opportunity to once again, become Americans worthy of those ultimate sacrifices.

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

LET PRESIDENTS AND TSARS ALIKE RULE ONLY IN THE KINGDOM OF THE PAST

By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

So now it is official: Welcome 2019! It started in Ukraine with the announcement that Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a well known in Ukraine comedian and showman, at midnight on New Year’s Even, is joining the race for president of our country.

The only disturbing fact is that contrary to another famous case when an actor was running for the presidency – Ronald Reagan – Mr. Zelenskiy doesn’t have any experience in the fields of politics except in his role as president in the Ukraine television series “Servant of People,” a comedy version of House of Cards.

For some reason, it reminded me of the famous quote by Vladimir Lenin, “Every cook has to learn how to govern the state”. In this case “Every comedian has to learn how to govern the state.”  I found it’s quite ironic that these days everything is a show. So in a way, it is very reasonable that a showman should try to become a president. Mr. Zelenskiy’s success in appearing in the top list of candidates for presidency, competing with the current president and former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko just proves that.

At the moment it’s not very clear what the choice of people will be in a few months but more and more one can hear attitudes like, “Do we really need a president”?

We are an ancient people but an infant democracy so yes, we do, and such laws at necessary to maintain order as we grow into our freedom.  Perhaps, one day, we will not need to delegate our voices in the hopes that promises will be kept.

Human nature is quite limited by its physicality, self-interests and aspirations. Anyone could become corrupt or threatened to pursue interests not beneficial to our nation or our people.

I like the current working system of petitions that could be created on a governmental site by any citizen. If 250,000 votes are gathered for a project, then our Parliament can vote for it and if it passes, it becomes a law.

Having been born in the former Soviet Union, my prayer is that we, as a newly emancipated society, will take responsibility for our own wellbeing and let presidents and tsars alike rule only in the Kingdom of the Past.

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, birds know something by instinct that the American Congress has yet to learn.  It takes both wings to fly.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Predictions For 2019 From Orrin Hatch, Marie Kondo And More

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

This is encouraging.  LED Lights Making Dent In UK Energy Demand

This is incredible.  Ultima Thule Seen In Detail

This could be a real game-changer in our attempts to eradicate world hunger.  Genetically Modified ‘Shortcut’ Boosts Plant Growth By 40%

EARTH

Satellites Show Extent Of Volcano Collapse

Dramatic Collapse of Indonesian Volcano

How Ancient DNA May Rewrite Prehistory In India

SPACE

‘Snowman’ Shape Of Distant Ultima Revealed

China’s Lunar Probe Sends First Photo Of Far Side Of Moon After Historic Landing

Spacecraft Orbits Tiny Bennu, Breaks Record

TECHNOLOGY

2018: BBC Tech’s Biggest Stories And What Happened Next

Net’s Founding Father Dr Larry Roberts Dies Aged 81

The Amphicar 770: Neither Decent Car Nor Accomplished Motorboat

PRAISE

Pope Francis Shows Off Ball-Twirling Skills With Cuban Circus — Video

CENSURE

The Number Of Women Directing Top Hollywood Films Declined In 2018

Donald Trump Mocks India PM Narendra Modi Over Afghanistan Library — Video

New Year 2019: US Military Apologises For Bomb Tweet

TRAVEL

Get Out Of Town

The True Origin Of Salem’s Hysteria?

The Town At The Centre Of The World

THE GREEN BEAT

11 Policy Ideas To Protect The Planet In 2019

More Coal Plants Shut Down In Trump’s First Two Years Than In Obama’s Entire First Term

Don’t Flush That!

What’s Greener Than Burial Or Cremation?

HEALTH

Three First-Time Vegans Explain Why They’re Cutting Out Animal Products This January

How A DNA Testing Kit Revealed A Family Secret Hidden For 54 Years

Should You Quit Drinking For Dry January? Here’s What Experts Say

10 New Year’s Resolutions Doctors Actually Want You To Make

Good vs Bad Vegetables

‘Not A Problem You Can Run Away From’

Experts Just Named The Best Diets For 2019

Health Questions? Email TIME’s Health Editors

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

The Three Housing Stories To Watch In 2019

25 Simple Resolutions You Can Make To Improve Your City

Opinion: Instant Gratification Has Changed Our Lives – And It Starts When We’re Teenagers

Worry Less About Children’s Screen Use, Parents Told

Harlem Hellfighters: The Black Soldiers Who Brought Jazz To Europe — Video

What It’s Like To Be Black And Argentine — Video

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

TIME Magazine’s 2018 Best Photojournalism

The BBC’S Most Striking Images Of 2018

See It! Moon And Venus At Sunrise

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

DO YOU SEE A DRAGON IN THESE CLOUDS?

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

Photo by Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller © 2017

There are some profound lessons to be learned from this in the Northern Hemisphere as well.  How Natural Beekeeping Is Leading To Stronger, Healthier Hives

I was once mugged by one of these dudes for a peanut butter sandwich.  Self-Satisfied Squirrel Chowing Down On An Egg Roll Offers Delicious Distraction

Totally awesome.  Tiny Bat Hunts Deadly Scorpions

SHORTS

The Stories Whale Lice Tell

New Protections Sought For Oregon’s Imperiled Marten Population

Bringing Burrowing Owls Back From The Brink

Pacific Salmon: Plight And Restoration

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Australian Cane Toads Hitch A Lift On Python’s Back After Storm

The Indian Woman Who Makes ‘Fake Food’ For A Living – Video

A Man Screamed At A Spider So Loudly That The Police Showed Up

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

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THREE SHORT PREDICTIONS FOR 2019

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
December 30, 2018 Volume 11 Number 19

This is our 602nd consecutive edition.  If you would like to contribute to the 603rd, please go here 

And to listen to Auld Lang Syne by possibly the most beautiful voice on the planet, please go here.

INSIDE: Three Short Predictions For 2019; World Headlines At A Glance; To Those Who Made My Year Unique ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

THREE SHORT PREDICTIONS FOR 2019

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

As one year slips away and a new one dawns, it fashionable among the media to highlight the major events of the departing one and we offer these links to two of the best sources in the media.  TIME Magazine’s 2018 Best Photojournalism and The BBC’S Most Striking Images Of 2018

It is also customary to offer predictions of what lies ahead.  We’ve done that for 11 years and we’ve had a surprisingly good track record.  Most of it never came from wishful thinking, nor does this one.

Donald Trump will resign in return for immunity from prosecution resulting from all the investigations in which he is involved.  This will also save the nation the cost, anguish and precedent of a successful impeachment.

In Russia, it is said that no czar ever died in their sleep.  History suggests that no leader rules at their own discretion but by the will of those who placed them in power.  In Russia, that has traditionally not been the people but the ruling elite.

While this, to some extent, remains true, as any reader of the Moscow Times knows, it is changing and changing quickly as the Russian people tailor democracy to fit their needs, desires and dreams.  If Vladimir Putin continues to use Stalinist tactics, he will be deposed.  If he truly has, as we suspect, the good of his people at heart, he will become a 21st Century Russian and govern by their consent.

In a surprise move that has been years in the making, Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee will announce for the Democratic Presidential Primary on a platform of climate change and the greening of America.  The media, though skeptical at first except in California, Oregon and his own state, will begin taking him seriously as other parts of the nation in which Inslee’s models are already flourishing announce their support of him.  He will, in fact win the primary and unless he melts under the intense scrutiny his personal life will undergo, he’ll take the presidency as well.

Remember where you heard it first, gang, and have a great first week of 2019.  May it be the best year of all our lives.

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here 

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

TO THOSE WHO MADE MY YEAR UNIQUE

By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

Hi Rusty:

There is not much left of 2018, the time when some people make a list of New Year’s resolutions.  While I admire people’s ability to follow “the plan”, unfortunately, I’ve never been practical enough to do so.  So I am NOT going to give any promises this time as the past shows that vows – at least MY vows in this regard – are prompt to be broken.  What I would like to do instead is thank those of you who made my year unique.

Rusty, thank you very much for creating this quality content for NorthStar Journal. It always gives me an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective.  It gives me food for thoughts and opens my mind.

Thank you to all the readers who enjoy reading NorthStar, thank you for all the nice words you said and I highly appreciate the honour and opportunity to communicate with you via my column. Wishing 2019 to be a wonderful year for all of you.

Like a young kid, I still believe in magic. The other night I even had a dream that I am Snegurochka, a fairy tale character in this part of the that could be described as a snow maiden who helps to Father Christmas (in our case Did Moroz – Grandfather Frost) to make winter holidays more fun.

As Snegurochka in that dream, I was talking to a young boy who desperately wanted to believe in magic and asked me with the all hope in his eyes if I real. “Of course I am real”, I said to him and gave a big hug.

I totally agree with this article we still need a place for magic in our lives  Lies about Santa? They could be good for your child

Here is wishing you all then, a kind and magical year.  Olya  🙂

And stay warm, Mishka.  LYCO

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here. 

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, when you stop to think about how many variations there are of the English word “shoot,” it should surprise no one that we are such a violence-prone society.

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

If, at first, you do not succeed, right?  SpaceX Launches Military Satellite After Four Attempts

I had a microscope as a kid so stuff like this has always fascinated me.  The Things That Are Smaller Than Atoms

Deadly but awesome.  Mount Etna Has First ‘Flank Eruption’ In Over A Decade – Video

EARTH

Saving Coral

The Best New Buildings Of 2018

Mount Etna: New 4.8-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Sicily

SPACE

Pluto Craft To Encounter Ultima Thule 

Spacecraft Spies Ice-Filled Mars Crater

What Does Ceres’ Carbon Mean?  Here’s Why That’s Exciting.

TECHNOLOGY

VR Helps Investigate Firesjump To Media Player — Video

Helmet Gives Firefighters ‘X-Ray Vision’jump To Media Player — Video

VR Experience Puts Us ‘In The Trenches’ — Video

PRAISE

Priest Learns Sign Language To Make Sermons More Inclusive — Video

Shelter Goes Extra Mile To Reunite Owner And Dog A Year After He Was Stolen

Who Are This Year’s Most Influential People?

UK Bans Pet Stores From Selling Puppies And Kittens

CENSURE

Guatemalan Boy Detained At Border Dies In US Custody

TRAVEL

The Sinful City Swallowed By The Earth

Why The King’s Troop Take Over Central London Once A Week

The Bears Bringing Joy To Paris — Video

THE GREEN BEAT

Huge Costs Of Climate Impacts In 2018

In UK, Plastic Bag Fee ‘To Double To 10p’ And Include Every Shop

Christmas Tree Could Be A Planet-Saver

Food Calculator: What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?

From The Arctic’s Decline To The Green New Deal’s Rise: 3 Environmental Stories To Watch

HEALTH

Holiday Weight Gain Is Real–But Here’s Why You Don’t Need To Freak Out About It

6 Seasonal Starbucks Drinks–And What A Nutritionist Thinks About Each

12 Wellness Destinations That Are Perfect For People With Anxiety

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

African Women We Celebrated In 2018 — Video

Turkey’s Magical Hangover Cure

I Was An Undocumented Immigrant For 14 Years—Now I’m Fighting To Protect The Rights Of Others

Americans Are Growing In All The Wrong Ways, According To New Research

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

Auld Lyne Syne From The Most Beautiful Voice In The World

The Greatest Dad In The Animal World

Snow Leopards Filmed Like Never Before

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

This was really fun and, in terms of traits associated, very accurate.  Who would you be if you were an animal?

Animal World Is Awesome: 3 Essential Reads   We agree.

Totally awesome.  Hawk Trapped In New York City’s Penn Station Rescued On Christmas Eve

SHORTS

World’s Rarest Bird Gets New Home

Fireworks Banned On The Galapagos To Protect Wildlife

Anak Krakatau: How A Tsunami Could Wipe Out The Last Javan Rhinos

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Amount Of Deep Life On Earth Quantified

The Man Who Lives With Hyenas

Jean-Jacques Savin: Frenchman Sets Off To Cross Atlantic In A Barrel

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

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TO JESUS, WITH THANKS

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
December 23, 2018 Volume 11 Number 18

This is our 600th consecutive edition.  If you would like to contribute to the 601st, please go here

INSIDE: To Jesus, With Thanks; World Headlines At A Glance; Happy Snow & Christmas, From Magical Lviv ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

TO JESUS, WITH THANKS

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

As we did some two weeks ago with Hanukkah and that faith, so now we join much of the world as it celebrates the birth of an exceptional human being who may not occupy the same hierarchy in our sometimes seeming endless pantheon of gods, true, false, temporary and timeless, but who nonetheless walked among us and did things to try to make us more compassionate.  He died a horrible death begging God/His Father to forgive those who were killing him for “they know not what they do.”

He was not the first to live and die in that way and his examples can be found in every religion on the planet.  They have also always been among us, those willing to live and die for a better world.  And every nation has them.

You live with them even now.  Next time a fire truck, ambulance or police car rolls by, Jesus and all the others who have lived and died trying to make a better world ride with them.  That soldier in the screaming winds mountains of Afghanistan, surrounded by hostiles who have never been conquered, frightened and lonely beyond belief.  The anguish of the letter his commanding officer will write to next of kin when that kid wakes up with his throat slit.  Jesus is with that boy too.

And what about those who go out every day at tough jobs to provide a home for their families; people who commute four hours a day or more roundtrip.  How about the people Alabama sings about in Alabama’s 40 Hour Week?

Perhaps if we were quicker to recognize the heroes among us and the hero in each of us, we would not need so many of them.  Then, I suspect, there would be no more need for martyrs.

As we say sometimes in my part of the country, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.”

Happy holidays, gang,  Love, Rusty

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

HAPPY SNOW AND CHRISTMAS FROM MAGICAL LVIV

Story and Photos by Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

Hi Rusty:

From a magical Lviv our West cultural capital which is often called a soul of Ukraine for its beautiful architecture and atmosphere of old town. It’s been really snowy this week here. One day was especially wonderful. It was snowing in the morning. It was snowing at lunch, snowing at midday, afternoon, evening and night. Basically everytime I happen to look into window or go outside the little tender snowflakes were dancing around. Something Bing Crosby once sung about- “White Christmas” is so real now in Lviv.

While the lights are glittering on the big Christmas tree near magnificent Opera House I would also like to tell about a few characters that are often seen on the streets of Lviv giving that feel of familiarity as only small town where everyone knows each other could offer.

First shall we mention an angel.  See her wide wings on the picture that she likes to use flirting with men, using wings for slapping the ones she chooses for a chat. A good looking lady in her late thirties or early forties, always on her roller skates, which she is mastering on the level the Olympic champions of figure skating would envy. She is earning her living by making henna tattoos so quite often could be seen somewhere in the center with her henna gear ready for a job or chat.

On Christmas time Lvivanians could often see a newcomer. A gray haired foreigner to my guess from some Scandinavian country. On the Rynok Square, he makes his performance with a guitar as he plays a big Santa toy so the deal is one need to turn him on with few grivnas (local currency) and he is playing electric guitar for few minutes and stops before next one volunteers to put more cash into it. Obviously he is wearing red costume, colors of Santa.

Rynok Square is the central square of the town filled with all sorts of venues to amaze tourists. Starting from the best coffee/chocolate in the world to nice stand-up stalls to test cherry liqueur  in good company and have a laugh. During the day young ladies in last centure outfit are going around to give candy sticks, from a local independent candy crafts, again super tasty.

One of my favorite characters is the “socks lady” -babushka- an old lady wearing countless layers of cloth for chilly weather. She is always sitting on the corner of one of the central streets selling the warmest handmade socks in the world. I have got a pair myself. Very useful when it gets from minus 10 to minus 20 Celcium (not to worry that cold gets only on February).

So yes for someone ready to new destinations to celebrate Christmas, check Lviv that came one of the top 100 destinations last year.

And to cheer you up here is a Christmas Lullaby by Andrea Pinto definitely another distinguished character – an Italian living in Lviv.

Merry Christmas to those celebrating it and best wishes to all the rest of you.

Stay warm, Mishka.  Olya

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, of a world leader, the media was so busy telling everyone what he could not say that they did not hear him keep right on saying it.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

What Does The Violence Against Women Act Have To Do With Climate Change?

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

If this is, in fact, true – and we believe it is – it needs to get fixed.  Yesterday.  Americans Don’t Understand How Bad Climate Change Is Or What They Can Do About It

One Hundred Cities Are Leading The Way To 100% Clean Energy  Is yours one of them?

Astronomers Spy Most Distant Solar System Object Yet   I wonder if it has spotted us yet?

EARTH

Where Noon Comes Just Once A Year

Huge, Previously-Undetected Coral Reef Off US East Coast

NOAA Releases 2018 Arctic Report Card

SPACE

Apollo 8: NASA’s Biggest Gamble

Take A Good Look At Saturn Before It’s Too Late, Because It’s Losing Its Rings

1st Image From Inside Sun’s Atmosphere

Comet Gives Birth To A Baby Bow Shock

December Solstice Starts Shortest Season

TECHNOLOGY

Weather Stops Plastic Waste Car Reaching South Pole

Flights Halted By Drones At Key UK Airport

Selling Brains: U.S. Tech Giants Buy Teams, Not Startups, From Russia And Eastern Europe

PRAISE

The ‘Angel’ Who Secretly Pays Patients’ Hospital Bills

Women Shave Their Heads To Protest Lawyer’s Detention In China — Video

Obama Plays Santa At Children’s Hospital In Washington — Video

A Filipino Boy Was ‘Speechless’ After Discovering George H.W. Bush Was His Pen Pal For Years

CENSURE

Why Muslim Nations Remain Silent As China Sends Ethnic Minorities To Re-Education Camps

The Camp: When A US Child Experiment Goes Wrong

Japan ‘To Leave Whaling Commission To Resume Hunting’

Gun Deaths In The U.S. Are At Their Highest Rates In Decades, CDC Says

Baby Trafficking: ‘They Stole My Son From Me — Video’

TRAVEL

A New York Restaurant Unlike Any Other

What It Takes To Be A Newfoundler

Is Dubai Still A High-Paid Expat Haven?

THE GREEN BEAT  

Why Eating Less Meat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For The Planet In 2019

When A Huge Utility Company Pledges To Go Carbon Free

Statistic Of The Year: 90.5 Percent Of Plastic Is Not Recycled

The Greenest Classroom In The World Is In Seattle

How Green Is Coffee?

HEALTH

Here’s The Best Way To Boost Your Immune System

10 New Year’s Resolutions Doctors Actually Want You To Make

The Most Common Type Of Birth Control In The U.S. Might Surprise You

Surgeon General Calls For Reversing ‘Epidemic’ Of Youth Vaping

Why Barbershops May Be Key To Improving Black Men’s Health

More People Have Gotten A Flu Shot Than This Time Last Year, CDC Says

Gently Stroking Babies ‘Provides Pain Relief’

Health Questions? Email TIME’s Health Editors

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

US Air Force Dad Surprises Daughters As Dolphin Mascot

Paternity Leave And Leadership Pipeline In The Workplace

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself. Experts Say You Have A Pretty Good Sense Of Your Own Personality

Rebuilding A City Through The Eyes Of A Child

Why Icelanders Believe In Elves

Online Shopping Was Supposed To Keep People Out Of Traffic. It Only Made Things Worse

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

Joy To The World/Deck the Halls – Sissel – Live on Danish TV (In English)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Christmas Canon (Official Video) – YouTube

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Celtic Woman Live at Helix – YouTube

 

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

Crowd Holds Its Breath As Bear Grabs A Tiny Creature And Makes A Huge Unexpected Move  It makes one rather wonder sometimes, who belongs on which side of the cage.

Sometimes the witnessing, reporting or treating the suffering of all creatures great and small without being able to prevent more of it is a load even the broadest of shoulders cannot bear.  Veterinarians Face Disproportionately High Suicide Rates, Study Says

I’m proud to call these folks neighbors.  Graham Firefighters Add Pet Oxygen Masks To Every Rig

SHORTS

Does Salmon Fishing Hurt Orcas?

Changes To Dams Benefit Salmon, Hydropower, And Orcas

Agreement Helps Salmon Survive Columbia River Journey

Habitat Protection Widened For Endangered Orcas Off Vancouver Island

Rockfish Are Bouncing Back From Years Of Overfishing

Could Taking Koalas Back To Where They Existed 100 Years Ago Save Them?

FOLKS WE FOLLOW

The December 2018 edition of Nestwatch is now online.  They feature a good article on how to secure heavier nest boxes and birdhouses with pulleys.

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Our Enduring Love Of Unicorns

Meet Nepal’s Daredevil Honey Hunters — Video

Egypt: ‘One Of A Kind’ Tomb Found In Saqqara – Video

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

HUMAN RIGHTS AND A TALE TOLD ON A TRAIN

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
December 16, 2018 Volume 11 Number 17

This is our 599th consecutive edition.  If you would like to contribute to the 600th, please go here.

INSIDE: Human Rights And A Tale Told On A Train; World Headlines At A Glance; Mindfulness ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

HUMAN RIGHTS AND A TALE TOLD ON A TRAIN

By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

Last week, on Monday, December 10, the world marked 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

There was interesting initiative from the UN (#RightsOutLoud) creating a Multilingual Video Collection offering people from all over the world the chance to record themselves reading one of the 30 articles of the Declaration in any of the 144 languages currently available on this site and share video with their friends to rise awareness of the Declaration.

Personally I would like to thank such organizations as Human Rights Watch and The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) for monitoring the situation in my home country, Ukraine. All their efforts are truly and widely appreciation.  They greatly helped stabilize the situation in our East.

There is still a great deal which needs to be one, both domestically and internationally to assist people in need. Here is the video of OSCE SMM – Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine called Human Rights on the Line in eastern Ukraine.

I am feeling very compassionate to anyone who appeared in the dramatic circumstances. Once on one of my train rides, I met a girl in a train escaping the war zone. I remember thinking at the time that her story really needs to be told.  She struck me by the strength of her spirit and positivity that one would just not expect from a person who just emerged from a living nightmare.

Under my pen name Holley Dovetail and in a genre for all ages, I have given what she endured voice.  To read, please go here

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

MINDFULNESS?

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Well, I might possibly have stumbled across one of the most annoying words in the language since some moron in California’s San Fernando Valley first grunted, “Me bad.”  The word is mindfulness and I’ve just learned from KUOW, our National Public Radio station at the University of Washington, to which I listen when I work, that Bill and Melinda Gates are getting into it.

I’ve researched a couple of different sources and as near as I can tell, mindfulness is being so in the moment that you’re conscious of every thought, every desire, every movement every second of every minute of every day etc. ad motion sickness.  Apparently this state can coexist with what most of us do and that’s mostly walk down the sidewalk without tripping over our Birkies.  And it can apparently be achieved, this state of concentrated consciousness, through meditation.

Okie dokie, he said, backing slowly out of the room and hoping his buddy Heidi is listening in on that cool Dick Tracy wrist radio he gave her on her tenth anniversary with the department.  These people are a little out there even for the strangest place between San Francisco, Mt. Whistler and two oceans.

If this mindfulness nonsense catches on, I’m getting a bigger boat.  No way in the world is anyone going to get me to focus that much on myself.  There are lots of cool ways to cross over to the other side.

Suicide by self-inflicted boredom is not, however, one of them.

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

According to Rusty’s infamous Uncle Seamus, “Optimism is a disease to which I eventually succumbed.”

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Pulitzer Prize Winner: We Need Writers Now More Than Ever. Our Democracy Depends On It

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

Amazing.  The Massive, Mysterious Ecosystem Beneath Our Feet

Incredible.  A NASA Probe Launched In 1977 Just Entered Interstellar Space

Intriguing.  What Would A Warmer World Look Like?

EARTH

Egypt Unveils “One Of A Kind” Ancient Tomb, Expects More Finds

Another El Niño On The Horizon?

The Key To Unlocking Ancient Languages?

SPACE

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo: The View From The Edge Of Space

Tiny Droplets Of Early Universe Matter Created

Ancient Water Found On Asteroid Bennu

Listen To The Martian Wind

TECHNOLOGY

Musicians Are Creating The Car Sounds Of The Future

This Scientist Wants To Bring Extinct Animals Back From The Dead

Why Are We Still Waiting For The Electric Bus Revolution?

PRAISE

Animal Activists Force Halt To Sea World’s Gold Coast Dolphin And Seal Shows

I Helped Send My Adoptive Father To Jail For 5,000 Years

The Former Soldier Who’s Now A Blind Boxer

The ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Has A New Permanent Home

CENSURE

Migrant Caravan: Girl Dies In Custody After Crossing Mexico-US Border

Southwest Airlines Flight Turns Back After Human Heart Discovery

The Little-Known Way Pharma Companies Hook People On Their Costly Drugs

More Than 29,000 Pounds Of Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Recalled Due To Metal Contamination

TRAVEL

The ‘Flower Men’ Of Saudi Arabia

The Remote Villages Of Saudi Arabia

South America’s Other ‘Easter Island’

THE GREEN BEAT  

Jellyfish Offer A Sticky Solution To Plastic Pollution

When An Oil Rig Is Your New Neighbor

HEALTH

Sex Really Does Make Your Life Better—Even As You Age

The NIH Says It Will Spend Up To $20 Million To Find Alternatives To Human Fetal Tissue
Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl Doubled Every Year From 2013 To 2016

Health Workers In South Sudan Will Be Vaccinated As The Drc Ebola Outbreak Spreads. Here’s What To Know

Overdose Deaths Involving Fentanyl Doubled Every Year From 2013 To 2016

More Than 29,000 Pounds Of Jimmy Dean Sausage Links Recalled Due To Metal Contamination

The CDC Reminds You To Avoid Raw Cookie Dough This Holiday Season

Always Forgetting Important Things? Here’s How To Fix That, According To Science

The Hobby That Helps You Live To 100

The Case For Sauna Bathing Is Stronger Than Ever

The 10 Worst Foods For Your Heart

A Doctor Says A Woman Died From A Brain-Eating Amoeba After Using A Neti Pot. Are They Safe?

Health Questions? Email TIME’s Health Editors

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

Disney Is Selling Your Childhood Back To You, And Making A Mint Doing It

Does Listening To Music Really Help You To Fall Asleep?

Smelly Lunch, Tiger Mums, Bubble Tea: The Subtle Traits Bringing Asians Together Around The World

Views: Farmers, Turn To Tradition

3 Holiday Gift Mistakes To Avoid, According To Science

Why We Need To Redefine Gossip

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

Apollo 8 Astronauts Reflect On Historic Moon Voyage 50 Years Later

The Biggest Building In The World

Time Names Person Of The Year For 2018: Jamal Khashoggi And Other Journalists

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com

We’ve seen these and they do.  Elk Run The Show On Oregon’s North Coast

There is a god.  Animals Safe As Large Blaze Breaks Out At British Zoo

These little dudes are amazing.  Watch Geckos Race On Water!

SHORTS

Scientists Describe 229 New Species In 2018

A Major Step For Orca Recovery

Views: Cut The Engine Noise, Save The Orcas

Family Biking: Beyond Mama Bear Rage

Christmas Pet Adoption Ban At German Shelters

Fish On The Rebound

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Impostor Syndrome Is Real. Here’s How To Deal With It

‘I’ve Been A Barber For 96 Years’

Santa Goes Scuba Diving With A Mermaid And Rudolph

 

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  This is our 599th consecutive edition.  If you are enjoying it and would like to contribute to the 600th, please go here.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

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WHAT IF THEY REALLY ARE OUT THERE?

TO VIEW IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
December 9, 2018 Volume 11 Number 15

INSIDE: What If They Really Are Out There:; World Headlines At A Glance; I Fell Into My Childhood; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Praise; Censure; Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

WHAT IF THEY REALLY ARE OUT THERE?

By Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller: Editor

Space exploration has been in the news a great deal lately and I’m glad because I’m a fan of it.  We feature it in our science section in here.  And it is a topic that comes up often on Coast to Coast AM, a very late night radio talk show I recently discovered.

I won’t bore you with the details of how and why space exploration became such a passion.  I’m just pleased that after what seems like a long hiatus, we – as a species – are moving forward, individually, collaboratively, federally and privately in a concerted effort to establish ourselves as a presence in our own solar system and to let the galaxy and beyond know that we are coming.

It’s the last part of this that makes me uncomfortable.  First, what if, as in that Twilight Zone Episode To Serve Man, we are not intergalactic neighbors but entrees?

Second, what if, after doing some exploration of their own with Roves designed as rocks and stuff, they determine that while human beings are certainly the most obnoxious species on the planet (next to crows), we are not the most intelligent.

Who could blame them for deferring to creatures so marvelously adapted to their environment that they had no desire to change it?  And who were “civilized” long before our ancestors discovered “peace” is not just a time to gather more rocks to throw?  And who have a capacity for mercy, forgiveness and interspecies compassion that has no rival on land or in the sea?

And what if, like all those invasion films, they came to do to us what we did to those whose land we wanted?

I think it’s all well and good to colonize close to home.  Until we’ve become the best we can be, though, I’d just as soon not let anyone out there know we’re here.

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here

Reader Supported:  All Contributions Appreciated and Accepted Here

THE PAST WEEK’S WORLD HEADLINES AT A GLANCE

Hello by Roman Prokofyev image credits openkniga gallery

I FELL INTO MY CHILDHOOD

By Olya Bereza: Associate Editor

In this part of the world, on 8th of December, we recognized a day of artists which was founded in 2007 by the international association The Art of Peoples of the World.   Congratulations to all artists and people who are involved in the process of creation. We all are inspired by your works and creative process. Thanks to each of you for filling the world with new meanings, showing us beauty in the ordinary things.

Today I would like to present the work of the artist I really like -“Hello” by Roman Prokofyev who works in the genre of Multographics (Cartoonographics) – this way the artist determines the style of his work in which he displays ordinary people in various life situations by means of cartoons graphic.

“I fell into my childhood and found it right for myself,” he said in a recent interview.

Maybe it’s always helpful to rediscover the inner creative child in ourselves.

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.

God does not speak more to the Pope than to anyone else.  The Pope just pays more attention.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Sir David Attenborough: Climate Change ‘Our Greatest Threat’

OUR WORLD, UNABRIDGED

This is a bit unsettlingGlobal Warming Today Mirrors Earth’s Largest Extinction Event

I’ve been an admirer of these since I was a kid so to me, this is absolutely amazing.  Nice going, you guys!  The Ferry Using Rolls-Royce Technology That Sails Itself — Video

Okay, this does not help my paranoia around Space Odyssey’s HAL.  In the least.  The Aircraft Designer Who’s Never Flown

EARTH

Prehistoric Cave Art Suggests Ancient Use Of Complex Astronomya 1,000-Year-Old Road Lost To Time

Supervolcano Eruption 20,000 Years Ahead?

‘Like Pieces Of A Puzzle.’ The Story Behind That Dramatic Alaska Earthquake Aerial Photo

SPACE

SpaceX Launches Rocket Carrying Christmas Turkey And Fruitcake To The ISS

All You Need To Know: Geminid Meteor Shower

OSIRIS-Rex Spacecraft Arrives At Asteroid Bennu

3 Astronauts Launch For International Space Station After Aborted Soyuz Mission

TECHNOLOGY

Biohackers: ‘My Hand Chip Could Unlock My Car Door’

The ‘Weird Events’ That Can Trick AI

Window Washing Drone Takes Flight

PRAISE

The Female Superbiker Travelling The World

The Iranian Trailblazer Who Removed Her Headscarf

George W. Bush Shared Another Sweet Moment With Michelle Obama At His Father’s Funeral

Michelle Obama And Me: How Former US First Lady Changed My Life

Stretch Of Skagit Riverfront Permanently Protected For Fish, Wildlife

CENSURE

A Prominent Researcher On Eating Habits Has Had More Studies Retracted

Matthew Hedges: Academic ‘Psychologically Tortured’ In UAE Jail

TRAVEL

A Treaty That Changed How We Travel

The Isles Belonging To Medieval Knights

A Town That Redefined Europe’s Borders

THE GREEN BEAT  

BC Climate Plan Aims To Build Economy Around Renewables

California Gives Final OK To Requiring Solar Panels On New Houses

EPA Will Ease Path To New Coal Plants

Nine-Year Losing Streak Continues For US Fracking Sector

Clean Coal’s Dirty Secret: More Pollution, Not Less

Compared To Fossil Fuels, Renewables Practically Use No Water

Single-Stream Recycling (And China) Throwing Recycling Markets Into Chaos

HEALTH

Study To See Whether The Anaesthetic You’re Given Affects The Chance Of Cancer Returning

The Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Outbreak Spreads To A Major City. Here’s What To Know

The Annoying Truth About Holiday Weight Gain

40% Of Americans Don’t Plan To Get A Flu Shot. They’re Putting Others At Risk

Are Eggs Healthy? Here’s What Experts Say

Here’s One Simple Way You Can Start Eating Healthier

Exercise Is Great. But Even Light Activities Like Walking And Housework Can Improve Your Health

Health Questions? Email TIME’s Health Editors

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, HOME AND LIFESTYLE

I Worked On Several Cold Case Murders. This Is How We Solve Them

The Home Of The Future Is The One You’re Already Living In

The Best Gifts Under $50 To Give This Holiday Season

Vertical Cities: Can Mega-Skyscrapers Solve Urban Population Overload?

Black Americans Lose Twice As Many Years Of Life To Guns As White Americans Do, Study Says

How The Salvation Army’s Bell-Ringers Became A Christmas Tradition

The Luxurious Home Made Of Bamboo

Why The Finns Parcel Babies In Boxes

Inside Iraq’s Secret Shelters For Domestic Violence Survivors

FUN ZONE

BEST OF THE NET

A Beer Brewed From An Old Shipwreck

Falcon 9 Rocket Guides Itself To Sea

The Stunning Photos Of Everyday Life

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of links to mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS, including Olya’s novel “Rocket Man” and mine, “Wrath of the USS Testament”.  The ‘shelves’ also offer films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Now, here’s the really cool part.  Load up your cart and instead of getting your plastic out, just drop in the jar on your way out whatever it’s worth to you.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

I’ve had these little dudes as neighbors and they’re as cute as they look. Fishers Return To North Cascades

All of us should live so long and so well, eh?  World’s Oldest-Known Wild Bird Expecting 37th Chick With Longtime Lover

As a lover of dog stories, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  Dog Guards Fire-Ruined Home For A Month While Waiting For Owner

SHORTS

He Saved The Largest Venomous Snake In The Americas. Now, He Hopes It Could Save Human Lives

The Tulalip Tribes Bet Big On Beavers

Watch A Bird Outsmart A Leopard

YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP

The Giant Rocket Tower In The Jungle

Dutch Court Rejects 69-Year-Old Man’s Request To Be 20 Years Younger

Sacked Man Claims Discrimination Against His ‘Ethical Veganism’ — Video

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them, please go here.  No contribution too large or too small.  If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment