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Now reaching informed readers in America, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia & Australia

Volume 5, No. 19

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea  Well, in most of our known world, motherhood and moms are being celebrated today.  To me, that is totally cool because it is absolutely appropriate.  Even if your personal female caregiver was an evil step-parent, the plain fact is that without mothers, most of us wouldn’t be here.

I’ve often wondered, though, why there’s no Kids Day.  Ever since the young people in my own life were like these pint-sized living units, I’ve realized that children are our greatest “natural resource.”

I think kids are more highly evolved than adults.  They are idealistic and unencumbered with cynicism.  They are innovators because they haven’t learned what is acceptable and what is not.  They question authority which makes no sense to them because their survival instincts have not been dulled.  And perhaps most marvelously of all, they keep pushing the envelope.  They are bad listeners sometimes because while adults are trying to tell them why something cannot be done, they are, of course, are too busy doing it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a story in which all of these traits of childhood come together more than in this excellently crafted story of a Canadian teenager who has discovered anti-aging properties in tree pulp.

Her name is Janelle Tam.  To meet her, please go here.


Well, for those of us in North Americawho missed the biggest moon of the year on May 12, there’s another celestial event in some ways just as spectacular.  On Sunday, May 20, there’s going to be a solar eclipse.

In which nations do workers have the most holidays and vacations?  The answers might surprise you.

Fewer men in Canadanow are coming down with lung cancer.  To find out why, please go here.


Is Canada ascending to International Olympus as a global leader?  Some experts certainly seem to think so.

What five cell phone services do Canadians like and dislike the most?  The answers might surprise you.

Canadian banks are among the strongest in the world, according to a recent Bloomberg report.


A Yale law school graduate who came to Americaas a child from Nigeriawas nearly cut down in the flower of early manhood by two lethal blood cancers.  If you’re looking for a story of courage, sheer guts and playing it forward, we invite you to go here.

People in Massachusetts are praying for Lily, a pit bull who was hit by a train as she attempted to pull her unconscious owner, Christine Spain, off the tracks.  Our thanks to Sam, Joyce and their little girls inCambridge for bringing this to our attention.

When Joplin, Missouri got hit by a tornado last year, thousands of memories ~ in the form of photographs ~ were scattered to the four winds, as well.  Thanks to a Carthage, Missouri mother of two and the project she started, many of those priceless moments are being recovered.


This one almost sounds like a page out of “Bacteria Are Our Friends.”  Apparently these tiny life forms might be able to build a better computer hard drive than we humans.  I found this fascinating so check it out here.

A town in a California desert could well soon be the Silicon Valley of the Private Space Age.  Check it out here.

Apparently, in prehistoric times, dinosaur flatulence produced enough methane to accelerate climate change.  For related, see also:  Fish oils fed to flatulent cows could reduce greenhouse emissions and Cow farts harming the planet.


We’ve long known that what a person says about themselves ~ good, bad or indifferent ~ can affect their health.  Here’s proof.

We all know that our body language reveals a lot about us.  What does our walk say?

Weight loss is not for the uninformed.  The consequences of doing it wrong are terminal.  Make sure, then, that if you’re dieting, you’re not making these nutrition mistakes.

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


Know thy enemy.  Cancer is caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites.

A recent study reveals that nearly half of those interviewed do not know how to spot the first signs of melanoma.  Do not be one of them.

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society


What potential economic impact could the ban on same sex marriages have on the states which have them?  Former American president Bill Clinton discusses.


To settle the question raised last week in the chatroom where some of us take coffee during the work week, about where Northstar gets its electrical power, it turns out we are both right.  The state of Washington at large receives about 50 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants.  Seattle, however, uses less than 3 percent from this source


Real-life mermaid swims with whales after making her own fish tail

Leopard cubs all tuckered out after morning with Christie | Seattle

Saturn Stars In ‘Outer Space,’ Short Film Made From Cassini and Voyager Images


Animal Tracks is’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.

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.

Foundation For A Better Life produces 15 – 90 second inspirational videos equaling ~ if not surpassing ~ the video vignettes produced by Hallmark, Folgers Coffee and Campbell Soup.  Three I’d recommend right off the top are Concert, The Class Room and Spirit of America.

National Geographic Kids Page:  If you enjoy learning about the places, people and things which make life on this planet such a unique experience?

National Geographic Video Page is the diversion the doctor ordered If you’re looking for a video experience that will definitely take you out of wherever you are and you don’t mind your reality coming at you in relatively short bursts (about long enough to keep a fussing child occupied).

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.

Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu, including a daily vocabulary quiz where you can see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.


A young dolphin decided to explore a coastal wetlands near Huntington Beach, California and spent a week doing it.  He’s back in the ocean now and, according to wildlife experts who monitored his stay, he’s doing just fine.  For more on this one, please go here.

After reading last week about my aversion to sharks, a couple of you asked if there are any other living creatures about which I feel the same.  Yes.  And I’m glad I wasn’t around when this dude was.

On the other hand, I think it would have been cool to have lived on Crete with some St. Bernard sized-elephants.  And since I’m a profound fan of them, I would not have minded being in Spain to meet the grandfather of all pandas.

Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


On the islandof Guam, the government recently parachuted thousands of poisoned mice across the landscape to deal with a plague of tree snakes.  The images this conjures are almost as good as the story itself

Well, that’s about it for this week.  As a final word, The Northstar Journal is supported by contributions from readers like yourselves so if you enjoyed what you read here and would like to toss a dollar or two in the pot, as it were, please go here.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

Writer/Editor For Hire

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at




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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