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Volume 5, No. 26

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor 

 Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, considering how warm and ~ in some cases ~ downright  blazing it has been in most of North America, whether you’re a climate change embracer or still a global warming disbeliever, it’s a little tough to deny that something is going on that is breaking climate records all over the planet.

How much of it is our fault, as a species?  I don’t think we’ll ever have the total answer to that.  But we’ve caused some of it and we’re taking responsibility for that.  We’re trying a lot of different things and I truly believe it’s the sum total of what we do now that will make a difference.

It will also mean some profound lifestyle changes.  However, it’s been my experience that often ~ if we let it ~ this process of adapting can open more doors than it closes.

To me, the greatest benefit is a reduction in stress.  For example, in giving up a car as a means of personal transportation in favor of car-sharing or weekend leasing can have a tremendous impact on the budget.  The caveat here of course is that it doesn’t work for people in rural areas or in metropolitan areas where the mass transit infrastructure isn’t set up to provide that option.

Giving up both paper and plastic in favor of shopping with a knapsack is not something new in my house.  But it’s nice to see that my city ofSeattlehas finally embraced an idea many of its citizens have been doing for years now.

Community gardens as a source of personal produce, with a donation to the local Food Bank, also has benefits beyond the apparent.  Not only is it a chance to organically grow some of one’s own vegetables, herbs, etc., it is also an excellent opportunity to socialize with people who value the concept and its practice.  It’s also great exercise.

Perhaps most importantly, all of these things put one in a proactive rather than reactive mode.  It means that we embrace change as an opportunity to grow.  It makes us, in the final analysis, active participants in our own evolution.

In my house, we consider that pretty cool.  (Yes, pun intended)

See also:
Climate Access — sharing what works
Official: More in US convinced of climate change
Climate Change Belief Increased In U.S. After Extreme Weather, NOAA Chief Says
A New Climate Science Resource from the National Academies –


Physicists believe they have finally discovered one of the most fundamental building blocks of the universe.  If this is, in fact true, it well may end one of the longest and most expensive international searches in scientific history.  See also Atom Shadow: Scientists In Australia Photograph Shadow Of Single Atom

Car pooling is again on the rise.  More start-up sites are appearing on the web and more digital applications are being developed to handle the loadSee also Giving Up the Car is My New American Responsibility.

This has got to be one of the most dramatic medical advances of this new century because it will give “legs” to millions who don’t have them or can’t use the ones they’ve got.


One of the most legendary events in Canada, the Calgary Stampede, is celebrating its centennial.  And it looks like an American had a lot to do with making in happen in the first place.

Thanks to the American FBI’s counterattack on a crippling computer virus, thousands of Canadians and hundreds of thousands of people on the planet could lose their Internet service until the DNSchanger virus is removed from their computers.  For more information, please go here.

Although too late for this tourist season, if two Victoria councilors have their way, food carts could become a delightful addition to the provincial capital’s culinary milieu by next summer.


Northwest consumerism really is going green.  Seattle recently became the latest city to ban the use of single plastic bags in retail store and the number of communities doing that is definitely growing.

Not since the Clearwater Aquarium rescued Winter the Dolphin and equipped her with a prosthetic fluke have we seen the kind of compassion displayed by an Alaska aquarium which has adopted a baby beluga whale which became separated from its mom.

Mohamed Nasheed, Former Maldives President, Calls For U.S. To Embrace Climate Change Reality


Our faith in NASA is being slowly restored after being nearly totally destroyed by the Obama administration’s decision to cancel the space shuttle program.  And the Agency’s apparent failure to fight back.  Here are two reasons I feel that way.

Mars Panorama: NASA Rover Opportunity Snaps Spectacular PHOTO Of Red Planet

Orion, NASA Spacecraft, Unveiled For 2014 Test Launch

As this next article so eloquently points out, meteors ~ as dramatic as they are to watch ~ are not just a celestial event of profound proportions.  When they land here on earth and are discovered and analyzed, they can provide even more clues as to the nature and origin of the world around us.

There’s a new generation of cyber techs coming online.  They’re an impressively dedicated bunch and some of them are coming together in hostels designed specifically for them.  This is a definite “Northstar Recommends.”

This week in Science History
See Milky Way Galaxy: Great Viewing For Stargazers During Next Two Weeks
Stephen Hawking And Higgs Boson Bet In Spotlight As Physicists Hail CERN Particle Discovery


As a society, we seem to be a lot more health conscious than we’ve ever been before.  It’s nice, then, to have five health scares we can afford to ignore.

If this isn’t timely, I’m not sure what is.  Here are some additional ideas for staying cool during a heat wave.

Summer Lunch Ideas: Meal Planning For Eating Outdoors
Flavored Popcorn Recipes: Sweet, Spicy And Savory
Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index
Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index


We don’t talk often enough in this column about individuals who have lived and died with cancer; individuals whose ennobling and enabling personal examples inspired all those around them.  This is the story of contralto singer Kathleen Ferrier, “the voice that embraced a nation.”

The New York Times has a solid three-part series going on new approaches to fighting cancer.  This is a definite Northstar recommends so for more, please go here.

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


With the continued proliferation of Internet Cafes, Monica Guzman of the Seattle Times discusses the etiquette of Wi-Fi coffee shops


Welcome to Our Backyard is a showcase of wildlife photos submitted by people from all over the United States.

Eagle snatches a fisherman’s catch right off the line


Animal Tracks is’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial. 

National Geographic Kids Page is a great way to spend time with the young people in your life.

National Geographic Video Page is the essence of both the Society and the magazine, in shorter video features.

Foundation For A Better Life’s short video vignettes rival the best of Hallmark, Folgers and Campbell Soup.  Three I’d recommend right off the top are Concert, The Class Room and Spirit of America.


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.

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.


Cougars are among the most elusive creatures in Western America so when  eight of them were captured by remote camera on a game trail, the photos aroused more than a little interest among those who study these animals.  For more, yep, go here.

We seem to be overloaded with critter news this week.  Check out the great blue heron being raised in Seattle’s Marymoor Park.

New scientific evidence suggest that all meat-eating dinosaurs, including velociraptor and T. Rex actually had feathers.

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


Being slim and svelte was not always the epitome in fashion as these ads proclaiming the virtues of the full-figured woman attest.

Well, that’s about it for this week.  As a final word, The Northstar Journal is one hundred percent supported by readers like you.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute ~ however modestly ~ to the next, please go here and with our thanks.

Take care, stay well and God Bless,






The Northstar Journal is a subsidiary of Northstar Communications, which also includes Northstar Media Services, The Northstar Gallery and Wrath of the Testament.  For more information, email us at


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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