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Volume 5, No. 19
Sunday, May 13, 2012
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.
IN OTHER NEWS
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.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE & EXPLORATION
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.
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE
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.RESOURCE LINKS: Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index Tips and Tools For Staying Young Weight Watchers: Calculate Your Body Mass Index
ON THE CANCER FRONT
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.RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: 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.
FROM YOU GUYS
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.
BEST NET VIDEOS THIS WEEK
TAKE A BREAK ON NORTHSTAR
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.
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.RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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.