Winner of Two Hersh Best Read On The Net Awards
Volume 4, No. 42
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Merritt Scott Miller, Editor
Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor
A totally gorgeous autumn morning in downtown Seattle, sans protestors and other world-savers. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, we waited a week or so before commenting on the “Occupy Wall Street” and anti-Afghan War protestors who have converged on so many major American cities this past month.  In Seattle, it’s been peaceful and for the most part, non-confrontational.  The demonstrators have behaved themselves and the Seattle Police Department has exercised appropriate restraint.  The mayor even let them camp several nights in Westlake Park, which is located in the heart of downtown.  And since tents are not legal, merchants donated these poncho type garments with a hood and pulls out and covers the whole body when seated.  There was no vandalism and unlike the WTO and Rodney King Verdict protests in this town, no tear gas or MACE fouled our otherwise pristine autumn air.

I understand that, with few exceptions, this is how other communities have reacted, as well.  At mid-week, there appears to be some resistance now to vacating public facilities and essentially, striking the tents and returning home to engage in other forms of social improvement.  Seattle did not contribute a lot of bodies to this one.  Wall Street is clear across the country.  School is starting up again.  The weather has been a little more schizoid than usual. 

I also know something of democratic exercises like these.  Most start out well but begin going to hell if they last too long.  The disruption even the best executed demonstration causes draws others with considerably less noble intentions.  They are the ones who turn benign acts of civil expression into the kind of riots which ravaged places like Newark and Watts/Los Angeles nearly a half century ago.  And which savaged the streets of my town twelve years past.

I’m not worried about how Seattle’s going to handle this.  We have often had our gentility mistaken for weakness.  Perhaps that is why we tend to solve our problems our way, and generally without fanfare.  Autumn has arrived and we are moving on.


Rhode Island, Arkansas, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia topped the list of states with the highest incident rate of mental illness, according to a report recently released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  To see where how you live ranked, please go here.

If the Recession is over, as financial experts keep contending, then why aren’t people back to work and why haven’t wages kept up with the cost of living?  For possible answers, please see Recession Officially Over, U.S. Incomes Kept Falling

In a ‘quiet’ move to protect the marine flora and fauna in the Strait of Georgia, which lies on the west coast of Canada between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, the occasionally long hand of Ottawa has reached out to other Canadians besides her human ones.  Yep, we’re talking a national marine sanctuary on the Inland PassageNice going, guys.


The Rainbow Warrior III is now plying the high seas, fighting for a healthy environment around the world.  It replaces its 50-year-old predecessor, itself purchased and commissioned to replace the original Rainbow Warrior, sunk in a New Zealand harbor after protesting nuclear testing.  For a photo of this new craft and more information, please go here.

Ottawa has been invaded.  However, it is not by the dreaded Yank from south of the border, as depicted in Major General Richard Rohmer’s classic “Exxoneration.”  This threat is, in some ways, far more insidious.  Yep, for more, please go here.

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a case on cyber bullying on Facebook which could have a dramatic impact on the prosecution of this crime.  For details, please go here.


Whether this is to save money or to set a good example, we like that The Boeing Aircraft Company plans to recycle materials from the aircraft it removes from service.

A letter Albert Einstein wrote to a New York financier helping other Jews escape NAZI Germany sold for twice what its auctioneers anticipated.  It also, for me, defines the character of these people and explains their remarkable and enduring survival.  The American physicist and Princeton professor observed, “The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness.  In these years of affliction, our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us.”

Clustering green businesses not only reduces the carbon footprint, it is also sound financial strategy.  Portland Business Journal’s Christina Williams reports.


How would you feel if you knew that every cell phone conversation, every email, every IM, every Internet transaction including your browser history is stored somewhere in the world and accessible to everyone, including the government and really maniacal but brilliant people with aspirations to the throne of the world?  Take it a step further.  How would you feel if you knew that all this information from all the people on the planet was being used by all these people of questionable humanity to predict the future?  If you’re not paranoid enough yet, check this out.  Government Aims to Build a ‘Data Eye in the Sky’

In 1917, a German U-boat sank a British ship, the S.S. Mantola, sending her and her 20 tons of silver a mile to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.  Last week, Odyssey Marine Exploration announced one of their deep-sea robots had discovered it.  I thought this was totally cool.  This story includes four still photos and a video.  So yep, go here.

For the first time, four simultaneous rainbows have been photographed.  To see those and to read an outstanding article on this phenomenon, yep, go here.


Now that colder weather is coming on, you might want to take the time to clean your workspace and particularly your keyboard, mouse, cell phone or any other device you handle regularly.  A company in England swabbed a number of desks and found bacteria associated with colds and flu.  To learn how to keep your computer station germ free, please go here.

That old admonition we got as kids to stand up straight and not to slouch was right up there with an apple a day in terms of long-range health benefits.  People with good posture enjoy generally better health and live longer.  For more on this one and for some dynamite posture-improving exercises, please go here.

Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index
Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index


Vitamin B6 has long been known for its benefits to heart and brain.  Now, it turns out, it is also good for preventing breast cancer.  Bananas are a popular source of it.  So are chicken, turkey and tomato sauce.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Here are eight foods that fight breast cancer

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Cancer Research Journal
National Cancer Institute (American)
Fighting Breast Cancer: Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
Science Daily:  Health & Medicine News


With a global economy for the most part not stagnating but growing gradually worse, why haven’t the government and/or the private sector’s job-creating efforts generated the employment necessary for fiscal stabilization and growth?  The Tyee’s Ben Christopher says that it is because we are not looking at income generation in a contemporary perspective and explores a dozen myths about jobs.



Penguin Upstages BBC reporter
1999 Battle of Seattle


Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.  This is a great stress buster for me and a profound pick-me-up if I’m having a “poor me” day.
Baby pandas soak up sun for the first time
NASA Probe To Explore Jupiter is a National Geographic video whose production values I found outstanding.  This is one you might enjoy sharing with the family.
OH AMERICA – Celtic Woman expresses my love for America far better than I have thus far ever been able. 
Winter, A Dolphin’s Tale is the Flipper of this generation and is the true story of a dolphin so snarled in commercial crab trap that her fluke had to be amputated in order to free her.  She was adopted by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where she was fitted with a prosthetic.  The film, starring Kris Kristopherson and Morgan Freeman, is out now and I highly recommend it.


Daily Crossword:  This one from Universal has two levels.  It is extremely easy to use and it has some features like music and clues that we thought were pretty cool.
National Geographic Kids Page:  If you enjoy learning about the places, people and things which make life on this planet such a unique experience?
Vocabulary Quiz:  Take this 10-word daily test and see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.
Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu.


Tank Hunter – This puts you behind the controls of a tank on a vast battlefield in which everything from small tanks to big ones to invisible ones is shooting at you.  Definitely the best game play of its type I have personally encountered.


Celtic Woman is The Northstar Journal’s favourite musical performance group.  When it is inspiration in a song we seek, they invariably provide it and they look as good as they sound.  The production values of their performances, whether at the Helix in Dublin or on a television stage in Adelaide, are flawless.  Perhaps most endearing for me is that these Irish ladies are totally ingenuous, and totally free of pretense or posturing.  They have a global following and for a sampling of why, please go here.
(The) Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida is the home of Winter, the rescued dolphin who was fitted with a prosthetic fluke and continues to amaze marine lovers the world over by her recovery.  The CMA is in the marine mammal rescue business for real, both as a public amusement site at which they also take care of a variety of species, and on the web as well.  Their videos and other information also make for a nice “educational” experience to share with others.
Irish Newsletter is an outstanding pocket source of Irish life, politics and times.  Particularly well written are their news snaps (shorts) which ~ according to friends of mine in Erin ~ literally tell it like it is.  While the Republic of Ireland’s population is only about 4.5-million, there are an estimated 80 million people of Irish descent worldwide and email version of this reached 50,000 of them.
Safercar.gov is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (HTSA) website.  It contains a wealth of safety and reliability information on motor vehicles.  You can also, as have we, subscribe to an email newsletter which informs its subscribers of all vehicle recalls and the reason for them.
Sightline Daily is the best Pacific Northwest source of environmentally friendly news we’ve encountered yet.  They draw from newspapers and National Public Radio sources throughout the American west, northwest, Western Canada and Alaska.
USA.gov has a comprehensive email directory of American federal and state elected officials and government agencies.  You fill in two or three blanks, hit Enter and you’ve got what you need to offer support or air a grievance.
Yes magazine is the editorial hammer of the Green Movement and the most deeply rooted, informative, insightful and magazine on the Net.


I got a little too close on this one. About two seconds after this photo was taken, it chased me off its front porch. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller


Just a reminder that Mount RainierNational Parkis going on winter hours.  The National Park Inn and General Store and the LongmireMuseumare open daily throughout the year, providing visitor information, overnight accommodations, dining, and gifts.  For the winter schedule, lodging, park events and other useful information, please go here.

Upcoming Seattle Events

Population:                                612,000
GreaterSeattleArea                  3,707,400
Area:                                        84 sq mi/217 sq km
Density:                                    7,286 people per sq mi/2,821 per sq km
Annual Rainfall:                         36.2 inches/92 cm, ranking it 41st in rainy US cities
More Seattle Facts & Figures
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera


The Northstar General Store is a truly unique online shopping experience and reflects what you, the readers, have said interests you the most.  Whether it’s a specialty food item for that proverbial someone who has everything else or just to browse with some discretionary capital to spend on a whim, you’ll find everything from quality camping gear to interesting CDs, DVDs and books to totally fun and otherwise useless toys, women and men’s apparel and a wide variety of other items and wares you simply will not find under a single roof anywhere else on the Net.  And by shopping here, you help us pay our bills.  To enter and check it out, please click the picture of the store above.
The Northstar Photo Gallery features photography ofSeattle available as postcards, computer wallpaper and workspace art.
Sponsorship ads are another way begin at $5.00 a week for a simple small logo and web page link.  Ads more elaborate than that are negotiated and charged on an individual basis.  For more details, email us at minstrel312@aol.com.
Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at amazon.com.
Writer/Editor For Hire for everything from business letters to data entry to editing and proofing, to speech writing and special projects, you’ll find it here at negotiable rates.  I don’t consider any request too small and I don’t take on any that are too large.  For a full list of services and more information, please go here.


Meerkats Recognize Others’ Voices is another one of those, “gee, they’re smarter than we previously thought” stories.  See also Hakuna Matata

Well, it looks like the king of predatory dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex, was much larger than previously thought.  Scientists in Americaand Great Britainused 3D scanners on several skeletons and came to the remarkable conclusion that while this thunder lizard weighed about as much as a human baby of six months, when full grown, it topped the scale at about nine small cars’ worth.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.

Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.
Oceana:  The National Geographic of the World’s Oceans
How to Behave Around Bears
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera
National Wildlife Magazine
Go Northwest:  Northwest Wildlife Websites
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


A bungee-jumping grandmother, an antelope taking out a bicyclist and two turkeys running wild in the streets of Sacramento, California top this week’s BBC weird news videos.

Well, that’s about it for this week.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here.  For a quick way to respond to what you’ve experienced here, yep, go here.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.


About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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