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Volume 5, No. 26
Sunday, July 8, 2012
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 – NYTimes.com
IN OTHER NEWS
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 load. See also Giving Up the Car is My New American Responsibility.
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.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE & EXPLORATION
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.
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.”SHORTS 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
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE
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.SHORTS Summer Lunch Ideas: Meal Planning For Eating Outdoors Flavored Popcorn Recipes: Sweet, Spicy And Savory 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
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.RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: 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
WEEK’S BEST VIDEOS AND/OR SLIDESHOWS
Animal Tracks is msnbc.com’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.
THE FUN ZONE
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.RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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,
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